Weekly Reading Round-Up

One of the perks of conferences is the goody bag of books (and the long plane rides on which to read said books). I use these as opportunities for discovering authors I might not otherwise have tried. Here’s this week’s haul:

— Liza Palmer, More Like Her.

Sarah MacLean told me I had to read this, so since Sarah said…. I was very glad I’d listened. I’d call this the big sister of chick lit, more serious, but with that intimate, first person voice, as our narrator tries to make sense of a shocking tragedy at the school where she’s employed as a speech therapist. I stayed up way too late reading this one, despite early morning breakfast plans.

— Robin Carr, Sunrise Point .

This book kept me company on the way home from Anaheim. I’d meant to work on Purple Plumeria, but read straight through this instead. If you like small town novels, Americana, and tales of struggle rewarded, go for it. I’d never read any of the Virgin River books before, but that didn’t get in the way of enjoying the story and rooting for a heroine who had a great deal to overcome, a single mother with two young children determined to work as hard as it took to keep them fed and sheltered. It was truly heartwarming.

— Alma Katsu, The Taker.

Alma did an amazing job moderating the panel I was on at Cerritos Public Library. I’m not sure how to describe her book, since it reminded me of many things– Julia Spencer-Fleming, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, J.R. Ward, Kostova’s The Historian— without really being like any of them. It’s the dark and compelling story of a girl from a small Maine village in the early 19th century whose obsessive love drives her into the hands of a pack of dangerous immortals.

— Georgette Heyer, Sprig Muslin.

This is an old favorite, not part of the conference haul. All I can say is, no one writes it like Georgette Heyer. Only Heyer could manage a romance where the hero and heroine are separated for the larger part of the novel. And the mob scene at the end is one of my all time favorite fictional moments– sheer comic genius!

What have you been reading?


  1. jeffrey on August 3, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Ah yes, Sprig Muslin was one of my favorite Heyer romances because right up until the end I thought Sir Gareth would marry “you-know-who.” The ending is wild, unpredictable, and oh-so satisfying! Heyer at her comical best.

    I’m still reading what I think is Georgette Heyer’s debut Regency novel: The Black Moth. So far, it does not disappoint and I believe it was written WAY back in 1921.

    Lauren, your reading regimen is still quite astounding for such a busy schedule! Next to you, I read NOTHING.

  2. Joanne M. on August 3, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I loved Karen White’s latest release, Sea Change. A beautifully written dual-time story with secrets and southern charm.

  3. Julie H on August 3, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Like Jeffrey said, I don’t know how you find time to get so much reading in! You must be a fast reader, too.

    I think I’ve read Liza Palmer before, but not the one you mentioned.

    This week has been a slow reading week for me. I finished Mary Stewart’s Rose Cottage, which I enjoyed, but I want to try Nine Coaches Waiting since most of you guys here seem to say it’s one of Stewart’s better works.

    I also started Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Breathing Room, which I’m loving so far. I’m so glad I discovered SEP. I’ve been working my way through her books, and I haven’t been disappointed yet.

    And, finally, I’ve been listening to Kristin Hannah’s Winter Garden. It started well, then got really slow and repetitive, but it’s really picking up in the last third. Very emotional.

  4. Lauren on August 3, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Julie, I love “Nine Coaches Waiting”! It’s the best of the Mary Stewart novels (although there’s also a place in my heart for “Thornyhold”). I think “Nine Coaches” and Holt’s “Mistress of Mellyn” are generally credited with launching the modern Gothic novel.

    p.s. “Breathing Room” was my very first SEP!

  5. Lauren on August 3, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Joanne, I’ve been meaning to read that, too. I’ll have to move it up in the TBR pile!

  6. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on August 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I finished Middlesex for my book club. It was interesting, but I felt it should have been longer… I loved all the historical stuff, and then when it was sped up I missed my characters I’d come to love.

    I’m now reading Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker, Steampunk fun in distopian/messed up history Seattle, before Washington was a state. I’m really enjoying the different set-up.

  7. Sheila on August 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Elegy for Eddie, latest book in Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series. I may still be reading it next week, the Olympics are a big distraction !

  8. Kristen A. on August 3, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    This week I finished God Save the Queen by Kate Locke, the beginning of a new urban fantasy series in which the upper classes of Europe have been turned into vampires and werewolves by a mutation caused by the plague and Queen Victoria is still on the throne in 2012. I’m loving it.

    Then I read Delilah Marvelle’s Forever a Lady which I liked a lot although her first series is still my favorite and I’m looking forward to the day when she gets to finish it.

    Now I’m reading How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran.

  9. Joanne M. on August 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Oh, yes — do read Sea Change soon, Lauren! Maybe you could do “If You Like” romance books with southern settings one week. Enjoy!

  10. Katie on August 4, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I read Elizabeth Boyle’s Along Came a Duke this week. I always enjoy her books, but I wish she wouldn’t use the words “demmed” and “gel” so much. It always breaks my concentration!

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