Weekly Reading Round-Up

I’ve given myself a bit of a break from Bronte and Gaskell this week, and bounced around between time periods and genres a bit. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

— Dodie Smith, The Town in Bloom

I’ve been hoarding this ever since I found it in Hatchards (yes, that Hatchards) in June. It’s by the author of I Capture the Castle, and, like I Capture the Castle, touching and sad and warm and wise. It’s set mostly in the 1920s, with a 1960s frame.

— Barbara Michaels, Greygallows

I couldn’t leave behind the Victorians entirely, so I transitioned to a modern Gothic, one of Barbara Michaels’s Victorian-set novels. I still prefer Sons of the Wolf, but Greygallows is a very satisfactory Gothic.

— Barbara Michaels, Houses of Stone

From Victorian-set to modern thinking about Victorian. This is one of Michaels’s contemporary novels, but focused around the mystery of a Victorian Gothic manuscript found in an old trunk and the English professor who loves it.

— Karen White, The House on Tradd Street

Another novel I’ve been hoarding– about a heroine who unexpectedly inherits an old house in Charleston, with several ghosts and mysteries that need to be solved. To add icing onto the cake, there are sequels.

What have you been reading?


  1. Christine on September 14, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Finally read Overseas and it was totally fantastic!

  2. Jessica S. on September 14, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I’ve been reading Elizabeth Flock’s novels (Me and Emma, What Happened to My Sister, Sleepwalking in Daylight, Everything Must Go) and they are well-written but quite dark.

  3. Pam on September 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    In preparation for my move (just for the academic year) to Italy I read A Question of Belief, one of the Venetian Commissario Brunetti mysteries by Donna Leon. Dark and gritty as always but also, as always, wonderful. I started Caroline Llewellyn’s The Masks of Rome on the plane and it will keep me company my first night here across the pond–very fun.

    Those Barbara Michaels books sound like must-reads.

    • Leslie on September 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      You might want to read The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenger. A wonderful story that takes place in 1960’s Florence. Margo, the heroine is a book conservator from the Newberry who goes to Italy after a flood to save books and finds a book treasure, there’s mystery and romance,

      • Pam on September 15, 2012 at 4:50 am

        I read that in college, it was pretty fab! If I hadn’t though, it would definitely be a good one to have over here–thanks, Leslie!

      • HJ on September 15, 2012 at 8:37 am

        Leslie and Pam – I looked up The Sixteen Pleasures as it sounded familiar and I wanted to check that I’d read it. Did you know that there’s a sequel – The Italian Lover – featuring Margo 25 years later? According to Goodreads there are other connected books, The Fall of the Sparrow and Blues Lessons featuring Woody Woodhull and Philosophy Made Simple featuring Margot’s father, Rudy. I haven’t read any of these so can’t comment, but I thought you’d like to know about them!

        • Leslie on September 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

          HJ: I started to read the sequel years ago, but did not finish it. I may look at it again and will also take a look at the other Hellenger books. Thanks!

  4. Angela on September 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Working on Death in the City of Light, the true story of a mass/serial murder investigation in Paris during the Occupation. Excellent.

  5. Carly on September 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Finished Cold Comfort Farm, which I enjoyed but I still can’t decide if I liked the movie better (gasp!).
    Now back to Anne Perry’s Dorchester Terrace. And I have Sons of the Wolf and Black Rainbow hoarded.

  6. Ashley on September 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I just finished Amy Smith’s “All Roads Lead to Austen” and it was wonderful! It’s great as a travel memoir and as a fun read for an Austen lover.

  7. Kimberly Bristol on September 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I’m reading “The Queen Mother” by Lady Colin Campbell. Lots of dish on the Queen Mum. I had no idea….lol

  8. Nancy Phillips on September 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I really like Karen White and have just finished “The Beach Trees”. Am currently looking for “The House on Tradd Street”. Just began “The White Queen” by Phillipa Gregory. Have “All Roads Lead to Austen” on deck.

  9. Sheila on September 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    A Fistful of Collars by Spencer Quinn. This is the latest adventure of Bernie Little and his great partner, the dog Chet. A fabulous, funny , exciting read as always. I don’t really want to meet anyone who doesn’t like Chet, he is such a dear, and so loyal to Bernie.

  10. Beatriz Williams on September 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Thought I’d better read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, since it looks like it’s here to stay, and WOW. Not my usual read, but it’s blowing me away. For contrast (and I DO mean contrast), I’ve got Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle on standby. Happy weekend, everyone!

  11. Lauren on September 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Funny, I have “Blandings Castle” on standby, too. : )

  12. Lauren on September 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Pam, if you’re moving to Italy for the year, get your hands on “Wings of the Falcon”– Barbara Michaels gothic set in Italy during the uprisings of the mid-19th century featuring a dashing masked crusader. So. Good.

    Have an amazing time in Rome!!

  13. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on September 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Jealous you read the Dodie Smith book I haven’t been able to find… avoid The Girl in the Calndlelite Bath if you find that one, boring.

    I finished up The Affinity Bridge by George Mann, it’s like a Steampunk Avengers and was awesome. Now I’m reading the 5th Brenda and Effie book by Paul Magrs, so fun.

  14. Katie on September 14, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    This week I read The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Phillipa Gregory and How I Met My Countess by Elizabeth Boyle. They were both great!

  15. Kristen A. on September 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I’m rereading Don Quixote.

  16. Carole Rae on September 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    You always read such interesting books Lauren!

    Me, I just finished ‘My Fair Concubine’ by Jeannie Lin. Which I highly enjoyed! It’s the third book in the Tang Dynasty series. It’s set in Ancient China.

    Right now I’m reading ‘Through a Glass Darkly’ by Karleen Koen. I’m about halfway done and, well, I’m not quite sure what I think of it yet.

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