Weekly Reading Round-Up

Happy Friday! As we recover from yesterday’s excesses, here’s this week’s reading in review:

As I may have mentioned a while back, I let myself be talked into judging a contest that shall remain nameless in a category that shall also remain nameless, so this week was largely about bludgeoning through large stacks of contest entries. In the between, though, I turned to some relics of my Cambridge bookshelf for comfort:

— Elizabeth George, A Great Deliverance.

There’s really nothing like the original, is there? I got a little obsessive about Elizabeth George’s Lynley series back in law school. Reading the first one again eight years later, I was struck both by how the story still held me and also by how fascinatingly dated so many of the descriptions seem now. It’s always interesting seeing books that you viewed as contemporary (although this one would already have been fifteen years old when I read it the first time) turning into time capsules.

— Jo Beverley, Dark Champion.

My romance collection expanded radically during law school. Whenever torts got a bit too much, I’d take myself off on the Red Line to Downtown Crossing and raid the big B&N (sadly now no longer there) for the romances that weren’t stocked at the Coop in Harvard Yard. I found Gaelen Foley’s The Duke there and an entire shelfful of Jo Beverley. Dark Champion is one of her medievals, and I found myself liking it better the second time around (back in 2004, the headstrong heroine irritated me; I found her much more comprehensible this time around). My favorite Beverley medieval back then, which seems to have disappeared along the course of subsequent moves, was The Shattered Rose.

Right now, I’m rounding up the bookshelf nostalgia jaunt with Judith McNaught’s Paradise, which, after all these years, still has the power to make me cry.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Christine on November 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I finished The Orchid House last night and I think I wanted it to be better than it was. The whole mystery was a page-turner, but large parts of the last 6 chapters + 1 page really ruined it. There was a completely unnecessary and stupid twist and the ending was a little too “it just so happens!” for me. There were better, more realistic ways that the story could have wrapped up. That is, I enjoyed the writing and I had real emotions about the characters like they were real people. Just a pity the ending was a disappointment.

  2. Chartreuse on November 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    For those who like comedy romance (no one one who follows this website, of course 😉 there’s Herman Wouk’s “The Lawgiver”.

  3. leslie on November 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    @Lauren: Have you read Careless in Red? That book knocked me out it was so good. George is a gutsy author, I’m not happy with Lynley series since, but I’ll always read them.
    Love Judith McNaught, isn’t she supposed to have a new book coming out next year?
    Reading Elizabeth Thornton’s backlist on Overdrive.

  4. Bree Bove on November 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Ah, Paradise and Perfect, too of my favorite McNaught re-re-re-reads 🙂

    I just started Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, but I think historic murder mystery isn’t jiving well with the two heavy and somewhat depressing nonfiction books I’ve been slowly reading – I need something lighter for balance.

  5. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on November 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I finally got around to finish Anthony Trollope’s The Warden, which overall was meh. The characters where wonderful, but his tirades got tiresome… though the stab at Dickens was funny.

    Then I read a short story in The Ministry of Peculiar Occurances about Loch Ness that was cute and was just long enough to read while at the hair dressers.

    Now I’m reading Louisa May Alcott’s The Inheritance, which, until now, my only experience has been the miniseries… interesting to see what they kept and changed…

  6. Nessa on November 23, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    This week I enjoyed two comfort reads – Lucinda Riley’s “The Girl on the Cliff” with picturesque Irish Coast and Rosina Lippi’s( actually Sara Donati’s) “Homestead” refreshingly set in tiny Alpine village.
    Now I’m starting Sarah Bradford’s “Disraeli”, biography of Queen Victoria’s great prime minister.

  7. Jeffrey on November 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    I’ve been pleasantly lost in a sea of regency romances, each one seems to get better than the previous:

    1. The Bad Miss Bennet by Jean Burnett. My review is published here: http://austenprose.com/2012/11/21/the-bad-miss-bennet-a-novel-by-jean-burnett-a-review/

    2. The Marriage list by Dorothy McFalls

    3. The Inconvenient Duchess by Christine Merrill

    Either I’ve lost all sense of objectivity or the authors plying this rich genre’ are mighty-mighty good. I highly recommend all of them.

  8. Gina on November 25, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I finally got around to finishing East of Eden (it’s been since summer) and then I read Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Completely clever and amusing.

    I started rereading The Peach-Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen on the plane ride back home, but an unfortunately timed paper due tomorrow is getting in the way of finishing it.

  9. Alice on November 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Just finished “The Anatomist’s Wife” by Anna Lee Huber. Loved it! If you are a fan of Deanna Raybourn’s Julia Grey series, you will really enjoy it.

  10. Kristy on November 27, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Yes, Paradise still makes me cry. Thanks for that!

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