Weekly Reading Round-Up
It’s Friday, which means… Weekly Reading Round-Up time! Here’s what I’ve been reading:
— Donna Andrews, Six Geese A-Slaying.
This is the Christmas installment of the madcap Meg Langslow mystery series. It’s ten books in, but the uninitiated can read it without getting too lost. My favorite in the series, though, is still the first, Murder with Peacocks. This one probably comes third in my personal preference list, after We’ll Always Have Parrots in the #2 slot.
— Cristina Alger, The Darlings.
Financial misconduct and skullduggery on the Upper East Side, with some stylistic echoes of Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities. A thought-provoking look at the collapse of a financial house of cards and the impact on the various characters involved.
— Julia Spencer-Fleming, In the Bleak Midwinter.
I found myself having a huge murder mystery urge, which came down to In the Bleak Midwinter, the first of Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne mysteries, or Dorothy Sayers’s Clouds of Witness. In the Bleak Mid-Winter won. For those who haven’t yet read Julia Spencer-Fleming’s mysteries set in upstate New York, I can’t praise them highly enough.
After In the Bleak Mid-Winter, it was a straight run down the bookshelf through A Fountain Filled With Blood (Book 2), Out of the Deep I Cry (Book 3), and, currently, To Darkness and to Death (Book 4). Once you pop, you can’t stop?
What have you been reading this week?
What with all the Xmas preparations, it was a slow reading week for me. I finished The Casual Vacancy and started right away the third installment in the TimeRiders series. Loving the series so far, I’m hooked, totally hooked! 🙂
I finished Eloisa James’ When Beauty Tamed the Beast. Lauren, I cannot thank you enough for that recommendation a few weeks ago. It was really good, good character development, different plot lines and a nice tie in between fairy tale themes and favorite TV shows of mine. I stayed up late to read this one too! Well worth it.
This sort of counts, I think: as an early Christmas gift, I received the complete set of Calvin and Hobbes. It’s my new favorite possession.
Also, I started Dear Mr Darcy by Amanda Grange, and it’s pretty much wonderful.
I’m in the middle of “The Twentieth Wife” by Indu Sundaresan – it’s the story of Princess Mehrunnisa, and is book 1 in Sundaresen’s trilogy about the building of the Taj Mahal. It’s excellent so far!
I also finished something very out of character – “Absolute Power” by David Baldacci. I didn’t love his writing style, but it was undeniably a page-turner.
Sharon Kay Penman’s Lionheart, about Richard I’s Crusade. Excellent, as always.
Love Sharon Kay Penman and have this on the TBR pile. Maybe I should move Lionheart closer the top~
Thanks for the Julia Spencer-Fleming mention. I’ve been on a big re-reading binge lately and that series will fit beautifully into my weekend plans! Love Russ and Claire!
This week I finally got around to reading the second Lady Julia book by Deanna Raybourn, which I felt was nicely holiday-y in theme, though one of the plot points was just too Agatha Christie for me (as in, it was the ending to Poirot’s Christmas).
I finally read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the YA book by Laini Taylor which all my friends have been harassing me to read. It was interesting angel/demon storytelling, but not as good as I was hoping.
Now, the enternal question… what to read next?
I mixed up my reading choices a bit this week and read The Unlikely Spy by Daniel Silva and Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich. The Unlikely Spy is a novel involving MI5 and MI6 and the people who worked as spys and spy masters during WWII. This is one of my favorite periods of history and this book was very well written and researched. I enjoyed it very much! Notorious Nineteen was just as good as all the other books in the Stephanie Plum series- I wasn’t disappointed!
This week I was totally enchanted by two delightful books set in English countryside with refreshing, spunky heroines – Margery Sharp’s “Cluny Brown” and Alan Bradley’s “Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie”. Young sleuth Flavia de Luce reminds me a little of endearing children from “Home Sweet Homicide” by Craig Rice, that I adored as a kid. I can’t wait to start reading next book in that series!
After Goodnight Sweet Prince, the first book in David Dickinson’s Lord Francis Powerscourt mystery series, I read a couple of Madeleine Robins’s trad Regencies (Lady John and Althea). I’ve just now started Barbara Metzger’s Father Christmas. I have a number of Christmasy reads I want to get to in the next few weeks.
It has been a crazy-busy week for me so I’m still reading The Toymaker by Kay Springsteen, which I mentioned in a previous post. If you love a Christmas romance with a different twist, this one is for you. The Kindle edition is only $.099 and it has received rave reviews. Best bang for a buck I’ve encountered in a long time.
I just finished up an ambitious read for my book club classic read along, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding. If you love big fat historical novel books (2448 pages worth) and can get past the old language, it’s a totally emotional and many times funny story of the life of a Tom Jones who is left on the doorstep (figuratively) of a wealthy man and his life and times while he sews his wild oats and is the subject of betrayal and jealousy. It’s essentially a story about human nature.