Weekly Reading Round-Up

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

— Barbara Michaels, Smoke and Mirrors.

This is one of my less frequent Michaels re-reads. The inside look at a political campaign is fascinating (and reminds me of one of my old teen favorites, The President’s Daughter, by Ellen Emerson White), but this one has never captured my imagination as so many of her others did.

— Elsie Lee, The Wicked Guardian.

Even though I find amnesia plots a little annoying, Elsie Lee’s prose in this Regency-set romp is wickedly funny and the heroine’s losing her memory didn’t put me off as I’d thought it would. I’d never realized before just how Heyer-esque the Elsie Lee Regencies are. Now to find more….

— Bee Ridgway, The River of No Return.

I’ve only just started this, so more next week, but as of now, I’ll say: if you liked A Discovery of Witches, you’ll love this. And there are no vampires! It’s Regency/modern time travel with a two hundred year old hero (last seen during the Peninsular War) and a mysterious organization of time hoppers known only as “The Guild”. Further updates once I’m farther along.

Unrelated, but happy news: The Ashford Affair was just chosen as a Doubleday/ Lit Guild/ Rhapsody Book Club alternate selection! Growing up, I remember seeing those “Doubleday Book Club Alternate Selection” stickers on books (it brings back memories of Waldenbooks and puffy sweatshirts), so I couldn’t be more excited.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Alexa J on January 11, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Waldenbooks and puffy sweatshirts! A nice blast from the pasts on this Friday! How about stirrup leggings, Hypercolor t-shirts, and the Bookmobile?

    I’ve been reading some great cookbooks/memoirs/essays about food: “Dinner: A Love Story” by Jenny Rosenstrach and “Secrets of the Best Chefs” by Adam Roberts.

  2. Christine on January 11, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Every Secret Thing by Susanna Kearsley – one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It’s a thriller and doesn’t have any of the time travel like her other books. It was so well planned and written. Every detail linked up to something else at the end. So amazingly well done. I love her time travel books but I wish she would write more like this one!

  3. Joanne M. on January 11, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Congratulations on being selected for the Book Club!

    I enjoyed Syrie James’ The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, a novel within a novel.

    Heartstorm by Elizabeth Stuart, set in the 1700’s in Scotland with an English heroine and a Scottish laird as star crossed lovers. Liked it so much I went on a search for more romances by this author.

    • Lauren on January 14, 2013 at 11:36 am

      And I’d thought I was the only one out there to read “Heartstorm”! I was obsessed with it the summer after sixth grade. I even wrote a very bad imitation novel– all in cursive on lined paper (but set in France in the eighteenth century, to disguise the fact that so many of the incidents and characters were otherwise the same!).

  4. Kristen A. on January 11, 2013 at 10:18 am

    After finishing Kindred – I definitely need to read more Octavia E. Butler – I read The Duchess War by Courtney Milan. Now I’m reading The Garden Intrigue, since my paperback finally arrived.

  5. jeffrey on January 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I just finished a debut release entitled Darcy’s Decision by Maria Grace. It is the first in a Trilogy entitled Given Good Principles. It is a Pride and Prejudice prequel with only 120 pages but the author has really packed it with fascinating but plausible “what ifs.” My review of same appears tomorrow at http://www.austenprose.com

  6. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on January 11, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I miss Waldenbooks, sigh.

    Well, firstly I finished my book club selection Fingersmith, basically lesbian Dickens, and very moody. The book was in three parts and reminded me very much of The Woman in White. The first part was amazing, and each part after that kind of was less amaing. Went from a 5 star book to a 3 pretty quick. Still enjoyed reading it.

    Then I devoured a new ARC, which I think you might know… The Ashford Affair…

    • Sheila on January 12, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      JEALOUS !!!

  7. Sheila on January 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Man of War, by Charlie Schroeder, a non-fiction exploration of the world of historical re-enactors, very interesting and funny.

    Romancing Mr Bridgerton, by Julia Quinn. This is my favorite of the series because I just love the heroine, Penelope.

  8. Pam on January 12, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I read The Art Forger (B.A. Shapiro), a novel about a young artist who, down on her luck, has been making ends meet by painting reproductions of Old Master works. A gallerist makes her a dazzling offer: copy a painting for him and he’ll give her a solo show. Things get complicated, however, when Claire sees the painting she’s been asked to copy and realizes it is one of the canvases stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum years before, and the plot thickens further when she begins to suspect that the Degas “original” is itself a forgery. The characters were a little shallow/cookie-cutter-y, but the story was engrossing. I’d recommend it, especially to art enthusiasts.

    Then I finally got around to reading The Haunting of Maddy Clare (Simone St. James) and absolutely loved it. A classic ghost story in the vein of Susan Hill with just the right balance of sp ooky and cozy, with mystery and romance to boot. I can’t wait for her next book to come out!

    Now I’m just starting Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand (Helen Simonson)

  9. AmyN on January 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Still reading The Three Musketeers which is not a bad thing. Love Barbara Michaels but I agree with Lauren that “Smoke and Mirrors” was not my favorite. I’d like to read “Time and Chance” but I’m loathe to leave the “Pink” time period until Ashford, of course.

  10. Nessa on January 13, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I adored Major Pettigrew and I hope he will reappear in Helen Simonson’s new book.
    This week I re-read couple of comfort mysteries -Rhys Bowen’s “Her Royal Spyness” and “A Royal Pain”, Jacquline Winspear’s “Maisie Dobbs” and just started “The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag” by Alan Bradley.

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