Weekly Reading Round-Up

As I’ve been pounding away at the new stand alone novel (70,000 words down, 50,000 left to go!), I’ve been dipping into old comfort reads, first a Mary Stewart fest, and now some Lord Peter Wimsey.

— Mary Stewart, My Brother Michael.

While Nine Coaches Waiting will always be my favorite Mary Stewart (followed closely by Thornyhold), My Brother Michael has a special place in my heart because it was my very first Mary Stewart, discovered in the school library back when I was in Middle School, in a nondescript hardcover edition without a dust jacket. I’d run out of Victoria Holts for the moment, and decided to take a chance on something new– and there it was, an exotic Greek setting, intrigue, mystery, snappy dialogue, an enigmatic hero.

— Mary Stewart, This Rough Magic.

More classic Mary Stewart– now with dolphins! And an adorable aging actor, and his somewhat less adorable, but intriguingly brooding, son.

— Dorothy Sayers, Murder Must Advertise.

I tend to re-read the Lord Peter and Harriet Vane books a lot (especially Gaudy Night and Busman’s Honeymoon), but the non-Harriet books get neglected. Foolish me. I’d forgotten just how whimsically brilliant Lord Peter can be, and the send up of the ad industry in this novel is particularly entertaining.

What have you been reading?

As a side note, huge congrats to Sarah MacLean, whose One Good Earl Deserves a Lover made its debut yesterday!


  1. Kristen A. on February 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve been at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, so I got a ton of ARCs! At the beginning of the week I read Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde by Rebecca Dana. Then I read Article 5 by Kristen Simmons, which was a promo copy because the second in the trilogy is coming out. It’s a YA dystopian series in which the US has been taken over by the Moral Militia; it was good but I don’t know if I’m going to bother trying to get my hands on the second one when I have so much else to read. Now I’m reading City of Dragons by Robin Hobb, which I bought because I’d been waiting for it to come out in paperback. But as luck would have it, Robin Hobb was at her publisher’s booth autographing and giving away ARCs of the last book in the series, which comes out in April, so I’ll get to finish it early!

  2. Céline on February 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    I’m currently reading a French time travel series (for young reader), called Via Temporis. A bit like an history exposé, but I like the main characters. I’m actually making my way through the second installment right now(out of three, for now), but inbetween, I read The Lady Most Willing, which I found very satisfying although somewhat improbable… 🙂

    I hope you’re managing alright with the new standalone!

  3. Nessa on February 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    After truly enjoying Rosie Thomas’ “The Kashmir Shawl”, I just could not live Kashmir alone, so I ended up re-reading M.M. Kaye’s “Death In Kashmir”. Years ago my aunt reccomended another of Rosie Thomas books I just loved – “Iris and Ruby” set in Cairo during WWII and I think I will go back to it next.

  4. Pam on February 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I finished Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson and just loved it. It begins as a quiet little love story about the unlikely friendship and star-crossed romance that blossoms between a retired British army major and the widowed Pakistani (though English born) proprietress of the village shop in the bucolic Sussex town of Edgecombe St. Mary. If you like “English village” sorts of things with a bit of an edge (the book deals with issues of cultural difference/dissonance and bias, among other things), this is a book for you! I highly recommend it.

  5. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on February 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Just about done with the second in Robin LaFevers amazing His Fair Assassins series and I also picked up and started re-reading The Pursuit of Love.

  6. SusanN on February 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    In the middle of Alan Bradley’s newest Flavia de Luce mystery and am thoroughly enjoying it.

  7. Ashley on February 1, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    I’m in the middle of Lauren Moriarty’s The Chaperone, about a woman who chaperones Louise Brooks to NYC in 1922. It’s a book club pick and not my typical fare but I’m really enjoying it so far. The collection of flashbacks paired with the ongoing action in NYC has me hooked – I can’t wait to figure out what happened to the main protagonist, Cora, and how her summer with Louise will change her.

  8. Joanne M. on February 2, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I’m delightfully immersed in Susanna Kearsley’s latest, The Firebird. I also just read one of Karen White’s earlier historical romances, In the Shadow of the Moon and enjoyed it very much. Think Gone With the Wind meets Outlander!

  9. leslie on February 2, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Read with wonder Rachel Hartmans Seraphina it’s a terrific YA fantasy with dragons. The book deals with important social morality issues.
    Starting Midwinter of the Spirit, the first book in a series by Phil Rickman. Ben Aaronovitch recommened it on his website. Looks good.
    Listened to Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London on a long flight. I can’t say enough about this series and the audios are so good!
    Happy Groundhog Day!

  10. Gina on February 2, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – seriously a book for bibliophiles. Full of old books, puzzles, delightfully odd characters, and some impressively genuine narration. I am in love with it already, and I’ve barely started it.

  11. Jeffrey on February 3, 2013 at 7:55 am

    This doesn’t happen too often with me but about 1/3 the way through Pale Moon Rider by Marsha Canham, I had to put it down, not because it wasn’t well written by any means but it just offended my particular sensibilities.

    I’m now reading A Proper Companion by Candace Hern and loving it. It is a regency romance with the usual suspects: A rich and kindly dowager, her beautiful but impoverished companion, her dashing and rakish grandson, a spoiled pug, and a first season in London trying to find a match for the Dowager’s lovely on-the-shelf companion.

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