Belated Weekly Reading Round-Up

Apologies for being late with the Weekly Reading Round-Up! As I bounced from city to city, it wasn’t always easy for me to get into my website remotely. Belatedly, here’s what I’ve been reading while I’ve been on the go:

— Julian Fellowes, Past Imperfect.

A fascinating snapshot of the debutante Season of 1968, and a generation caught in the midst of changing mores.

— Menna van Praag, The House at the End of Hope Street.

An odd and interesting book about an enchanted house that draws in wounded females and finds ways to heal them (with talking pictures of female literary luminaries on the walls).

— William Dietrich, The Barbed Crown.

The latest in Dietrich’s swashbuckling Ethan Gage series (think a Napoleonic-set Flashman). Recommended especially for those who enjoyed The Orchid Affair, since this takes place right around the same time and references many of the same characters (those of you who enjoyed The Orchid Affair will remember Querelle, Cadoudal and the gang– and for you Garden Intrigue fans, there are also a few references to Robert Fulton and his inventions). Although The Barbed Crown is well along in the series, you don’t have to have read the previous books to get the gist of it.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Jessica on April 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Currently I am reading “Bastards: Politics, Family, and Law in Early Modern France.” by Michael Gerber. I don’t have much time to read fiction books right now. I am finishing up my dissertation. So most of my books are non-fiction historical books related to french history.

  2. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on April 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    This week was so busy I only had time for an ARC of Lisa Lutz’s newest (and I presume final) Spellman Files book, The Last Word. I love this series so much and the 6th book brings back the funny a neurotic that was a little bit missing in the 5th book.

  3. Céline on April 13, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Are you talking about the same Julian Fellowes that offered us the great Downton Abbey? Is Past Imperfect a fiction?

    As to me… well, I’ve been reading Ashford! I’m about two thirds into the book and it’s fascinating! I love it! I love what you did with the story, how you chose to unfold it! And my heart goes to Clemmie and what she has to go through! I love her character!

    • Lauren on April 13, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      Yes, it is that Julian Fellowes! He has two novels out: “Snobs” (about a social climber who marries an earl in the 1990s), and “Past Imperfect”. Of the two, I think “Snobs” holds together better as a story, but “Past Imperfect” is a fascinating look at a world in flux.

      • Lynne on April 13, 2013 at 11:37 pm

        Lauren – I read both of the Fellowes novels and agree that “Snobs” was a good story. However, “Past Imperfect” was an extremely moving story and since I grew up during that same era (late 60’s and early 70’s) I was surprised at how similar the British experience is to our own. The fact is, his writing in his novels is much better than his screenwriting.

  4. Pam on April 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    I read, at last, A Share in Death (Deborah Crombie), and can’t wait to read more in the series. She combines cozy mystery with gritty police procedural in such an organic way, I can’t believe I hadn’t read her stuff before!

    Then I read Austenland (Shannon Hale), which was really lovely. Fun, reverent, and self-aware, I thought it was great.

    Now I’ve just started The Family Vault (Charlotte McLeod) on your recommendation, Lauren, and so far it’s fantastic!

    • patrice aka gaylen marie on April 13, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      i love deborah crombie as well. i have not purchased her newest book yet. it is not looking like something i would read, yet i have read all of her other books. what do you think about the new one and what it sounds like?

  5. Gina on April 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    I started Shades of Milk and Honey (per someone’s recommendation last week) and that’s been good so far.

    Also, I just went on a bit of a book spree and bought Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (my YA guilty pleasure series), House of Leaves (which looks fascinating), and Paris by Rutherford. If it’s not obvious, I cannot wait for summer so I will have time for all of these.

    • Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on April 13, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Yeah Shades of Milk and Honey! I adore Mary Robinette Kowal. The second in the series is even better!

  6. Pat D on April 13, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Ooh. I didn’t know there was a new Ethan Gage out.
    I’ve been reading the latest Hamish McBeth, and before that The Greatcoat-spooky-and The Book of Killowen. Also Frances Brody’s A Medal for Murder.

  7. Sheila on April 13, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    I am currently savoring the delicious Ashford affair, before that I read Eloisa James

    pirate series: Seduced by a Pirate, The Ugly Duchess, and With this Kiss

  8. Alice on April 15, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Just finished the newest Mary Robinette Kowal, “Without a Summer” and it was fabulous! An excellent addition to the series.

  9. Alice on April 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I know. Me too. At the end of her newest book she did say there is a fourth one coming so that is something to look forward to – albeit a year away!

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