Weekly Reading Round-Up

This week was a combo of the old and the new for me: re-reads of old favorites and a new mystery novel from one of my auto-buy authors. Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

— Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love.

Nancy Mitford’s classic novel of a young woman’s debut and romantic missteps in the 1920s and 30s, combining her signature social satire, thinly veiled family portraits, and deep insight into human nature.

— Nancy Mitford, Love in a Cold Climate.

This book covers the same time period, roughly, as The Pursuit of Love, as told by the same narrator, but covers a different set of events. The two novels often get lumped into one– partly, I think, because the title of the second novel is so much catchier. (For those who like their BBC costume dramas, there’s an excellent adaptation– under the title Love in a Cold Climate— that manages to very effectively roll the two books together.)

— Tana French, Broken Harbor.

Leaving Mitfordiana and the drawing rooms of 1930s London well behind…. If there’s such a thing as a lyrical police procedural, Tana French’s four books are it. All set in Dublin and its environs, around the workings of the same police department, each features a different protagonist, dealing with his (or her) own personal issues as he struggles to resolve a confusing criminal puzzle. They’re all beautifully written and they keep you guessing all the way. (If you haven’t read Tana French before, start with In the Woods and read your way through from there– although each can be read as a stand alone.)

Since Broken Harbor is a hard act to follow, I’m not entirely sure what to read next.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Kristen A. on May 3, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I read Susanne Alleyn’s Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders, which is a guide to avoiding anachronism when writing historical fiction. Before that I read The Boleyn King, which is the beginning of a new alternate history trilogy in which Anne Boleyn had a son who grew up to inherit the throne.

  2. Christine on May 3, 2013 at 9:25 am

    I finished ARCs of Purple Plumeria and A Hundred Summers and loved both! Definitely must-reads this summer.

  3. Diana on May 3, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. It has taken me a bit to get “into” it. I enjoyed North & South and Wives & Daughters, so I’m hoping I’ll come to like it more.

  4. Margaret on May 3, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I just finished 4 books: Sarah Blake’s The Postmistress and Grange Hall and also The Cove and Houses of Stone. I’m starting The Dante Club which I read about on last weeks posting regarding books about books. Thanks!

  5. leslie on May 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Tried to read Sophie Kinsella’s Wedding Night, but gave it up quickly.

    Carla Kelly’s The Lady’s Companion was read in one sitting, I really like her stuff.

    For the weekend: The Ashford Affair!

  6. Am7 on May 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    I read Second Chance Pass by Robyn Carr. Not her best and you have to read them in order. It’s not a good starting place in the series.
    I recommend to Lauren the Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie or The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie.

  7. Ashley on May 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I just finished “The Girl on the Cliff” by Lucinda Riley, which was only okay.

    I was super excited to discover that Susanna Kearsley’s new book “The Firebird” actually released in Canada on April 30! I created an Amazon.ca account and ordered it so I could get it a month before it releases in the US. It came today, so I know what I’ll be reading this weekend!

    • Lauren on May 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      So jealous!!!

  8. Nessa on May 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    This week I finished Jen Lancaster’s hilarious “Pretty in Plaid” and “Bright Lights, Big Ass”. I also enjoyed for the very first time Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti mysteries “Death at La Fenice” and “A Noble Radience”.

  9. Diane on May 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    “Death In Kenya” by M. M. Kaye. All Her books are great. Am going to reread “The Far Pavilions” next. Hope you have had a chance to read these.

  10. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on May 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Oh, both BBC adaptations of Nancy Mitford’s books are lovely. I just watched the mega one.. like 10 episodes with Judi Dench. So wonderful, Dench’s real life husband as Davey, so perfect!

    This week I read my first even Tamora Pierce book for book club, thought it was a little meh. Since then I’ve been on an Agatha Christie kick, which is wonderful!

  11. Courtney Tonokawa on May 3, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Passion by Jude Morgan. It’s about the four women who were lovers of the Romantic poets.

  12. Céline on May 3, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    I’m catching up on Kate Noble’s books and this week, I read If I fall, which I loved, like all her other books!
    I’m now reading Julie James’ Sexiest man alive… which promises to be a very nice reading for a sunny weekend!

  13. jeffrey on May 4, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I’m continuing the group read of Pride and Prejudice and thoroughly enjoying the sharing from the real Jane Austen experts at http://www.pemberley.com.

    I just finished The Wrong Woman by Kimberly Truesdale and loved the wonderful but flawed heroine of the story Isobel or “dizzy Izzy.” Great regency read.

    I’m now reading The Intentions of the Earl by Rose Gordon by Rose Gordon.

  14. Nancy Kvorka on May 4, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I read A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn in less than 24 hours, I had time off to read this book unlike when The Ashford Affair first came out. It was very good. All the main characters stood out. As with Ashford, I felt like I was in Africa. I highly recommend it. I tried to buy The Firebird from Amazon CA but no Kindle version yet.

  15. Lori on May 5, 2013 at 2:28 am

    Reading grevilke books by Philip Rock again-still had 1 of the hardcovers in my library shelves from about 30 years ago-if your wantung 1914-1930’s England; did manage to finish Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella which was exhausting vs a pleasure; and sadly had purchased While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax and The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes without checking out samples on my Kindle. I tried but couldn’t read either and it was too late to return them. I did read The Ashford Affair as soon as it was “out” and loved it, The Nancy Mitford books, and Broken Harbor.

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