Weekly Reading Round-Up

This has been a week of all new books for me:

— Donna Andrews, Stork Raving Mad.

I’ve lost track of which one this is in Donna Andrews’s Meg Langslow mystery series– eleven or twelve, I think? It has the same strong first person voice and madcap sensibility as her others, as Meg Langslow, eight months pregnant with twins, fields a house full of drama students, an obscure Spanish playwright, interfering university administrators, and, of course, murder. If you haven’t read these yet, start with Murder with Peacocks, the first in the series, and still my favorite. (My runner-up would be We’ll Always Have Parrots, set at a Xena-like soap opera fan convention.)

— Robin McKinley, Chalice.

I’ve gotten very behind in my Robin McKinley reading (although I tend to re-read her early books rather a lot). In this one, which came out a few years ago, a beekeeper finds herself elevated to the rank of “Chalice”, second in the government circle in her demesne, and must, untrained, cope with the challenges of an unusual master and a scheming overlord.

— Rosemary Clement-Moore, Spirit and Dust.

A new Rosemary Clement-Moore book is always cause for rejoicing. She writes paranormal YA mysteries, with a first person voice that reminds me of my favorite old Elizabeth Peters book– clever and wry. In this one, an underage psychic investigator finds herself on the hunt for a mob boss’s daughter and a missing Egyptian artifact. (The Egyptian artifact bit made me want to go re-read Crocodile on the Sandbank.) If you haven’t read Rosemary Clement-Moore yet, you might want to start with her Maggie Quinn series, the first two of which are now conveniently packaged together in one book called Brimstone.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Am7 on May 24, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I read Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman. I loved this book. Pullman takes about Fifty of the original stories and tries to retell them faithfully. Then he writes notes and there is an introduction to the book both worth reading. I learned a lot and I enjoyed it very much.

    • Julie H on May 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Ooh, I’ve been wanting that one! Pullman is a great storyteller. I’ve always loved his Sally Lockhart series.

    • Céline on May 24, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      ooooh, my boyfriend gave me this book for last Valentine’s day and I haven’t been able to read it yet, but I’m sure I’m going to love it!!

  2. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on May 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I’ve been reading Margery Allingham this week. I adored her mystery, ‘The White Cottage Mystery,’ it reminded me of Du Maurier, then I read the first Campion book, which was ok. Now I’m reading Ursula Le Guin’s ‘The Lathe of Heaven’ for book club…

  3. Kristen A. on May 24, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    I signed on to a challenge to read all of the Carnegie finalists for fiction and nonfiction before the awards ceremony, so this week I read This is How You Use Her by Junot Diaz and The Round House by Louise Erdrich, and now I’m reading Canada by Richard Ford.

  4. Vanessa on May 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I’m actually reading a couple books right now, I recently finished Godmother by Carolyn Turgeon, I was saddened by the ending. On my nightstand I got the House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe, to heighten my reading experience I even rented a CD from the library about the orchestra music that would’ve been playing on the Titanic, since the opening pages takes place on the Titanic.

    I’m also reading these two scrumptious cookbooks, one called the Kimchi Chronicles by Marja Vongerichten -seriously delicious stews in here. Lastly, the other cookbook I’m perusing is The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl Day – there’s this delicious recipe for Hummingbird Cake 😛

  5. Gina on May 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    This past week I’ve decided to introduce myself to Lisa Kleypas for the first time after numerous recommendations. Finished all of the Wallflowers and loved them! Not sure where to go next in her books – any thoughts?

    • Julie H on May 24, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      If you like contemporaries, try her Travises series starting with Sugar Daddy. They’re very different from her historicals, but still very good!

    • Alice on May 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      Her Hathaway series is fantastic also.

    • Alice on May 24, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      The Hathaway series is my favorite. Every book is really good!

  6. Julie H on May 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    I just finished Die for Love by Elizabeth Peters, which I know you’ve mentioned on here before. The characters we delightfully quirky. I don’t read a lot of mysteries, but Elizabeth Peters always makes me think I should.

    I also finished Sins of a Virgin by Anna Randol. Perhaps it’s not the best title, but the book was really good! It may be my favorite historical romance of the year so far. It’s about a former crown spy who poses as a courtesan and puts her virginity up for auction in order to earn money to retire to the country. There’s also a murder mystery plot involved. It sounds crazy, but it was unique and fun.

    I’m working on finishing On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves about a 30 year old tutor and her 16 year old cancer-survivor pupil who get stranded on an uninhabited island together. The verdict is still out on this one since I’m only half-way through it, but it’s compulsively readable. I just wish the POV didn’t change so often.

    I’m looking forward to the holiday weekend for some nice outside reading time!

  7. Alice on May 24, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Just finished “Something Blue,” the third in the Lord and Lady Hetheridge series. Excellent series and excellent book. Read “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio. I don’t normally enjoy YA fiction, but this book was amazing! Made me cry. Then “A Spear of Summer Grass” which though not what I was expecting, was still really good.

  8. Céline on May 24, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I’m in the middle of Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes and I’m loving it. I’m nearly at the end and I’m starting to fear what will happen to the two main characters…
    Jojo Moyes is a very talented writer, I cannot recommand her enough!

  9. Pat D on May 25, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I just finished Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear. A lot of food for thought in that story. Next up is Stephanie Jaye Evans’ Safe From Harm, a Sugar Land mystery. I did read Rebellious Desire by Julie Garwood, after reading a chapter online. Got tickled by the rescue of Beau Brummel by our heroine. Also read A Spear of Summer Grass, which I have loaned Mom. I enjoyed it a lot. My brain is too fogged this morning to remember if there is anything else. Oh yes. One of Eloise James’s Duchess in Love stories.

  10. Betty S. on May 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    For additional Lisa Kleypas recommendations, her Bow Street series is good starting with Someone to Watch Over Me. Also, the contemporary Friday Harbor series – all 4 are good.

  11. jeffrey on May 26, 2013 at 6:30 am

    I also read A Christmas Wallflower by Lisa Kleypas and BLUSHED all the way through it. My goodness, they were both naughty and nice!

    I just read through Cotillion, one of Georgette Heyer’s finest. How could you not love Freddy, Kitty and that wonderful cast of eccentric relatives, friends and hangers-on? Simply brilliant.

  12. Yvette on May 26, 2013 at 7:34 am

    My thanks to Jeffrey! He mentioned High Spirits At Harroweby in such glowing terms a while back that I went and downloaded the kindle version. I’m only halfway through it, and I am totally loving it!!! It is smart and very funny – a regency romance comedy ghost story that is much more! Thanks again Jeffrey!

    • jeffrey on May 27, 2013 at 6:50 am

      My pleasure, Yvette. This is the central place where I also find up on what the smart, savvy readers are recommending and I don’t want to be left out.

  13. Anna on May 26, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I have just finished reading The Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch, which is about Peter Grant who is a probationary constable in The British Metropolitan Police Service until he becomes the first trainee wizard in 50 years. It’s a really fun read and pretty hilarious too.
    I am also reading: Venetia by Georgette Heyer, the Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift and The Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch.

    • leslie on May 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      I love the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch! Terrific characters….fantastic London/Thames guide book….love,love it. The audio books have a great narrator,I highly recommend listening to them if you like the books.

      • Anna on June 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm

        Thanks, I will keep an eye out for those 🙂

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