Weekly Reading Round-Up

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

— Susanna Kearsley, The Firebird.

I’ve been a fan of Susanna Kearsley ever since I stumbled upon Season of Storms in a B&N in Boston back in 2001. For those of you who follow Kearsley, The Firebird manages to link two of her previous books: my all time favorite, The Shadowy Horses, and the more recent time slip novel, The Winter Sea. The book goes back and forth between a current day art historian with a curious talent for divining the past of the objects she holds and the history of the object she’s tracing, which takes the reader back to eighteenth century Scotland, Belgium, and St. Petersburg.

— Wendy Webb, The Fate of Mercy Alban.

After reading The Firebird, I went into a bit of a book slump. Huge thanks to everyone on Facebook who took the time to share suggestions with me! One of the titles that popped up was The Fate of Mercy Alban, a modern gothic ghost story set in a vast old mansion in Minnesota. I love old house books, especially old house books replete with family secrets and a whiff of the supernatural….

— Susan Elizabeth Phillips, This Heart of Mine.

I was tempted to go on a Gothic binge after The Fate of Mercy Alban, but something about the summery weather inspired me to re-read This Heart of Mine, a contemporary romance novel set largely during a summer at an old campground in Michigan, complete with lake, gazebo, and a bed and breakfast that needs some managing. SEP has a talent for creating settings that you want to move into, and the campground in this book is no exception.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Dianne Robertson on June 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I loved The Fate of Mercy Alban.

    It was a busy week for me so I was only able to read
    I’ll Be Seeing You 5 stars Suzanne Palmieri and Loretta Nyhan did a great job working together.

    I am starting Studio Saint-Ex and The First Rule of Swimming.

  2. Ashley on June 21, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I’m reading “Downton Abbey: The Complete Scripts, Season 1.” All the dialogue is there with descriptions and stage directions, and some bits that got deleted from the filming! There’s also some extra insights and thoughts from Julian Fellowes. Reading this is almost like watching the DVD with director commentary, but you don’t have to lose the thread of the plot to an annoying voice-over. You get to come to a nice stopping place and jump down to the footnotes to see what Julian Fellowes felt like telling you about that particular scene. I’m really enjoying it!

    Also this week, I just finished Kate Atkinson’s “Life after Life” and Alan Bradley’s “Speaking from Among the Bones.” I just love Flavia 🙂

  3. lori on June 21, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Krazy Rich Asians is crazy funny-a good one for this week.
    Completed Bookmans Tale; very romantic.

  4. Pam on June 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    For the summer I decided to re-read the Pink Carnation Series. What a blast I am having. The books are even better the second time around, if that is even possible! I’m picking up on little tidbits I didn’t see the first time. I’m finishing up The Masque of the Black Tulip right now.

    • Valerie on June 21, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      I really like that series as well! Always fun to re-read!

  5. Pat D on June 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I’m in the middle of The Firebird. Loving it! I’ll have to read more of this author. I finished A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams earlier this week. Another good story. Read the first story of a steampunk Wooster and Jeeves collection called What Ho, Automaton! The man is channeling PG Wodehouse. Funny. I have the new Ethan Gage to read next, The Barbed Crown.

  6. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on June 21, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I’ve been busy this week, so in my spare time I read the second book in Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter’s The Long Earth Series, The Long War. I enjoyed it very much, again, it’s kind of a travel sci-fi memoir, and really, not much war, but the worlds they have built are amazing.

  7. Yvette R on June 21, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I listened to the fourth of Pat McIntosh’s Gil Cunningham mystery series. I mentioned these before when I first came across them. They are set in fifteenth-century Glasgow, Scotland, and are wonderfully crafted mysteries with great characters (main & minor characters are very detailed) and give the reader a lot of insight into the culture of that place and time. The first book starts on May Day, 1492, and the forth book takes place at the end of the same year. If you like Brother Cadfael, you will probably enjoy Gil Cunningham.

    • Alice on June 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      Yvette, I have read all of the Gil Cunningham series and really enjoy them. The mysteries are great and you really get a feel for the time period. Enjoy!

  8. Alexis on June 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Finished Karen White’s latest, The Time Between, which was one of her best, in my humble opinion. Then onto the latest Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs. I’m thinking The Firebird will be next. I’ve been staring at it longingly, but I wanted time to savor it. Luckily for me, it’s the weekend!

  9. Valerie on June 21, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    I’ve also been reading The Firebird! Love it so far!

  10. Alice on June 21, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Just finished “The Turncoat” which was recommended on this site. It was good and unexpected. I felt like it did not follow the typical romance/spy formula and I liked it all the better because of that. The main characters were complicated which made for an interesting read. Tried and failed to get into “The River of No Return.” Just seemed to get off to a slow start and did not grab me. Now reading the Everly Grey mysteries which I am really enjoying.

  11. Betty S. on June 21, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    I just finished The Warsaw Conspiracy by James Conroyd Martin after rereading the first two in this trilogy, Push Not the River and Against a Crimson Sky. This series was fantastic – Poland from 1791 – 1831. It’s historical fiction but based on the diary of the main character. I loved reading and learning about Poland and this time in history. So many countries have had struggles and I know nothing about them. It’s a broad panoramic descriptive narrative with twists around every corner.

  12. Amy on June 21, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    I love this heart of mine. Fun book! I a reading at the dukes wedding (a romance anthology). Super fun to read.

  13. jeffrey on June 22, 2013 at 6:29 am

    I’ve been devouring more historical romances this week and last.
    1) I finished Sons and Daughters: Darcy and Fitzwilliam by Karen Wasylowski and in an off-handed way this charming story reminds me a great deal of L.M. Montgomery’s stories about the escapades of children. It is a beautiful heart-warming read indeed.
    2) I also finished A Midsummer’s Magic by Mary Chase Comstock. It is a light-hearted romance that delves deeply into the arts of witchcraft and wizardry. Funny, harrowing, and entertaining. (the author also wrote High Spirits at Harrowby which is another ghostly romantic tale that I loved.)

  14. Ashley on June 22, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    I had planned to hoard The Firebird and save it for a special time but I can’t resist the lure of a Susanna Kearsley novel. Now that I’ve finished The Firebird, I think I may need to reread The Winter Sea…

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