Weekly Reading Round-Up

It’s been a week of re-reads for me, including some that go way back.

In the less way back category, I went on a Susan Elizabeth Phillips kick. There’s something about her contemporary romances that spells “summer reading” for me. Maybe because so many of them take place during the summer? This time around, I re-read Ain’t She Sweet?, in which an aging, down on her luck former beauty queen returns to her hostile home town in the hope of finding a priceless painting, and Dream a Little Dream, in which the widow of a disgraced televangelist, down on her luck and down to her last nine dollars, returns with her five year old son to their old home town in the hopes of finding her dead husband’s missing fortune.

Looking at the two books together, there are some similarities in theme here. I’ve read both at least half a dozen times, but they still make me cry.

Going way, way back, I also rediscovered the Three Investigators series (or, at least, books one and two, The Secret of Terror Castle and The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot). Did anyone else read these when you were little? Written in the 1960s and introduced by Alfred Hitchcock (who puts in cameo appearances throughout the books), the conceit is that three local California boys have founded a detective agency devoted to solving riddles and conundrums. I was pleased to find that the books have held up surprisingly well….

I treated myself to a bookstore jaunt yesterday, so next up on my list are Wendy Webb’s gothic novel, The Tale of Halcyon Crane, and Jen Lancaster’s latest memoir, The Tao of Martha.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Nancy Kvorka on June 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I read the mystery series by Susan Elia MacNeal starting with Mr. Churchill’s Secretary. I highly recommend them. It was great to be able to read all three in one week. Good twisty plots, great development of the characters and great putting you at the scene for WWII England and Europe. The next book comes out next year and may get to the point where the US joins the ward. Going to be hard to wait for that one.

    • Lauren on June 28, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      I read the first one and loved it! I really have to catch up with the next two.

  2. Michelle in Texas on June 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I’ve just discovered Deborah Crombie! I am the reason publishers put the first one or two books in a series on sale. #3 of Ms.Crombie Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series was on sale. After reading it, I had to but the WHOLE SERIES!! All 15 of them!! But I really enjoyed them all, and watching the relationship between Duncan & Gemma grow.

    Yes, I am a book nerd. Thank you for asking!

    • Lauren on June 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Thank you!! I’ve been needing a mystery series to read this summer (for some reason, marathon contemporary mystery series reading and Pink book writing go together for me) and grumbling because I read all the Laurie King Kate Martinelli books last summer– and I’d completely forgotten about the Deborah Crombie books! Off to order those now to Pink XI background reading….

      • Michelle in Texas on June 28, 2013 at 3:38 pm

        Yes, I’ve read all Laurie King’s books, too… And Pink!!

        Glad I could lure another… er… share the joy of a new series!

  3. Pam on June 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    It’s been a busy week with moving back to the States, starting to teach a summer course, and relieving my adolescent puppy of his reproductive capabilities (he looks so sad in his Cone of Shame), so I’ve only managed to start The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley. I loved Marianna and have been looking forward to this one for a long time. (And The Winter Sea and The Shadowy Horses are waiting on deck for when I’m done.) So far I love it.

  4. Joanne M. on June 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    I enjoyed Charlie Lovett’s The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession. A must-read for bibliophiles! An antiquarian bookseller finds a portrait in a book store in Hay-on-Wye that mysteriously resembles his dead wife…..only the portrait is from Victorian times. His quest to find the portrait’s origins will take him on a research journey through Shakespeare’s times and the Victorian era. Good fun and a haunting love story.

  5. Alice on June 28, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Finished “Glimmer of Hope” by Sarah M. Eden. I loved it. If you haven’t discovered this author I highly recommend her. She writes with a depth of emotion hard to find. Another good one of hers is “Friends and Foes. ” Finished the Everly Grey series by L. J. Charles. They are fantastic! Now reading “The Turning of Anne Merrick” by Christine Blevins. I am enjoying it thus far.

  6. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on June 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Been reading my book club’s selection of the month, aka, The Shining. Oddly I’ve never read it, and it’s a nice counterpoint to read about people trapped in the snow when it’s hot and humid.

  7. Christine on June 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I’m chipping away at my huge backlog of books (especially the ones I got for Christmas and my birthday, which was in January). I’m not allowing myself to buy any more books until I read all of those!

    I read How to Tame Your Duke, the latest from Juliana Gray. I liked it, but not as much as I liked her first trilogy.

    I also read The Violets of March by Sarah Jio. It was a really quick read and I liked it but there was something about the writing style that seemed a bit juvenile. Some of the 1-star reviews on Amazon said it sounded like a 14 year old wrote it, and I could see what they meant.

    Currently reading The Anatomist’s Wife and really liking that one as well.

  8. Ashley on June 28, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Just finished rereading The Winter Sea and was happy to see it held up to a second look. I think I may have bawled harder this time!

    Now onto the latest installment of Carol Carr’s India Black series about a madam who works for the Crown as a spy.

  9. jeffrey on June 29, 2013 at 5:58 am

    I felt privileged to be able to read an ARC of The Passion of the Purple Plumeria this week and it will be difficult to keep my review opinions under wraps until Aug 7th…

    I’m also just beginning The Uncanny Life of Polly by Karen Aminadra which debuted yesterday.

  10. Gina on June 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I don’t know what took me so long, but I just finished Ashford Affair! Lovely, lovely book. I also read John Green’s Paper Towns, because everyone in the YA world loves him and I wanted to know what the fuss was about. It was quite good.

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