Weekly Reading Round-Up

What with one thing and another, my reading this week has been mostly limited to Moo Baa La La La and My First London Bus, although I did just start Jane O’Connor’s Almost True Confessions: Closet Sleuth Spills All, which is amusing me mightily, since it sketches a very familiar sub-section of New York life. (Although I tend to stumble across fewer dead bodies than the protagonist.)

In the meantime, I have a wish list of books on order: Pamela Morsi’s Love Overdue, Kristan Higgins’s The Perfect Match, and John Harwood’s The Asylum.

What have you been reading this week? And what’s on your wish list?


  1. Julie H on September 27, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Lauren – Have you seen this series of literary-classics-inspired baby books? I think they are so cute! I thought of you and your little one when I saw them.


    This week I finished one of those “peer pressure” reads like we were talking about a few weeks ago: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I thought it was really good. John Green definitely has a distinctive voice, which is completely recognizable if you’ve seen any of his Mental Floss or Vlog Brothers videos on YouTube. It was just a bit too emotionally stressful to listen to as an audiobook on my way home from long day at work, if that makes sense.

    I also finished Kristen Ashley’s Mystery Man, which I heard about from Eloisa James. It is certainly not my usual type of contemporary romance, but it was fun.

    • Am7 on September 27, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      Those look awful! I firmly believe in teaching kids stuff when it’s appropriate, otherwise when they’re older they’ll think they’ve seen it before and it’s so babyish. No, no!
      I recommend Goodnight, Moon!

  2. Jane on September 27, 2013 at 10:44 am

    First, Love Moo Baa La La La! Hope your little one is enjoying it as much as mine did.

    Recently discovered Beatriz Williams – read A Hundred Summers based on your recommendation and now am enjoying Overseas. Charles Todd also a favorite author – the Bess Crawford mysteries.

    Pre-ordered your new stand alone novel. Very excited for it to be released.

  3. Sharon on September 27, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky. I’ve never read anything by her before but I am loving this.

  4. Sherri on September 27, 2013 at 10:49 am

    The Sandra Boynton books are awesome! My particular favorite is Snuggle Puppy, but we like them all. Well, at least the bunch that we have. 😛

    I’m still trying to finish up Tasha Alexander’s Death in the Floating City. I bought The Anatomist’s Wife and am looking forward to reading it.

  5. Heather on September 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I devoured “Doctor Sleep” in less than 24 hours! I couldn’t wait to get out of work to start it, and I basically put it down just to sleep, lol. Huge Stephen King fan, by the way.

    I’m also doing a little bit of research on Children’s books, because of a promotion I’ve received at my bookstore. So far, I’ve gotten “The Barnes & Noble Guide to Children’s Books” & some suggestions from the former Children’s leads from my store. Need to refresh myself on what’s out there.

    Finally, in anticipation of the release of “The Sum of All Kisses” by Julia Quinn in about a month, I’m making my way back through her books. So far, I’ve re-read the two Smythe-Smith quartet books already out, and her first novel, “Splendid.”

  6. Christine on September 27, 2013 at 10:54 am

    We’re big fans of the If You Give books. I hear “mouse! mouse!” all the time.

    I LOVED Almost True Confessions. Totally hilarious and well written!

  7. Diana on September 27, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Lady of Quality by Heyer. Heyer has become my “go to” when I want a quick light read. I usually read her between other books. And to think, I had no idea who she was until I saw some posts on your Weekly Reading Round-up.

    Shattered Crowns: The Scapegoats by Christina Croft. It is historical fiction, and the first in a trilogy, that follows the European Royal Families from the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand to the destruction of the Russian, Austrian and German monarchies.

  8. Sheila on September 27, 2013 at 11:01 am

    The Ballroom on Magnolia Street, by Sharon Owens, very good, especially if you like Maeve Binchey stories about everyday people.

    A really old Anne Stuart, Cameron Island. Not the greatest, but a fun revisit to the style. Thanks, Vicki!

    The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner. This is a novel of Juana the Mad, so-called, Catherine of Aragon’s sister. Beautifully written, altho of course speculative. My knowledge of European history during the Tudor era is pitiful, so this was educational as well as enjoyable.

  9. Sheila on September 27, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I forgot the wish list part.

    The pagan Lord, by Bernard Cornwell, A Summer Engagement, by unowho, and the next Julia Quinn

  10. Laura on September 27, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews – amazing as usual.

    Longbourn by Jo Baker – a pride and prejudice novel from the servants point of view. Absolutely loved it, definitely one of my books of the year!

    Between Two Thorns and Any Other Name by Emma Newman – I think the following review captures the novels perfectly: ‘Missing people, kidnap, three wishes, charms, deception and Grand Tours collide in a story that’s part fairytale, part fantasy, part Jane Austen, with a sprinkling of bonkers brilliance’ And Then I Read a Book

    Named of the Dragon, Susanna Kearsley – one of her earlier novels, recently republished in the UK. Enjoyable, but not as much as her latest ones.

    I am currently working my way through The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, which is being hyped as the next Harry Potter phenomenon. Thoroughly enjoying it so far…

  11. jeffrey on September 27, 2013 at 11:49 am

    What Diana said above. I’m reading Devil’s Cub and am thoroughly delighted with this one. Since I inadvertently read this out-of-sequence, next up is These Old Shades.

  12. Pam on September 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I finished A Spear of Summer Grass a few weeks ago (LOVED IT, magical, if you have not read it do it NOW) and have since been puttering around with Foreign Affairs by Allison Lurie, a Pulitzer-winner about an American Anglophile professor of children’s literature who goes to London for a sabbatical year. It is seriously excellent, despite speaking a little bit too directly to my own personal and professional neuroses.

    Last night I might have read Mystery Ranch, one of the Boxcar Children books, and now I might have just told the entire internet about it.

  13. Ashley on September 27, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I just finished an ARC of Tasha Alexander’s new book, “Behind the Shattered Glass.” Loved it!

    I want to order Sharyn McCrumb’s “King’s Mountain” and Anna Lee Huber’s “Mortal Arts.” Has anyone read either of those? I’d love to hear some thoughts about them.

    • Alice on September 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      I read “Mortal Arts” and loved it. You will not be disappointed.

  14. Rachel Adrianna on September 27, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I know what’s on my wish list: more Playlists from the books!

  15. Gina on September 27, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I’m reading Long Overdue right now actually, and enjoying it rather a lot (although the heroine is seriously stubborn for a while). Next up for me is Gin and Cinnamon – recommended here last week, I believe? – as well as Gaiman’s Neverwhere. It’s high time I jumped on the Neil Gaiman bandwagon.

  16. Kristen A. on September 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I read Cold Days by Jim Butcher and then The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan, and now I’m eagerly anticipating The Countess Conspiracy when it comes out in December and wishing a release date would be announced for Skin Game.

  17. Christina on September 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Last week I read The Cuckoo’s Calling Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling. I’m always happy with a mystery when I don’t figure out whodunnit way ahead of time. I liked this much better than The Casual Vacancy. I also finished up Night Film by Marisha Pessl. I stayed up late reading it and creeped myself out a little bit. It was brilliantly done with lots of twists and turns and lots of questions about what was real and what may have not been real and the ending was still quite mysterious. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys Gillian Flynn or Stephen King. I also read The Passion of the Purple Plumeria and I still adore Miss Gwen. I’m currently reading Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell and Camelot Caper by Elizabeth Peters.

    Wishlist – I’m eagerly awaiting Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things coming out in a few days and the next Stephanie Plum book release in November.

  18. Elizabeth Lefebvre on September 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I’ve been reading ‘House of Leaves’ which is very dense and meta, kind of Blair Witch done in book form… still not sure if I like it, though as a graphic design, man, it’s beautifully designed.

    Also reading a Dr Who book by Mark Gatiss, such fun!

    As for wish list… other then more time to read… the new Mitford re-issues for Highland Fling and Christmas Pudding/Pigeon Pie!

    • Gina on September 28, 2013 at 9:34 am

      Gah, House of Leaves. I’ve only barely started it, but I can just feel it messing with my mind.

  19. Lucy on September 27, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    But Not the Hippopotamus. The Black Griffin by Lackey and Nowhere Near Respectable by Putney.

  20. Jackie M. on September 27, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    My children are 16 and 14, but when I read Moo, Baa, La La La, I immediately started reciting it in my head. LOL! My book this week has been Moonrise by Cassandra King — a loose retelling of Rebecca — I am really enjoying it so far.

  21. Betty S. on September 27, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I read Mary Balogh’s The Arrangement – great story about a Napoleonic War hero who was blinded and needs to get his life back. Just started Susanna Kearsley’s The Firebird.

  22. Carolyn on September 27, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Austenland, again.

  23. Céline on September 28, 2013 at 9:54 am

    This week, I read Susanna Kearsley’s The Splendor Falls, which was very good, although not as great as The Rose Garden. I had originally borrowed the only other book of hers that the librry had, Winter Sea, but I had to give it back before I could read it… it is good?

    And I have another question for my fellow willig-maniacs: it has been mentioned here that the Firebird was kind of a sequel of another of Susanna Kearsley’s books… which is it again? I’d like to read it before the Firebird… 🙂

    • Betty S. on September 28, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      It might be Shadowy Horses. I’ve read about 80 pages of The Firebird and have come across mention of the ghost horses. Looking on her website, I see these two have a similarity of settings in Scotland to begin with.

      • Christine on September 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm

        It’s actually both Shadowy Horses and Winter Sea. The little boy in Shadowy Horses is the main (grown-up) male character in Firebird. The past plot line is a continuation of Winter Sea. All three are excellent books. In fact, all of Susanna Kearsley’s books are fantastic.

        • Céline on September 28, 2013 at 11:20 pm

          Thanx a lot to you both!!!!

          • Christine on September 29, 2013 at 7:30 pm

            Celine, if you can only read one of those before you read Firebird, definitely should be Winter Sea. I wish I had re-read it before I read Firebird because I forgot a lot of the details. Firebird makes some minor references to Shadowy Horses, but no major plot points like Winter Sea.

  24. Sue G on September 28, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    My husband read Sandra Boynton’s Barnyard Dance and The a Going to Bed book to our daughter. They enjoyed these stories so much! I read Good Night Moon to her every night for years.
    Finished Grace Burrowes The Heir and Lady Sophie’s Christmas WIsh this week. Just started Sarah Jio’s Last Camellia.

  25. Michelle Springer on September 29, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I just finished reading Call the Midwife and am wanting to read the second book in the series, Shadows of the Workhouse.

    I still intend to start reading Wolf Hall by year’s end as well.

  26. Vanessa on September 29, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Lauren, I read the Asylum last week and I liked it! Very eerie!

    This week in history class we’re talking about the French Revolution so I’m on a Marie Antoinette bend. I just started reading A Scented Palace: The Secret History of Marie Antoinette’s Perfumer by Elisabeth De Feydeau.

  27. Cate on September 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I’m reading and absolutely loving Wolf Hall,and have Bring Up the Bodies lined up to dive into immediately afterwards,but because Mantel needs my big girl brain,I am flipping into The French Postmistress by Julia Stagg as well, just to rest my little grey cells.

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