Weekly Reading Round-Up

It’s been a rather eclectic reading run for me! The highlight was Kate Forsyth’s seventeenth-century set retelling of Rapunzel, Bitter Greens. There was also Nancy Mitford’s wonderful spoof of Anglo-French relations, The Blessing, Waugh’s send-up of the bright young things, Vile Bodies, and a Texas-set romantic suspense novel about IRS investigators, Death, Taxes, and Peach Sangria.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Melissa W on January 31, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Romancing the Duke from Tessa Dare’s new Castles Ever After series (“Release the ermine!!!!”)

    Also Jenny Ofill’s Dept of Speculation – beautiful short novel.

  2. Dara on January 31, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Just finished reading the Bloodletter’s Daughter by Linda Lafferty about a mad prince in Bohemia who terrorizes a small town with his antics and the girl who he becomes obsessed with to the point of destruction. Now rereading The Passion of the Plumeria because I need a little Ms. Gwen in my life to distract me from wedding planning madness!

  3. Angie on January 31, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Happily, happily ensconced in Donna Tartt’s new novel, The Goldfinch. Oh, to be at home underneath a fleece blanket, with cats on or near me, a pot of tea nearby and this book.

  4. Alice on January 31, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Finished “The Pursuit of Mary Bennett” by Pam Mingle. I have read a lot of Pride and Prejudice” sequels. This ranks as one of the best. The characters were very engaging, the writing was excellent and the plot followed a similar thread to P and P. Highly recommended! Also Jennifer Robson’s debut “somewhere in France.” Excellent WWI tale of an aristocratic girl who goes to France as an ambulance driver and meets up with a Scottish surgeon with whom she had fallen in love. Absolutely loved it! My description does not do it justice. After I finished it, I wanted to pick it up and read it again.

  5. Sharlene Moore on January 31, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I just finished the fabulous Susanna Kearsley’s The Splendour Falls and I loved, loved, loved it.

  6. Pam on January 31, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I read City of Lost Dreams (Magnus Flyte, obvs a pseudonym!), which is the sequel to City of Dark Magic. It was quite silly but great fun (thankfully with less of the old rumpy-pumpy than the first book, which was a bit too much for this repressed Episcopalian to handle!). If you liked A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, you might enjoy these books too, though they are substantially lighter reading.

    Now I am finally reading The Beacon at Alexandria (Gillian Bradshaw) on your recommendation of eons ago, Lauren, and oh my goodness it is so, so, so good. I am dying. (Also, how could I have not known about this book before??? Mom, all my English teachers, and all my supposedly literary childhood friends: you have let me down.)

  7. Christina on January 31, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Where Serpents Sleep and What Remains of Heaven from C.S. Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr series. I’m still really enjoying these and found them thanks to someone’s recommendation on a weekly roundup on here.

    • Lynne on February 1, 2014 at 12:42 am

      And, Christina, her newest in the series will be out in late March. The whole series is terrific.

  8. Elizabeth Lefebvre on January 31, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    I read a lovely book for book club called Color: A Natural History of the Palette, which should be a mandatory read for art historians/artists/lovers of art. Funny and more travelogue then straight up history.

    Now I’m reading an ARC of the Steampunk Series by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris, Dawn’s Early Light, which is the 3rd in The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences and is set in America, apparently Tesla will make an appearance… so far, very Firefly-esque.

  9. Gina on January 31, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Just read Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen (My favorite of hers so far, I think! Lovely!) and Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon, which was also fantastic.

    Also, Elizabeth, I’ve read that book on Color and it’s so fun! It sparked a long interest in nonfiction that I still haven’t gotten over.

    • Elizabeth Lefebvre on January 31, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      Gina have you read her second book on jewels? I’m thinking I might have to pic that up too!

      • Gina on February 2, 2014 at 1:31 pm

        No, I didn’t know she wrote one! Thanks, I’ll definitely have to go check that out.

  10. Christine on January 31, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    I read Mortal Arts, the second book in Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby series. Not as good as the first book, but still pretty good.

  11. Suzanne on January 31, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    I am reading Where Serpents Sleep as well, this time for the second time in preparation for Why King’s Confess, which is being released next month. I am enjoying it even more this time as the first time I read it I rushed through desperate to know what happens. The second time I am going slower and noticing a lot more along the way.

    I tried reading Deanna Raybourn’s A Spear Of Summer Grass again but still couldn’t finish it. I really enjoyed her first stand alone book, The Dead Travel Fast, but couldn’t get over how horrible the heroine was in Summer Grass.

    I read The Blessing many years ago and loved it. That awful, manipulative child!! I really enjoy Nancy Mitford’s books.

    The Splendour Falls caught my eye too. It is on my to be read list.

  12. Am7 on February 1, 2014 at 12:39 am

    I read Loretta Chase’s Viscount Vagabound. It was really good, very Heyer-like. I think it would appeal to many people who post here.

  13. Lori on February 1, 2014 at 1:30 am

    I just finished Rutherford Hall, the Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol-Very french and I believe the translation could have been better-not on the level of Dragon Tatoo series translation which was incredible. Just started Second Star on The Right by Mary Alice Monroe and delightful so far! Looking forward to Girl on The Gold Coin about Frances Stuart and Jenny Colgan’s Best Chocolate Shop in Paris!

  14. Kimberly on February 1, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Just finished reading Georgette Heyer’s “The Reluctant Widow” and Lucinda Brant’s “Midnight Marriage.”

  15. Betty S. on February 1, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    I am deeply enmeshed in Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale – up to 500 of 750 pages. I wanted to read it before the movie is released Feb. 14, starring Russell Crowe and Colin Farell, which is how I found out about it. It’s set in New York beginning around the belle epoque, but there is time travel and fantasy involved – deep descriptions and amazing vocabulary. It is hard for me to comprehend how Helprin’s mind created this. Reading a short biographical sketch, he has led an amazing life!

  16. Rachel Beecroft on February 2, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I decided to put Tasha Alexander to one side after everyone’s helpful comments last week. It sounds like the series is worth persevering with but I need to leave a bigger gap between discovering Deanna Raybourn and then reading Tasha Alexander. Instead, like so many here, I re-read Devil’s Cub and found that having read it four or five times before didn’t reduce my enjoyment in the slightest. Following that, I moved on to the long-awaited Joanna Bourne, the Spymaster’s Daughter (thanks to Am7 last week) – it lived up to expectations. Finally, the new (pre-ordered) Tessa Dare flew into my Kindle this week – release the ermine indeed!!

  17. Sue G on February 2, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Reading an ARC of Shana Galen’s Sapphires are an Earl’s Best Friend.

  18. Pat D on February 2, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    I’m reading Charles Todd’s latest Ian Rutledge, Hunting Shadows. Before that, Deanna Raybourne’s prequel, Whisper of Jasmine. Suzanne, give it a shot. It might explain why the heroine of A Spear of Summer Grass is the way she is. And she does improve! I also read Karen White’s The Girl on Legare Street. It is the second book in a 4 book series set in Charleston involving family secrets, ghosts romance, etc. Worth reading.

    • Suzanne on February 3, 2014 at 11:24 pm


      I had a look for Whisper Of Jasmine and it is not available for download in Australia. I suspect that it is only a matter of time as all of Deanna Raybourn’s other novellas are available ( I love the Lady Julia ones) so I will keep it on my wish list. I am looking forward to the release of City Of Jasmine, that one sounds fascinating. Thanks for the recommendation.

  19. AngieC on February 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Pat D – does the heroine of the Karen White books change at all during the second book? I read the first and there was something about her that annoyed me to no end. It’s been a while since I read the first book so I’m having a hard time remembering exactly what it was but I remember being disappointed because I really wanted to like her and the series. I love those kinds of stories and have been looking for something similar.

    • Pat D on February 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Angie, she definitely learns and changes! I just finished the 2nd, am waiting for the 3rd from the library. She definitely has issues from her childhood, but things are being resolved!

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