Weekly Reading Round-Up

This week, the Thirkell-a-thon continued with The Brandons (my first ever Thirkell) and August Folly (arguably my favorite Thirkell). I think I’m all Thirkell-ed out now.

I also picked up Mary Stewart’s Thunder on the Right but the fact that it was third person rather than her usual first person bothered me so much that I had to put it down again. I may have to go read Wildfire at Midnight or Airs Above the Ground now to get my Mary Stewart fix.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Elizabeth Lefebvre on April 4, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Attempting to read Catch 22… we are not getting along. But then again, it’s also suffering from “Last Great Book I Read” Syndrome… which happened to be That Summer!

    • Lauren on April 4, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      Yay!! I’m so glad you liked it– THAT SUMMER was a really tough book for me and yours is the first (non-editor) feedback I’ve had.

  2. Am7 on April 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    I read The Lilac Bus by Maeve Binchy. I really liked the first part and the second part was ok.

  3. Ellen Sheffer on April 4, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    The Spiral Arm series by Michael Flynn. A space opera series, 4 books so far. The story is good, but even more so is the way the author plays with language!

  4. HJ on April 4, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Re Mary Stewart and Thunder on the Right – I don’t really notice which POV a book is written in. (It’s interesting that it seems to have mattered to you because it was different from how Mary Stewart usually writes, rather than as a general dislike of third person POV, I think?)

    Now tense really does matter to me, in that I just cannot read things written in the present tense. Yuk. It seems so contrived and pretentious and reminds me all the time that I’m reading – I can’t get absorbed in the book at all.

    • Lauren on April 4, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      It was definitely a thwarted expectation problem– I so associate Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense with first person point of view that it was jarring when this one wasn’t.

      Agreed on the present tense…. There have been one or two novels that I’ve found compelling enough to ignore that, but for the most part it’s one of my bugbears.

      • Molly on April 4, 2014 at 10:07 pm

        Me too! I find present tense distracting. I also definitely prefer third person narration. The style can make or break a book!

        • Lynne on April 5, 2014 at 12:00 am

          Molly and Lauren – I’m reading “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel – it’s present tense and is a bit distracting. (The author won the Booker Fiction Prize for this and her next book -“Bring Up the Bodies”.) I think an author has to write very well to get away with present tense – to keep the momentum. I’m with you ladies though…I prefer past tense.

  5. Alice on April 4, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    “Silence for the Dead” by Simone St. James. All of her books are fantastic and this was no different. Probably my least favorite of all her books, but still excellent. Then “Shadow Spell” by Nora Roberts. Second in her new trilogy. I thought her last two trilogies were giant yawns, but this new one is really good. And finally “Hostage” by Kay Hooper. I used to be a big fan of hers. But her latest books spend so much time explaining paranormal stuff that the whole book just drags and drags.

    • Ashley on April 4, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      I read “Silence for the Dead” this week too! (Thanks, Lauren!) now reading “Bird with the Heart of a Mountain.”

  6. Gina on April 4, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    My reading list is entirely books for various papers I have to write: The Things They Carried and Mrs. Dalloway, as well as Ruth Brown’s autobiography. And then a little of Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island because I’m tired of thinking about papers to write.

    • Lauren on April 4, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Oooh, you may have just solved my reading quandary– there’s nothing like a little “Notes from a Small Island”.

  7. Betty S. on April 4, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Love Airs Above the Ground that I read so long ago. Might have to try it again.

    I am still charging through the 5 book series The Hellions of Hallstead Hall by Sabrina Jeffries. Will finish the 4th and begin the final this weekend. While they are all good regency romances, I am also pulled into the underlying mystery connecting the series which I know will be solved in the last book – of course!

    I’m not really a fan of books written in the present tense either, but Adriana Trigianni does a pretty good job of it – it took me several of her books to finally adjust my brain to it.

  8. Suzanne on April 4, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    I read The Waking Nightmare by Lee Goldberg, which was a really good little thriller. I am going to have to try and get hold of more of his books. At the moment I am glued to Mary Higgins Clark’s latest, I’ve Got You Under My Skin. I really should be going to get new fluorescent light globes for the light in the kitchen today, but I am up to the last quarter of the book and I just can’t put it down! It is beginning to look like the kitchen will be in the dark until tomorrow.

    • Lynne on April 5, 2014 at 12:07 am

      Gee – if I lived a little closer I’d go get the globes and make you finish the book! Does this mean no dinner tonight? Seriously, I’ve skipped grocery shopping just to finish a book…does it really matter?

      • Suzanne on April 6, 2014 at 12:14 am

        No, it isn’t that bad. Don’t forget we are on the tail end of summer here so it doesn’t get seriously dark till about 7.30pm. That will get earlier in the next few weeks as we head into winter, but for now it gives me plenty of time to finish cooking, eating and clearing up before it gets dark. If it was winter I would absolutely have had to put the book down and do it. I finished it last night and it was fabulous!! Mary Higgins Clark has been scaring the hell out of me for nearly 35 years. She is terrific.

  9. Trish on April 5, 2014 at 10:44 am

    I read “Roses” by Leila Meacham. Its set in Texas and spans about 100 years in the lives of 3 families. I really enjoyed it – however, she has also written a ‘prequel’ called “Somerset”. I should have read that one first because now I have no desire to do so – I feel like I already know the ‘back story’. However, Roses was really an enjoyable read, and I had a hard time putting it down!

  10. Pat D on April 5, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I’m currently in Loving a Lost Lord by Mary Jo Putney. I read Sara Jio’s The Last Camellia earlier this week; enjoyed that a lot. I read the novella The Paris Plot by Tracy Grant. I found 3 Margaret Maron short stories about Deborah Knott—love that series! And I just got my book order yesterday: Three Weeks with lady X, City of Jasmine, and Silence for the Dead. No spoilers now! I think I’m on the short list now for Rhys Bowen’s latest Molly Murphy at the library. So hopefully that will be on my what I’m reading list next week.

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