Weekly Reading Round-Up

The nice thing about an airplane delay is that it does provide uninterrupted time to read. While we were sitting on the tarmac at JFK, I gobbled up two books:

— Jan Moran, Scent of Roses.

Ever wonder where those truly sweeping stories went? Heroines who persevere through war and upheaval, lose everything, build it up again…. This is one of those books. Set during World War II, it ranges from England to France to Poland to Los Angeles as a woman struggles to find her missing son and hold her family together. There may have been a little bit of discrete tear-wiping at some points on my part. Scent of Roses comes out from St. Martin’s Press next year.

— Jill Shalvis, It Had to Be You.

Why have I not read more Jill Shalvis before? This was the very best sort of small town romance, with laugh out loud dialogue, lovable and believable characters, and just the right touch of zany. I loved it. And now I want more. Which I may have to acquire during the RT book fair tomorrow.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Pat D on May 16, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I have been flying through Ann Charles’ Deadwood series. It has it all: sexy men, mystery, spooks, comedy, a hilarious heroine. Wonderful! Just finished Resurrectionist, the second book in the James McGee series about Matthew Hawkwood. It is billed as a Regency crime thriller. Hawkwood is a former soldier with secrets in his past who is now a Bow Street Runner. I will definitely keep reading this series. Right now I am reading the latest Hamish MacBeth, Death of a Policeman. I am counting on Hamish keeping his job, his pets, and his single status by the end of the book!

  2. Tiffany on May 16, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I have been waiting and waiting for Tana French’s newest book, and was wondering if there are any suggestions while I wait? Her books are fabulous and I recommend them to everyone!

    • Christina on May 16, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      I really like Tana French too. Have you read Gillian Flynn? A little darker than French maybe but I think most people who like French would also like Flynn.

  3. Ashley on May 16, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I just finished an ARC of Daisy Goodwin’s “The Fortune Hunter” and loved it! It’s about Empress Elizabeth of Austria’s visit to England in 1875, and it was a great story.

    On a completely different genre, I read “Orange is the New Black.” Definitely an eye-opener.

  4. Alice on May 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Finished a new book, “The healer of Carthage” by Lynn Gentry. Also read while on an airplane. 🙂 Best reading time! I didn’t really enjoy this book as I thought the writing was very choppy and the chapters didnt seem to flow well together. Also the romance between the hero and heroine didn’t make sense. In the middle of “A Bed of Spices” by Barbara Samuels. This is my first time with this author and thus far I am impressed. Star crossed lovers ( due to religious differences) battle prejudices and the plague in the 1600’s.

  5. Elizabeth Lefebvre on May 16, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    As I just told Ashley over on Goodreads, can’t wait to read my ARC of “The Fortune Hunter”! I loved her other book, “The American Heiress.”

    I’ve been reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s “Mary Barton” all week, almost finished, so close. It’s hard to read it fast seeing as it’s very depressing and also that I went to a book event in Milwaukee this week too…

    I also zoomed through all of “The Shadow of the Wind” which, for me, was way too predictable and also not Gothic at all… grumble. If it’s supposed to be Gothic, BE GOTHIC!

  6. Christina on May 16, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    I read Dead Over Heels and A Fool and His Honey by Charlaine Harris along with Murder Unleashed by Elaine Viets (Dead End Jobs series). I have Thornyhold by Mary Stewart in the library bin and I think given that she died recently I will read it next.

  7. Alexa J on May 17, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Lauren, your comment about Jill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbour series reminded me of the first time I tried one of her books. I was stuck at a European airport, trying to rebook several flights home due to a major pilot strike that just happened to coincide with a European 3-day weekend. Suffice it to say that Shalvis’s humor was just what I needed as I waited! 🙂

  8. Kristen Allen-Vogel on May 17, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I read a couple of ARCS, The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne, which is sort of a SF equivalent of Wild by Cheryl Strayed but which I liked much more because the heroine is much more competent, and The Devil’s Workshop by Alex Grecian, the latest Scotland Yard Murder Squad book.

  9. Suzanne on May 18, 2014 at 1:11 am

    I am reading a marvellous little book called Walking Jane Austen’s London by Louise Allen. It has 8 walks of about 1-2.5kms and gives maps, modern photos and beautiful colour reproductions of paintings from the regency. The commentary is very good too, and it is just small enough to slip into your handbag as you walk about. I wish it had been published the last time I went to London. Some of the places I visited but there are just as many that I would have walked past not knowing they were there.

    In the back cover it says there is another one called Walking Charles Dicken’s London which I will have to get hold of. I bet that has a lot more detail about the east end and the grimmer side of the city. The Jane book covers the West end and the tourist centre really well.

    • HJ on May 18, 2014 at 4:20 am

      This is a superb book, isn’t it? You can enjoy reading it even if you’ve never been to London and are sitting at home. There’s so much information about life at that time (in addition to specific Jane Austen references). I also recommend her Walks Through Regency London, which is on Kindle.

    • Betty S. on May 18, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      Have you read Jennifer Donnelly’s Tea Rose trilogy? For a look at the grimmer side of London, the first book, The Tea Rose begins in 1888 London, The Winter Rose continues the story in 1900, and it ends with The Wild Rose that begins in 1914. These are all wonderful books in which you get to know and feel the characters as well as experience a panoramic view of the events of the times.
      I’m intrigued by the books you mentioned and will have to look for them. My husband and I are both retiring in June, and travel is on our agenda!

      • Suzanne on May 19, 2014 at 12:36 am

        Thanks HJ and Betty, for the recommendations. I already have Walks Through Regency London on my list and I will check out the Tea Rose books.

        Betty, I hope you and your husband have a marvellous time travelling. It is on my agenda for retirement too, even though that is 10 years away. If those 10 years go as quickly as the past 5 it will be here in no time.

        • Betty S. on May 19, 2014 at 9:46 pm

          Thanks, Suzanne. My husband is already a world traveler through his time in the Marine Corps – has been many wonderful places throughout Europe: England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, Amsterdam, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey; Some not so wonderful in the Far East, but he did like his two years in Japan before I met him.

          I’ve been fortunate enough to spend two years in Cyprus, two months in Okinawa, two weeks in Spain, two days in Athens and London, but there’s so much more I want to see.

  10. anieva on May 22, 2014 at 12:10 am

    The Key by Lynsay Sands. So nice to discover a writer I didn’t know about! 🙂

    I admire the speed you read books with, Lauren! Wish I could read that fast…

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