Weekly Reading Round-Up

Writing that post for Heroes and Heartbreakers on “house” books made me nostalgic for some of my favorite house books.

So this was a week of re-reads for me, starting with Barbara Michaels’s Ammie, Come Home, a classic ghost story set in a townhouse in Georgetown, followed by House of Many Shadows (another house with secrets, this time in rural Pennsylvania).

I then jumped from Barbara Michaels to one of my favorites of all time, Mary Stewart’s Thornyhold, and then, even though it isn’t a house book, Mary Stewart’s Airs Above the Ground (because, with Mary Stewart, once you pop, you can’t stop– or something like that.)

Switching gears entirely, I’m currently re-reading Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies to get back in the mood for Stand Alone Novel #3.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Kristen Allen-Vogel on July 11, 2014 at 9:29 am

    I read The Lion and the Rose by Kate Quinn, which I still think reads like somebody tried to reverse engineer historical fiction out of historical fantasy. (There’s a dwarf bodyguard whose name is Italian for The Little Lion. That should be enough to make my point clear.) Then I read the fourth collected volume of Questionable Content.

  2. mel burns on July 11, 2014 at 11:21 am

    I read “A Good Year For Roses” by Gil McNeil. It’s a wonderful book. I’m half way through a Sarah Mayberry book called “All They Need” it’s pretty good, I like books set in Melbourne and Sydney.
    I listened to “A Civil Contract” narrated by Phyllida Nash and it was superb, next up is Venetia which is also a favorite Heyer of mine.

    The “Book of Life” by Deborah Harkness comes out on Tuesday…..I’m so excited! I will be forever grateful to Eliza for recommending “A Discovery of Witches” here at Weekly Round-Up. 🙂

    • Elizabeth Lefebvre on July 11, 2014 at 5:14 pm


    • Gina on July 11, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      Ok, maybe I’m crazy, but I just picked up Discovery of Witches last night, and… I don’t know. The exposition felt heavy-handed and I’m not really that excited about reading any more. Am I the only one who didn’t love it from page 1?

      • Miss Eliza on July 11, 2014 at 10:00 pm

        It takes awhile to get into, in my opinion, and I liked book two twice as much as book one (more history stuff!)

      • mel burns on July 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm

        I have read and listened to A Discovery of Witches twice…..each time it knocked my socks off. the narrator, Jennifer Ikeda is terrific. Sometimes Diana isn’t the most likable heroine, but the history and adventure (to me) made it a compelling read.

  3. Pam Todd on July 11, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I am reading “That Summer” and loving it!

  4. Pat D on July 11, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I’m in the midst of Darynda Jones’ latest, Sixth Grave from the Edge, drooling over Reyes. I read Last Summer, Lauren, and loved it! What else.
    I can’t remember. I’m in a state of stupid, coordinating my parents’ move to a retirement community.

  5. Sheila on July 11, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I would not even look at Teatime for the Firfly, by Shona Patel if not for reading about it here. I absolutely loved it, felt immersed in a culture and times I knew nothing about , and awestruck by her beautiful writing.

    The other book that blew me away is non-fiction that read like a novel: The Big House, by George Colt…what a find on Kindle bargain day. This is like an ultimate “house book”, but also with intriguing characters, and somewhat of a coming of age story too. Very very good!

    I also read a mystery by Liz Wiehl, Hand of Fate…not so good, I won it on a cruise, so at least I didn’t pay for it…nopt horrible, but I won’t read any more of hers.

  6. Alice on July 11, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Finished the third book in the Lady Darby series, A Grave Matter. Fantastic! If you are a Deanna Raybourn fan, then this series is a must read. Am in the middle of “One Lavender Ribbon” by Heather Burch. It reminds me quite a bit of The Violets of March by Sarah Jio. The writing is beautiful and I am really enjoying the characters, the plot, and the mystery.

  7. Miss Eliza on July 11, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    I’m grappling with finishing The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Seriously, it’s really badly written Buffy/Harry Potter fan fic, blurg.

    Luckily I got a break and read the entertaining Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz for book club… probably the 5th time I’ve read it and it’s fun every time.

    Now I’m reading Deborah Harkness’s Book of Life (yes, book bloggers have all the perks with early arcs!)

    • mel burns on July 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      I love the Spellmans.
      Tuesday, thanks to technology “The Book of Life” will appear magically on my Kindle in both formats. I made arrangements months ago to take the day off!!

      • Miss Eliza on July 12, 2014 at 4:52 pm

        I love that magical power of the Kindle… now if I could only figure out why wikipedia isn’t working on it…

  8. Sue Gorman on July 12, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Finishing The Baron Next Door and the audio of Color of Hope. Starting That Summer this afternoon! 🙂

  9. mel burns on July 12, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I am mid way through “The Cuckoo’s Calling” and am enjoying it immensely. The main protagonist reminds of Hogwarts’ Hagrid.

  10. Am7 on July 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    I read Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells and am now super-excited about the sequel. 😉

    • Sheila on July 12, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Her other books are not exactly sequels, but I love them all

    • Gina on July 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Oh, all of her books are brilliant.

      • Am7 on July 15, 2014 at 1:04 am

        Yes but I meant the sequel… coming soon!

  11. Jane B on July 12, 2014 at 3:04 pm


    There’s at least one other person who didn’t love “A Discovery of Witches”: me. I don’t mind long books (I’m a Diana Gabaldon fan, okay?) but I found the heroine to be whiny. The whole emotional climate of the book made me uneasy–sorry to be so vague, but that’s all I recall. Many other people I respect did like it, so (shrug) I guess that one’s just not for me. There are more books than I’ll ever have time to read anyway.

    • Gina on July 14, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Glad it isn’t just me! I just didn’t love the heroine at the start, which made it hard to keep reading. There’s just too many things to read to keep trying this one, so I returned it. Maybe another day I’ll like it better.

  12. Angie M on July 12, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    I’ve done a little “light” reading this week with Julia Quinn’s historical romance “On the Way to the Wedding” and Jill Mansell’s contemporary “Sheer Mischief” both of which I thoroughly enjoyed! I find that they almost never let me down when I need a distracting read. I also read Robin Pilcher’s contemporary “Starburst” (the first time I’ve read anything by him, and it was pretty good) and am almost halfway through Barbara Erskine’s historical fiction “Lady of Hay.” Love the ideas for new reads for myself from Lauren & all the other commenting readers-thank you!

  13. SuzanneH on July 13, 2014 at 1:29 am

    I have just finished Susan Elia McNeal’s Princess Elizabeth’s Spy. I want to say a big thank you for those of you who recommended this series here. It is fantastic and I can’t put them down. I ended up staying up until 1.30am last night to finish it because I knew I wouldn’t sleep until I knew what happened.

  14. Betsy on July 13, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Ironically, Mary Stewarts Nine Coaches waiting. I can’t believe I missed it in the years I glommed Mary Stewart. I have to agree that I love both Barbara Michaels and Mary Stewart. Just finished Anna Lee Hubers A Grave matter–love the whole series. Glad to see good reviews for books in my TBR –Sara Allen Addison and the Spellmans. Looking forward to Book of Life-debating on ordering and reading when I have a few days off in a couple weeks or waiting for Deborah Harkness’s appearance at local bookstore in early August.

  15. SusanN on July 15, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    I had missed your post on house books, so thanks for pointing it out. I so love Thornyhold; it’s one of my biggest comfort reads. I really wish the newer editions of Stewart’s print books were more affordable, and that they were available in digital. (So many older books I’m waiting to be made into ebooks.)

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