Weekly Reading Round-Up

I have the best college roommate in the whole wide world. Last week she sent me a box of loot– including four vintage Kathleen Gilles Seidel novels.


If you haven’t read Kathleen Gilles Seidel, they’re a little romance, a little women’s fiction, deeply moving, and always fascinating. My two favorites are Again, about a woman who writes a Regency-set soap opera (why don’t we have one of those in real life?) and Summer’s End, about an Olympic figure skater. One of the wonderful things about her novels is that one learns so much about the hero and heroine’s professions, whether it’s the ins and outs of producing a soap or the mechanics of dredging up a mid-nineteenth century steamboat from a former riverbed.

Which brings us to the one I read this week, Please Remember This, in which the hero is excavating a wrecked steamboat (incredibly fascinating) and the heroine opens a coffee shop in the small town she left as a baby.

These are the best of all possible comfort reads. At base, they’re all about the hero and heroine finding themselves and finding their place in the world– and who doesn’t resonate with that?

(Have you read Kathleen Gilles Seidel? And do you have a favorite?)

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Miss Eliza on August 22, 2014 at 11:12 am

    I think she just went on my TBR list! This week I’ve been reading a YA series by Lish McBride, the first was ‘Hold Me Closer, Necromancer’ and now I’m on ‘Necromancing the Stone.’ They’re, kind of funny, but if you want something similar but better done, just watch the TV Reaper, which is so good, I’m still upset it was cancelled!

    • Pat D on August 23, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Loved Reaper. That probably doomed it.

      • Miss Eliza on August 25, 2014 at 1:49 am

        Anything great and original, obviously MUST be cancelled!

        • Yvette R on August 25, 2014 at 8:36 pm

          Isn’t that what they said about “Lou Grant” back in the old days?

  2. Michelle in Texas on August 22, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I have “More Than You Dreamed”, which I love! I copy has little baby teeth marks in the corners, because my now 20 YO daughter gnawed on it some. Which only make it that much more precious to me.

  3. Ella on August 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Still on my Heyer kick. Just finished Frederica and on to The Grand Sophy. Will have to look into Kathleen Gilles Seidel!

    • mel burns on August 23, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      How did you like Frederica?

      • Ella on August 25, 2014 at 12:07 pm

        Loved it! So sweet, one of my favorites now.

  4. Am7 on August 22, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I have never read Seidel. Her books are hard to find.
    I read Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson.
    I also read Paris in Love by Eloisa James, which is really good. It was lent to me by a friend, who loved it as well.

  5. Liz on August 22, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I’m reading Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok–not that far into it but really charming so far with the likeably self-deprecating heroine Charlie.

  6. AngieC on August 22, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Last week I read Manzanilla and loved it but I was very loathe to leave Sally’s story for Eloise’s. I love the dual-time books and have always liked Eloise and Colin’s story but this time I just wanted them to go have coffee and leave me alone with Sally, her Not-a-vampire, and her stoat.

    This week I read/am reading Three Times Lucky, a very sweet middle grade mystery by Sheila Turnage, Faking it by Jennifer Crusie and The Bone Orchard by Paul Doiron, a mystery staring a former Maine game warden.

    I also read Saving Lucas Biggs (middle grade) by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague. It’s about a young girl who travels back in time and discovers that history does not want to be changed, that the only way to change anything is to do it in the present.

    This weekend I’m having people in to do some renos on my house and since I can’t be upstairs in their way I’m going to be downstairs watching season two of the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries and reading all my my library books. I have a couple of David Handler’s Berger and Mitry mysteries, a fantasy by Brent Weeks called The Way of Shadows, and this one http://www.amazon.ca/Sylvia-Queen-Headhunters-Eccentric-Englishwoman/dp/1250045894/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408737386&sr=8-1&keywords=sylvia+queen+of+the+headhunters I pretty sure I heard about it here.

    • jeffrey on August 24, 2014 at 9:17 am

      I totally Agree Angie C on reading The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla. I was so taken up with Sally, Lucien, and that furry secret weapon that I almost resented the intrusion of Eloise and Colin’s story. That is until that bomb of an event was dropped between them towards the conclusion!

      • Lauren on August 24, 2014 at 7:10 pm

        Thanks so much, Angie and Jeffrey! Nicknaming Lucien Not-a-vampire just cracks me up….

  7. leslie on August 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I love Summer’s End the best. And yes her books are hard to find. It would be great if they were digitized and produced in audio.

    I read The Anatomist’s Wife and Mortal Arts….they were pretty predictable, but also very enjoyable. I’m hoping Huber gets better with each book.

    The last Lady Georgina book by Rhys Bowen was a DNF. The magic was lost a few books ago for me, but I gave it a go. I didn’t care at all for “Georgie goes to Hollywood” scenario.

    I read a wonderful book that takes place near and around Cornwall by Marcia Willett called The Sea Garden. It’s part of an ongoing series with connected characters, but definitely a stand alone.

    Right now I’m finishing My Beautiful Enemy by Sherry Thomas, it’s good, but I don’t love it as much as others have.

  8. Rachel Adrianna on August 22, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    In anticipation of the Kerrytown BookFest On Sept 7… I have been reading all of the authors on the panel. “That Summer”, the Maggie Hope series, “The Anatomist’s Wife,” “Behind Shattered Glass,” and “Haunting of Maddy Clare.” Cannot wait to hear from all of you ladies! 🙂

  9. Sheila on August 22, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Amazon just loves this page. I was able to order 2 paperbacks and a kindle of Seidel”s…..

    I read two books last week where I got the murderer by page 5, will not name them because they were otherwise very good.

    I just finished one of Steve Barry’s thrillers, he Alexandria Link. Not as good as his others, but the hero sells antique books, so that ‘s good.
    I am doing the re-read of That Summer, and the discussion is fabulous.

  10. Kristen Allen-Vogel on August 22, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    I went back to rereading Robert A Heinlein with Job: a comedy of justice. But today I took a break to read Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan.

  11. Paige on August 23, 2014 at 2:01 am

    I never have, but Again is going on my TBR pile. I love Weekly Roundup and If You Like. I always get the best book ideas from everyone.

    I re-read That Summer for the read along. I didn’t think it was possible, but it was even better this second time. I also read Manzanilla. I can’t adequately express how much I enjoyed it. Sally just blew me away. I thought the Colin and Eloise storyline really flowed with the historical sections.

    I have also read two of the three Bad Boy Billionaire stories by Maya Rodale. Very interesting and clever. They are the modern counterpart tie-ins to her Wallflower series, which I own but haven’t yet read. Now I simply must get to them! These modern pieces are sort of out of my gearhouse because they are a bit graphic for me, but I like the storyline a lot so far, enjoy the writing style, and think the concept was really great.

    • Lauren on August 24, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      Thanks so much, Paige! I’m so happy you enjoyed Sally’s story.

  12. Sue Gorman on August 23, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Reading Madeline Hunter’s The Accidental Duchess with Courtney Milan’s Suffragette Scandal in the wings.

    Listed to a great audio of Lauren Smith’s Wicked Designs. Plan to listen a Kristin Higgins book during my commute.

    Enjoying the That Summer read along and discussion, too. 🙂

  13. SuzanneH on August 23, 2014 at 9:39 am

    I read Charles Finch’s An Old Betrayal, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It is another series which just gets better and better.

  14. Christina on August 23, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Please Remember This and Summer’s End are available on Oyster Books. I added them to my reading list. All I read this week was The Menopause Thyroid Solution by Mary Shomon. Not particularly entertaining but hopefully useful. I’m down with allergies or a summer cold today and am going to read something fun & fluffy.

  15. Céline on August 23, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    I haven’t read Kathleen Gilles Seidel.
    I looked into the matter a bit, and a few of her books have been digitalized on Kobo (my ebook provider). My library only have A most uncommon degree of popularity… I’ll have to start with this one, and check in the second-hand bookstores! (not that there are that much second-hand English bookstores in Montreal! :D)

    This week, I spent my whole reading time with Sally. I did not want the book to end, but I LOVED the ending!
    And now, I am reading… Mariana! After so many people have recommanded it here, I finally got my hands on it at the library! I’m just in chapter 2, but I like it already!

    • Lauren on August 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      Isn’t “Mariana” wonderful? I just want to move into that house. Susanna Kearsley does such an amazing job of conveying a sense of place.

  16. Lynne on August 23, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Just finished Midnight Manzanilla last night at 1:15a…I give it an A+. Love Sally and the stoat was just so sweet. I’m really going to miss the Pink gang when you’re done, Lauren. They always make me smile!

    • Lauren on August 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      Yay! Thank you, Lynne!

  17. jeffrey on August 24, 2014 at 9:11 am

    I just finished A Summer of Promise (Westward Winds #1) by Amanda Cabot. Set in Fort Laramie in the 1880’s it is an excellent romance/mystery.

    I am now reading Headstrong Obstinate girl by Abigail Bok, which is a contemporary re-imagining of some of the principal characters and plot from Pride and Prejudice. I’ve only just begun but it shows promise.

  18. Yvette R on August 26, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I listened to Midnight Manzanilla last week and loved it, of course. Lauren, thanks for the information on the plant(s). I looked it up, but there were so many alternate spellings and just different plants with the same names, that I got lost.

    I loved how Eloise and Colin’s section ended! … And the historic ending was great, too. I guessed right at the beginning of the mystery, and was so misdirected that I was surprised to find that I had guessed right after all. Fun!

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