Weekly Reading Round-Up

This was a week of very old research books and brand new fiction books for me: that wonderful, decaying, tobacco-y smell from crumbling books on Belle Epoque Paris and the luxurious feel of thick paper and smooth covers on new trade paperbacks.

I won’t go into the research side of things, but on the fiction end, I read:

— Tana French’s latest Dublin Murder Squad mystery novel, The Secret Place, set in an all girls’ boarding school where a murder occurred the year before. The entire action of the story takes place over the course of one day (in the detective’s viewpoint), layered with the past year in the viewpoint of the four girls being questioned. French’s novels are always beautifully crafted and this one is no exception.

— A YA Regency paranormal called Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix. Think Mairelon the Magician, an alternate Regency where the ton dabbles with magic, admirals are weather mages, and a young lady on the brink of her debut must disguise herself as a dandy in order to recover an ensorcelled family emerald. So many thanks to Rosalind Casey of the Twig Book Shop in San Antonio for passing this one along to me! (And for all the other book recs that you’ll probably see popping up here on Fridays for weeks to come.)

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Christina on October 2, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I’m a big fan of Tana French’s books and I think The Secret Place is one of her best.

    I read the first two Julian Kestrel books thanks to you talking about them. They put me very much in mind of the Sebastian St. Cyr books.

    I also read The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck. It’s part history, part travelogue, part memoir. Buck and his brother spent about 4 months traveling the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon pulled by mules. I really enjoyed the book although I thought it would be humorous and it was not.

    I finished off the week with The Wizard of Oz for banned books week, The 39 Steps by John Buchan and in the dark, dark wood by Ruth Ware. All good quick reads.

  2. Sheila on October 2, 2015 at 11:18 am

    I also loved Newt’s Emerald.

    I am on a Simon Brett binge, having read the first three of his Fethering series.

    I have a favorite historical author, Patricia Veryan, who wrote 18th thriller/romances. Poor Splendid Wings is somewhat different as it is about WW II pilots and the people who loved them. Very exciting, touching, a treachery plot and lots of romance, excellent.

    • Bev Fontaine on October 2, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      Love Patricia Veryan! I started reading her books in the 80’s after I had read all the Georgette Heyer’s I could find. They’re great, but hard to find these days.

      • Sheila on October 3, 2015 at 10:32 am

        Poor Splendid Wings is the only one I don’t own. Found a lot on ebay, amazon, PSW is up to $100 if you can find one. My library got it through interlibrary loan

  3. Joan on October 2, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I’m re-reading the Lady Julia Grey novels after finishing her latest (Veronica Speedwell). I SO WISH that she would write more of the Lady Julia books. I really love them!

  4. Pat D on October 2, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I read the first Veronica Speedwell book too. I loved it. I’ve been on a Ben Aaronovitch Rivers of London binge. Currently reading Foxglove Summer. His hero, Peter Grant is so wonderfully snarky.

  5. Courtney on October 2, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Rereading Jane Austen, for a bit of nostalgia and research for a school project. I’m still on Sense and Sensibility, as I hope to read in published order.

  6. Bev Fontaine on October 2, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    I just started re-reading the Lady Julia novels also. Lauren, you were right about Veronica. She is as good as Julia.

  7. Amy on October 2, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    I read Sarah Addison Allen’s The Peach Keeper
    and Maisie Dobbs #5 An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear. Both good.

  8. Miss Eliza on October 2, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    SO been wanting to read Newt’s Emerald! Instead I was reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo… good but not as good as her Grisha series.

  9. Lauren H. on October 3, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I am also reading the new Deanna Raybourn novel. But I also got to start The Other Daughter after finishing Rhys Bowens’ new Her Royal Spyness installment: Malice at the Palace.

    Rounding out the week has been Jeri Westerson’s Medieval Noir series, starting with the seventh installment, Cup of Blood, which is chronologically first. And Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

    It’s been a good reading week!

  10. AngelB on October 3, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    So, I officially read Pink I-VII, including Away in the Manager, Ivy & Intrique and Biscuits & Bunnies in order. Start to finish. Took me just about 6 weeks.

    Now I’m just lost not knowing what to read. It’s like that time I scored 100K on Tetris on my Game Boy years ago, reaching more goal then stopped playing because I didn’t know what else to do. I’m trying to go back to old favorites but it’s just not kicking in.

  11. Alice on October 3, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    I also read the first Veronica Speedwell book. I loved it! It was a nice homage to Amelia Peabody. Also a new book by P. N. Elrod, The Hanged Man. I am not normally a big steam punk fan, but this was really good. Lastly, the newest John Corey book by Nelson DeMille, Radiant Angel. I love the series, but the author is kind of taking the characters in a different direction and I’m not really liking it.

  12. Céline on October 4, 2015 at 2:09 am

    I am reading Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, about an 18-year-old girl who writes fanfictions on characters of a series that looks like Harry Potter, and it is really really great! I am loving it!!

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