Weekly Reading Round-Up

I’ve had a really remarkable run of good books. Hopefully, saying that won’t jinx it! This week, I took a chance on a few new (well, new to me) books:

— Helen Simonson’s Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. Where has this book been all my life? I was a little surprised to find it set in the present, or near present, rather than a Thirkell-esque England of the 30s or 40s, but the characterizations of life in a small English village were just as brilliantly satirical, dealing with large issues and genuine griefs even as it gently mocks all the little absurdities of life.

— Thomas H. Cook’s Places in the Dark. This murder mystery reminded me a great deal of Gone Girl before there was such a thing as Gone Girl, a twisty, turny, elegant narrative with a taciturn first person narrator, elevating misdirection to a fine art.

— Sonali Dev’s A Bollywood Affair. I had the great privilege of sharing a panel with Sonali Dev at Warren Newport Library last month and finally, belatedly, picked up her first book, which it seemed that pretty much everyone had been telling I had to read. And everyone was right. It’s a contemporary romance set partly in Michigan and partly in India, about a Bollywood producer and the woman who was married as a child to his older brother. Watching Mili and Samir get to know each other and fall in love felt like hanging out with old friends. Now I just have to get my hands on her second book, The Bollywood Bride….

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Christina on March 18, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    I’m a big fan of Sonali Dev. I loved both her books and can’t wait for the next one. I liked Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand as well. Helen Simonson has a new book out or due out soon.

    This week I’ve read:

    Time and Time Again by Ben Elton – Time travel alternate history. What if in 1914 the Archduke wasn’t assassinated and the Kaiser of Germany was? Pretty interesting read although like other time travel alternate history stories I’ve read the ending seemed a little weak.

    The Year of Fear Joe Urschel – History meets true crime. The manhunt for Machine Gun Kelly & the birth of the FBI.

    13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff – Forget all the political hullabaloo. This is straightforward journalistic account of the events in Benghazi from the perspective of the 5 surviving spec ops contractors.

    I’m currently in the middle of The Ex by Alafair Burke and Angel’s Blood by Nalini Singh. I’m enjoying them both.

    • Betty Strohecker on March 19, 2016 at 5:01 pm

      I second 13 Hours. Excellent in depth account about Benghazi which let’s the reader know the turmoil that existed in this part of Libya. The movie was superb!

    • SuzanneH on March 22, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      I have The Ex on my kindle but I haven’t got to it yet. I really enjoyed the books Alafair Burke wrote with Mary Higgins Clark over the -past few years.

  2. Miss Eliza on March 18, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    I seriously need to pick up Sonali Dev’s books too! I’ve finished off Marissa Doyle’s Leland Sisters books, which are all wonderful, though Courtships and Curses was the more Regency of the books and had some lovely fun times with the heroine rescuing Wellington!

    I’m now reading Mary Bennet and the Bloomsbury Coven, which has Mary throwing aside her snooty ways and getting involved in magic. Just started it last night but can’t wait to get back to it!

  3. Lauren H on March 18, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, can’t seem to get into much of anything. Except Downton Abbey, that is. I finally started watching it this past week and I can’t stop!

    One thing that has stuck out is The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. About two middle aged farmers in 1920’s Alaska who build a snow child one winter and she comes to life. Very fairy tale-like qualities. And very visual.

  4. Lynne on March 18, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Major Pettigrew was one of the funniest and sweetest books I’ve read in years – it gave me the giggles at 1am in the morning! I’m recovering from the last episode of Downton – still – and am deep into Candy Harris’ newest – “When Falcons Fall” which is as good or better than any previous books in the series.

  5. Alice on March 19, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    I have read the first two books in Candace Robb’s Owen Archer series. I am pleasantly surprised. The mystery isn’t much of a mystery as you pretty much know who did it halfway through, but I enjoy watching the hero put it altogether. My only complaint is the medieval time setting. Everything and everyone just seem so dirty. Also, Deadly Scandal by Kate Parker. The first in a new mystery series. I loved the pre-World War II setting in London, loved the characters and the plot. Cannot wait for the next one!

    • Lynne on March 19, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      I heartily endorse the Owen Archer series. Really good historical fiction and great writing. Keep reading the series – it gets better!

  6. Betty Strohecker on March 19, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I finished Skinny Me by Charlene Carr, an author I discovered through Goodreads, who writes contemporary women’s fiction. She really has a talent for addressing issues anyone may face and expressing the heartfelt emotions of her characters.

    Also about to finish the latest Sebastian St. Cyr, When Falcons Fall – absolutely wonderful – keeps you guessing to the end.

  7. Carla on March 21, 2016 at 10:36 am

    I just finished Goodnight June and Delcious, both great mysteries, following old family letters 🙂

    I loved Major Pettigrew, I think you’ll all love the stories of
    Hennessy and Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, they have that same small town sweetness to them 🙂 what, in my book log, I call a gem.

  8. SuzanneH on March 22, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    I have just finished reading the new C.S, Harris novel When Falcons Fall with Betty and Lynne. It was fantastic! And the latest Molly Murphy mystery by Rhys Bowen, Time Of Fog And Fire, which was one of her best. They were both either up to the author’s usual standards or better.

    • Lynne on March 22, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      Ditto to what Suzanne has said – Harris has written another winner in When Falcons Fall!

  9. Angie on April 3, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    “A Darker Shade of Magic” by V.E. Schwab, currently reading.
    To be read:
    “A Study in Charlotte” by Brittany Cavallero
    “The Hourglass Factory” by Lucy RIbchester

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