Weekly Reading Round-Up

Happy July! I’ve mostly been researching the next book– about which I’m staying mum for the moment– so much of what I’ve been reading won’t appear here just yet. On the fiction front, though, I’ve stumbled upon a few new to me books and authors, including:

— Chris Cleave, Everyone Brave is Forgiven, a novel of World War II, set back and forth between blitzed London and Malta, following the fortunes of Mary, a socialite turned teacher, and Alistair, a restorer at the Tate turned soldier, as well as several side characters along the way. The prose was brilliant, clever and snarky and bright; the characterizations were beautiful; the subject matter… so very, very hard. But, then, it’s probably good to be reminded, so vividly, of just how awful it was.

— Austin Clarke, The Polished Hoe. More wonderfully written but tough reading. Post-colonial “Bimshire”, aka Barbados, in the 1940s, where, over the course of a night, a woman relates her history to the police constable and sergeant, providing a painting of the darker sides of island life.

Between the Blitz and the legacy of slavery, I felt the need for something light after that and took refuge in Trisha Ashley’s A Winter’s Tale, in which the impoverished heroine unexpectedly inherits the family stately home and must protect it against the schemes of her property developer cousin. Because who doesn’t love an unexpected inheritance and a good stately home?

What have you been reading recently?


  1. Joan on July 1, 2016 at 9:31 am

    I have finished the latest Sebastian St. Cyr mystery and am looking forward to the new Anna Lee Huber next week. June was a very difficult month health wise so have been keeping it light with lots of Lorraine Heath and Lisa Kleypas historical romances. My daughter is making her way through the Game of Thrones novels (hasn’t watched the tv series yet). Also enjoyed Grace Draven’s Eidolon. She is looking forward to reading H. Murakami’s The Elephant vanishes.

  2. Lauren H on July 1, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    I finished Echo in the Bone (Outlander 7) and since I needed some refreshing on earlier happenings, Outlandish Companions #1 and 2. In Romance, the new Lisa Kleypas, Marrying Winterborne (and I’m super excited that the next one in the series has a Wallflowers tie in.)

    I’ve also been reading Rachel Hartman’s sequel to Seraphina, Shadow Scale (YA dragon fantasy, totally awesome), and Julie McEwain’s Murder in Time, with a time traveling FBI agent who goes back to 1815 England where there’s a serial killer.

    Recovering from major surgery, so I’ve been doing nothing but read, and it’s fabulous!

  3. Sheila on July 1, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    I read and disliked Scott Berry’s latest, The 14th Colony. Thank goodness I had an older Carola Dunn in my Kindle, Crossed Quills, wonderful as always. I am a sucker for humorous travel writing and loved Tony James Slater’s Someone Shave My Spider!

  4. Christina on July 1, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Magic Shifts Ilona Andrews – I’m all caught up on Kate Daniels now and can’t wait for the next book in a few months.

    Time of Departure Douglas Schofield – This was an interesting thriller that took a twist that landed it in a different genre. Very creative!

    Jane Steele Lindsay Faye – Jane Eyre inspired. Not exactly a retelling but it shadows it rather closely in many parts. My Litsy review was “Reader I LOVED it!”

    Dumplin’ Julie Murphy – Wonderful YA with a heroine who is ok with herself as a fat girl. So many books that are supposed to be a positive representation of fat people aren’t. This was just great. Willowdean is a total rock star and I adored her and the book. This will be on my favorite reads list for the year.

    Reign of Shadows Sophie Jordan – Rapunzel meets dystopian fantasy. Holy Cliffhanger.

    A Fierce and Subtle Poison Samantha Mabry – Apparently it is inspired by or a retelling of a Nathaniel Hawthorne story. Part mystery, part folk tale, part magical realism. Often I like the idea of magical realism more than the implementation of it but this was really good. And after reading it, I want to visit Puerto Rico.

  5. Pat D on July 1, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    I read Jane Steele too and I loved it! Earlier I read Air Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan. She writes good contemporary mysteries set in Boston. The novella, A Gentleman Never Tells, by Eloisa James. Her stories are always entertaining. I’m currently in the middle of the second Gower St. Detective book, The Curse of the House of Foskett, by M.R.C. Kasasian. This series by recommended by Deanna Raybourn. It is set in Victorian times in London with the funniest, snarkiest conversations I’ve read in a long time.

  6. Miss Eliza on July 2, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I wouldn’t mind being descended from Shakespeare either 😉

    I read Paul McLain’s Circling the Sun and found it dull and too nice too Karen Blixen. Now I’m reading The Pirates! In an adventure in Communism… which will be far more fun!

  7. Betty Strohecker on July 3, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Since my last posting I’ve read Marrying Winterborne, and Mary Balogh’s Only Beloved – great finish to her Survivior’s Club series – in the romance category.

    Just finished one of Patrick Taylor’s Irish Country Doctor books – needed my fix of Ireland.

    Last night I started Susanna Kearsley’s Named of the Dragon – love Kearsley, and it’s been too long since I’ve read one of hers.

  8. Christine on July 4, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    The last few weeks I’ve read “First Impressions” by Charlie Lovett – super obvious but enjoyed it anyway. Also been reading a bunch of Karen White: “Falling Home,” “The Sound of Glass,” and “Learning to Breathe.”

  9. Bev Fontaine on July 5, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    I’ve been re-reading all my old Roberta Gellis books. She will be missed. She gave good old fashioned romance/adventure stories but always made sure the historical details were correct, especially details about what these people actually wore, ate, etc. Great stuff.

    And now I’m re-reading Celia Garth, a lovely novel set in Charleston during the American Revolution. A go-to when I’m stressed.

    All this re-reading is because my job has been so stressful lately that I don’t have the concentration to read something new. All things pass and this will get better. When will be seeing a new Lauren Willig novel?

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