Weekly Reading Round-Up

How is it September already?

I saw out the summer with winter in Scotland: Alexandra Raife’s Until the Spring, in which a pregnant woman seeks refuge with her lover’s family in a remote Scottish manor house after being tossed out by her adoptive parents. This Alexandra Raife book in particular is oh so very Britain in the 90s– when I read it, I can picture the sorts of outfits (and attitudes) from Britcoms like As Time Goes By and Waiting for God, shoulder pads and heavy blush for the city dwellers, baggy skirts and padded vests for the country folk.

I left Scotland for a London that never was, via the The Invisible Library, in which a Librarian must go undercover in an alternate realm to recover a dangerous book, encountering dragons, detectives, and afternoon tea along the way. Think a little The Librarians and a little Parasol Protectorate. And it’s the first in a series!

But I found I needed more Scotland, so I went back to my Alexandra Raife collection for Drumveyn, which is basically Monarch of the Glen under another name: a young laird named Archie, who has been living in London with an emotionally detached Englishwoman with a trendy haircut, who returns to the ancestral estate to help put things in order. And did I mention there’s a feisty cook? (Not named Lexy.) The big difference is that a lot of the emotional focus of the story is Archie’s mother, who, unlike Monarch of the Glen, is less a comic side character and more of a protagonist, coming into her own after her controlling husband’s death.

(Until the Spring and Drumveyn are my Raifes Less Read, because I find them both a little uneven. For those who have never read Raife before, my two favorites are Wild Highland Home and Belonging.)

Right now, I’m about to launch the Labor Day weekend by treating myself to Georgette Heyer’s Frederica, which, somehow, I had managed to not read all these years. (Thanks, Alison Doherty, for bringing it to my attention!) Such joy to find an unread book by a favorite author!

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Ellen on September 1, 2017 at 11:30 am

    The Unseen Library series is fantastic! I’m rereading Terry Pratchett – The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, at the moment. He never disappoints.

    • Miss Eliza on September 1, 2017 at 6:55 pm

      Because Terry is a God. Did you see how they used a steamroller this week to destroy all his unfinished work (per his request)?

  2. Eirene Ritznore on September 1, 2017 at 11:55 am

    I’m reading Sherry Thomas’ A Study in Scarlet Women. I’ve never read anything by her and I don’t know how I missed her! She’s positively fabulous. I love how she’s crafting Sherlock Holmes in a new light. So creative.

  3. Heather Haskins on September 1, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I just finished “Le Morte D’Arthur.” It was the Winchester Manuscript edition, brought me back to my early college days. Taking a fluff breather and reading the first Penny Arcade comic collection, “Attack of the Bacon Robots” before diving into a reread of “Roses” by Leila Meacham.

  4. Susan Willis on September 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    I’ve just discovered Eva Ibbotson (The Morning Gift) – wonderful! Also just discovered Carol Goodman (River Road, The Widow’s House, The Lake of Dead Languages) I loved each of these. Can’t recommend them enough.

    • Eirene Ritznore on September 1, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      I love Eva Ibbotson. I think The Morning Gift is my favorite by her.

    • DJL on September 2, 2017 at 1:57 am

      Ibbotson’s A Countess Below Stairs is also wonderful!

  5. Jean on September 1, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Still working my way through Cocoa Beach! I have The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand on deck.

  6. Dianna on September 1, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Do you read ALL those books in just one week??? Thanks to this my “to read” list and pile of books is getting out of control!!!

    • Rachel Adrianna on September 5, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      I know– I am always so impressed by Lauren’s reading list on Fridays. She seems inhumanly productive 🙂

  7. Miss Eliza on September 1, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    The Handmaid’s Tale, which as the intro says, is even more a classic now, because as time goes on it becomes more relevant. I might also have some Buffy Comics and some Twin Peaks reading this weekend too. First weekend off in what seems like forever, I think that was sometime in May…

  8. LynnS on September 1, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    I read The Forgotten Room last week. (Finally, you say!) I just started The Autobiography of James T. Kirk, which is appropriate for DragonCon weekend. I enjoyed reading The Invisible Library series earlier this year.

  9. Christine on September 1, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Just finished The Widow’s House and really liked it. Not my favorite of the “is she really crazy” books but pretty good.

  10. DJL on September 2, 2017 at 2:03 am

    Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn was a fun & oh-so-British 1920s-era mystery, the first in the Daisy Dalrymple series. Next I am on to Shirley by C. Bronte (never read it before, but felt like a Bronte book–something about autumn says Bronte time to me).
    Frederica is wonderful! Happy reading!

    • Miss Eliza on September 2, 2017 at 3:28 am

      LOVE Carola Dunn!

    • Nancy on September 2, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      I like her series set in Cornwall.
      Nancy Carlin

  11. Tara on September 2, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Lauren, I actually was inspired to watch Monarch of the Glen after Eloise mentioned it in one of the books. I absolutely love that series 🙂

  12. Carla on September 2, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    East of the Sun, by Julia Gregson… Three girls headed to India, as part of the fishing fleet

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