Weekly Reading Round-Up

What with the recent heat wave, it’s hard to believe it’s almost the middle of October already! To get myself into the right mood, I started my annual Halloween reading with Simone St. James’s Lost Among the Living, a ghost story set in the aftermath of the first World War. If you haven’t read St. James’s wonderfully creepy 1920s ghost stories, I highly recommend them, especially The Haunting of Maddy Clare and Silence for the Dead.

Not very Halloween-y, but I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early copy of Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie’s My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, an old school, Jean Plaidy-esque first person account of the life of the wife of Alexander Hamilton. It’s been a long time since I’ve read this particular sub-genre of fictionalized biography, and I’m finding it fascinating getting a behind the scenes look at the much revered Hamilton (who may not have been quite so revered in his lifetime). I may have to also snap up Susan Holloway Scott’s I, Eliza Hamilton to see how different authors portray the same subject.

What have you been reading this week?

p.s. if you’d like something to read for the week after next… St. Martin’s Press is giving away fifty copies of The English Wife on Goodreads between now and October 20th! Just click through to the Goodreads contest page to enter.


  1. Freya on October 13, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    I’m currently reading Pat Barker’s wonderful Toby’s Room, and loving it. And I’m rereading two eternal favorites: The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox and The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla (written, of course, by our brilliant hostess. Sigh — I do adore Lucien. 🙂 )

    • Tara on October 13, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      Lucien is amazing! I imagine a reasonably tall young man with a white blond ponytail, impeccably dressed 🙂

      And, I still LOVE the humorous and heroic moment where Sally throws her pet stoat at the villain!

      • Freya on October 13, 2017 at 6:35 pm

        Yes!!! My friend and I used to amuse ourselves by inserting “weasel” or “lemur” into the names of Shakespeare plays. (The Two Lemurs of Verona, Richard the Lemur, A Midsummer Night’s Weasel, Romeo and Weaselette . . . .) Stoats are one of those animals that are just endlessly hilarious. 🙂

        • Lauren on October 13, 2017 at 6:50 pm

          My two best friends and I had a running lemur joke, too! They’re just universally amusing.

          • Lauren on October 13, 2017 at 6:52 pm

            So delighted to see the Lucien love!

          • Freya on October 14, 2017 at 5:38 pm

            Lauren, could I ask how Lady Florence Oblong got her name? It’s pure genius. 🙂

  2. Jean on October 13, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Just can’t stop with Merry Folger, so sailed right into Death in a Cold Hard Light, the 2017 edition (not sure what was changed, but did take note with a birthdate mentioned that would have made the character four years old when book was first published).

    A big fan of Simone St. James!

    • Lauren on October 13, 2017 at 6:51 pm

      I felt the same way about the Merry Folger books. Once you pop, you can’t stop? I gather they were written back in the 90s, and then recently updated– very seamlessly, I thought! That’s a thing that’s not easy to do well.

  3. Eirene Ritznore on October 13, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    I’m reading Tasha Alexander’s latest installment of her Lady Emily series: Death in St. Petersburg. Excellent! Two things I love, murder mystery and Russian ballet.

  4. Miss Eliza on October 13, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    Still in the land of Philip Pullman and His Dark Materials, but thankfully with time this weekend to read them. I also delved into Harrow County, a “horror” graphic novel that up to 26 issues now. It’s southern gothic meets Twin Peaks and I’m now forever hooked.

    • Christina Karnes on October 14, 2017 at 10:46 am

      I don’t generally care for comics but a mix of southern gothic and Twin Peaks sounds interesting.

      • Miss Eliza on October 14, 2017 at 6:13 pm

        Oh Christina you should give it a try. Plus, the art is amazing, all done as watercolors!

  5. Karlene on October 13, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton.

  6. Christina Karnes on October 14, 2017 at 10:35 am

    I ? Simone. Silence for the Dead is probably my favorite but they are all good. Halloween reading – I started reading It because my almost teen saw the movie with dad and was interested in reading it. I think he changed his mind when he saw how long it was. 10-15% In was enough for me to veto it for him at this point. I may or may not keep reading. Also read this week: Jane Austen, The Secret Radical by Helena Kelly. I don’t think I agree with all her theories but it is an interesting read if one is a Janeite. I’m reading authors I want to see at Texas Book Festival next month so I read Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai. It was good. Shades of family drama soap opera with the romance which is one of my favorite tropes. My local Old School Romance Book Club is reading time travel books this month. I read Must Love Chainmail by Angela Quarles which was a fun read. If you like Knight I’m Shining Armor you will like this one. Now I’m trying to finish The Rose Garden by Susana Kearsley by tomorrow afternoon’s meeting.

    • Amy on October 14, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      I loved Hate to Want You. It was great!

  7. Lauren H on October 14, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    For Halloween I’ve been reading some Stephen King (‘Salem’s Lot) and Shirley Jackson (The Lottery and Other Stories). Both very good horror, though I can read the Shirley Jackson after dark when home alone, which I can’t with the Stephen King.

    Last weekend I finally finished Penman’s Lionheart and, as predicted, loved it. My thanks to the ladies who encouraged me to keep with it!

  8. Carla on October 14, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    I’m reading Lily and the Octopus…. I was skeptical because it’s about a dog, I’m more of a historical fiction kind of gal, but it got great reviews. It’s a sweet book!

  9. Tara on October 15, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Since we talking Halloween books…what Halloween/Fall movies has everyone been watching?

    I’ve been cozying up with the LOTR trilogy and Hotel Transylvania. Still to watch… Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Hotel Transylvania 2.

  10. Tara on October 15, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Please excuse my grammar lol… Since we are talking Halloween books…

  11. Joan on October 15, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    We always watch Arsenic and Old Lace this time of year. I also enjoy I Married A Witch an old 1940’s film with Veronica Lake and Fredric March. Dangerous Crossing is also rather creepy (Jeanne Crain and Michael Rennie).

Leave a Comment