Weekly Reading Round-Up

It’s the most reading-ful time of the year? If not that, it’s certainly a good time of year to brew a cup of tea and read over the head of a (hopefully) sleeping baby while the wind wuthers around the windows and the radiator creaks and groans.

On my list this past week? A Bed of Scorpions, the second mystery in the London-set Sam Clare series, about an editor turned accidental sleuth. This one involved a mysterious death in an art gallery, and, of course, plenty of snark about publishing.

I stayed in England, but moved from London to Cornwall and mystery to chick lit with Jenny Colgan’s Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery. It’s been my experience that sequels generally don’t work well in chick lit/women’s fiction, but this book was an exception for me. There was enough that the characters still had to resolve, really, seriously resolve, that it didn’t feel like a thin follow-up. Also, Christmas. And puffins. And baking. It was just the right book at the right time for me.

I meant to move on from there to Laurie King’s Justice Hall, or to Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent, which I’ve been meaning to read forever (or at least since October), but once you’re in a certain sort of small village British chick lit sort of mood, nothing will do but more small village British chick lit (possibly with a side of Midsomer Murders and the odd episode of The Vicar of Dibley), so I am currently in the middle of Jenny Colgan’s Sweetshop of Dreams, which has the added bonus of not one, but two Christmas themed sequels waiting in the wings.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Liz on December 15, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Love Jenny Colgan! I haven’t gotten to Sweetshop of Dreams yet, but maybe I should make that my next one.

    I finished The Windfall, a quietly amusing book by Diksha Basu, and just adored the characters. Currently reading Rules for Murder by Julianna Deering (only about 30% in, and pretty sure I know who the murderer is …) and re-reading The Fellowship of the Ring. On the non-fiction front, I just finished Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice, Treachery, and Folly from Royal Britain by Michael Farquar (So. Many. Beheadings.) and just started X-Ray Reading: How the Secrets of 25 Great Works of Literature Will Improve Your Writing by Roy Peter Clark.

  2. Pam on December 15, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Bed of Scorpions sounds awesome, I’ll need to check it out!

    I finally read The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Lee Huber, and then a bunch of student papers (I preferred The Anatomist’s Wife…).

    Next up may be a long overdue plunge back into Pink Carnation land with Plumeria, which I’ve been saving for an Emergency. I think finals week, the mountain of grading due by next Thurs., holiday shopping, and 6 inches of snow on the ground qualify?

    • DJL on December 15, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      I loooove! the Lady Darby mysteries! They just get better with each one 🙂

      • Lauren on December 16, 2017 at 8:38 pm

        Grading definitely counts as time for Emergency Reading!

  3. Céline on December 15, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Hi everyone!! Sorry I’ve been MIA for the last few months, life happened!!

    For the last few weeks, I’ve been enjoying the Klaus Brothers series, by Penny Watson. I started with Sweet inspiration, which was fine, went on with Sweet Magik, which I absolutely loved, and I am at the beginning of Sweet adventure, which promised to be very good too!! Because who wouldn’t want Santa’s five gorgeous sons to find love too?? ♥♥

    • Lauren on December 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Welcome back!

  4. DJL on December 15, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Read Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente, which was extremely good. Not the kind of book to rush through, one you definitely want to take time to savor the author’s use of language. Highly recommended!
    Then transitioned this week into Christmas reading, with Donna Andrews’ latest Meg Langslow mystery, How the Finch Stole Christmas. It’s perfect light Christmassy fare (even if there is the odd dead body thrown in) 🙂

  5. Jan Siler on December 15, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    I’ve been re-reading the entire Pink Carnation series over the last few weeks. It’s now Miss Gwen’s turn to poke her parasol at me.

    • Lauren on December 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Hopefully not the sword parasol!

  6. Jean on December 15, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Just finished The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living. Off to add to my reading list from the recommendations here!

  7. Beth F on December 15, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    I’m reading Night Train To Memphis by Elizabeth Peters. I started it immediately after Trojan Gold, because that ending! I’ve also been reading An Echo in the Bone by Gabaldon which I am enjoying, just not as much as the one before. Next, I’m planning to start Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.

    • Lauren on December 16, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      Now you’ve made me want to go re-read my Vicky Bliss books! Isn’t “Night Train to Memphis” great?

  8. Miss Eliza on December 15, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    I was going to be moving onto more Christmas fare (was delighted the second Cormoran Strike book I picked up earlier in the week was set near Christmas) but then I got an ARC of Patricia Briggs’s new Alpha and Omega book… so I’m reading Burn Bright!

  9. Jocelyn Wang on December 15, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    The Force Doth Awaken by Ian Doescher. Preparing myself for The lAst Jedi 🙂

    • Tara on December 16, 2017 at 7:08 am

      I love Shakespeare and Star Wars! I’ve been meaning to delve into those books 🙂 What do you think so far?

  10. Tara on December 16, 2017 at 7:09 am

    I’m reading Mara by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. It takes place in Ancient Egypt, and it is incredible! Full of court intrigue, romance, mystery, and a gutsy heroine!

    • DJl on December 18, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      Oh, I LOVE Mara Daughter of the Nile! I probably need to start looking out for another copy, actually–the one I have is almost beginning to come to pieces, it’s been read (loved!) so much 🙂

  11. Betty Strohecker on December 16, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    I’ve been pleasantly stuck in Christmas land, reading three great books. Christmas at Carnton is the beginning of a new series by Tamera Alexander, set around Tennessee’s Carnton Plantation during the Civil War. Next was Christmas Roses by Amanda Cabot – 1880’s Wyoming – great book. And just finished A Bramble House Christmas – present day Montana.

  12. Alice on December 17, 2017 at 12:30 am

    Read “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.” I loved it! A quirky, plucky heroine who has so much to overcome and a great cast of supporting characters. Brought tears to my eyes and that is hard to do! Also, The Widows House by carol Goodman, which was good but not up to her usual standards. Finally, Prairie Fires which is mostly a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I love the Little House book, but she definitely brought a lighter side to some pretty grim life situations.

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