Weekly Reading Round-Up

It’s been an absolutely banner reading week for me with not one but two new books in very different genres.

Hearing my bat signals of copy edit distress (copy edits always cause distress), my amazing college roommate e-sent me Alexis Hall’s Boyfriend Material, in which the estranged son of two 80’s rock legends has to find a fake respectable boyfriend to salvage his reputation and save his job in charity fundraising after the tabloids catch him in what seems like a more compromising position than it is.  Sheer, madcap comic genius with a solid core of heart underneath the hilarity.  I haven’t laughed so much in ages.  The comic side characters are Heyer-level funny.  Note: do not read this on the kindle in the dark while rocking your sleeping toddler.  After you snort-laugh, sleeping toddler will no longer be asleep.  And he will not be amused.

It’s tough to follow up a book as good as that, so it seemed to make sense to try a very different sort of book: I went full Gothic, with Danielle Trussoni’s The Ancestor, which had come highly recommended by my friend M.J. Rose.  (If anyone knows Gothic, it’s M.J.)  And this is very, very Gothic.  It’s been another week of way too little sleep as I stayed up far too late to see what would happen after our American heroine inherited the doomed Italian castle with its dark and very unexpected legacy.  I’ll only say that it’s incredibly compelling and not at all what I expected, but very much in the spirit of the nineteenth century Gothic novels that served as its inspiration.  Think less Mary Stewart and more Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.

Of course, now I’m utterly at a loss as to what to read next.  I have my reliable Miss Silvers and a new (to me) Mary Roberts Rinehart lined up… but I’m tempted to try something else new.  Any and all suggestions welcome!

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Pat Dupuy on July 17, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    I just finished Death in the East by Abir Mukherjee. I love this series: British Raj in the 1920s. The start to a new series: The Body in the Garden by Katherine Schellman. I look forward to more of these mysteries set in 1815. Dance Away With Me by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Another new series (I hope) by Nev March called Murder in Old Bombay.

  2. Kristen A. on July 17, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    I read Bass Rock by Evie Wyld and hope to be able to finish SPQR by Mary Beard after work today.

  3. DJL on July 17, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    The Clerk by Mary Kingswood was great (as are all her books, *extremely* pleased to have found her this year).
    For a brief break from the Regency era, read The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly; legal thriller, made into a movie some years ago which I loved, and the book is just a good, fast paced & riveting.
    Now reading Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas, think You’ve Got Mail in modern day high school. Lots of fun!

  4. Beverly Fontaine on July 17, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    I’ve been inspired by you and have delved into Miss Silver in a big way. I’m on my fourth one in less than two weeks. I went back to Mary Stewart last week and am trying to get through “American Spy” which was recommended by PBS Newshour book club. I’m finding it a bit hard going, though, so don’t know if I’ll finish it.

  5. Elizabeth (AKA Miss Eliza) on July 17, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    Home Before Dark! READ IT! It’s the new Riley Sager about a woman who grew up in the shadow of the “true” haunted house book that her father wrote and what happens when she goes back to the house to try to fix and flip it. The chapters alternate between her POV and chapters of her father’s book “House of Horrors!” I DEVOURED it last weekend and am now at a loss as to what to read next that will be as equally edge of your seat and Gothic… so I picked up the Caddie Woodlawn sequel for some pioneer fun…

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