Weekly Reading Round-Up

Happy Friday, all!

This is a week I’m very happy to see the end of– let’s just say it involved a lot of taking temperatures, administering pediatric Tylenol and Motrin, bathing fevered brows, and wiping noses.

I tried to escape to a remote Scottish island with Mary Stewart, but I was reminded that there was a reason I never re-read The Stormy Petrel: it just doesn’t hold together the way her others do.  Of course, a bad Mary Stewart is still a good deal better than a good many other authors– her voice is beautiful even if the story doesn’t hold up– but this one has always felt as though there’s no there there.  The mystery isn’t much of a mystery, and the romance is a foregone conclusion from the get go.  Any other Mary Stewart fans out there with opinions on this?  Is it just me, or is this one not as good as her others?

After that, I bounced hard off a recent thriller, and decided it was time to resort to the ultimate comfort reads: Dorothy Sayers’s Harriet Vane books.  So I’m very happily re-reading Strong Poison with the prospect of Have His Carcase, Gaudy Night, and Busman’s Honeymoon yet to come (when I’m not taking temperatures and wiping fevered brows and all that).

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Sheila Churchill on November 11, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    Hope everyone is back to health!

    • Lauren Willig on November 11, 2022 at 1:40 pm

      Thank you!!! Not quite yet, but hopefully headed in the right direction…. Fingers crossed! (RSV is no joke.)

  2. Rachel Adrianna on November 11, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    I just checked out The Stormy Petrel from my library! I’ll have to see if it reads the same for me.

  3. Joey Bigley on November 11, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    “The IT Girl” by Ruth Ware (2022). Highly recommend!!!

  4. Vik Francis on November 11, 2022 at 3:16 pm

    I’ve been hiding away in the Maisie Dobbs mysteries.

  5. Dianna on November 11, 2022 at 4:10 pm

    Reading your recommended three ” Thursday Murder Club” books!!! Witty and nice change to have the heroes be “senior citizens” but written as the 45 yr. Olds we know we still are inside!!! (But slower and with bad knees…)

  6. MDelfino on November 11, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    Same here, daughter has a cold…wondering how long till I get it 😉 I’m reading the Codebreaker’s Secret and really enjoying it 😀

  7. Elizabeth (AKA Miss Eliza) on November 11, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    A totally bizzare reading week for me, for some reason I thought it was a good idea to read Carrie Fisher’s ‘The Princess Diarist’ and promptly learned that Harrison Ford was more of an ass than I imagined. The I read the absolutely depressing ‘The Day of the Locusts’ by Nathanael West for book club on Sunday… I will be glaring at the person who chose it. SO depressing. I needed something totally different so I’m reading the newest novella by C.L. Polk ‘Even Though I Knew the End,’ which is magical and Chicago and Noir and lots of fun. A good palate cleanser. Who knows what’s next…

  8. Joan on November 11, 2022 at 9:33 pm

    I just finished Message From Absalom by Anne Armstrong Thompson which I really enjoyed. I read Stormy Petrel once and agree that it sucks!

  9. Karolina J. on November 11, 2022 at 9:48 pm

    I tried to read J.P. Rowling’s “The Ink Black Heart”. The plot is interesting, but all the phone conversations she quoted make it unbearably draggy and drawn-out. This isn’t the first book I’ve read recently that makes me wonder if a moneymaking author’s work is exempt from editing! Right now, I’m enjoying “Secret Lives” by Mark de Castrique and the “Series of Elements” regencies by Elizabeth Johns.

    • Elizabeth (AKA Miss Eliza) on November 12, 2022 at 6:40 pm

      JK is totally exempt from editing. How could an editor wade through all the hate she writes. I was able to finish it but it dragged on and on.

  10. Julie on November 12, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    I love most of Mary Stewart’s books, but there are a couple that I just didn’t care for. The Stormy Petrel is one, and The Rose Cottage is another. You are right, it’s still her voice in the writing, but the plot/characters just never came alive somehow.

    I don’t remember if I liked The Moonspinners or not–I know I only read it once or twice back in the day, and I keep planning to reread it on my kindle but somehow I get distracted and haven’t gotten past the first few pages. Seems promising, though. I’m gonna keep trying!

    As a teenager, I think my favorites were Touch Not the Cat and maybe Nine Coaches Waiting. Now, I’d probably say The Ivy Tree and Madam, Will You Talk.

  11. Helen Matthews on November 21, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    Unfortunately, I agree about Story Petrel. I enjoyed the description of writing in it. The Moonspinners was published in 1962. I think it is very good.

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