Weekly Reading Round-Up

Happy Friday, all!

It’s been a mixed reading week for me.  It started off brilliantly with the swashbuckling Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi, in which a semi-retired 12th century female pirate must emerge from seclusion, reassemble her crew, and battle the supernatural when her family is threatened.  It’s the best possible mix of Raphael Sabatini, Sinbad the Sailor, and T. Kingfisher.

After that, I bounced hard off both a historical novel I’d been given and a recent thriller that had been recommended to me (I am SO sick of books where all the characters are unpleasant).

I decided I’d take a pause on new books after that and took refuge in a very, very old favorite, Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin, which was mercifully just as wonderful as I’d remembered.  It’s a joy to read each and every time, even if I can quote large chunks from memory, so it’s less a case of reading and more of reading along.  For those who haven’t read it, Tam Lin transposes the Scottish ballad Tam Lin to the campus of a small liberal arts college in Minnesota in the early 70s, unfolding over the course of the heroine’s four years of college.  It’s the most perfect representation of college life since Gaudy Night (there are a couple of nods to Gaudy Night in there) and always makes me feel homesick for college– when your classes mixed with your love life mixed with your extracurriculars and everything was new and strange and sounded better in blank verse.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Elizabeth (AKA Miss Eliza) on June 16, 2023 at 5:19 pm

    I’m taking a Rivers of London break, even if I’m REALLY excited for the new book in the series that just arrived from England, it’s so far an exclusive there AND it’s set in Wisconsin… But the graphic novels annoyed me so much I need to take a few days break from Peter Grant and Nightingale, so obviously I’m re-reading The Rook by Daniel O’Malley.

  2. Angie on June 16, 2023 at 6:55 pm

    Just read the new Fiona Davis novel and it was touching how she made it personal.

  3. Abby on June 17, 2023 at 10:27 am

    Tam Lin is also one of my favorites. Janet, the heroine, rereads Hamlet at one point and her description of the famous speeches rising up like islands among the text is very like your description of rereading Tam Lin- I also have many passages permanently imprinted on my brain! Did you ever try reading any of Pamela Dean’s other novels? None of them ever took with me.

  4. Joan on June 17, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    I’m reading Andrea Penrose’s Sweet Revenge from the Lady Arianna Hadley series. I like it but not as much as her Wexford and Sloane series which I have finished until the next one comes out in September.

    • Elizabeth (AKA Miss Eliza) on June 17, 2023 at 6:42 pm

      The series gets better and better as the cast of characters grows. The first three in the Lady Arianna series had traditional publication and have a different tone. I feel the later book benefited from her doing her own thing.

  5. Christine on June 30, 2023 at 12:15 pm

    The Beach at Summerly! You ever read a book where you love the characters so much that you want them to be real people so you can be friends with them? Yeah that’s how I feel about this book. My only solace is knowing that Beatriz frequently brings back her characters in future books and this one left the door open for a sequel.

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