Weekly Reading Round-Up

Happy Friday, all!

Can you believe it’s almost June already?  At my back I always hear my deadline rapidly drawing near, but in between panicking about how close my deadline is and how little of my book is written, I did read some excellent books this week.

First there was Alex Hay’s The Housekeepers, recommended by someone in this group: a vaguely Edwardian heist novel in which the folks below stairs seize the day– but everyone is just a little more than she seems and the interconnections and motivations spool out over the course of the novel.  It reminded me a lot of Stuart Turton’s Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle or The Devil and the Dark Water, in which the historical setting feels a bit like a fantasy backdrop– not quite in its time– but that works to intensify the action of the novel and the relationships between the characters.

After that it was on to my college classmate Anya Liftig’s absorbing memoir Holler Rat, which was wrenching and fascinating and gorgeously written, and explored what it was to grow up between two very different worlds:  Westport, CT and a holler deep in Kentucky.  It made me think of that line in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, where Francie is described as being all the Rommelys and all the Nolans, what we take with us from our families and how it shapes us, and then how we go on to shape ourselves.

I ended the week with two oldies from two of my very favorite authors: Elizabeth Peters’s Dead Sea Ciphers and Georgette Heyer’s Arabella.  With any prolific author, there are the books you re-read a dozen times… and the books you don’t.  Dead Sea Ciphers was one of the “oh, I forgot about that one” Elizabeth Peters for me, and re-reading it for the first time in roughly thirty years, I still felt a little ambivalent.  (Any other Peters fans out there with similar feelings?)

As for Arabella, it remains one of my all time favorite Heyers, up there with The Talisman Ring and The Nonesuch.  (I like to check in on it every couple of years to make sure it’s still holding up.)  In many ways, it’s a classic Lizzy and Darcy plot.  He’s proud; she’s prejudiced.  But Heyer keeps it from being hackneyed (although many characters travel in hackneys).

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Joan on May 24, 2024 at 7:12 pm

    I’m reading Locked In Pursuit by Ashley Weaver and LOVE this series. I recently reread Dead Sea Cipher, but it is not my favorite either.

    • Alex on May 24, 2024 at 11:13 pm

      Oooo I was looking that series. How’s the romance?

  2. Elizabeth (AKA Miss Eliza) on May 25, 2024 at 7:13 pm

    I’ve been reading Threadneedle by Cari Thomas, think British The Craft, and that’s 100% what it is. Goofy, occasionally brutal, but enjoyable. Planning on reading the novella in the series next.

  3. Car on May 27, 2024 at 6:01 pm

    Reading Lucy Gilmore, Lonely Hearts Book Club and The Library of Borrowed Hearts and really enjoying them. Does anyone know if The Princess Bride would be considered a fun book for a teen these days? Is the English old fashioned? Thanks

    • Elizabeth (AKA Miss Eliza) on May 27, 2024 at 7:03 pm

      The book isn’t really fun, it’s a dark satire. So so different than the movie. Personally I adore it, it’s a case of the movie and the film being two totally separate things that I love.

      • Car on May 30, 2024 at 9:58 am

        Thank you.

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