Archive for the ‘Weekly Reading Round-Up’ Category

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, June 15th, 2018

This week, I finally got around to reading Greer Hendricks’s and Sarah Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us, a dark, domestic, psychological thriller about the unraveling of a woman’s life and marriage. I gobbled it up over the course of two short-ish train rides. (There’s really nothing like train and airplane reading.)

For a total change of tone, I’ve now moved on to an old favorite, Georgette Heyer’s Arabella, in which a vicar’s daughter pretends to be a great heiress.
Hijinks, misunderstandings, and true love ensue.

What have you been reading this week?



Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, June 8th, 2018

It’s been a week of the new and the old. I began with Ruth Ware’s latest, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, a modern Gothic featuring a mysterious heritage, an appropriately waifish and desperate heroine, mistaken parentage, and, of course, a House.

After that, I changed tone and time period and plunged back into the 16th century for intrigue and skullduggery in Scotland with Francis Crawford of Lymond (Lymond!) in Dorothy Dunnett’s The Game of Kings. I did my undergrad thesis on just this moment in Scottish history so going back to 1540s Scotland always feels like coming home. And has anyone else noticed that Lymond, in his speech patterns, is a close cousin of Lord Peter Wimsey?

In other news, I’ve been chugging away on the Barbados Book (coming to you May 2019!) and picking up useful bits of information such as the initial publication date of the medical journal The Lancet (1827, in case you were wondering), and the composition of a doll given as a gift in the early 19th century (wax or wood or papier mache but not porcelain).

What have you been reading this week?



Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, May 25th, 2018

It’s been a week of dark and atmospheric books, starting with Wendy Webb’s The End of Temperance Dare, a ghost story set at a tuberculosis sanatorium turned writers’s retreat, with all the attendant eeriness you can imagine. Highly recommended for a dark and stormy afternoon, preferably with tea.

From there, I moved on to a Ruth Ware binge, starting with The Woman in Cabin 10, a novel of psychological suspense set on the high seas, in which an inebriated and edgy journalist thinks she sees a body go overboard– but has she really? And who was the woman in Cabin 10, which everyone tells her in empty?

I’m currently in the middle of another Ruth Ware, The Lying Game, and loving it. There’s something about the clarity of the first person voice in her books that makes me think of Mary Stewart. And, without spoilers, I can say that there’s also something reassuring about knowing that no matter how dark the narrative gets, it usually turns out well in the end. I do like that in a book.

What have you been reading this week?



Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, May 18th, 2018

It’s back to winter here in New York! (Um, spring? Where did you go?) On cold and drippy days, what could be better than a classic mystery?

I revisited Agatha Christie’s The A. B. C. Murders and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of the Dying Detective. Now I’m trying to decide whether to move on to something new or keep up the trend with some vintage Charlotte MacLeod.

What have you been reading this week?



Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Do you ever have those weeks when you pick up books and put them down again? I’m sure they’re very good books, and books I might like at another time, but they just weren’t holding my attention– so I gave up on them and picked up Joan Aiken Hodge’s Marry In Haste.

I wasn’t sure whether I’d like it– I’d read a bit of Hodge back in my teens and found her books problematic, darker than the Heyer and Holt I preferred– but this time it was absolutely the right book at the right time. A marriage of convenience, Napoleonic spies, English agents, Portugal in 1807 (and we all know what happened in Portugal in 1807! Or, at least, if you read my The Lure of the Moonflower, you do), so I’m absolutely loving it, and delighted to have broken my blah reading streak.

What have you been reading this week?



Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, May 4th, 2018

First: how is it Friday already? Don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining. But it feels more like Tuesday, somehow. This week is a bit of a blur.

Which may be why I can’t quite remember what I read this week. I know there were books… but I have no idea what they were.

The one stand-out? Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, psychological suspense about a hen party gone horribly, horribly wrong. It was one of those “oooh, now I must find her backlist!” books.

What have you been reading this week?



Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, April 27th, 2018

I’ve been chasing down details for the Barbados Book this week, so there hasn’t been time for much leisure reading, alas. But I did make it to Jamie Brenner’s reading for her latest, The Husband Hour, and have been reading it in snippets when I can. It’s women’s fiction set in a beachtown on the Jersey Shore as a war widow deals with the legacy of her husband’s death and the family secrets that begin to emerge.

What have you been reading this week?



Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, April 20th, 2018

Get grounded at DFW for fourteen hours due to tornadoes? More time for books! This week, I read my through a bunch of books I’ve been meaning to read for ages, including:

— J. Courtney Sullivan’s Saints for All Occasions, a look at an Irish family in Boston over the course of two generations, and what one secret can do to a family;

— Christine Mangan’s Tangerine, a twisty novel of psychological suspense unpicking the relationship between two former Bennington roommates, one a married woman in Tangier, the other a working woman who suddenly shows up on the doorstep for a visit, going forth between the past and the present as the truth becomes more and more sinister;

— Susan Wiggs’s Family Tree, about a cooking show producer who finds herself back in her Vermont home town after an accident lands her in a coma for a year, reconnecting with her family’s maple sugar business and the man she once loved and lost (the wholesome sweetness and happily ever after was a perfect antidote to Tangerine);

— Piper Weiss’s You All Grow Up and Leave Me: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession, part memoir, part true crime, about a tennis coach who preyed on his students in New York in the early 90s. Piper and I were classmates at the same tiny all girls’ school, so, I’ll confess, it was fascinating to me to see my own world through someone else’s eyes (including a deeply awful Drama Club production about women writers, which has remained a running joke between me and my best friend to this day), and to realize what different experiences can be had under the same roof;

— Elsie Lee’s Season of Evil, classic 1970s romantic suspense. I came home from my trip to two sick kids and promptly caught the bug– which meant comfort reads. Nothing says comfort read to me like Elsie Lee. Snarky first person heroines who always have a PhD or a business degree and are simultaneously either deeply ditzy in a clever way or super-efficient organizers who cut a wide swathe through everyone in their paths;

— and, since this bug is really a nasty one, Elsie Lee’s Sinister Abbey (really, can you beat that as a title?), about a fabric designer who stumbles into international espionage, as one does.

I have a pile of new books to read, but while I’m still blazing through NyQuil and tissues, I’m thinking this may be a Georgette Heyer and Jennifer Crusie week for me.

What are you reading this week?

Oh, also, just a quick reminder: it’s your last chance to cast your vote for the winner of the 2018 Pinkorama!



Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Better late than never, I finally read Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders and loved the whodunnit within the whodunnit (especially the internal whodunnit, which was 1950s, small English village, so, basically, Father Brown without Father Brown).

Then I treated myself to Lynda Loigman‘s upcoming The Wartime Sisters, set at Springfield Armory during World War II, tracing the tangled relationship between two sisters– the smart one and the pretty one– and the way it all comes to a head during the war. As with The Two-Family House, the characters are so real and so realistically flawed that you can absolutely understand why they are the way they are and where they are– and you won’t want to stop reading until you figure out how they got there and how they’ll fix it. I may possibly have stayed on the subway a bit too long just to keep reading.

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I have a big pile of new books to read, but it’s going to be very hard to top these two books!

What have you been reading this week?

p.s. The Pinkorama entries are in and they’re Peeptastic! I’m going to be sharing one a day, in the order in which they were received, starting on Monday…. So if you’re feeling peep-inspired and want to send in a last minute entry over the weekend, go for it!



Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

I’ve been chugging away on the new book (well, a slow chug, but still a chug), so there hasn’t been terribly much reading time this week. But, when I can, I’ve been sneaking away to steal a chapter or two of Anthony Horowitz’s murder mystery, The Word is Murder, in which the author inserts himself as a protagonist in the story, shadowing a grumpy detective around London.

What have you been reading this week?