Archive for the ‘Weekly Reading Round-Up’ Category

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.


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?

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Where on earth has this week gone? Between the Barbados book and final proofs (!!) for the next Three Ws’ book (more on that soon!), I’ve been reading the second DI Manon Bradshaw novel, Persons Unknown, in fits and starts.

But I have a lovely, large care package of books that was just sent to me by one of my very favorite people (hi, Vicki!), so I’ll hopefully have lots more to share soon. And now back to that Barbados book….

What have you been reading this week?

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, March 9th, 2018

Happy Friday, everyone! This week, Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and I were hard at work plotting the third Three Ws novel (and maybe a bit of outlet shopping). But I did have a couple of lovely, long flights for reading time.

This week, I discovered a new to me author, Susie Steiner, and her Manon Bradshaw series, starting with Missing, Presumed, about a missing Cambridge grad student. For fellow fans of British procedurals, it’s a bit like reading Scott and Bailey or DCI Banks.

Right now, I’m reveling in Susan Elia MacNeal’s upcoming Maggie Hope book, The Prisoner in the Castle. More about that soon! But think Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None plus remote Scottish castle plus Maddie Hope. (Equals “why do I have to put this down to write my own book?”)

What have you been reading this week?

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

With a Nor’easter howling outside the window, it would be a perfect day to hunker down with a book or two (if only there weren’t, well, life to attend to– hello, umbrella and boots!).

This week, I finally read Kate Moretti’s The Blackbird Season, set in a dying Pennsylvania mill town and the scandal that explodes when a teacher is accused of sleeping with a student. But did he? And where is that student now?

Right now, I’m reading another Sarah Addison Allen book, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, in which a teenager goes back to her mother’s hometown and discovers all sorts of secrets (and also cake). Now that I’ve discovered these, I’m trying to pace myself and space them out, when what I really want to do is gobble them up one right after the other.

Weather permitting (cross fingers, knock on wood), I’ll be hopping on a plane at dawn tomorrow to join Beatriz Williams and Karen White in our latest bat cave to plot the third Three Ws book! So there will (hopefully) be lots of lovely airplane reading time. What should I load on my kindle, folks?

What have you been reading this week?

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

It’s been a multi-book work week for me: bouncing into book clubs to talk about The English Wife, copyedits for the next Three Ws book (title and cover reveal coming soon!), and, of course, working on the Barbados Book.

What with all that, there wasn’t nearly as much time to read as I would have liked– especially since I finally started reading Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells and all I want to do is curl up with it with a cup of tea and read and read and read.

What have you been reading this week?

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, February 16th, 2018

How did I ever get through the 80s without reading Jackie Collins? I read the rest of the glamour epic squad: Judith Krantz, Danielle Steele, Sidney Sheldon, et al, but somehow missed Jackie Collins. I finally remedied that over a couple of long plane rides with Lovers and Gamblers, about a rock star and a rising actress and the cast of thousands that surrounds them. It made me realize how much I miss those sweeping, over the top sagas that were, where you feel like you’ve lived years in eight hundred pages– then realize for the characters it’s only been six months. But in those six months, careers are made and broken, kingdoms rise and fall, and goodness only knows what else.

For something completely different, I’ve moved on to the latest in Elly Griffiths’s Ruth Galloway series, The Chalk Pit, British mystery involving murdered rough sleepers and a set of mysterious bones (because with Ruth Galloway, there are always bones).

After this, I think I might finally, finally read Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells, which has been on my to read list for years now.

What have you been reading this week?

p.s. if you’re in the Chicago area, come join me for the last stop on The English Wife Tour on Saturday! I’ll be at 57th Street Books in Hyde Park at 3:00 with Charles Finch, author of the Charles Lennox mysteries. Hope to see you there!

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

Do you ever have those weeks where you can’t remember by the end just what you were reading? This was one of those for me. I started and put down a few books that just didn’t quite work for me and finally settled on a re-read of Jenny Colgan’s The Bookshop on the Corner, about an unemployed librarian who loads up a van with books and moves to the Highlands to start a mobile bookshop. Because, books. And the Highlands.

But now it may be time for me to venture out and try something new….

What have you been reading this week?

Also, I’m back off on book tour! I’ll be speaking in Connecticut this weekend, in Georgia (with Deanna Raybourn) next week, and in Chicago (with Charles Finch) on Presidents’ Day weekend– so if you’re in any of those places, check the Have Author Will Travel panel for details!

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, January 26th, 2018

When you’re dealing with cranky small people with flu, only comfort re-reads will do.

This week, I resorted to Daniel O’Malley’s The Rook, which passed the test of being just as amusing on a second read. A sci fi/mystery combo, the book follows a woman, highly placed in a top secret paranormal organization, who comes to without her memory and a series of letters from her old self to her new self, apprising her of her duties and warning her that she’s being targeted by a traitor. All I can say is that the writing is brilliantly, tongue-in-cheek, snort-your-honey-and-lemon-tea funny, and if you like the humor of the Pink books, you’ll probably enjoy this.

Also on the list of the week’s comfort reads: Georgette Heyer’s The Quiet Gentleman, in which the earl returns home and is promptly faced with both a very commonsensical heroine and a series of murder attempts. (If you’re going to be targeted by a murderer, it’s good to have a commonsensical heroine about.) It lacks the madcap humor of some of Heyer’s other novels, but there’s something very soothing about the mix of mystery, romance, and Heyer wit.

Right now, I’m just starting Lauren Graham’s Someday, Someday, Maybe, about a struggling actress in New York in 1995. It’s a love letter to a New York I remember well (my senior year of high school!), a New York of hair in scrunchies and tokens for the subway and Caller ID being a new and novel thing. It’s also making me want to binge watch Gilmore Girls. If only I didn’t have a book to write…. Must. Resist. Gilmores.

What have you been reading this week?