What We Are Reading

JustonedmndthingAndrea/Cara here, with our first report on what we've been reading in the new year. As usual, it's an eclectic array of genres with a variety of voices. So without further ado, let's look inside the covers!

Pat:
Just like the title, Just One Damned Thing After Another (Book 1-The Chronicles of St Mary’s) by Jodi Taylor, is fast-paced, action-oriented, and smart-mouthed. And funny. And horrible. And amazingly well-written and a treat for history nerds. The book is about historians. Who knew historians were a laugh-a-minute kind of tribe? Well, when they’re always living on the brink of extinction and everyone around them is dying, one has to find some way of facing the day, I guess. This is not for the weak of heart, but it does have a lovely, dry romance, several, in fact. And a whole lot of people die, some of them in a literal sh*t storm. But the historians are desperately seeking to save history, and I can relate. The first half of the book is actually a slow world-building hill so you can settle in comfortably. After that, all bets are off. I will admit, after a while, I skimmed the battle scenes just as I skim the sex scenes in romance, but I was well-satisfied just the same. For the adventurous among us!

NowayAnd for a totally different change of pace in this horrid political season, how about uproarious political satire—although in this case, it’s more like judicial satire. In No Way To Treat A First Lady by Christopher Buckley, the First Lady is accused of assassinating the president by beaning him with a Paul Revere spittoon. Does that give you an idea of the humor? The amazingly fun part of this book is that every time the reader thinks s/he has a grasp of the story, the author turns the whole thing on its head and spins off in another hilarious direction. The ending is totally satisfying.

Mary Jo:
I’ve really been enjoying The Innkeeper Series by Ilona Andrews. Ilona Andrews is actually a husband and wife team that writes several very successful urban fantasy series.  The Innkeeper books were more of a play project, with Ilona writing chapters of the story and posting them on her blog for her fans to read.  At the end of the novel, she edited them and published the result as an e-book.



CleanSweepPat Rice told me about the first one, Clean Sweep and I really enjoyed it.  The set-up is that Earth is a way station for extra-terrestrials, and an ancient treaty provides them with safe places to stay and in return, Earth is neutral territory and safe from alien invasions.
Which brings us to the magical inns.  The narrator, Dina Demille, is young and was raised in an innkeeper family.  After her parents and their inn vanish while Dina is in college, Dina petitions the Innkeeper council for an inn of her own and she's given the long dormant and nearly dead Gertrude Hunt B&B in a small Texas town.  She manages to bring it back to life, but now has to attract sufficient business to survive.
This is where the fun starts.  An innkeeper must keep her guests safe, and prevent regular humans from learning about the vast and dangerous universe and the aliens who pass through the inns.  There is a symbiotic relationship between innkeepers and their inns, and the more guests who visit Gertrude Hunt, the stronger the inn and Dina become.

But it isn't easy!  There's a hot werewolf down the street, a permanent guest who is a galactic tyrant with a huge price on her head (think Helen Mirren with very sharp teeth)  and a handsome vampire lord (they aren't really vampires, more like Klingons with fangs) who fancies Dina, and strips off his armor and runs naked through her orchard when he become drunk on caffeine. <G>
Dina is delightful, tough, and very resourceful, and because the book was posted in chapters, there are lots of action sequences within the overall story arc.  Lots of good humor, too. There are three books now, with Sweep in Peace and One Fell Sweep following. Catastrophic things happen, but so far no characters I like have died, and Dina and her magical inn and broom have been equal to everything the universe throws at them.  I hope there are lots more stories in the series!

Dreamer's PoolAnne:
I've read a lot of books since November, but don't worry, I'll try to restrict myself.  Because of Pat, I started reading Darynda Jones's "grave" series, staring with First Grave on the Right — and since then I've read all of them. Loved them.

I also read Den of Wolves, the final book in Juliet Marillier's wonderful "Blackthorn and Grimm" trilogy. If you haven't read it, start with  Dreamer's Pool. Juliet writes superb fantasy, based on Celtic folk tales and history and with a touch of magic

Because of Deanna Raybourn's visit to the Wenches, I started reading A Curious Beginning, and immediately gobbled up the next one in the series as well — A Perilous Undertaking. Lots of fun.

I've also begun a glom of Meredith Duran's books. I read her RITA winner, Fool Me Twice last year, and decided to catch up with her previous books. I started with her first book, The Duke of Shadows, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Den of IniquityNicola
For me this month's reading has been all about Regencies. So often they are my comfort reads with a special place on the keeper shelf. Perhaps it was the title "Snowdrift" that persuaded me to download the new anthology of Georgette Heyer's short stories since it suits the cold weather we've been having here in the UK. I already possess a battered copy of Pistols for Two but I wanted to read the three newly-discovered Heyer stories as well as re-read the old favourites. I found them very warming and absolutely charming, in Heyer's signature style and as always the dialogue sparkles!

  71Li60F9cRLI was also lucky enough to be given an advance copy of Catherine Kullmann's new Regency Perception and Illusion, which I enjoyed very much. Catherine's books are firmly rooted in research and historical accuracy, but the books are written with a light touch and the characters are complex and interesting. It was fascinating to watch her couple struggle with the morals and mores of the period from courtship to wedding and through the first year of their marriage. Perception and Illusion will be out in March but in the meantime I've picked up Catherine's first book The Murmur of Masks.
 
Next up on my Kindle is Annabelle Bryant's The Den of Iniquity. It's the first Regency of hers that I've read and already I'm finding it a very rich, vivid and engrossing read. This is for those who like their stories dark and very passionate. It's set in the London gambling hell, The Underworld, and teems with characters from the dark corners of the city as well as high society. At its centre are gorgeous hero Max Sinclair and Vivienne Beaumont who are from such different worlds and yet despite everything are so perfect together. It's a richly emotional read I'm enjoying very m
uch!

Spy-ColdAndrea/Cara:
A friend was recently waxing poetic on John le Carre’s books and I suddenly realized that I had somehow never read of his iconic spy novels. So I picked up his classic The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, the book that launched his luminous career—and was totally hooked. He writes with a sharply sophisticated narrative style, crafting his intricate plots with wonderful use of language, sardonic humor and keenly observant eye. But it’s his insightful portrayal of people, with all their flaws and complexities that really resonates on the pages. A former member of British Intelligence, he also looks unflinchingly at the moral ambiguities of the modern world, and the fine line—if any—that divides “good guys” from the “bad guys.” Though it was written 50 years ago in the midst of the Cold War, it struck me Pigeon Tunnelas incredibly relevant to our own unsettled times. I’ve now gone out and bought The Pigeon Tunnel, his book of autobiographical essays because I enjoy his his writing so much. On a lighter note, like Anne, I also raced through Deanna Raybourn's A Perilous Undertaking and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Susan
I've been reading a lot of research material lately, delving into medieval Scotland while I'm writing a new medieval–the book topping the stack on the living room ottoman at the moment is David Santiuste's The Hammer of the Scots. I love this stuff, so I'm happy as pie to read through, flipping to look for facts, taking notes and inspired to jot down ideas for the new book.

Bradley thrice the catI've found some time for fiction too. Recently I read the latest book in Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce mystery series, Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd —as I've mentioned here before, I'm a huge Flavia fan. I listened to this one, narrated by the extraordinary and delightful Jayne Entwistle, who turns in another fantastic audio performance. Jayne (who has visited Wenches before!) is a perfect match for this smart, charming, fascinating mystery series set in 1950s England and featuring Flavia, an 11-year-old chemistry genius with insatiable curiosity, astute cleverness and quick wit. This installment is equally as good as the seven books preceding it, the mystery having to do with a beloved children's book author, an odd, somewhat medieval death in the local village, and Flavia's testing of her independence while she puts some random facts together to brilliantly deduce. A few final twists for continuing characters and situations will make the wait for Book #9 even longer! To sample Jayne's narrative, click here.

61qSRYof0-LI'm halfway through several other books, but one I'm quite enjoying at the moment is the first book in Rick Riordan's newest series, based on Nordic mythology, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. I liked his Percy Jackson/Olympus series (reading some but not all of them) enough to try this one, which I like even more. Magnus, a smart, gutsy street teen, is unaware of the secret of his birth until the Norse powers that be come looking for him–the set up is clever, the characters likable, and the quick, breezy intelligent narrative will keep me going to find out what is ultimately at stake for Magnus and his pals.

Now it's time to turn the pen over to you! What books have captured your fancy recently. Please share! (I find so many wonderful additions to my TBR pile from this monthly feature, and I hope you do too!)

145 thoughts on “What We Are Reading”

  1. Anne, I’ve been a Meredith Duran fan since I read Duke of Shadows shortly after its release. Her books go on my TBR list as soon as I learn of them. I recently read her upcoming A Lady’s Code of Misconduct. It was another five-star read. And, Susan, I too adore Flavia.
    I was privileged to read early several of the books releasing tomorrow. I highly recommend Kristan Higgins’s On Second Thought (a stellar women’s fiction novel); Eloisa James’s Seven Minutes in Heaven (Teddy Reeve, now Ward Reeve, of Desperate Duchesses and Eugenia Strange, now Eugenia Snowe, of Duchess by Night grow up); Maggie Robinson’s Schooling the Viscount (a light-hearted historical set in a Victorian rehab village); and Joanna Shupe’s Mogul (a Gilded Age tale). I have also been rereading some of Helen MacInnes’s books. It is amazing how relevant they are today. Also, I have actually been keeping one of my New Year’s resolutions and reading more poetry. Mary Oliver was today’s poet. I read selections from several of her books and all of Dog Songs, her wonderful tribute to her canine companions.

    Reply
  2. Anne, I’ve been a Meredith Duran fan since I read Duke of Shadows shortly after its release. Her books go on my TBR list as soon as I learn of them. I recently read her upcoming A Lady’s Code of Misconduct. It was another five-star read. And, Susan, I too adore Flavia.
    I was privileged to read early several of the books releasing tomorrow. I highly recommend Kristan Higgins’s On Second Thought (a stellar women’s fiction novel); Eloisa James’s Seven Minutes in Heaven (Teddy Reeve, now Ward Reeve, of Desperate Duchesses and Eugenia Strange, now Eugenia Snowe, of Duchess by Night grow up); Maggie Robinson’s Schooling the Viscount (a light-hearted historical set in a Victorian rehab village); and Joanna Shupe’s Mogul (a Gilded Age tale). I have also been rereading some of Helen MacInnes’s books. It is amazing how relevant they are today. Also, I have actually been keeping one of my New Year’s resolutions and reading more poetry. Mary Oliver was today’s poet. I read selections from several of her books and all of Dog Songs, her wonderful tribute to her canine companions.

    Reply
  3. Anne, I’ve been a Meredith Duran fan since I read Duke of Shadows shortly after its release. Her books go on my TBR list as soon as I learn of them. I recently read her upcoming A Lady’s Code of Misconduct. It was another five-star read. And, Susan, I too adore Flavia.
    I was privileged to read early several of the books releasing tomorrow. I highly recommend Kristan Higgins’s On Second Thought (a stellar women’s fiction novel); Eloisa James’s Seven Minutes in Heaven (Teddy Reeve, now Ward Reeve, of Desperate Duchesses and Eugenia Strange, now Eugenia Snowe, of Duchess by Night grow up); Maggie Robinson’s Schooling the Viscount (a light-hearted historical set in a Victorian rehab village); and Joanna Shupe’s Mogul (a Gilded Age tale). I have also been rereading some of Helen MacInnes’s books. It is amazing how relevant they are today. Also, I have actually been keeping one of my New Year’s resolutions and reading more poetry. Mary Oliver was today’s poet. I read selections from several of her books and all of Dog Songs, her wonderful tribute to her canine companions.

    Reply
  4. Anne, I’ve been a Meredith Duran fan since I read Duke of Shadows shortly after its release. Her books go on my TBR list as soon as I learn of them. I recently read her upcoming A Lady’s Code of Misconduct. It was another five-star read. And, Susan, I too adore Flavia.
    I was privileged to read early several of the books releasing tomorrow. I highly recommend Kristan Higgins’s On Second Thought (a stellar women’s fiction novel); Eloisa James’s Seven Minutes in Heaven (Teddy Reeve, now Ward Reeve, of Desperate Duchesses and Eugenia Strange, now Eugenia Snowe, of Duchess by Night grow up); Maggie Robinson’s Schooling the Viscount (a light-hearted historical set in a Victorian rehab village); and Joanna Shupe’s Mogul (a Gilded Age tale). I have also been rereading some of Helen MacInnes’s books. It is amazing how relevant they are today. Also, I have actually been keeping one of my New Year’s resolutions and reading more poetry. Mary Oliver was today’s poet. I read selections from several of her books and all of Dog Songs, her wonderful tribute to her canine companions.

    Reply
  5. Anne, I’ve been a Meredith Duran fan since I read Duke of Shadows shortly after its release. Her books go on my TBR list as soon as I learn of them. I recently read her upcoming A Lady’s Code of Misconduct. It was another five-star read. And, Susan, I too adore Flavia.
    I was privileged to read early several of the books releasing tomorrow. I highly recommend Kristan Higgins’s On Second Thought (a stellar women’s fiction novel); Eloisa James’s Seven Minutes in Heaven (Teddy Reeve, now Ward Reeve, of Desperate Duchesses and Eugenia Strange, now Eugenia Snowe, of Duchess by Night grow up); Maggie Robinson’s Schooling the Viscount (a light-hearted historical set in a Victorian rehab village); and Joanna Shupe’s Mogul (a Gilded Age tale). I have also been rereading some of Helen MacInnes’s books. It is amazing how relevant they are today. Also, I have actually been keeping one of my New Year’s resolutions and reading more poetry. Mary Oliver was today’s poet. I read selections from several of her books and all of Dog Songs, her wonderful tribute to her canine companions.

    Reply
  6. What a wonderful selection, Janga! You mention many of my favorite authors, along with some I haven’t yet tried. I’m making notes! And I love that you’re reading poetry! Works that make us appreciate the beauty of language are especially important right now.

    Reply
  7. What a wonderful selection, Janga! You mention many of my favorite authors, along with some I haven’t yet tried. I’m making notes! And I love that you’re reading poetry! Works that make us appreciate the beauty of language are especially important right now.

    Reply
  8. What a wonderful selection, Janga! You mention many of my favorite authors, along with some I haven’t yet tried. I’m making notes! And I love that you’re reading poetry! Works that make us appreciate the beauty of language are especially important right now.

    Reply
  9. What a wonderful selection, Janga! You mention many of my favorite authors, along with some I haven’t yet tried. I’m making notes! And I love that you’re reading poetry! Works that make us appreciate the beauty of language are especially important right now.

    Reply
  10. What a wonderful selection, Janga! You mention many of my favorite authors, along with some I haven’t yet tried. I’m making notes! And I love that you’re reading poetry! Works that make us appreciate the beauty of language are especially important right now.

    Reply
  11. I read Mogul by Joanna Shupe last year, but the release day is today, and I *highly* recommend it (in fact, I recommend the whole series).
    Now I’m reading The Duke’s Secret Heir by Sarah Mallory.

    Reply
  12. I read Mogul by Joanna Shupe last year, but the release day is today, and I *highly* recommend it (in fact, I recommend the whole series).
    Now I’m reading The Duke’s Secret Heir by Sarah Mallory.

    Reply
  13. I read Mogul by Joanna Shupe last year, but the release day is today, and I *highly* recommend it (in fact, I recommend the whole series).
    Now I’m reading The Duke’s Secret Heir by Sarah Mallory.

    Reply
  14. I read Mogul by Joanna Shupe last year, but the release day is today, and I *highly* recommend it (in fact, I recommend the whole series).
    Now I’m reading The Duke’s Secret Heir by Sarah Mallory.

    Reply
  15. I read Mogul by Joanna Shupe last year, but the release day is today, and I *highly* recommend it (in fact, I recommend the whole series).
    Now I’m reading The Duke’s Secret Heir by Sarah Mallory.

    Reply
  16. Janga, I finished Kristan Higgins’s On Second Thought last night and loved it. She’s getting better and better, I think. Eloisa James is on the TBR list, as is the new Meredith Duran.
    Lovely that you’re reading more poetry. I recently introduced a friend to ee cummings and had a big reread of his poetry as a result.
    One of my all time favorite poets is Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

    Reply
  17. Janga, I finished Kristan Higgins’s On Second Thought last night and loved it. She’s getting better and better, I think. Eloisa James is on the TBR list, as is the new Meredith Duran.
    Lovely that you’re reading more poetry. I recently introduced a friend to ee cummings and had a big reread of his poetry as a result.
    One of my all time favorite poets is Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

    Reply
  18. Janga, I finished Kristan Higgins’s On Second Thought last night and loved it. She’s getting better and better, I think. Eloisa James is on the TBR list, as is the new Meredith Duran.
    Lovely that you’re reading more poetry. I recently introduced a friend to ee cummings and had a big reread of his poetry as a result.
    One of my all time favorite poets is Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

    Reply
  19. Janga, I finished Kristan Higgins’s On Second Thought last night and loved it. She’s getting better and better, I think. Eloisa James is on the TBR list, as is the new Meredith Duran.
    Lovely that you’re reading more poetry. I recently introduced a friend to ee cummings and had a big reread of his poetry as a result.
    One of my all time favorite poets is Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

    Reply
  20. Janga, I finished Kristan Higgins’s On Second Thought last night and loved it. She’s getting better and better, I think. Eloisa James is on the TBR list, as is the new Meredith Duran.
    Lovely that you’re reading more poetry. I recently introduced a friend to ee cummings and had a big reread of his poetry as a result.
    One of my all time favorite poets is Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

    Reply
  21. Thanks for the recommendations. I pulled some titles or author you had suggested. I loved the last two books of Sharon Shinn’s Elemental Blessings series. I’m not sure who recommended Malice at the Palace which was fun mystery.
    In terms of recent romances, I’ve read all of Joanna Shupe’s series, and other book in Grace Burrow Wyndham series.
    And for something different, I’ve been catching up on Shelly Adina’s Magnificent Devices series. It’s more young adult steampunk with characters in late teens and early 20s.

    Reply
  22. Thanks for the recommendations. I pulled some titles or author you had suggested. I loved the last two books of Sharon Shinn’s Elemental Blessings series. I’m not sure who recommended Malice at the Palace which was fun mystery.
    In terms of recent romances, I’ve read all of Joanna Shupe’s series, and other book in Grace Burrow Wyndham series.
    And for something different, I’ve been catching up on Shelly Adina’s Magnificent Devices series. It’s more young adult steampunk with characters in late teens and early 20s.

    Reply
  23. Thanks for the recommendations. I pulled some titles or author you had suggested. I loved the last two books of Sharon Shinn’s Elemental Blessings series. I’m not sure who recommended Malice at the Palace which was fun mystery.
    In terms of recent romances, I’ve read all of Joanna Shupe’s series, and other book in Grace Burrow Wyndham series.
    And for something different, I’ve been catching up on Shelly Adina’s Magnificent Devices series. It’s more young adult steampunk with characters in late teens and early 20s.

    Reply
  24. Thanks for the recommendations. I pulled some titles or author you had suggested. I loved the last two books of Sharon Shinn’s Elemental Blessings series. I’m not sure who recommended Malice at the Palace which was fun mystery.
    In terms of recent romances, I’ve read all of Joanna Shupe’s series, and other book in Grace Burrow Wyndham series.
    And for something different, I’ve been catching up on Shelly Adina’s Magnificent Devices series. It’s more young adult steampunk with characters in late teens and early 20s.

    Reply
  25. Thanks for the recommendations. I pulled some titles or author you had suggested. I loved the last two books of Sharon Shinn’s Elemental Blessings series. I’m not sure who recommended Malice at the Palace which was fun mystery.
    In terms of recent romances, I’ve read all of Joanna Shupe’s series, and other book in Grace Burrow Wyndham series.
    And for something different, I’ve been catching up on Shelly Adina’s Magnificent Devices series. It’s more young adult steampunk with characters in late teens and early 20s.

    Reply
  26. I’ve been doing a lot of re-reading lately. Winter months get me down, so when reading, I tend to go for a sure thing. Just finished Anne Gracie’s HIS CAPTIVE LADY, and I’m starting Mary Balogh’s SLIGHTLY MARRIED (another fav).
    The only new books I’ve read lately are Grace Burrowes’ THE TROUBLE WITH DUKES and (for laughs) KATHY GRIFFIN’S CELBRITY RUN-INS: MY A-Z INDEX. It’s a funny book, but you know you are getting old when you don’t know who half the celebrities are or why they are famous (smile).

    Reply
  27. I’ve been doing a lot of re-reading lately. Winter months get me down, so when reading, I tend to go for a sure thing. Just finished Anne Gracie’s HIS CAPTIVE LADY, and I’m starting Mary Balogh’s SLIGHTLY MARRIED (another fav).
    The only new books I’ve read lately are Grace Burrowes’ THE TROUBLE WITH DUKES and (for laughs) KATHY GRIFFIN’S CELBRITY RUN-INS: MY A-Z INDEX. It’s a funny book, but you know you are getting old when you don’t know who half the celebrities are or why they are famous (smile).

    Reply
  28. I’ve been doing a lot of re-reading lately. Winter months get me down, so when reading, I tend to go for a sure thing. Just finished Anne Gracie’s HIS CAPTIVE LADY, and I’m starting Mary Balogh’s SLIGHTLY MARRIED (another fav).
    The only new books I’ve read lately are Grace Burrowes’ THE TROUBLE WITH DUKES and (for laughs) KATHY GRIFFIN’S CELBRITY RUN-INS: MY A-Z INDEX. It’s a funny book, but you know you are getting old when you don’t know who half the celebrities are or why they are famous (smile).

    Reply
  29. I’ve been doing a lot of re-reading lately. Winter months get me down, so when reading, I tend to go for a sure thing. Just finished Anne Gracie’s HIS CAPTIVE LADY, and I’m starting Mary Balogh’s SLIGHTLY MARRIED (another fav).
    The only new books I’ve read lately are Grace Burrowes’ THE TROUBLE WITH DUKES and (for laughs) KATHY GRIFFIN’S CELBRITY RUN-INS: MY A-Z INDEX. It’s a funny book, but you know you are getting old when you don’t know who half the celebrities are or why they are famous (smile).

    Reply
  30. I’ve been doing a lot of re-reading lately. Winter months get me down, so when reading, I tend to go for a sure thing. Just finished Anne Gracie’s HIS CAPTIVE LADY, and I’m starting Mary Balogh’s SLIGHTLY MARRIED (another fav).
    The only new books I’ve read lately are Grace Burrowes’ THE TROUBLE WITH DUKES and (for laughs) KATHY GRIFFIN’S CELBRITY RUN-INS: MY A-Z INDEX. It’s a funny book, but you know you are getting old when you don’t know who half the celebrities are or why they are famous (smile).

    Reply
  31. Janga, what a great list of new releases – I’m definitely checking these out. You’re also inspiring me to read Helen MacInnes again – I was a big fan in high school, cutting my teeth on good fiction, and it would be fun to return. And I’m so glad to know you’re a Flavia fan too! Just the best. 🙂

    Reply
  32. Janga, what a great list of new releases – I’m definitely checking these out. You’re also inspiring me to read Helen MacInnes again – I was a big fan in high school, cutting my teeth on good fiction, and it would be fun to return. And I’m so glad to know you’re a Flavia fan too! Just the best. 🙂

    Reply
  33. Janga, what a great list of new releases – I’m definitely checking these out. You’re also inspiring me to read Helen MacInnes again – I was a big fan in high school, cutting my teeth on good fiction, and it would be fun to return. And I’m so glad to know you’re a Flavia fan too! Just the best. 🙂

    Reply
  34. Janga, what a great list of new releases – I’m definitely checking these out. You’re also inspiring me to read Helen MacInnes again – I was a big fan in high school, cutting my teeth on good fiction, and it would be fun to return. And I’m so glad to know you’re a Flavia fan too! Just the best. 🙂

    Reply
  35. Janga, what a great list of new releases – I’m definitely checking these out. You’re also inspiring me to read Helen MacInnes again – I was a big fan in high school, cutting my teeth on good fiction, and it would be fun to return. And I’m so glad to know you’re a Flavia fan too! Just the best. 🙂

    Reply
  36. I’ve read/listened to some fabulous books recently! After knowing that I “should” read her, I finally got around to The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. It was one of those quietly gripping novels that stay with you long after you’ve finished. I’m now almost done with The Lowland, and it’s just as magical – and if you’ve not read her, you really should! Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth was as good as everyone said it was, but as always, the plot synopsis does NOTHING to prepare me for how much powerful prose she packs into each book. It, too, has stayed with me as I’ve moved onto other choices. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles was delightful, and I was so sorry to finish it. I’ve meant to do more investigating into the author’s background because the cursory exam I made showed nothing particularly Slavic, but it truly read like a “Russian” novel, minus the dreariness! For fun, I ripped through Gayle Lynds’ The Book of Spies and The September Society, book 2 in Charles FInch’s series. I’ve left off the list the books I read that weren’t truly memorable, including a few from romance writers I usually enjoy, but for whatever reasons, my recent picks have left no lasting impressions. So all of the above titles are most heartily recommended!

    Reply
  37. I’ve read/listened to some fabulous books recently! After knowing that I “should” read her, I finally got around to The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. It was one of those quietly gripping novels that stay with you long after you’ve finished. I’m now almost done with The Lowland, and it’s just as magical – and if you’ve not read her, you really should! Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth was as good as everyone said it was, but as always, the plot synopsis does NOTHING to prepare me for how much powerful prose she packs into each book. It, too, has stayed with me as I’ve moved onto other choices. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles was delightful, and I was so sorry to finish it. I’ve meant to do more investigating into the author’s background because the cursory exam I made showed nothing particularly Slavic, but it truly read like a “Russian” novel, minus the dreariness! For fun, I ripped through Gayle Lynds’ The Book of Spies and The September Society, book 2 in Charles FInch’s series. I’ve left off the list the books I read that weren’t truly memorable, including a few from romance writers I usually enjoy, but for whatever reasons, my recent picks have left no lasting impressions. So all of the above titles are most heartily recommended!

    Reply
  38. I’ve read/listened to some fabulous books recently! After knowing that I “should” read her, I finally got around to The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. It was one of those quietly gripping novels that stay with you long after you’ve finished. I’m now almost done with The Lowland, and it’s just as magical – and if you’ve not read her, you really should! Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth was as good as everyone said it was, but as always, the plot synopsis does NOTHING to prepare me for how much powerful prose she packs into each book. It, too, has stayed with me as I’ve moved onto other choices. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles was delightful, and I was so sorry to finish it. I’ve meant to do more investigating into the author’s background because the cursory exam I made showed nothing particularly Slavic, but it truly read like a “Russian” novel, minus the dreariness! For fun, I ripped through Gayle Lynds’ The Book of Spies and The September Society, book 2 in Charles FInch’s series. I’ve left off the list the books I read that weren’t truly memorable, including a few from romance writers I usually enjoy, but for whatever reasons, my recent picks have left no lasting impressions. So all of the above titles are most heartily recommended!

    Reply
  39. I’ve read/listened to some fabulous books recently! After knowing that I “should” read her, I finally got around to The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. It was one of those quietly gripping novels that stay with you long after you’ve finished. I’m now almost done with The Lowland, and it’s just as magical – and if you’ve not read her, you really should! Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth was as good as everyone said it was, but as always, the plot synopsis does NOTHING to prepare me for how much powerful prose she packs into each book. It, too, has stayed with me as I’ve moved onto other choices. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles was delightful, and I was so sorry to finish it. I’ve meant to do more investigating into the author’s background because the cursory exam I made showed nothing particularly Slavic, but it truly read like a “Russian” novel, minus the dreariness! For fun, I ripped through Gayle Lynds’ The Book of Spies and The September Society, book 2 in Charles FInch’s series. I’ve left off the list the books I read that weren’t truly memorable, including a few from romance writers I usually enjoy, but for whatever reasons, my recent picks have left no lasting impressions. So all of the above titles are most heartily recommended!

    Reply
  40. I’ve read/listened to some fabulous books recently! After knowing that I “should” read her, I finally got around to The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. It was one of those quietly gripping novels that stay with you long after you’ve finished. I’m now almost done with The Lowland, and it’s just as magical – and if you’ve not read her, you really should! Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth was as good as everyone said it was, but as always, the plot synopsis does NOTHING to prepare me for how much powerful prose she packs into each book. It, too, has stayed with me as I’ve moved onto other choices. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles was delightful, and I was so sorry to finish it. I’ve meant to do more investigating into the author’s background because the cursory exam I made showed nothing particularly Slavic, but it truly read like a “Russian” novel, minus the dreariness! For fun, I ripped through Gayle Lynds’ The Book of Spies and The September Society, book 2 in Charles FInch’s series. I’ve left off the list the books I read that weren’t truly memorable, including a few from romance writers I usually enjoy, but for whatever reasons, my recent picks have left no lasting impressions. So all of the above titles are most heartily recommended!

    Reply
  41. I have had some other activities eating up my time. When that happens, I turn to re-reads, because losing my place won’t harm my enjoyment.
    Been rereading several Wenches. (It is important to note, that I have now “accepted” Jo Beverley’s death so that I can now read her books without being blinded by tears.)
    Since I’ve been rereading Pat Rice, Jo Beverley, and Mary Jo Putney, with a trip to honorary wench, Mary Balogh, probably no of you need to know the specific volumes.

    Reply
  42. I have had some other activities eating up my time. When that happens, I turn to re-reads, because losing my place won’t harm my enjoyment.
    Been rereading several Wenches. (It is important to note, that I have now “accepted” Jo Beverley’s death so that I can now read her books without being blinded by tears.)
    Since I’ve been rereading Pat Rice, Jo Beverley, and Mary Jo Putney, with a trip to honorary wench, Mary Balogh, probably no of you need to know the specific volumes.

    Reply
  43. I have had some other activities eating up my time. When that happens, I turn to re-reads, because losing my place won’t harm my enjoyment.
    Been rereading several Wenches. (It is important to note, that I have now “accepted” Jo Beverley’s death so that I can now read her books without being blinded by tears.)
    Since I’ve been rereading Pat Rice, Jo Beverley, and Mary Jo Putney, with a trip to honorary wench, Mary Balogh, probably no of you need to know the specific volumes.

    Reply
  44. I have had some other activities eating up my time. When that happens, I turn to re-reads, because losing my place won’t harm my enjoyment.
    Been rereading several Wenches. (It is important to note, that I have now “accepted” Jo Beverley’s death so that I can now read her books without being blinded by tears.)
    Since I’ve been rereading Pat Rice, Jo Beverley, and Mary Jo Putney, with a trip to honorary wench, Mary Balogh, probably no of you need to know the specific volumes.

    Reply
  45. I have had some other activities eating up my time. When that happens, I turn to re-reads, because losing my place won’t harm my enjoyment.
    Been rereading several Wenches. (It is important to note, that I have now “accepted” Jo Beverley’s death so that I can now read her books without being blinded by tears.)
    Since I’ve been rereading Pat Rice, Jo Beverley, and Mary Jo Putney, with a trip to honorary wench, Mary Balogh, probably no of you need to know the specific volumes.

    Reply
  46. I’m reading Brunonia Barry’s The Fifth Petal. I can’t put it down. Loved her first two as well (The Lace Reader & The Map of True Places).

    Reply
  47. I’m reading Brunonia Barry’s The Fifth Petal. I can’t put it down. Loved her first two as well (The Lace Reader & The Map of True Places).

    Reply
  48. I’m reading Brunonia Barry’s The Fifth Petal. I can’t put it down. Loved her first two as well (The Lace Reader & The Map of True Places).

    Reply
  49. I’m reading Brunonia Barry’s The Fifth Petal. I can’t put it down. Loved her first two as well (The Lace Reader & The Map of True Places).

    Reply
  50. I’m reading Brunonia Barry’s The Fifth Petal. I can’t put it down. Loved her first two as well (The Lace Reader & The Map of True Places).

    Reply
  51. Such powerful poems, Anne, and chillingly appropriate in 2017. Thank you for sharing.
    I need to reread Cummings. It has been a while. I read him often when I was teaching because he was such fun to teach. I especially loved teaching “[in-Just]” and “She being Brand-new.”

    Reply
  52. Such powerful poems, Anne, and chillingly appropriate in 2017. Thank you for sharing.
    I need to reread Cummings. It has been a while. I read him often when I was teaching because he was such fun to teach. I especially loved teaching “[in-Just]” and “She being Brand-new.”

    Reply
  53. Such powerful poems, Anne, and chillingly appropriate in 2017. Thank you for sharing.
    I need to reread Cummings. It has been a while. I read him often when I was teaching because he was such fun to teach. I especially loved teaching “[in-Just]” and “She being Brand-new.”

    Reply
  54. Such powerful poems, Anne, and chillingly appropriate in 2017. Thank you for sharing.
    I need to reread Cummings. It has been a while. I read him often when I was teaching because he was such fun to teach. I especially loved teaching “[in-Just]” and “She being Brand-new.”

    Reply
  55. Such powerful poems, Anne, and chillingly appropriate in 2017. Thank you for sharing.
    I need to reread Cummings. It has been a while. I read him often when I was teaching because he was such fun to teach. I especially loved teaching “[in-Just]” and “She being Brand-new.”

    Reply
  56. The ee cummings poems are the very ones I used to get my friend interested in him. I also used those Yevtushenko poems in my classes — and yes, they are indeed chillingly appropriate for these difficult times.

    Reply
  57. The ee cummings poems are the very ones I used to get my friend interested in him. I also used those Yevtushenko poems in my classes — and yes, they are indeed chillingly appropriate for these difficult times.

    Reply
  58. The ee cummings poems are the very ones I used to get my friend interested in him. I also used those Yevtushenko poems in my classes — and yes, they are indeed chillingly appropriate for these difficult times.

    Reply
  59. The ee cummings poems are the very ones I used to get my friend interested in him. I also used those Yevtushenko poems in my classes — and yes, they are indeed chillingly appropriate for these difficult times.

    Reply
  60. The ee cummings poems are the very ones I used to get my friend interested in him. I also used those Yevtushenko poems in my classes — and yes, they are indeed chillingly appropriate for these difficult times.

    Reply
  61. I read “Unmasking Miss Appleby” and I will be reading more Emily Larkin books. It was a real page-turner!
    I read the first book in Carla Kelly’s Spanish Brand series, “The Double Cross”. Although the mystery is sweet, the historical setting is not, those were rough times, especially to our modern sensibilities. Lovely writing as always from Kelly.
    And I am in the midst of a new-to-me medieval mystery, “Remedy For Treason” by Caroline Roe. The main investigator character is a blind Jewish physician, and the setting is Catholic Spain. Fascinating history in this one too.

    Reply
  62. I read “Unmasking Miss Appleby” and I will be reading more Emily Larkin books. It was a real page-turner!
    I read the first book in Carla Kelly’s Spanish Brand series, “The Double Cross”. Although the mystery is sweet, the historical setting is not, those were rough times, especially to our modern sensibilities. Lovely writing as always from Kelly.
    And I am in the midst of a new-to-me medieval mystery, “Remedy For Treason” by Caroline Roe. The main investigator character is a blind Jewish physician, and the setting is Catholic Spain. Fascinating history in this one too.

    Reply
  63. I read “Unmasking Miss Appleby” and I will be reading more Emily Larkin books. It was a real page-turner!
    I read the first book in Carla Kelly’s Spanish Brand series, “The Double Cross”. Although the mystery is sweet, the historical setting is not, those were rough times, especially to our modern sensibilities. Lovely writing as always from Kelly.
    And I am in the midst of a new-to-me medieval mystery, “Remedy For Treason” by Caroline Roe. The main investigator character is a blind Jewish physician, and the setting is Catholic Spain. Fascinating history in this one too.

    Reply
  64. I read “Unmasking Miss Appleby” and I will be reading more Emily Larkin books. It was a real page-turner!
    I read the first book in Carla Kelly’s Spanish Brand series, “The Double Cross”. Although the mystery is sweet, the historical setting is not, those were rough times, especially to our modern sensibilities. Lovely writing as always from Kelly.
    And I am in the midst of a new-to-me medieval mystery, “Remedy For Treason” by Caroline Roe. The main investigator character is a blind Jewish physician, and the setting is Catholic Spain. Fascinating history in this one too.

    Reply
  65. I read “Unmasking Miss Appleby” and I will be reading more Emily Larkin books. It was a real page-turner!
    I read the first book in Carla Kelly’s Spanish Brand series, “The Double Cross”. Although the mystery is sweet, the historical setting is not, those were rough times, especially to our modern sensibilities. Lovely writing as always from Kelly.
    And I am in the midst of a new-to-me medieval mystery, “Remedy For Treason” by Caroline Roe. The main investigator character is a blind Jewish physician, and the setting is Catholic Spain. Fascinating history in this one too.

    Reply
  66. I have to repeat myself here, but I think it bears repeating, that this is always my favorite posts that The Wenches do. And that’s saying a lot because I love them all. But I get so many good recommendations in this post you do periodically! Yes, from the comments too.
    I’m one of those people that if I see that an author has a devoted following that lasts through an entire series, my first choice would be to acquire all or nearly all the titles in that series before I begin. I also like to read every thing they’ve written once I find an author I like. So, that said, I realize I’m way behind everyone else but I started reading Courtney Milan last month and plowed through the entire Sinister Brothers series. I so love her writing! I’m now on the Turner series.
    I’m a rereader too, so since I have company this weekend I didn’t want to be tempted to stay up late way past my bedtime and started a Georgette Heyer I love, on audio this time around. Doesn’t matter which one, does it?
    Thanks so much for the poetry recommendations everyone!

    Reply
  67. I have to repeat myself here, but I think it bears repeating, that this is always my favorite posts that The Wenches do. And that’s saying a lot because I love them all. But I get so many good recommendations in this post you do periodically! Yes, from the comments too.
    I’m one of those people that if I see that an author has a devoted following that lasts through an entire series, my first choice would be to acquire all or nearly all the titles in that series before I begin. I also like to read every thing they’ve written once I find an author I like. So, that said, I realize I’m way behind everyone else but I started reading Courtney Milan last month and plowed through the entire Sinister Brothers series. I so love her writing! I’m now on the Turner series.
    I’m a rereader too, so since I have company this weekend I didn’t want to be tempted to stay up late way past my bedtime and started a Georgette Heyer I love, on audio this time around. Doesn’t matter which one, does it?
    Thanks so much for the poetry recommendations everyone!

    Reply
  68. I have to repeat myself here, but I think it bears repeating, that this is always my favorite posts that The Wenches do. And that’s saying a lot because I love them all. But I get so many good recommendations in this post you do periodically! Yes, from the comments too.
    I’m one of those people that if I see that an author has a devoted following that lasts through an entire series, my first choice would be to acquire all or nearly all the titles in that series before I begin. I also like to read every thing they’ve written once I find an author I like. So, that said, I realize I’m way behind everyone else but I started reading Courtney Milan last month and plowed through the entire Sinister Brothers series. I so love her writing! I’m now on the Turner series.
    I’m a rereader too, so since I have company this weekend I didn’t want to be tempted to stay up late way past my bedtime and started a Georgette Heyer I love, on audio this time around. Doesn’t matter which one, does it?
    Thanks so much for the poetry recommendations everyone!

    Reply
  69. I have to repeat myself here, but I think it bears repeating, that this is always my favorite posts that The Wenches do. And that’s saying a lot because I love them all. But I get so many good recommendations in this post you do periodically! Yes, from the comments too.
    I’m one of those people that if I see that an author has a devoted following that lasts through an entire series, my first choice would be to acquire all or nearly all the titles in that series before I begin. I also like to read every thing they’ve written once I find an author I like. So, that said, I realize I’m way behind everyone else but I started reading Courtney Milan last month and plowed through the entire Sinister Brothers series. I so love her writing! I’m now on the Turner series.
    I’m a rereader too, so since I have company this weekend I didn’t want to be tempted to stay up late way past my bedtime and started a Georgette Heyer I love, on audio this time around. Doesn’t matter which one, does it?
    Thanks so much for the poetry recommendations everyone!

    Reply
  70. I have to repeat myself here, but I think it bears repeating, that this is always my favorite posts that The Wenches do. And that’s saying a lot because I love them all. But I get so many good recommendations in this post you do periodically! Yes, from the comments too.
    I’m one of those people that if I see that an author has a devoted following that lasts through an entire series, my first choice would be to acquire all or nearly all the titles in that series before I begin. I also like to read every thing they’ve written once I find an author I like. So, that said, I realize I’m way behind everyone else but I started reading Courtney Milan last month and plowed through the entire Sinister Brothers series. I so love her writing! I’m now on the Turner series.
    I’m a rereader too, so since I have company this weekend I didn’t want to be tempted to stay up late way past my bedtime and started a Georgette Heyer I love, on audio this time around. Doesn’t matter which one, does it?
    Thanks so much for the poetry recommendations everyone!

    Reply
  71. I’m so glad you enjoy the feature, Michelle. I feel exactly the same way—I discover so many great new books through both my fellow Wenches, and through our wonderful readers. There’s nothing more fun than talking books with other people who are passionate about stories and storytelling.

    Reply
  72. I’m so glad you enjoy the feature, Michelle. I feel exactly the same way—I discover so many great new books through both my fellow Wenches, and through our wonderful readers. There’s nothing more fun than talking books with other people who are passionate about stories and storytelling.

    Reply
  73. I’m so glad you enjoy the feature, Michelle. I feel exactly the same way—I discover so many great new books through both my fellow Wenches, and through our wonderful readers. There’s nothing more fun than talking books with other people who are passionate about stories and storytelling.

    Reply
  74. I’m so glad you enjoy the feature, Michelle. I feel exactly the same way—I discover so many great new books through both my fellow Wenches, and through our wonderful readers. There’s nothing more fun than talking books with other people who are passionate about stories and storytelling.

    Reply
  75. I’m so glad you enjoy the feature, Michelle. I feel exactly the same way—I discover so many great new books through both my fellow Wenches, and through our wonderful readers. There’s nothing more fun than talking books with other people who are passionate about stories and storytelling.

    Reply
  76. Thanks, Michelle — we wenches also love this monthly post, and invariably buy several of the recommendations before the post even hits the blog. And then I usually end up buying a few more of the reader recommendations from the comment stream.
    What can I say? — We are a community of book addicts. 😉

    Reply
  77. Thanks, Michelle — we wenches also love this monthly post, and invariably buy several of the recommendations before the post even hits the blog. And then I usually end up buying a few more of the reader recommendations from the comment stream.
    What can I say? — We are a community of book addicts. 😉

    Reply
  78. Thanks, Michelle — we wenches also love this monthly post, and invariably buy several of the recommendations before the post even hits the blog. And then I usually end up buying a few more of the reader recommendations from the comment stream.
    What can I say? — We are a community of book addicts. 😉

    Reply
  79. Thanks, Michelle — we wenches also love this monthly post, and invariably buy several of the recommendations before the post even hits the blog. And then I usually end up buying a few more of the reader recommendations from the comment stream.
    What can I say? — We are a community of book addicts. 😉

    Reply
  80. Thanks, Michelle — we wenches also love this monthly post, and invariably buy several of the recommendations before the post even hits the blog. And then I usually end up buying a few more of the reader recommendations from the comment stream.
    What can I say? — We are a community of book addicts. 😉

    Reply

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