What We’ve Read in May. . .

Anne here, with our regular end-of-the-month wenchly feature, What We've Read. We wenches talk books all the time, and since most of my favorite authors have come to me through recommendations from friends, it's a feature I really enjoy. It's also a chance for wenchly readers to chime in with their reads of the month and the chat in the comment stream is always something I look forward to.

Let's start with Cara/Andrea:

Greenblat_swerveWhat with various things on the home front and starting a new book, life has been a little crazy this month. So I've been a little slower than usual in making a dent in my TBR pile. I have however, just started a book I've been meaning to read for a long time, having read a number of good reviews about it. I'm not that far into it, but so far "The Swerve—How the World Became Modern" is proving delightfully original, entertaining and thought-provoking.

The author, Harvard humanities professor Stephen Greenblatt, holds that the discovery during the Renaissance of an ancient poem by Lucretius, which contained a number of fascinating ideas, greatly influenced Western thought in a variety of disciplines, and thus changed the course of history. A "Swerve," which is defined as an unforeseen deviation from a direct trajectory, are those unexpected, unpredictable moments—like the discovery of the manuscript— which have momentous significance in all facets of life.

I love his playful thinking right now, and can't wait to see how he develops and applies this idea. The book was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize in Non-Fiction and I can see why. Am hoping to get some serious reading time soon so I really really dive into it. 

Jo reports thus:
MorningChronMy fiction this month has been authors I've mentioned in other WWR posts, and 
my non-fiction dips here and there for research. I did spend a bit of time 
going through the Morning Chronicle for spring 1817 on line, to see exactly 
what was going on, what was being debated in Parliament (as my heroine mentions that in passing.) An unexpected treasure (one of the joys of research) was the listings of social events. I shared the ones I'd transcribed in my Wench blog on Monday.


Most public libraries give members access to on line resources, and they're 
well worth exploring. I found the above in the Newspaper Archive.

Nicola says: SacredLand
May is always a good month for new books for me because it's the time of my local literary festival. This year I went to some brilliant talks on all sorts of topics from Jane Austen to genetics! One book I picked up was Sacred Land by Martin Palmer.  

It is about the landscape of Britain and what it can tell us about the people of these islands and what they have believed in through thousands of years. It looks at how the British have expressed their beliefs with stone circles and holy wells and many other sacred sites. The book is full of fascinating facts such as the number of rivers that are named after ancient gods and goddesses, how so many British towns and cities are laid out on a sacred pattern and how even the smallest clue like the name of the village pub can tell you something about history. I love myths and legends and this book showed me that the history of Britain can be read in the landscape all around me.  

I'm going on holiday in a few weeks and that will be my chance to catch up on my fiction reading. In the pile I have Eloise by Judy Finnegan, which has been compared to Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca, Gone, Girl by Gillian Flynn and A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare. I can't wait for my reading time!

Mary Jo says:
Shareindeath I’ve recently read several Deborah Crombie  mysteries, inspired by Anne’s mention when she read the first and liked it. Crombie is an American who writes very good British police procedurals featuring Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, both detectives for Scotland Yard.  As always, my interest is character, and these are fine characters.  In the first book, A Share in Death, Duncan is on vacation in a converted great house condo in Yorkshire while Gemma, his new sergeant, is back in London.    

NomarkuponherThat first book reads like a good, classic English manor house mystery, with a limited cast of suspects.  It was traditional, but good enough that I picked up one of her most recent books. No Mark Upon Her.  And it was brilliant.  Set in the world of rowing in Henley on Thames, it takes the reader deep into an incredibly demanding sport with powerful historic and social roots.  She makes you feel the peace of skimming over the water, the incredible pain of competitive rowing.  In other words, Deborah Crombie grew tremendously as a writer of the course of 15 or so novels.    

I’m not going to recommend a particular book.  If you’re like me, you might want to start at the beginning of the series so you can see the characters grow and change.  (Which Duncan and Gemma do well.)  Or you might want to just pick up a later book, and let Deborah Crombie take you to England. <G>

Joanna says:
ImaginarylandsWhen I'm writing very hard, which I have been lately, I try to read outside the genre.  Somehow falling into someone else's great Romance messes up my own thoughts and ideas. 

And whatever I pick up I'm going to have to put down when the bathwater gets cold, so I don't want a long, complex tale.

So I picked myself up a Fantasy anthology.  Imaginary Lands.  This dates back to 1985.  Does it say something about my TBR pile that I have books from 1985 in it?  This is nine short stories by nine major hitters in Fantasy, including Robin McKinley, Patricia McKillip, and James Blaylock.

Lots of worldbuilding in these.  Lyric and atmospheric stuff. 

What Susan's Reading: Trueghoststories
This month, I'm grazing through some TBR books. I zipped through Echo Bodine's The Little Book of True Ghost Stories — I'm a sucker for ghost stories. Real ghost stories, even better. This little book is a fun read and a nice complement to a really fascinating book, The Calling by Kim O'Neill — reads like fiction, but it's not; she sees angels, talks to them, and I'm perfectly fine with that. To top it off, Kim is a good writer, and she maintains a fictiony sort of pace. Very interesting stuff, and it's all going into the hopper as I research some ideas for my own work.

EleganceHedgehogAs for fiction, I'll read just about anything, but I do tend to put books down rather quickly and move on if they don't grab me and hold me past a few chapters. So I've got stacks of books that honestly – I've never finished. I don't force myself to keep going. I just flit past and look for another flower, for that magical combination of great writing and great story and characters, or at any rate, for what truly suits me as a reader.

At the insistence of a friend whose reading tastes I trust, I've just picked up The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery — and I'm finding it, so far, to be an elegant read, a little Eloise, a little I Capture the Castle (two of my all-time favorite books!) It's quirky, interesting, charming and unpredictable, and the writing is wonderful. I'll keep going with this one, I think.    

Anne again. Untamed

Like Mary Jo, I've been reading Deborah Crombie and enjoying discovering an author with a substantial backlist.  I'm taking it slowly, and am up to book no.8 in the series, reading them in order.

As it happens my standout read for the month was a debut book — Untamed, by Anna Cowan. It's only available as an e-book, and my copy came from the publisher with a request for a quote. My caveat with quotes is that if I don't genuinely like something I won't quote on it. Well, I didn't just like it, I loved it. It's not at all your average historical romance — it's original, wildly unconventional, clever, fresh, a little awkward in places, and fun. The writing is beautiful —some passages I frankly envied— and though the start is a little slow, a spell is woven and it gradually becomes utterly unputdownable. I read it in a gulp and it's stayed with me for ages. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it was certainly mine. 

So, now, over to you, dear readers — what books have you read and enjoyed this month? Do you enjoy an author with a good long backlist or are you also excited to read debut books? Let's talk books…

75 thoughts on “What We’ve Read in May. . .”

  1. I’ve read some chick lit, historical romance, contemporary romance – you name it. Reading is my passion and I’ve set a goal of reading and reviewing 100 books at Goodreads this year. So far, I’m on target. I see so many delicious books to read here and everywhere and I only wish I had two sets of eyes. 🙂
    Happy Summer Reading to everyone!
    Connie Fischer
    conniecape@aol.com

    Reply
  2. I’ve read some chick lit, historical romance, contemporary romance – you name it. Reading is my passion and I’ve set a goal of reading and reviewing 100 books at Goodreads this year. So far, I’m on target. I see so many delicious books to read here and everywhere and I only wish I had two sets of eyes. 🙂
    Happy Summer Reading to everyone!
    Connie Fischer
    conniecape@aol.com

    Reply
  3. I’ve read some chick lit, historical romance, contemporary romance – you name it. Reading is my passion and I’ve set a goal of reading and reviewing 100 books at Goodreads this year. So far, I’m on target. I see so many delicious books to read here and everywhere and I only wish I had two sets of eyes. 🙂
    Happy Summer Reading to everyone!
    Connie Fischer
    conniecape@aol.com

    Reply
  4. I’ve read some chick lit, historical romance, contemporary romance – you name it. Reading is my passion and I’ve set a goal of reading and reviewing 100 books at Goodreads this year. So far, I’m on target. I see so many delicious books to read here and everywhere and I only wish I had two sets of eyes. 🙂
    Happy Summer Reading to everyone!
    Connie Fischer
    conniecape@aol.com

    Reply
  5. I’ve read some chick lit, historical romance, contemporary romance – you name it. Reading is my passion and I’ve set a goal of reading and reviewing 100 books at Goodreads this year. So far, I’m on target. I see so many delicious books to read here and everywhere and I only wish I had two sets of eyes. 🙂
    Happy Summer Reading to everyone!
    Connie Fischer
    conniecape@aol.com

    Reply
  6. Wow, Connie, what a great thing to do. I’d easily read that many books — reading is my relaxation of choice — but as for reviewing. Nope. Not for me.
    Keep us posted with your recommendations – the wenches share their reading at the end of every month, and we love it when we get recommendations from readers.

    Reply
  7. Wow, Connie, what a great thing to do. I’d easily read that many books — reading is my relaxation of choice — but as for reviewing. Nope. Not for me.
    Keep us posted with your recommendations – the wenches share their reading at the end of every month, and we love it when we get recommendations from readers.

    Reply
  8. Wow, Connie, what a great thing to do. I’d easily read that many books — reading is my relaxation of choice — but as for reviewing. Nope. Not for me.
    Keep us posted with your recommendations – the wenches share their reading at the end of every month, and we love it when we get recommendations from readers.

    Reply
  9. Wow, Connie, what a great thing to do. I’d easily read that many books — reading is my relaxation of choice — but as for reviewing. Nope. Not for me.
    Keep us posted with your recommendations – the wenches share their reading at the end of every month, and we love it when we get recommendations from readers.

    Reply
  10. Wow, Connie, what a great thing to do. I’d easily read that many books — reading is my relaxation of choice — but as for reviewing. Nope. Not for me.
    Keep us posted with your recommendations – the wenches share their reading at the end of every month, and we love it when we get recommendations from readers.

    Reply
  11. The Southwest Corner by Mildred Walker–a poignant and funny tale of an aging woman trying to ease her last years–quite touching yet trenchant at the same time. Published 1951. I just discovered this author by means of another’s recommendation!

    Reply
  12. The Southwest Corner by Mildred Walker–a poignant and funny tale of an aging woman trying to ease her last years–quite touching yet trenchant at the same time. Published 1951. I just discovered this author by means of another’s recommendation!

    Reply
  13. The Southwest Corner by Mildred Walker–a poignant and funny tale of an aging woman trying to ease her last years–quite touching yet trenchant at the same time. Published 1951. I just discovered this author by means of another’s recommendation!

    Reply
  14. The Southwest Corner by Mildred Walker–a poignant and funny tale of an aging woman trying to ease her last years–quite touching yet trenchant at the same time. Published 1951. I just discovered this author by means of another’s recommendation!

    Reply
  15. The Southwest Corner by Mildred Walker–a poignant and funny tale of an aging woman trying to ease her last years–quite touching yet trenchant at the same time. Published 1951. I just discovered this author by means of another’s recommendation!

    Reply
  16. By chance I have also read Crombie’s No Mark Upon Her these last few days, and liked it. I also finally got around to Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen as well as I Am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley, both of which I found pleasant and amusing.

    Reply
  17. By chance I have also read Crombie’s No Mark Upon Her these last few days, and liked it. I also finally got around to Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen as well as I Am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley, both of which I found pleasant and amusing.

    Reply
  18. By chance I have also read Crombie’s No Mark Upon Her these last few days, and liked it. I also finally got around to Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen as well as I Am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley, both of which I found pleasant and amusing.

    Reply
  19. By chance I have also read Crombie’s No Mark Upon Her these last few days, and liked it. I also finally got around to Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen as well as I Am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley, both of which I found pleasant and amusing.

    Reply
  20. By chance I have also read Crombie’s No Mark Upon Her these last few days, and liked it. I also finally got around to Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen as well as I Am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley, both of which I found pleasant and amusing.

    Reply
  21. Hi All
    I love hearing what other people are reading it always makes my list get bigger LOL.
    I have just finished a great book by Australian author Jennifer Brassel Secret Reflection this has a bit of history contemporary paranormal suspense and I loved it from start to finish this one had me intrigued and I highly recommend it. I have the Anna Cowan book on my e reader and I lokk forward to reading it 🙂
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  22. Hi All
    I love hearing what other people are reading it always makes my list get bigger LOL.
    I have just finished a great book by Australian author Jennifer Brassel Secret Reflection this has a bit of history contemporary paranormal suspense and I loved it from start to finish this one had me intrigued and I highly recommend it. I have the Anna Cowan book on my e reader and I lokk forward to reading it 🙂
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  23. Hi All
    I love hearing what other people are reading it always makes my list get bigger LOL.
    I have just finished a great book by Australian author Jennifer Brassel Secret Reflection this has a bit of history contemporary paranormal suspense and I loved it from start to finish this one had me intrigued and I highly recommend it. I have the Anna Cowan book on my e reader and I lokk forward to reading it 🙂
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  24. Hi All
    I love hearing what other people are reading it always makes my list get bigger LOL.
    I have just finished a great book by Australian author Jennifer Brassel Secret Reflection this has a bit of history contemporary paranormal suspense and I loved it from start to finish this one had me intrigued and I highly recommend it. I have the Anna Cowan book on my e reader and I lokk forward to reading it 🙂
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  25. Hi All
    I love hearing what other people are reading it always makes my list get bigger LOL.
    I have just finished a great book by Australian author Jennifer Brassel Secret Reflection this has a bit of history contemporary paranormal suspense and I loved it from start to finish this one had me intrigued and I highly recommend it. I have the Anna Cowan book on my e reader and I lokk forward to reading it 🙂
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  26. I’ve been reading lots of crime and thrillers. One which I absolutely loved was Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman with a heroine who is a 59 year old recently married, recently retired FBI agent who gets caught up in a serial killer case. It’s fantastic to read about an older heroine who still is active and has sex (it’s a bedroom door closed book but you know what I mean). I couldn’t put it down.

    Reply
  27. I’ve been reading lots of crime and thrillers. One which I absolutely loved was Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman with a heroine who is a 59 year old recently married, recently retired FBI agent who gets caught up in a serial killer case. It’s fantastic to read about an older heroine who still is active and has sex (it’s a bedroom door closed book but you know what I mean). I couldn’t put it down.

    Reply
  28. I’ve been reading lots of crime and thrillers. One which I absolutely loved was Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman with a heroine who is a 59 year old recently married, recently retired FBI agent who gets caught up in a serial killer case. It’s fantastic to read about an older heroine who still is active and has sex (it’s a bedroom door closed book but you know what I mean). I couldn’t put it down.

    Reply
  29. I’ve been reading lots of crime and thrillers. One which I absolutely loved was Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman with a heroine who is a 59 year old recently married, recently retired FBI agent who gets caught up in a serial killer case. It’s fantastic to read about an older heroine who still is active and has sex (it’s a bedroom door closed book but you know what I mean). I couldn’t put it down.

    Reply
  30. I’ve been reading lots of crime and thrillers. One which I absolutely loved was Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman with a heroine who is a 59 year old recently married, recently retired FBI agent who gets caught up in a serial killer case. It’s fantastic to read about an older heroine who still is active and has sex (it’s a bedroom door closed book but you know what I mean). I couldn’t put it down.

    Reply
  31. I just finished Mary Balogh’s The Proposal. Darn her, she kept me up all night. Again! LOVED it.
    I am working hard to wrap up revisions of a manuscript I need to send out on request so I haven’t been reading much these past few weeks. I’ve read some chapters in Hackwood’s Inns, Ales and Drinking Customs of Old England for research purposes.
    And I am still putting together my workshop on the musical education of young ladies for the Beau Monde mini conference in Atlanta. Men, Women and Pianos is one of the books I’ve been reading as research.
    My TBR stack is beyond huge. When I finish these revisions I hope to read the latest C.S. Harris What Darkness Brings.

    Reply
  32. I just finished Mary Balogh’s The Proposal. Darn her, she kept me up all night. Again! LOVED it.
    I am working hard to wrap up revisions of a manuscript I need to send out on request so I haven’t been reading much these past few weeks. I’ve read some chapters in Hackwood’s Inns, Ales and Drinking Customs of Old England for research purposes.
    And I am still putting together my workshop on the musical education of young ladies for the Beau Monde mini conference in Atlanta. Men, Women and Pianos is one of the books I’ve been reading as research.
    My TBR stack is beyond huge. When I finish these revisions I hope to read the latest C.S. Harris What Darkness Brings.

    Reply
  33. I just finished Mary Balogh’s The Proposal. Darn her, she kept me up all night. Again! LOVED it.
    I am working hard to wrap up revisions of a manuscript I need to send out on request so I haven’t been reading much these past few weeks. I’ve read some chapters in Hackwood’s Inns, Ales and Drinking Customs of Old England for research purposes.
    And I am still putting together my workshop on the musical education of young ladies for the Beau Monde mini conference in Atlanta. Men, Women and Pianos is one of the books I’ve been reading as research.
    My TBR stack is beyond huge. When I finish these revisions I hope to read the latest C.S. Harris What Darkness Brings.

    Reply
  34. I just finished Mary Balogh’s The Proposal. Darn her, she kept me up all night. Again! LOVED it.
    I am working hard to wrap up revisions of a manuscript I need to send out on request so I haven’t been reading much these past few weeks. I’ve read some chapters in Hackwood’s Inns, Ales and Drinking Customs of Old England for research purposes.
    And I am still putting together my workshop on the musical education of young ladies for the Beau Monde mini conference in Atlanta. Men, Women and Pianos is one of the books I’ve been reading as research.
    My TBR stack is beyond huge. When I finish these revisions I hope to read the latest C.S. Harris What Darkness Brings.

    Reply
  35. I just finished Mary Balogh’s The Proposal. Darn her, she kept me up all night. Again! LOVED it.
    I am working hard to wrap up revisions of a manuscript I need to send out on request so I haven’t been reading much these past few weeks. I’ve read some chapters in Hackwood’s Inns, Ales and Drinking Customs of Old England for research purposes.
    And I am still putting together my workshop on the musical education of young ladies for the Beau Monde mini conference in Atlanta. Men, Women and Pianos is one of the books I’ve been reading as research.
    My TBR stack is beyond huge. When I finish these revisions I hope to read the latest C.S. Harris What Darkness Brings.

    Reply
  36. I’m another who likes the Rhys Bowen Royal Spyness mysteries. For a long time, I was kind of off mysteries since so many were kind of grim, but now I’ve got several series I’m following, by Deborah Grabien, Deborah Crombie, Rhys Bowen, Carola Dunn–probably a couple of more if I could remember them!
    Of course, our Wench reading posts just add to the possibilities!

    Reply
  37. I’m another who likes the Rhys Bowen Royal Spyness mysteries. For a long time, I was kind of off mysteries since so many were kind of grim, but now I’ve got several series I’m following, by Deborah Grabien, Deborah Crombie, Rhys Bowen, Carola Dunn–probably a couple of more if I could remember them!
    Of course, our Wench reading posts just add to the possibilities!

    Reply
  38. I’m another who likes the Rhys Bowen Royal Spyness mysteries. For a long time, I was kind of off mysteries since so many were kind of grim, but now I’ve got several series I’m following, by Deborah Grabien, Deborah Crombie, Rhys Bowen, Carola Dunn–probably a couple of more if I could remember them!
    Of course, our Wench reading posts just add to the possibilities!

    Reply
  39. I’m another who likes the Rhys Bowen Royal Spyness mysteries. For a long time, I was kind of off mysteries since so many were kind of grim, but now I’ve got several series I’m following, by Deborah Grabien, Deborah Crombie, Rhys Bowen, Carola Dunn–probably a couple of more if I could remember them!
    Of course, our Wench reading posts just add to the possibilities!

    Reply
  40. I’m another who likes the Rhys Bowen Royal Spyness mysteries. For a long time, I was kind of off mysteries since so many were kind of grim, but now I’ve got several series I’m following, by Deborah Grabien, Deborah Crombie, Rhys Bowen, Carola Dunn–probably a couple of more if I could remember them!
    Of course, our Wench reading posts just add to the possibilities!

    Reply
  41. Thanks, Beatriz — sounds like an interesting read. Personal recommendations are the best, aren’t they?
    Maria, I was put on to Rhys Bowen by Mary Jo and I enjoyed them. I haven’t read that one , so thanks for the reminder. Another crime writer I love is Elly Griffiths.
    Helen, thanks for that recommendation — history, contemporary, paranormal and suspense —sound like there’s a lot in there to enjoy.
    Keziah, thanks for the recommendation — I’ve just ordered Rage Against the Dying.
    Louise, that Mary Balogh — you can count on her to keep you up every time, can’t you? Love her books. And C.S. Harris is superb. As for your Atlanta workshop, sigh, I’ve just had to pull out of going. 🙁

    Reply
  42. Thanks, Beatriz — sounds like an interesting read. Personal recommendations are the best, aren’t they?
    Maria, I was put on to Rhys Bowen by Mary Jo and I enjoyed them. I haven’t read that one , so thanks for the reminder. Another crime writer I love is Elly Griffiths.
    Helen, thanks for that recommendation — history, contemporary, paranormal and suspense —sound like there’s a lot in there to enjoy.
    Keziah, thanks for the recommendation — I’ve just ordered Rage Against the Dying.
    Louise, that Mary Balogh — you can count on her to keep you up every time, can’t you? Love her books. And C.S. Harris is superb. As for your Atlanta workshop, sigh, I’ve just had to pull out of going. 🙁

    Reply
  43. Thanks, Beatriz — sounds like an interesting read. Personal recommendations are the best, aren’t they?
    Maria, I was put on to Rhys Bowen by Mary Jo and I enjoyed them. I haven’t read that one , so thanks for the reminder. Another crime writer I love is Elly Griffiths.
    Helen, thanks for that recommendation — history, contemporary, paranormal and suspense —sound like there’s a lot in there to enjoy.
    Keziah, thanks for the recommendation — I’ve just ordered Rage Against the Dying.
    Louise, that Mary Balogh — you can count on her to keep you up every time, can’t you? Love her books. And C.S. Harris is superb. As for your Atlanta workshop, sigh, I’ve just had to pull out of going. 🙁

    Reply
  44. Thanks, Beatriz — sounds like an interesting read. Personal recommendations are the best, aren’t they?
    Maria, I was put on to Rhys Bowen by Mary Jo and I enjoyed them. I haven’t read that one , so thanks for the reminder. Another crime writer I love is Elly Griffiths.
    Helen, thanks for that recommendation — history, contemporary, paranormal and suspense —sound like there’s a lot in there to enjoy.
    Keziah, thanks for the recommendation — I’ve just ordered Rage Against the Dying.
    Louise, that Mary Balogh — you can count on her to keep you up every time, can’t you? Love her books. And C.S. Harris is superb. As for your Atlanta workshop, sigh, I’ve just had to pull out of going. 🙁

    Reply
  45. Thanks, Beatriz — sounds like an interesting read. Personal recommendations are the best, aren’t they?
    Maria, I was put on to Rhys Bowen by Mary Jo and I enjoyed them. I haven’t read that one , so thanks for the reminder. Another crime writer I love is Elly Griffiths.
    Helen, thanks for that recommendation — history, contemporary, paranormal and suspense —sound like there’s a lot in there to enjoy.
    Keziah, thanks for the recommendation — I’ve just ordered Rage Against the Dying.
    Louise, that Mary Balogh — you can count on her to keep you up every time, can’t you? Love her books. And C.S. Harris is superb. As for your Atlanta workshop, sigh, I’ve just had to pull out of going. 🙁

    Reply
  46. The most memorable book I read this month was The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn. I thought she caught the tone, ambience and substance of novels in that period just before and after WW1 very well. I suppose it was published to appeal to the audience that loves Downton Abbey, and I was afraid it would be like some others I’ve read in which it seemed the author had watched half a dozen episodes and said, hey, I can do that too. But it’s not — it’s very carefully crafted and very atmospheric. My mother and her sisters were of that generation; novels which are too modern ring false to me because I learned the mindset from them. Anyway, I liked this one very much and would recommend it. And it’s even a romance 😉
    Now reading Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal — which is one of those that feels too modern to me but which is entertaining anyway.
    I agree with Louisa that The Proposal is very good, one of Balogh’s better more recent ones. I read it when it came out in hard cover. Not buying the paperback with that awful generic studmuffin cover though!

    Reply
  47. The most memorable book I read this month was The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn. I thought she caught the tone, ambience and substance of novels in that period just before and after WW1 very well. I suppose it was published to appeal to the audience that loves Downton Abbey, and I was afraid it would be like some others I’ve read in which it seemed the author had watched half a dozen episodes and said, hey, I can do that too. But it’s not — it’s very carefully crafted and very atmospheric. My mother and her sisters were of that generation; novels which are too modern ring false to me because I learned the mindset from them. Anyway, I liked this one very much and would recommend it. And it’s even a romance 😉
    Now reading Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal — which is one of those that feels too modern to me but which is entertaining anyway.
    I agree with Louisa that The Proposal is very good, one of Balogh’s better more recent ones. I read it when it came out in hard cover. Not buying the paperback with that awful generic studmuffin cover though!

    Reply
  48. The most memorable book I read this month was The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn. I thought she caught the tone, ambience and substance of novels in that period just before and after WW1 very well. I suppose it was published to appeal to the audience that loves Downton Abbey, and I was afraid it would be like some others I’ve read in which it seemed the author had watched half a dozen episodes and said, hey, I can do that too. But it’s not — it’s very carefully crafted and very atmospheric. My mother and her sisters were of that generation; novels which are too modern ring false to me because I learned the mindset from them. Anyway, I liked this one very much and would recommend it. And it’s even a romance 😉
    Now reading Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal — which is one of those that feels too modern to me but which is entertaining anyway.
    I agree with Louisa that The Proposal is very good, one of Balogh’s better more recent ones. I read it when it came out in hard cover. Not buying the paperback with that awful generic studmuffin cover though!

    Reply
  49. The most memorable book I read this month was The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn. I thought she caught the tone, ambience and substance of novels in that period just before and after WW1 very well. I suppose it was published to appeal to the audience that loves Downton Abbey, and I was afraid it would be like some others I’ve read in which it seemed the author had watched half a dozen episodes and said, hey, I can do that too. But it’s not — it’s very carefully crafted and very atmospheric. My mother and her sisters were of that generation; novels which are too modern ring false to me because I learned the mindset from them. Anyway, I liked this one very much and would recommend it. And it’s even a romance 😉
    Now reading Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal — which is one of those that feels too modern to me but which is entertaining anyway.
    I agree with Louisa that The Proposal is very good, one of Balogh’s better more recent ones. I read it when it came out in hard cover. Not buying the paperback with that awful generic studmuffin cover though!

    Reply
  50. The most memorable book I read this month was The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn. I thought she caught the tone, ambience and substance of novels in that period just before and after WW1 very well. I suppose it was published to appeal to the audience that loves Downton Abbey, and I was afraid it would be like some others I’ve read in which it seemed the author had watched half a dozen episodes and said, hey, I can do that too. But it’s not — it’s very carefully crafted and very atmospheric. My mother and her sisters were of that generation; novels which are too modern ring false to me because I learned the mindset from them. Anyway, I liked this one very much and would recommend it. And it’s even a romance 😉
    Now reading Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal — which is one of those that feels too modern to me but which is entertaining anyway.
    I agree with Louisa that The Proposal is very good, one of Balogh’s better more recent ones. I read it when it came out in hard cover. Not buying the paperback with that awful generic studmuffin cover though!

    Reply
  51. Janice, your description of Judith Kinghorn’s Last Summer whetted my appetite and I’ve just ordered it. Thank you.
    It took me ages to watch the first series of Downton Abbey — I’d missed the first few episodes when it was on TV and never got onto it. But when I was in the US a couple of years ago I saw the DVD on special and bought it. When I finally watched it I really enjoyed it.
    I haven’t heard of Susan Elia MacNeal, but I’ll keep a look out. Thanks.

    Reply
  52. Janice, your description of Judith Kinghorn’s Last Summer whetted my appetite and I’ve just ordered it. Thank you.
    It took me ages to watch the first series of Downton Abbey — I’d missed the first few episodes when it was on TV and never got onto it. But when I was in the US a couple of years ago I saw the DVD on special and bought it. When I finally watched it I really enjoyed it.
    I haven’t heard of Susan Elia MacNeal, but I’ll keep a look out. Thanks.

    Reply
  53. Janice, your description of Judith Kinghorn’s Last Summer whetted my appetite and I’ve just ordered it. Thank you.
    It took me ages to watch the first series of Downton Abbey — I’d missed the first few episodes when it was on TV and never got onto it. But when I was in the US a couple of years ago I saw the DVD on special and bought it. When I finally watched it I really enjoyed it.
    I haven’t heard of Susan Elia MacNeal, but I’ll keep a look out. Thanks.

    Reply
  54. Janice, your description of Judith Kinghorn’s Last Summer whetted my appetite and I’ve just ordered it. Thank you.
    It took me ages to watch the first series of Downton Abbey — I’d missed the first few episodes when it was on TV and never got onto it. But when I was in the US a couple of years ago I saw the DVD on special and bought it. When I finally watched it I really enjoyed it.
    I haven’t heard of Susan Elia MacNeal, but I’ll keep a look out. Thanks.

    Reply
  55. Janice, your description of Judith Kinghorn’s Last Summer whetted my appetite and I’ve just ordered it. Thank you.
    It took me ages to watch the first series of Downton Abbey — I’d missed the first few episodes when it was on TV and never got onto it. But when I was in the US a couple of years ago I saw the DVD on special and bought it. When I finally watched it I really enjoyed it.
    I haven’t heard of Susan Elia MacNeal, but I’ll keep a look out. Thanks.

    Reply
  56. Having just spent a week in the beautiful Dordogne region of France where unfortunately the weather was no better than it has been here in Dorset I have grazed my way thru several of Mary Jo Putneys Lost Lords series and some of Jo Beverley’s Rogues and enjoyed them all.Now I am onto a modern chick lit I suppose -The Desperate Brides Diet Club by Alison Sherlock I am really enjoying it tho it does make me regret some of those French croissants not to mention the cheese and red wine!

    Reply
  57. Having just spent a week in the beautiful Dordogne region of France where unfortunately the weather was no better than it has been here in Dorset I have grazed my way thru several of Mary Jo Putneys Lost Lords series and some of Jo Beverley’s Rogues and enjoyed them all.Now I am onto a modern chick lit I suppose -The Desperate Brides Diet Club by Alison Sherlock I am really enjoying it tho it does make me regret some of those French croissants not to mention the cheese and red wine!

    Reply
  58. Having just spent a week in the beautiful Dordogne region of France where unfortunately the weather was no better than it has been here in Dorset I have grazed my way thru several of Mary Jo Putneys Lost Lords series and some of Jo Beverley’s Rogues and enjoyed them all.Now I am onto a modern chick lit I suppose -The Desperate Brides Diet Club by Alison Sherlock I am really enjoying it tho it does make me regret some of those French croissants not to mention the cheese and red wine!

    Reply
  59. Having just spent a week in the beautiful Dordogne region of France where unfortunately the weather was no better than it has been here in Dorset I have grazed my way thru several of Mary Jo Putneys Lost Lords series and some of Jo Beverley’s Rogues and enjoyed them all.Now I am onto a modern chick lit I suppose -The Desperate Brides Diet Club by Alison Sherlock I am really enjoying it tho it does make me regret some of those French croissants not to mention the cheese and red wine!

    Reply
  60. Having just spent a week in the beautiful Dordogne region of France where unfortunately the weather was no better than it has been here in Dorset I have grazed my way thru several of Mary Jo Putneys Lost Lords series and some of Jo Beverley’s Rogues and enjoyed them all.Now I am onto a modern chick lit I suppose -The Desperate Brides Diet Club by Alison Sherlock I am really enjoying it tho it does make me regret some of those French croissants not to mention the cheese and red wine!

    Reply
  61. I enjoyed The Elegance of the Hedgehog a few years ago. It was out of my comfort zone, but I did enjoy it. Deborah Crombie is a new to me author and I started with No Mark Upon Her -= it will not be my last. I have just started The Proposal, my first by that author. I also just finished rereading all the Mrs. Pollifaz stories by Dorothy Gilman – first to last! Also reading some old Hugh Pentecost books. Also reading A Jane Austin Education.

    Reply
  62. I enjoyed The Elegance of the Hedgehog a few years ago. It was out of my comfort zone, but I did enjoy it. Deborah Crombie is a new to me author and I started with No Mark Upon Her -= it will not be my last. I have just started The Proposal, my first by that author. I also just finished rereading all the Mrs. Pollifaz stories by Dorothy Gilman – first to last! Also reading some old Hugh Pentecost books. Also reading A Jane Austin Education.

    Reply
  63. I enjoyed The Elegance of the Hedgehog a few years ago. It was out of my comfort zone, but I did enjoy it. Deborah Crombie is a new to me author and I started with No Mark Upon Her -= it will not be my last. I have just started The Proposal, my first by that author. I also just finished rereading all the Mrs. Pollifaz stories by Dorothy Gilman – first to last! Also reading some old Hugh Pentecost books. Also reading A Jane Austin Education.

    Reply
  64. I enjoyed The Elegance of the Hedgehog a few years ago. It was out of my comfort zone, but I did enjoy it. Deborah Crombie is a new to me author and I started with No Mark Upon Her -= it will not be my last. I have just started The Proposal, my first by that author. I also just finished rereading all the Mrs. Pollifaz stories by Dorothy Gilman – first to last! Also reading some old Hugh Pentecost books. Also reading A Jane Austin Education.

    Reply
  65. I enjoyed The Elegance of the Hedgehog a few years ago. It was out of my comfort zone, but I did enjoy it. Deborah Crombie is a new to me author and I started with No Mark Upon Her -= it will not be my last. I have just started The Proposal, my first by that author. I also just finished rereading all the Mrs. Pollifaz stories by Dorothy Gilman – first to last! Also reading some old Hugh Pentecost books. Also reading A Jane Austin Education.

    Reply

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