books, fiction, The pile

Recent Reading Round-up

As you know, I don’t write reviews here for everything that I’ve read – for a variety of reasons including the fact that I read too much stuff for that, I have one of those full time jobs people talk about (and it’s shift work to boot), I have a theatre habit to maintain etc.  If you to know exactly what I’m reading – right-this-instant –  find me on Goodreads and you too can know what page I’m on of my latest book(s).  But sometimes there’s stuff that I’ve enjoyed, that I haven’t had a chance to mention on here – whether it’s because it’s not new, or because it hasn’t fit in with what I’m writing about, etc, so here’s me redressing the balance, with a few things that I’ve read recently – that I’ve enjoyed and would recommend.

You may have noticed from last month’s stats (and the weekly reading lists) that I’ve been on a bit of a Charlaine Harris reading jag at the moment.  Having finished the Sookie Stackhouse books, I’m working my way through both the Aurora Teagarden and Lily Bard series and have the first Harper Connelly book in the Harper Connelly series on the pile too.  I like them because they don’t really require much brain power – perfect for nightshift Verity – although the pre-Sookie series can be a bit old-fashioned/outdated in patches, and her sex scenes can be a bit… clunky.  Lily Bard is definitely the darkest series of hers that I’ve read so far, but it’s still not exactly horror territory.  Which is good because I get nightmares easily!  If you haven’t read any Harris – start with Sookie: it’s my favourite and although I know a lot of the die hard fans were unhappy with the final resolution, I was fine with the way it worked out in the end. Although I could’ve done without the final sex scene!

If you’re after something contemporary and you’ve read all the Charlaine Harris you can take (or you’re not a fan), thanks to NetGalley I got my hands on a copy of No Weddings – the first in a new series by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion. Focussing on bar owner and entrepreneur Cade and his attraction to cake baker Hannah – one of the suppliers to his new party business.  It’s steamy rather than romantic (so far at least) and if it’s a bit of a cliche to have lots of privileged rich twentieI enjoyed it – it was a bit different to my usual thing – and I have the second book in the series, One Funeral, waiting for me on my Kindle.

Meanwhile, I think I’ve read all of the Angela Thirkell’s that Virago Modern Classics has re-released. This makes me sad – because I want to read more and yet I want my copies to match the ones that I already have.  They’re inter-war set comedies – I mentioned Summer Half in my post about School-set books and I’ve really enjoyed the six that I’ve read.  They remind me of Nancy Mitford, but with some of the harder, darker edges taken off or the Provincial Lady diaries but with more characters and wider plots. If Virago could see fit to release some more in their delicious retro-but-modern covers that would be lovely.  Otherwise I’m going to have to start trawling the second hand stalls for them – but I know that as soon as I start doing that, Virago will decide to bring out more!

Alexander McCall Smith is one of those authors who is really prolific, but who has somehow passed me by a bit.  I mentioned in my Scottish books post that I had 44 Scotland Street on the shelf waiting to be read, and inspired by the referendum I finally got around to picking it up and I really enjoyed it.  The second book was a naughty purchase the other week, and it’s waiting for me on my to-read pile.  I’ve tried the Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency before and not got on with it, so I’m going to try some other series of his before I go back to that one and see how I get on.  As for 44 Scotland Street, it’s a bit like Tales of the City, except set in Edinburgh and with less bathhouses.

So, there you are – a snapshot of some of my recent reading – the only trouble is, I keep discovering new series that I like and then buying more of them, which of course doesn’t help reduce the pile…

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