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The Year in Rereading

This time last year I wrote a post about revisiting Gaudy Night. And in 2022 I included rereads in my total (for the first time?). And it’s been a year of revisiting old favourites. So it’s time to take a bit of a look back over one of the big themes of my reading year.

Firstly it should be said that I’m still listening to Gaudy Night fairly regularly. I could probably recite along with some of it by this point, but I’ve definitely done all the Peter and Harriet books a couple of times this year and I think I’ve listened to the whole series – just not as much. I’ve also worked my way back through many of the Alleyn mysteries but this time in audio. I haven’t read those anywhere near as much so it’s been interesting hearing them and noticing new things. I’d done some in abridged versions before but I’ve switched to the unabridged in the main now. Having watched all the BBC Miss Marples again this year, I’ve reread a few of them to remind myself of the changes in the adaptations. The same actually for some of the Alleyns and a Poirot or two after I read the book about the series.

This year I have also reread the entire Phryne Fisher series and binged two thirds of the Meg Langslow series in December alone. I’ve also done most of the Amelia Peabody series again in audio and all the Vicky Blisses (not in audio!). I’ve also revisited a bunch of Georgette Heyers as new audio versions have been published of ones that had narrators I hated before (like Devil’s Cub) or just plain weren’t available (Masqueraders).

A lot of the audiobook revisits have been because I’ve spent many more nights away from home in 2022 than I did in 2021 and so they’ve been my regular listens to get to sleep. I am very bad with silence at the best of times and I mostly stay in hostel dorms and I like to have something to listen to to block out what ever is happening in them. And that something needs to be something that I don’t have to concentrate too hard on and that I’m not so interested in that it will keep me awake. This means more often than not it’s something I’ve read before at least once.

And for that reason I expect the rereading to continue in 2023 – I’m in a hostel for most of this week because of train strikes so I expect I’ll be back to an old favourite to drown out the sound of the traffic on the Euston road!

bingeable series, Series I love

Series I Love: London Celebrities

I’ve been running a theatrical theme for a couple of weeks now so I thought I’d start the bank holiday weekend with a bingeable series of romance with a theatrical theme.

Lucy Parker’s London Celebrities books are a series of enemies to lovers type romances set in London – initially in the world of West End theatre but in the fourth and fifth in the series expanding a little to include asetting at a country house and then two rival TV producers and. They tend to have sunshiney heroines and grumpy heroes who are actually big softies underneath and plenty of charming banter. In fact several of them were Books of the Week when they came out and I’ve mentioned them all at some point before, but now I’m finally taking them as a group.

They’re all set in the same world and there is character cross over but – like many romance series – each story is selfcontained and features a different couple. Act Like It has a fake relationship between two co-stars who can’t stand each other to try and help a bad boy fix his image problem. Pretty Face has an actress who’s been pigeonholed as her man-stealing period drama character taking on a West End role and fighting with the director who doesn’t want to give her the part. Making Up has an understudy who takes over the leading role and a make-up artist who is working on thes show after his professional reputation took an unfair battering. The Austen Playbook has a daughter of an acting dynasty taking a role in a new Jane Austen TV series being filmed at the ancestral home of a descendant of someone her grandmother had an affair with. And Headliners has two rival TV presenters who are forced to work together on morning TV to save the show and save their careers. And don’t they all sound delicious? I mean I started reading the series again just to write this post, and that’s a bit of a disaster in itself to be honest, because I have a long list of things I’m meant to be reading and these aren’t on it.

You should be able to get them on all the usual ebook platforms – there’s even an omnibus edition of the first three if you’re feeling ready to commit. Also Lucy Parker’s newest novel Battle Royal – which was a Book of the Week here almost exactly a year ago – is £1.99 at the moment. No news yet on when the sequel to that one is coming though…