book round-ups, The pile

Quarter year end

The first three months of the year are coming to an end and I’ve been doing a bit of reflection on 2022 so far. Obviously my recent bought of Covid is right at the top of mind, but before that happened life was starting to feel a bit more normal – I was going to the theatre, meeting up with friends and making plans to go places and to fill the ticket box.

On the book front, I’ve read some really good stuff – and I’ve got some more interesting stuff preordered. We haven’t had a holiday yet this year, so I haven’t had a chance to do any lounging around in the sun reading a stack of books but that will come I’m sure. I’m not sure I’ve made massive progress down the physical to read pile, but I don’t think it’s for any bigger! Anyway here are some of my favourite books that I’ve read so far this year – that aren’t from part way through a long series or re-reads!

Fiction : Well Matched, The Prize Racket, The Maid, The Two Mrs Abbotts, Playing for Love and The Family You Make.

Non fiction: Vanderbilt!

Authors I love, books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: March 7 – March 13

So I didn’t go to the theatre last week, but it was another busy one. A real mix of reading too – with a few library books coming due that I finished off and more of the aforementioned Sookie Stackhouse reread as well. Probably not making as much progress on the NetGalley list as I should be so might have to tackle that a bit more this week…

Read:

Summer Nights with a Cowboy by Caitlin Crews*

Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claibourne Johnson

The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict

Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

Started:

The Editor by Steven Rowley

The Family You Make by Jill Shalvis

The Radical Element ed Jessica Spotswood*

It Takes Two by Cathy Newman*

Still reading:

The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky*

Worn by Sofi Thanhauser*

Paper Lion by George Plimpton

Fire Court by Andrew Taylor*

The Start of Something by Miranda Dickinson*

I had a mega book buying spree – Virago were doing their designer hardbacks at fifty percent off and I filled in a few gaps in the collection. I just couldn’t help myself.

Bonus photo: I know, not the most exciting picture this week, but at least it looks a bit like spring is coming – this was Fitzroy Square on the walk to work last week!

 

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley. ** indicates it was an advance copy from a source other than NetGalley

 

Authors I love, books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: February 28 – March 6

As I mentioned on Saturday, this week hasn’t really been any better than last week and was certainly as busy. I’m still deep into the mystery and romance section of my tbr shelves (physical and virtual) because I can’t deal with any more uncertainty right now, but I did finish two non-fiction books last week, which were eyeopening and depressing for completely different reasons, so I’m not all happy endings and resolutions. This week coming, I’m in the office again for at least one day, so there will be some train reading, and it’s also the first week in six (!) that I don’t have a theatre trip booked. And now that I’ve worked that out and written that down, I realise how much theatre I’ve done over the last month, and am also wondering if I can squeeze a trip to something in this week too. I mean after all it really does lift my mood…

Read:

Silver Street by Ann Stafford

The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer

Sex Cult Nun by Faith Jones

Cold Clay by Juneau Black*

The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer

Unnatural Death by Dorothy L Sayers

Get Rich or Lie Trying by Symeon Brown*

Island of the Mad by Laurie R King

Who’s Calling by Helen McCloy*

Started:

Summer Nights with a Cowboy by Caitlin Crews*

Still reading:

The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky*

Worn by Sofi Thanhauser*

Paper Lion by George Plimpton

Fire Court by Andrew Taylor*

The Start of Something by Miranda Dickinson*

Bonus photo: I could have done another photo of a theatre before a show, because I went to see Bedknobs and Broomsticks on stage on Friday night, but I thought that might be gratuitous theatre pictures, so instead I offer you my Saturday night on the sofa with a book. Because if I’m not at work or at the theatre, that’s my default spot right now!

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley. ** indicates it was an advance copy from a source other than NetGalley

 

Book of the Week, Forgotten books

Book of the Week: Silver Street

I said yesterday that I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today – and here’s the answer – I finished this on Monday evening, so it’s a bit of a cheat but hey you’re used to that now!

Ann Stafford’s Silver Street follows a group of people from Armistice Day in 1918 through til 1932. Although initially unconnected, by the end their lives have all intertwined, mostly because of Alice Gedge a former ladies maid who ended the war as a supervisor of a group of clerks at a Ministry but who, when the men return becomes a “treasure” – aka a rather superior sort of daily maid to the residents of a building in Silver Street. Over the years the tenants include an elderly woman who likes to hold court for her birthday, a spinster who works as a social worker, two independent young women, a newly married couple and a single young man. And on top of that there’s Alice’s husband and her two children.

This is quite an every day story of normal people and normal lives – where there is no huge drama, I mean except your future happiness, but not death or peril if that makes sense. It’s not comic, but it’s not tragic – it’s closer to Barbara Pym than Miss Buncle but it’s another example of a novel by a women, first published in 1935 and now a bit forgotten and as such was right in my wheelhouse. And yes I know that Barbara Pam isn’t forgotten, but you know what I mean. I read it in two sittings – and it would have been finished for last week’s list if we hadn’t gone out for the day on Sunday and I didn’t have space in my bag to take it with me – even if I hadn’t borrowed it from someone and not wanted to mess it up!

My copy is on loan from a friend and this is going to be one of the harder books to get hold of I’m afraid – as it’s published by a small house and there is no ebook version. So if you want to read it, please buy it from Greyladies here. And mum, if you’re still reading and haven’t already messaged me to ask, yes, you can borrow it.

Happy Reading!

Authors I love, books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: February 21 – February 27

Well. It really was quite a week wasn’t it. I mean so much going on. So very, very much. And as you might be able to tell, I’ve plunged into a massive Sookie Stackhouse re-read to deal with it all as well as listening to Georgette Heyer and Amelia Peabody. It’s been delightful, but I have actually no idea what I’m going to write about tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll work it out though.

Read:

Death by Intermission by Alexis Morgan

Pat’s Pantry by Rhoda Baxter

The Case of the Late Pig by Margery Allingham

Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer

The Ape Who Guards the Balance by Elizabeth Peters

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris

Started:

Silver Street by Ann Stafford

The Start of Something by Miranda Dickinson*

Still reading:

The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky*

Worn by Sofi Thanhauser*

Paper Lion by George Plimpton

Sex Cult Nun by Faith Jones

Fire Court by Andrew Taylor*

Bonus photo: We went to London on Sunday for a day out and so here is a picture of Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial looking delightful in the wintry sunshine, just after the Changing of the Guard finished.

Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial on Sunday Morning

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley. ** indicates it was an advance copy from a source other than NetGalley

 

Authors I love, books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: February 14 – February 20

An interesting week in reading – revisiting an old friend in Sookie Stackhouse and also re-reading Thrones, Dominations for the first time in a few years and in the light of my newly intensive listening of the proper Peter and Harriet books. Then I got a couple more states ticked off the map of America with a couple more books in cozy crime series that I like – and when my library hold for Well Matched came in. Really quite a satisfying week in reading.

Read:

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder by Joanna Fluke

Home Work by Julie Andrews

Thrones, Dominations by Dorothy L Sayers and Jill Paton Walsh

The Complete Sookie Stackhouse Stories by Charlaine Harris

Playing for Love by Jeevani Charika*

Pumpkin Spice Peril by Jen McKinlay

Well Matched by Jen De Luca

Started:

Sex Cult Nun by Faith Jones

Fire Court by Andrew Taylor*

Death by Intermission by Alexis Morgan

Still reading:

The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky*

Worn by Sofi Thanhauser*

Paper Lion by George Plimpton

Bonus photo:  I went to the theatre – again – last week, so it’s another gratuitous theatre photo – this time from the Six the Musical tour.

Shot of a the stage for Six the musical before it started

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley. ** indicates it was an advance copy from a source other than NetGalley

 

book round-ups, previews, Uncategorized

Books incoming: February edition

Honestly I am amazed at my own restraint. No seriously. And actually I’m also pretty transparent. The Jenn McKinlay is the book I told you I bought in the Cupcake Bakery post. Poison for a Teacher is because of Death Goes On Skis. Lions of Fifth Avenue is because I was shopping for a birthday book for my mum (hi mum!) and bought this for myself at the same time, and the Unforgettable Guinevere St Clare is something I had my eye on for the 50 States Challenge last year so I treated myself to it for this year’s edition. There are two more books that haven’t arrived yet – I put in an order for the Antony Sher memoir and also a book about musicals, but everything else has been an ebook or a preorder…

Authors I love, books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: February 7 – February 13

Another really busy week, finishing in me staying up until all hours on Sunday night watching the Rams win the Super Bowl. I continue to try and work my way through the Paustovsky, but it is slow going and other books are really quite tempting as being easier and lighter going…

Read:

Death Goes on Skis by Nancy Spain

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

Shady Hollow by Juneau Black*

The Prize Racket by Isabel Rogers

Rivers of London: Monday, Monday by Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel et al

Prologue to Murder by Lauren Elliot

Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L Sayers

Started:

Paper Lion by George Plimpton

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder by Joanna Fluke

Still reading:

The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky*

Home Work by Julie Andrews

Worn by Sofi Thanhauser*

Three pre-orders and another Nancy Spain. All in actual copies. I don’t think I bought any kindle books last week, which might be a record in recent weeks…

Bonus photo: Another week – another trip to the theatre. This time it was to see Heathers at The Other Palace. I did three theatre trips in nine days – which is almost back to pre-pandemic levels so was really quite reassuring and normal!

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley. ** indicates it was an advance copy from a source other than NetGalley

 

Authors I love, books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: January 31 – February 6

Okay – blimey Charlie the Konstantin Paustovsky is long. And I also had two nights out in London last week. So the Still Reading list is looking longer – as the Nancy Spain and the Julie Andrews are actual books. But I might have finished one of them if it wasn’t for the arrival of The Two Mrs Abbotts on Saturday – which was my first pick from the Persephone Book a Month subscription I got given for Christmas, and which I just couldn’t resist reading straightaway!

Read:

The Missing Page by Cat Sebastian

Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L Sayers

The Smuggler’s Secret by Annabelle Sami*

Flying High by Perdita Cargill*

The Dead Side of the Mike by Simon Brett

Seeing a Large Cat by Elizabeth Peters

The Two Mrs Abbotts by D E Stevenson

Started:

Shady Hollow by Juneau Black*

The Prize Racket by Isabel Rogers

Still reading:

Death Goes on Skis by Nancy Spain

The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky*

Home Work by Julie Andrews

Worn by Sofi Thanhauser*

Bonus photo: As part of the London trip on Saturday, as well as going to see Elizabeth and Mary, we went for a wander around the National Gallery, where as well as seeing the Blue Boy, I spotted this rather faboulous John Singer Sargent.

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley. ** indicates it was an advance copy from a source other than NetGalley

 

Authors I love, books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: January 24 – January 30

This is a week of mostly audiobooks. Can’t quite figure out why, except that the Paustovsky book is really long and I’ve been trying to prioritise reading it, and I’ve done a lot of cooking and wandering around this week and that’s when I tend to listen to audiobooks. I wish I had more exciting things to say today, but really this has been a busy week and my brain is frazzled!

Read:

Police at the Funeral by Margery Allingham

Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L Sayers

Too Much Blood by Simon Brett

Artists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh

Capital Crimes ed Martin Edwards

Beware False Profits by Emilie Richards

Started:

The Missing Page by Cat Sebastian

Home Work by Julie Andrews

Worn by Sofi Thanhauser*

Still reading:

Death Goes on Skis by Nancy Spain

The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky*

Several preorders dropped onto the kindle, and as mentioned in the post, I bought the next Cupcake Bakery book in the series…

Bonus photo: did I go to Ikea after work on Tuesday and buy more houseplants? Why yes I did!

Houseplants in an ikea trolley

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley. ** indicates it was an advance copy from a source other than NetGalley