Skip to main content

Weekly Geeks: Best Of

The Weekly Geeks post
Here were some of my favorite reads from this year, alphabetically:
1. Sacred Hearts, by Sarah Dunant (historical fiction)
2. The Glassblower of Murano, by Marina Fiorato (historical fiction)
3. The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, by Syrie James (historical fiction)
4. The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver (historical fiction)
5. Wolf Hall, by Hilary Martin (historical fiction)
6. Cleopatra’s Daughter, by Michelle Moran (historical fiction)
7. Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger (contemporary fiction)
8. The Street Philosopher, by Matthew Plampin (historical fiction; not out in the US—at least, yet)
9. Bleeding Heart Square, by Andrew Taylor (historical fiction)
10. The Angel’s Game, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (historical fiction)

There are a lot more, but these were the most memorable.


Syrie James said…
I'm thrilled to be on your list of Best Reads of the Year!

Enjoy the holidays, and feel free to email me any time at, or leave a message at my website at
Danielle said…
I really liked Bleeding Heart Square, too! And I have several others on my wishlist as well!
susan said…
I'm Kingsolver fan. Will have to check this out. Thanks.
Becky K said…
I found your blog while looking for reviews of Kingsolver's new book. I'm trying to decide if I should keep reading; it definately is not Poisonwood Bible (not that I mind, it's just very different.) Based on what you said, and how you liked it, I'm going to keep reading, just to see where it leads.

I was interested to see that you put Her Fearful Symmetry and Angel's Game on your top 10 list. I am still mulling over these books months later. I didn't love either of them, but I didn't hate them either. Anyway, I'll come back to your blog now that I've found it. I think I'll look up a couple of your top 10 to read in the next few weeks. Anyway, thanks for the reviews.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Pages: 972 Originally published: 1944 My edition: 2000 (Chicago Review Press) How I acquired my copy:, 2004

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is…

Review: Jane Austen's Letters, ed. by Deirdre Le Faye

Pages: 667 Original date of publication: 2011 My copy: 2011 (Oxford University Press) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy:, April 2013
This is a compilation of many of Jane Austen’s letters, most of them sent to her sister Cassandra between 1796 and 1817, the year of her death. Although many of Austen’s letters were destroyed by her sister in order to preserve the family reputation, the collection contains over 160 letters in which Austen gives her sister details about her life in Chawton—as well as giving us a tantalizing glimpse of what was going through her mind as she was writing her novels (especially the novel that was to become Pride and Prejudice, First Impressions). There are other letters here, too, giving advice to her niece and professional correspondence to publishers—as well as a couple of letters that were written by Cassandra Austen after Jane’s death.
To the sisters, the letters acted in the way that phone calls do today; Austen’s news is all about pe…

Review: Midnight in Peking, by Paul French

Pages: 259 Original date of publication: 2013 My copy: 2013 (Penguin) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy: Phoenix bookstore, May 2013
In January 1937, the body of a young British girl, Pamela Werner, was found near Peking’s Fox Tower. Although two detectives, one British and the other Chinese, spent months on the case, the case was never solved completely, and the case was forgotten in the wake of the invasion of the Japanese. Frustrated, Pamela’s father, a former diplomat, tried to solve the crime. His investigation took him into the underbelly of Peking society and uncovered a secret that was worse than anything he could have imagined.
At first, I thought that this would be a pretty straightforward retelling of a true crime, but what Paul French (who spent seven years researching the story) reveals in this book is much more than that. Foreign society in Peking in the 1930s was stratified, with the British colonials at the top and the White Russian refugees at the bottom, but…