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The Sunday Salon

I’m in the middle of reading a couple of things right now, which is a bit unusual for me. This week I started reading an advance copy of The Swan Thieves, by Elizabeth Kostova (author of The Historian, which I enjoyed). I’m really struggling through it, because it is one tedious slog. I’m only about 200 pages in, and seriously considering not finishing. I’m just not connecting to any of the characters, none of which are believable or compelling. Elizabeth Kostova is also fond of advance-the-plot mechanisms.

On the other hand, I’m reading a Victoria Holt novel, Bride of Pendorric, and enjoying it very much. Holt’s stories are always creepy—a bit campy, too, but that’s the fun of it.

Also finished this week were The Emperor, the 11th book in the Morland Dynasty series; The White Horse King, by Benjamin Merkle (a biography of Alfred the Great, though it’s not so much a biography as an exposition of Anglo-Saxon England); and The Plantagenets: A Pride of Kings, by Juliet Dymoke. The last is the first in a series of six historical novels about the Plantagenet monarchs, as told through the eyes of the people who surrounded them. A Pride of Kings is told from the vantage point of William Marshal, about Henry II and his sons. Enjoyable, but I still prefer Elizabeth Chadwick’s The Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion.

I’ve also spent a part of the weekend watching Lark Rise to Candleford, the BBC series based on the Flora Thompson book. Very, very good—can’t wait for season two to come out on DVD, as I’ve finished the first ten episodes of the series and am left wanting more.

We’ve also had our first snowfall of the winter yesterday! I’m sitting by the fire as I’m writing this, enjoying a quiet day.

How was your week?


Meghan said…
I'm sorry to hear that you're not liking The Swan Thieves! I had heard that it was good, and now I am a bit concerned. I don't have an ARC, so at least I don't have to read it if it's bad!

Meghan @ Medieval Bookworm
Kristen M. said…
I *do* have an ARC of The Swan Thieves and now I'm worried! Well, at least I know not to start it at a time when I can't give it my full attention. For the time being, I'm sticking with some lighter reads while I double-task with holiday prep.
judy said…
Last week I finished four books, of which three were excellent. Rally Round the Flag Boys by Max Shulman, a spoof on 1950s suburban life was humorous but not great. It was the #4 bestseller in 1957. Also as part of my 1957 reading list I read The Mystic Massuer, which was V S Naipaul's very first novel. Set in 1940s Trinidad, it gives a picture of life there for Indian families.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is a fabulous ghost story for readers 8-12, though maybe too scary for some kids. Audrey Niffenegger's Her Fearful Symmetry was the stand out book of my week; a ghost story and love story about two sets of twins. I did not think she could ever do as well as The Time Traveler's Wife, but she did!

I also have an ARC of The Swan Thieves and am sad to hear that it is not great because I so loved The Historian. Do keep us posted.

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