Skip to main content

The Sunday Salon

Happy Easter, folks!

I spent this past week catching up on work after going on vacation—who knew that I would have so much to do? I enjoyed my vacation, but I also felt weirdly glad to be back at work. I did yoga for the first time in my life (the type where you hold poses for ungodly amounts of time), and then last Sunday I went horse back riding, and worked out immediately afterwards. As a result, the muscles in my back hurt for a couple of days! But now everything is back to normal.

I guess, since this is the first Sunday in April, I should do a reading wrap-up. I read an astonishing 15 books this month, so nearly one for every two days of the month! The books:

The Love Knot, by Vanessa Alexander

The Marsh King’s Daughter, by Elizabeth Chadwick

The Creation of Eve, by Lynn Cullen

Of the Ring of Earls, by Juliet Dymoke

The Lady Tree, by Christie Dickason

The Queen’s Pawn, by Christy English

31 Bond Street, by Ellen Horan

Paths of Exile, by Carla Nayland

Fitzempress’ Law, by Diana Norman

Miss Marjoribanks, by Margaret Oliphant

Hester, by Paula Reed

The Far Cry, by Emma Smith

A Corpse at St. Andrew’s Chapel, by Melvin Starr

My Brother Michael, by Mary Stewart

High Rising, by Angela Thirkell

I read a lot of really great books this month, especially the Vanessa Alexander and The Far Cry. The Marsh King’s Daughter was also excellent, as was High Rising (though the edition I read was truly dreadful, more on that when my review of it is published) and Paths of Exile.

Other books I’ve been reading lately are an ARC of Mistress of Rome, by Kate Quinn; and review copies of Confessions of Catherine de Medici, Every Last One, and Spooky Little Girl have showed up within the past week or so. Even though the latter two are to be published next week, and I’m just dying to read CW’s new book, I’m reading something that’s been on my TBR pile for a long time: The Expendable Man, by Dorothy Hughes, a contemporary (1960s) novel about a young intern doctor who picks up a hitchhiking teenager on the road to Phoenix. When she’s later murdered, he’s the first suspect I’d brought this to Arizona with me on vacation, but my eyes were too big for my stomach, and I just didn’t get around to it! I’m only about 100 pages into the book so far, and it’s very atmospheric, redolent of something that Patricia Highsmith would have written except maybe not so polished.

Yesterday I also picked up couple of books at the library: The Peacock and the Pearl, by Jennifer Lang, a novel about late-14th century England; and Down the Common, by Ann Baer, a novel about a year in the life of a medieval peasant woman that was recommended to me through Library Thing. Recently I also bought a copy of Annette Motley's Green Dragon White Tiger, a novel about 7th century China, Susan Kay's Legacy, and Jorvik, by Sheelagh Kelly, a novel about Viking-era York. So I’ve got tons and tons of good-looking books to read; the trouble is finding time to read them all!


Kathleen said…
Wow, 15 books is phenomenal. Happy Easter!
Marg said…
15 book is great!

I am really looking forward to reading the CW Gortner as well.

Happy Easter.
Happy Easter to you too Katherine!

Yikes...15 books! You put me to shame! I also loved The Marsh King's Daughter and can't wait to see what you think of Mistress of Rome. I enjoyed that one too.

I should be getting to Gortner's book soon and can't wait!

Happy Reading!

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…