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The Sunday Salon

I can’t believe it’s August! A lot happened in July that prevented me from doing as much reading (12 books in comparison to June’s 15), but that’s OK! I started my new job in Center City, and now that I’ve been there three weeks, I’m really getting into the swing of things. I’ve met some really great people; and soon my job responsibilities will expand beyond the administrative, so I’m excited to be getting into that as well.

So what did I read in July? Here’s a list:

To Defy a King, by Elizabeth Chadwick. A novel about William Marshal’s daughter, Mahelt. 3.5 stars.

Henrietta’s War, by Joyce Dennys. A novel told in epistolary form about a small village in Devonshire during the early years of WWII. 5 stars.

Into the Wilderness, by Sara Donati. A novel set in 1792-3 upstate New York. 3 stars.

The Devil’s Horse, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. The 16th book in the Morland Dynasty series, taking the family from 1820 to 1830. 4 stars.

Great Maria, by Cecelia Holland. A novel set in 12th century Sicily. 3 stars.

Lord of the Far Island, by Victoria Holt. A novel set in Cornwall. 3 stars.

The Rising Tide, by Molly Keane. A novel about one family in Ireland, set between 1900 and the 1920s. 5 stars.

The Rector’s Daughter, by FM Mayor. A novel about an “elderly” spinster and her relationship with a curate. 4 stars.

The Sixth Surrender, by Hana Samek Norton. Novel about a young woman fighting to save her inheritance in 13th c. England. 2 stars.

Shinju, by Laura Joh Rowland. A mystery set in 17th century Japan. 4 stars.

Bright Young People, by DJ Taylor. Nonfiction about the Bright Young People of the 1920s and ‘30s. 3 stars.

Chatterton Square, by EH Young. A novel about two families living in a fictional town based on Bristol, in the months leading up to WWII. 4 stars.

By far, my favorite reads of the month were Henrietta’s War and The Rising Tide, both of which were solid 5-star reads for me. I’m eager to read more by Molly Keane; if you’ve read anything by her, what would you suggest? I was surprised that I didn’t like To Defy a King more, especially since I had such high hopes for it. But I did enjoy it in many ways, and my review will be posted soon.

Coming up in August: a bunch of people in the Virago Modern Classics group on LibraryThing are participating in something called All Viragos All August. I’m not sure I’ll be reading all Viragos for the month of August, but I am planning on reading a few. I got a head start on the month yesterday by starting The Enchanted April, by Elizabeth Von Arnim. So far it’s a delightful read. I’ve got about a dozen more VMCs sitting on the TBR shelf, and I’ve got a couple of review copies that I need to get to as well (one of them is my LTER book from April, whoops). I’ve spent most of the summer concentrating on pleasure reading, and not so much on cranking out review copies…


Amy said…
Congrats on the new job Katherine! It's nice to get over that newbie hump and start to feel settled in. Bummer to hear that you didn't like the new Chadwick as much as you thought...I have it to read soon. I really enjoyed her other release, For the King's Favor (aka Time of Singing).

I hope you have a reading month in August!
Andi said…
You still read much, much more than I managed this past month! Just posted the new issue of Estella's Revenge e-zine, and there's an interview with Chadwick if you're interested.

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