My list is a bit shorter this month, although not really because I’ve been reading less. Mostly it is because I am working my way through The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel, the third in the Wolf Hall trilogy. I love these historical novels but they are long and dense. I’m in the 250 page range and still have 500 more to go! But in between times, I’ve still been reading other things. . .
I’ll start with what is one of my favorite novels from this year—and now definitely in hardcopy on my bookshelf.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towels
A couple of years ago a friend recommended this New York Times bestseller, but I didn’t get around to it. Then recently another friend handed it to me and said, “Read it!” So I did. Oh my goodness. A great story full of great characters and twists and turns you don’t see coming. And on top of that, it is beautifully written. And the ending is perfect. Can’t recommend this enough!
A Foolish Heart by Martha Keyes
This was a fun Regency romance based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer NIght’s Dream. I really liked how she took the well known plot and placed it in the Regency time period. I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo
While I very much enjoyed the story, it took me awhile. I realize the first part was setting up the second, but the second part was much more engaging than the first for me. Still, 18th century privateers always make for a good read.
The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke
Cathy Gohlke always brings such interesting history to life. This WWII novel is set in Poland and follows two different families whose paths intersect, diverge, then intersect again. The most heartbreaking scene in the novel was one taken from real life accounts. Hard to read, but necessary to remember.
The Gentleman Physician by Sally Britton
This is the 2nd book in the Branches of Love series and as enthralling as the first. Sally Britton is definitely one of my go-to authors now. Her Regency romances are always interesting and engaging.
This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber
This is book 1 of the Verity Kent mystery series. Set in England in the years after WWI, this fast-paced mystery also had good character development of Verity Kent. Definitely want to read more of these. Huber also writes the Lady Darby mysteries, set in England but in the early 1800s. I’ve read the first of that series as well and want to read more.
The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier
I’ve love several Daphne du Maurier books, but this was not one of them. I only kept reading because it was like watching a train wreck—I couldn’t look away. Not the writing, but the characters’ lives–3 siblings, all of whom had creative talent of some sort–one acting, one music, one art.
This Secret Thing by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
I usually very much enjoy Marybeth’s books, but I had a hard time with this one. Of the six characters’ storylines, I could really only care about two—and while I gained some sympathy for a couple more, by the end I wasn’t really happy with them. To be detailed would be to give away the end, which I don’t like to do. And just a note: if you prefer minimal or no cuss words in your novels, this probably isn’t the book for you.
That’s it for September. Hopefully by the October update I’ll have finished The Mirror & the Light!