Friday Reading Roundup

Another Friday is upon us. Another day closer to Christmas! I hope that you’re not stressed out by holiday plans, shopping, and preparation. What better way to escape the hustle and bustle than to dive into some good books, eh? I’m not yet ready to reveal my Top Ten books of the year (that will be next Friday) or to tally up stats for the reading year (the last Friday!) So today it’s a quick review of what I’ve been reading lately and what’s on my nightstand to pick up next.

Finished lately:

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal

I really enjoyed this. Picked it off the NEW BOOKS SHELF at work (win!) Contemporary fiction. Three sisters, raised in England by their immigrant Indian parents, travel to India at the behest of their dying mother’s last wish. She has devised an itinerary for them, in the hopes that they will learn more about India, strengthen their bonds, and scatter her ashes there. There are lots of secrets that the sisters are keeping from one another, and they’ve all got some serious issues of their own that their not dealing with very well. Though I could see how things were going to work out, I didn’t mind it at all. I felt like these characters were well developed and believable, and the setting as they travel to the Golden Temple in Amritsar was superb. I’ll definitely try Jaswal’s first book, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, which was a Reese Witherspoon book club pick. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Currently Reading:

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

I’m enjoying the heck out of this! Another off-the-New-Shelf pick. Historical romance. A18h+5O2G3LLately I just want to read fluff. I’m not ashamed to admit it! I think it’s the holidays. I just need something soothing while my mind is pulled in many different directions trying to get stuff done. The premise is classic: 1870’s England, a poor well-read, smart, and beautiful woman (verging on Old Maid at 25), relying on the kindness of her lame cousin for her upkeep – she convinces him to let her take classes at Oxford, which had recently decided to let women take classes off campus. While there she meets other like-minded feminist women and in the course of advocating for changing the women’s property laws, literally runs into the MOST HANDSOME, well-connected, filthy rich Duke. Said Duke of course can’t take his eyes off our heroine either, but definitely disapproves of her ideas and pluck. Very cute stuff follows. Haven’t gotten to the sexy times yet.

Ghosts of Christmas Past edited by Tim Martin

I wanted something Christmas-y, and spooky ghost stories appealed. I found this in a recent BookRiot article (check it out here.) So far it’s uneven, as most short story41V3UJFvzmL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_ collections are. My favorite story so far is by Muriel Spark, called “The Leaf-Sweeper.” Other contributors include Neil Gaiman, E. Nesbit, and Kelly Link.

What’s next?

I’ve got the next one in the Ruth Galloway mystery series, The Ghost Fields, and my last poetry collection for the year, Kevin Young’s Brown. After that, whatever strikes my fancy.

Do you find yourself reading lighter books during the holidays? Are you a fan of Christmas ghost stories?

27 thoughts on “Friday Reading Roundup

  1. Absolutely no shame in reading fluff!! There’s no shame anytime, and especially not the holiday season. The Adventures of the Shergill Sisters looks great – I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much. And I really need to get back to the Ruth Galloway series – 2020 will be the year!

    I can’t wait to see your favorite books of the year! I love all of these round ups!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I’m going to get The Mistletoe Bride and Other Haunting Tales by Kate Mosse out from the library next week. I’ll also start some other cozy Christmas books, and embark on some long autobiographies I’ve been meaning to read for ages.

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  3. Actually, the holidays would be the time where I attempt the more heavy books, which I don’t have the time or energy to read normally, whereas I read fluff in periods when life and work is hectic. Ruth Galloway can be read at all times of year, though.

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  4. We rediscovered Christmas ghost stories last year (I blogged about it) so yes, we’re continuing to read them together, which is kind of fun because we’re not a family who likes scary stuff.
    Bringing Down the Duke sounds like fun. You probably already know this, but Jenny at Reading the End has been reviewing romance novels too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay, you’re reading New Books from the library!

    I’ve ben doing nothing but backlist library reading this month and have loved it. For me the genre that’s pulling me in is mysteries/thrillers. I just finished Recursion and am still not sure how it worked but I liked it. I’ve read The Gifted School (not a thriller but so good), The Silent Patient, Verity, and Lock Every Door.

    I am so far behind on prepping for Christmas it’s not funny. Just barely got the lights on the tree and still have packages to mail. I swear they cut a week out of the season this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of fluff now and again. I could do with some myself just now, as I’ve been reading a fair amount of heavy stuff recently, so could do with something either a bit silly or nostalgic to balance things out.

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  7. I do enjoy Kelly Link’s stories, though they frequently feel incomplete! Like, I’m always surprised when I get to the end. My favorite is “Stone Animals.” For a super fun fluffy book, I would again recommend The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. I really enjoyed it because it’s fluffy but not mind-numbingly insipid.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bringing Down the Duke sounds like fun! I definitely go for either lighter or shorter over the Holidays. Last year I read a bunch of short story collections, and this year I’ve got a couple of poetry books on the pile. And I’ll probably choose to read my lightest library books over the next couple of weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love those spooky ghost stories for Christmas! That’s the perfect read for this time of year I think. I’m diving into three different books at the moment because I’m tackling Ducks, Newburyport, so I need a few more books to take breaks with 🙂

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  10. Christmas and ghost stories don’t seem to go together for me. I love Christmas Carol but even though it is technically a ghost story I don’t think of it as one. Since I get time off from work over the holidays my reading tends to be a lot of finishing up of languishing books from the year. Also reading books about gardening or nature 🙂

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  11. In theory I do choose lighter reading for December. But in reality those books are usually set aside while I scramble to finish things that I thought I would finish months ago. Hah.

    It’s awesome when a book is a romp of a read AND meets one of your reading goals: woot!

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  12. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to read and loving fluffy books! Life is too short to only read serious literature. We need to all escape somehow. I’m so glad you found something fluffy to read over the holidays.

    I’ve never read any Christmas ghost stories… Honestly, other than A Christmas Carol I had no idea they existed! Any recommendations?

    Liked by 1 person

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