lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
Only one day late!

What I've Finished Reading
The Mauritius Command, and the series continues to be solidly excellent. Then, slightly to my own surprise, I managed to read The Goblin Emperor, which I enjoyed very much (I can see what people mean about it being a very reassuring read and why some other people also find that annoying, but it suited me just fine right now) but stupidly did so in only about three or four days and was sick for the following three days as a result, which does dampen enthusiasm somewhat. (I don't know why I did it; I think I get a bit panicky that my reading ability might vanish, leaving me stranded halfway through a book).

So, after that I didn't read properly for a week, and then read the v light Daisy Dalrymple mystery I got from the library, Damsel in Distress, by Carola Dunn.


What I'm Reading Now
I'm technically reading Desolation Island (the next in the Aubrey-Maturin series), but not really much at the moment, as I think I was reading too much of them and having less brain than I should have done.

I am also beginning to work my way through my random Seven Masterpieces of Gothic Horror, starting with the first, The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole. It's very random and its heroes are terribly saintly, but this makes me laugh, especially when some of the other characters would rather be hanging around with less saintly people, or somebody has a moment of sarcasm. (Matilda's maid Bianca would obviously prefer to be in a Shakespeare comedy, but Matilda won't oblige her with even normal curiosity, let alone shenanigans and scheming.) There is also a spooky giant helmet with plumes of doom, and it's only 100 pages long.

I also enjoyed the particularly OTT bit where a Helpful Friar who has turned up to reason with Villainous Manfred accidentally causes Manfred to order the execution of the suspiciously Noble Peasant Theodore and is midway through begging for Theodore's life when he pauses to realise (via a handy birth mark) that Theodore is in fact his long-lost son (and he was formerly the Count of Falconara, because obv. you can't actually have a Noble Peasant. How he carelessly lost his son and her mother, hopefully I will find out before it's done.)

I am (family history) note-taking from Boyd Hilton's A Mad, Bad and Dangerous People: England 1783-1846, but I don't know if it counts as reading, as it is one of the Oxford History of England so more political and so on, so I am doing a lot of skimming through it. (It's a large book. When I'm not using it, I am trying to flatten some paper with it. It's multi-purpose.)


What I'm Reading Next
I think the library has the next Daisy Dalrymple book, so I might get that next week, but otherwise I think it will be something else off my TBR pile. There are several possibilities! If I can be sensible this time, that is. And at some point, presumably the next 'Gothic Masterpiece,' The Old English Baron by Clara Reeve. (It's longer, though - all of 134 pages!)
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
What I've Just Finished Reading

I finished Post-Captain by Patrick O'Brian, so I'm now committed to the series! I'm continuing to enjoy them, and this one was probably less technical than the first, or I'm getting to be less of a landlubber. Highlights being the bear escape mentioned last time and when Stephen decided a hive of bees are a perfectly reasonable thing to keep on board a ship. (It's very satisfying to have made a small dent in my TBR pile as well, because I was rather beginning to think I would never read anything new again that wasn't a regency romance.)

Before I finished that, however, I found another Regency romance in a charity shop (well, actually I found two, but the other was the usual, complete with someone called Carolyn) - from 1972!

I complain all the time about the modern ones not being like Heyer, now let me be nothing if not inconsistent and complain about Clare Darcy's Cecily for being too much like Heyer! The blatant copying left me open-mouthed. Her plot is her own, but all the Heyer ingredients and descriptions are present and correct... and, alas, have nothing of the engaging liveliness of Heyer. I'm not surprised Heyer used to get angry about this sort of thing. Clare Darcy was only lucky that Ms Heyer was probably dead by the time this book crossed the ocean.

It was an interesting read, though, and would have been better had the hero and the heroine actually had more time together on the page. Probably. Actually, it would have been better if it had just focused on the heroine's aunt and the hero's mother and their disapproving alliance, because that bit was her own, and a little more enjoyable than the rest. Everyone else should just go home for being pale copies of Heyer characters. Charity Girl was published the same year, and even though that is not my favourite Heyer, it still has a lot more going for it than a copy of the real thing.


What I'm reading now

I am just a few pages into HMS Surprise. There has not been a bear so far, sadly.

I'm still reading and taking notes from Jenny Uglow's In These Times, which continues to be an excellent social history of Britain in the Napoleonic War era. (There are no people called Carolyn in it. So far.)


What I'm Reading Next

I still haven't read that Daisy Dalrymple mystery, because I found two Regency romances for my light-reading needs instead, so that needs to get read so it can go back to the library.

I don't know what else will be next, or if I'll even get to Daisy, but I did find the first of Frances Brody's series of Kate Shackleton mysteries in a charity shop, hurrah, so that'll probably get read sometime soon, because I do need to get to the one I found first with the tantalising title of Death of an Avid Reader.

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