What I’ve Read Lately {August/Summer Twitterature}

Twitterature with Modern Mrs. Darcy

This summer, survival mode has meant that I’ve been reading less. Until this past month.

This month, I’ve been voraciously consuming old favorites and new finds in search of inspiration for the upcoming school year (we’re doing a little more structured pre-K at home this year–and by a little, I mean a little).

And I’ve been frantically downloading sequels on my Kindle at crazy hours of the day/night so I can just. find. out. what. happens. next.

I’ve read more this summer than is listed below, but these are the ones sticking out in my 20-weeks-pregnant-brain right now. (PS, it’s a boy! :))

What I’ve Read Lately

A Circle of Quiet by Madeline L’Engle

A Circle of Quiet

Oh, Madeline. You were a fascinating lady. I’m not sure how to categorize A Circle of Quiet (Memoir? Writing/motherhood/spiritual manifesto?), but while I expected to enjoy it, I didn’t expect to gain so much food for thought on writing, juggling work and motherhood, and living in community.

Some parts made me go “huh?,” others I hurriedly transcribed in my journal, and others left me in tears.

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

death comes to pemberley

I told you here that I was afraid to pick this one up (after all, Elizabeth and Darcy’s story is sacred ground). But I’m so glad I did. The story clipped along, the characters were true to Austen’s original–lady Catherine’s lines were my fav–and the ending was satisfying.

Now to figure out how to watch the BBC adaptation.

Emily of New Moon (+ Emily Climbs and Emily’s Quest by L.M. Montgomery)

Emily of New Moon

Anne and Tsh talked about Emily of New Moon here, which prompted me to check it out.

It was the last book in the world I would have expected to not be able to put down. I mean, it’s about a nine year old girl, right? But I seriously could not put it down.

Then I downloaded the next two in the series and finished them all in three days. I’ve never met a fictional character I identified with so closely and I’ve rarely wanted to highlight in a fiction book so much (I couldn’t; it was the library’s).

Also? L.M. Montgomery is now solidly one of my favorite authors and people I would invite to a dinner party. (Do you have a famous people dinner party list? Mine is growing).

The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer

Hidden Art of Homemaking

The bottom line? Start using your art/gifts/talents. Your skills may never be considered “great” in the eyes of the world, but you’ve got gifts and you should use them, even if it’s simply to enrich your life and the lives of people around you.

It’s a great message, but it could have been said in about half the pages. Ex: I didn’t need the three pages on what you can create with scrap leather.

Also? Maybe I missed something, but I don’t feel like it was the anti-feminist treatise that some have called it.

The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent by Susan Elia MacNeal


While I’ve mostly enjoyed the other books in this series, MacNeal’s fourth book felt a little meh. It’s well-researched and the history teacher in me liked the insights into Pearl Harbor and FDR and Churchill’s relationship. But as a mystery/action novel, it fell flat for me.

What have you been reading lately?

And, hop over to Modern Mrs. Darcy to check out what the other lovely folks are reading!

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About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.

  • Kaitlin

    I just finished Death Comes to Pemberley last week and also found it a delight! But wait, there’s a BBC adaptation? *starts Googling immediately* This week I devoured The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Definitely my new favorite book of 2014.

  • Dawn Reiss

    Congratulations on the baby boy! The Emily books are my favorite LMM. I first read them in high school and swooned. They’re lovely.

  • I feel the same way about the Emily books, I couldn’t put Emily Climbs down. Its so much richer then I remember it.

    I just added A Circle of Quiet to my must read list, it sounds fantastic.

    • I thought of you when her dad calls her “kidlet” in the first one. I’d never heard that term before you/Emily :).

  • Alison

    Ah, I love Emily of New Moon, and you’re right on the money in inviting LM to dinner. I need to give Death Comes to Pemberly another try; I tried to listen to it on audio, and it was very hard to follow.

    • Emily is seriously one of my all-time favs now. Ok, who else should we invited to dinner? πŸ™‚

  • I read a P&P spin-off this month too: “Darcy’s Story”. I was also afraid it might be a fanfic but it was very very well done. It’s nice to have a book exceed your expectations. I found the Emily series fairly unapproachable when I read them as a child. So dark and broody after my beloved Anne. I’ll have to give them another try. Thanks for the recommends!

    • Yeah, I don’t think I would have enjoyed the Emily books nearly as much had I read them years ago.

  • A boy! Congratulations! I have read (and blogged about) Having a Mary Heart In A Martha World and Breakfast with Jesus.

  • MK Jorgenson

    I’ve had that Edith Schaeffer book on my TBR list forEVER. It’s only .34+shipping on Amazon, so maybe it’ll find its way to me soon. Just downloaded your free ebook; looking forward to reading it!

    • MK, you’ll have to let me know what you think of The Hidden Art & the eBook :). I’d love to hear!

  • So exciting that you’re having a boy! I liked, but didn’t love Death Comes to Pemberley, though I’m really excited to see the BBC version. It will be on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS later this fall, if you can wait that long! Circle of Quiet is a favorite of mine. I recently drove through the town she lived in during that book, and had to stop myself from being a crazy fangirl while driving πŸ™‚

    • Aw, thanks, Moira! Please tell me I’m going to be ok being outnumbered by boys in the house! πŸ™‚ And thanks for the info on Pemberley–I didn’t know it was going to be on Masterpiece. Awesome.
      Hope y’all start to feel settled up there soon!!

  • Cassie Rauk

    A boy! Congrats! I love the Emily books, I have them around here somewhere and I may have to dig them out again!

    • Thanks, Cassie! I’m going to have to go buy them–or at least the first one–for re-reading. πŸ™‚

  • Anne Bogel

    This makes me want to re-read Madeleine, pronto. Also, one of these days I’m going to finish reading the rest of this quartet.

    So glad you liked Emily! And I didn’t love the James novel, but I still want to see the miniseries. πŸ™‚

  • This reminds me that I need to finish Emily of New Moon – I put it down so that I could start a book club book awhile back and forgot to pick it back up! Also very intrigued by Death Comes to Pemberly.

  • Anne

    Either I bought Emily or someone bought her for me when I was a kid. I never gave it a go! I need to do that now that I’ve read of so many people really enjoying her. I also want to read the L’Engle book. Congratulations on your baby boy! πŸ™‚

  • L’Engle’s Circle of Quiet is one I’ve been keeping an eye out for at the used book store — and I want to read Walking on Water too!