This Week in Books: 26 August 2015

This Week in Books is a weekly round-up hosted by Lypsyy Lost & Found, about what I’ve been reading Now, Then & Next. A similar meme, WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

Now – Yesterday I began reading The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood. I was amazed when I realised that this book has been on my TBR shelves for almost 6 years! It’s certainly time I read it.


Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride is inspired by “The Robber Bridegroom,” a wonderfully grisly tale from the Brothers Grimm in which an evil groom lures three maidens into his lair and devours them, one by one. But in her version, Atwood brilliantly recasts the monster as Zenia, a villainess of demonic proportions, and sets her loose in the lives of three friends, Tony,Charis, and Roz. All three “have lost men, spirit, money, and time to their old college acquaintance, Zenia. At various times, and in various emotional disguises, Zenia has insinuated her way into their lives and practically demolished them.

Then: The last book I finished is Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon by Jane Austen.  I loved it.


These three short works show Austen experimenting with a variety of different literary styles, from melodrama to satire, and exploring a range of social classes and settings. The early epistolary novel Lady Susan depicts an unscrupulous coquette, toying with the affections of several men. In contrast, The Watsons is a delightful fragment, whose spirited heroine Emma Watson finds her marriage opportunities restricted by poverty and pride. Written in the last months of Austen’s life, the uncompleted novelSanditon is set in a newly established seaside resort, with a glorious cast of hypochondriacs and speculators,and shows the author contemplating a changing society with a mixture of scepticism and amusement.

My review will follow shortly.

Next – I’m never really sure which book I’ll be reading next. It should probably be Adam Bede by George Eliot, but at the moment I’m feeling reluctant, so it is more likely to be The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters, which I’ve borrowed from the library.


‘There came the splash of water and the rub of heels as Mrs Barber stepped into the tub. After that there was a silence, broken only by the occasional echoey plink of drips from the tap…

‘Frances had been picturing her lodgers in purely mercenary terms – as something like two great waddling shillings. But this, she thought, was what it really meant to have paying guests: this odd, unintimate proximity, this rather peeled-back moment, where the only thing between herself and a naked Mrs Barber was a few feet of kitchen and a thin scullery door. An image sprang into her head: that round flesh, crimsoning in the heat.’

What are you reading this week?

9 thoughts on “This Week in Books: 26 August 2015

    1. I haven’t read anything by Atwood for ages too – and she is one of my favourite authors. I’m only up to page 86 (total no is 470) and The Robber Bride is good so far!


  1. I’m meant to start reading The Paying Guests soon myself, Margaret. I’l be interested to see what you think of it. And of course, what’s not to like about Austen…


  2. Hi Margaret,

    I am really intrigued by the official full length premise of the Atwood book and can’t believe that I haven’t come across it before, given all the excellent reviews and ratings it has amassed.

    Although so many others amongst your commenters have read and enjoyed ‘The Paying Guests’, it is purely coincidence that only yesterday, one of my fellow charity shop volunteer colleagues donated in a copy of the book, citing that she couldn’t get past the first fifty pages, try as she might!

    I have only read one book by this author – ‘Affnity’, which I thoroughly enjoyed, so ‘The Paying Guests’ will be going on my list, very much to being read with an open mind.

    Have a great weekend 🙂


  3. You’ve reminded me that I can’t even remember what The Robber Bride is about and yet I have it on my bookshelf (and once loved her work).

    I do however love Jane Austen. I’ve read Lady Susan but not sure about the two others…. (I’d read her complete works, but if they weren’t completed then I’m not sure…)


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