On the Reading Front

Did Covid affect your reading? It certainly affected mine. During 2020, regardless of what I chose, I couldn’t settle in to read and as I reported that year in my annual Year of Reading post, I had more DNFs than books I completed. 2021 was an improvement and 2022 has been quite prolific with 22 books read to date.

As followers of A Writer of History might imagine, about 80% are historical fiction. I thought I would share some standout reads.

By Her Own Design by Piper Huguley is the triumph of a woman whose talent and determination challenged a system that was intended to keep Black Americans in their place. Piper Huguley’s characters are beautifully rendered, the dialogue sparkles, the pacing is superb as is the weaving together of the different timelines in Ann Lowe’s life. You will truly be transported in time and place. You can read more here.

The Last Rose of Shanghai by Weina Dai Randel tells the story of a young Chinese heiress and a penniless Jewish refugee who fall in love and face difficult choices and great sorrow as the war unfolds.

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell swept me away to the life and times of William Shakespeare. The story features Shakespeare’s wife, children and parents and the challenge facing the famous playwright as he tries to balance his love and duty to his family with his career and the interest of Elizabeth and her court.

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki kept me turning the pages as Marjorie’s life unfolds along with her relationships with four different husbands.

While staring at my bookshelves one day, I noticed The Postmistress by Sarah Blake – a novel I truly enjoyed. What else has she written? I wondered. That question led to The Guest Book and a thoroughly enjoyable read.

The Diamond Eye, Kate Quinn’s latest novel, is fabulous. My husband and I listened to it as we drove home from Florida. The narrator was also amazing.

Summer Island by Kristin Hannah was a real page-turner. Woman on Fire by Lisa Barr was fast paced and very engaging. The Model Spy by Maryka Biaggio is a unique look at WWII espionage in Italy. Beautiful Day by Elin Hildebrand is a delightful read. Souvenirs from Kyiv by Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger is a must read given what’s going on in Ukraine. I wrote about it earlier.

What am I reading now, you ask? Voices in the Dead House by Norman Lock and Hotel Portofino by J.P. O’Connell.


M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel is THE ADMIRAL’S WIFE, a dual timeline set in Hong Kong. Mary’s other novels, PARIS IN RUINS, TIME AND REGRET, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

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Meet M.K.Tod

The historical fiction author behind A Writer of History...

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3 Responses

  1. I miss having time to read and need to find a way to get it back in my schedule. In 2020 it was a great reading year–something like 57 books. 2021 it plummetted to 10 or less and 2022 hasn’t been better. Here’s hoping the last half of 2022 sees an increase in books read for me & I hope I find some good fiction among that number. 😎

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, BK. Best of luck finding some great reads in the next while.

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