Introducing: #fridayreads take me away

25th March 2011

By now, I hope you have heard of Friday Reads/#fridayreads (the number sign is for a hashtag on Twitter). If not, here’s a little explanation: readers around the world join together in community to support one another and celebrate the simple joys of reading. It has grown to be a huge event, and readers can win prizes for participating. Bethanne Patrick (@thebookmaven) started it, and now over 5,000 readers post at any of the listed sites what they are reading or plan to read.

What I have noticed over the last year of book blogging is that different readers have real issues with what they read. I see bloggers apologize for a certain book or phase of reading. I say, read. Period. Whether it’s a magazine you’ve saved up for Friday afternoon or evening or a mystery, romance novel, sci-fi, or New York Times bestseller, Friday is about doing what we love most: reading.

In that spirit, I invite you not only to share your #fridayreads on Twitter or Facebook (just like the page and comment) or the Friday Reads blog (my intention isn’t to take away from that), but also to come here and talk about just what the heck you feel like reading on this hallowed day that starts the weekend.

How this will work –

Readers: Leave me a comment. Tell me what you’re reading. Ask for recommendations if you’re stuck.

Bloggers: I’ll open a Google form. Leave a link, and I’ll make it visible, so others can check out what you’re reading on Fridays to take you away from your hectic week.

What I will do –

First, I’ll make a recommendation based on my week’s reading. If I’ve reviewed it, I’ll link to the review. If not, I’ll give you a synopsis and why I think it would make a great kick-your-shoes-off Friday read.

Second, I’ll tell you what I want to read on a Friday afternoon. It always varies. It depends on the weather and how clean my house is or how much that week has drained me.

Ready? I’m recommending you read… (drumroll please)

Flavia de Luce is back. Who is Flavia? She is a 12-year-old sleuth in rural England after World War I. But don’t let this book fool you – it’s not for children. Alan Bradley first introduced readers to Flavia in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag. With only her chemistry lab and her mother’s old bicycle to accompany her, Flavia finds herself in the midst of all sorts of trouble, yet she handles it with panache. And Flavia? She always gets her guy.

I loved this book. I haven’t reviewed it because I was saving it for today. Friday is a perfect mystery day to me, and this mystery is, without a doubt, one of the most unique I have ever come across. Even if you haven’t read the first two, I think you’d be fine starting with this one.

Flavia has her fortune told by a gypsy woman and is frightened by what the woman tells her. She runs out, and in doing so, causes damage to the woman’s caravan. Feeling guilty, she allows the gypsy to stay on the de Luce property, and later that night, after an odd run-in with a local “fishy” character in the library, Flavia visits the gypsy woman, only to find she has been beaten nearly to death. As Flavia investigates, I really saw her character develop, and though she plays tough, saying:

Alone at last! Whenever I’m with other people, part of me shrinks a little. Only when I am alone can I fully enjoy my own company…

I have the distinct impression that Flavia is tiring of being odd man out, and I am curious to see if Bradley gives Flavia a sidekick in the next book.

Flavia is a quirky, fun character, and I think her sense of humor is just too much! Upon finding a murder victim impaled on a statue of Poseidon and his trident, she describes him as smelling fishy and appearing “fish belly white”:

There are probably people abroad on the earth at this very moment who would be tempted to joke “There’s something fishy here.” But I am not one of them.

Isn’t she hilarious? I would definitely recommend this book, and if you have read it or do read it, please let me know what you think.

What am I reading?


You had to ask. I wouldn’t even let myself check out any library books because I have so much to read at home right now, thanks to Monday’s trip to Murder by the Book. I think I’ll start with Ian Rankin’s The Complaints and follow it up with Steve Hamilton’s The Lock Artist, thanks to recommendations from Jenn’s Bookshelves and Jen’s Book Thoughts (Jen/ns tend to think alike, I guess). Have you read either of these? What do you think?

What #fridayreads are you looking forward to escaping with?

jenn aka the picky girl

  • I don’t have a link to anything I wrote so will just let you know my #fridayreads is Manuel Muñoz’s WHAT YOU SEE IN THE DARK. It’s very noirish, set in the 1950s in Bakersfield, CA. Janet Leigh & Alfred Hitchcock (though they’re not identified as such) come to town to shoot scenes for PSYCHO (the movie’s not named, either, but it’s SO obvious). The events are intertwined with a real murder that happens in the town. It’s good so far and I love the cover.

    • pickygirl

      Ooh fun. I love true noir so much. It’d be fun to do a noir event as it’s been this past summer since I read any. And you know I love covers; I’m going to have to look it up.

  • Dan

    What am I reading? I actually have three books I’m reading right now — two mysteries, and one historical.

    The mysteries are Beneath the Bleeding by Val McDermid, and The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbø. Both are entries in series I love, McDermid’s Tony Hill/Carole Jordan and Nesbø’s Harry Hole. I’m only a few pages into the McDermid so I don’t feel too guilty about starting the Nesbø, since I know I’ll rip through it. The first couple of books in the Hill/Jordan series, The Mermaids Singing and The Wire in the Blood are some of the darker mysteries out there, and I still enjoy her, but Nesbø is still somewhat novel to me so I feel a bit more urgency to read that. Tony and Carole are old friends, and they’ll still be there.

    The other book I’m in right now is Cultivated Power: Flowers, Culture, and Politics in the Reign of Louis XIV by Elizabeth Hyde. That’s for my M.A. thesis.

    • pickygirl

      You know, Dan, it’s odd. I used to be a one-book-at-a-time kind of gal, but I, too, have found I can pick one up, read for a bit, and start another. I’m doing it at the moment actually. And having a nonfiction on the side is always nice. I didn’t always read much nonfiction but really enjoy what I’ve read lately. Happy reading!

  • I love this idea! I’m just finding it on Monday so perhaps I’ll join you this Friday!

    • pickygirl

      Yea! I’d love it if you’d join in this week.

  • I’ve read and reviewed A RED HERRING WITHOUT MUSTRARD this past week. Hint: LOVED IT! Flavia is tops! I’ve also read THE LOCK ARTIST by Steve Hamilton. I liked this very much though I am more fond of Hamilton’s Alex McKnight series – have you read any of those?
    BLOOD IS THE MOON is superb.

    • pickygirl

      I think I just left a comment about the Red Herring. It was my favorite yet.

      I haven’t read anything else by Hamilton but love The Lock Artist. I think it will actually be what I talk about for tomorrow’ #fridayreads take me away post. Can’t wait.

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  • This sounds like a neat idea! Are you still doing it?