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Vanessa's 2013 Reads

Use this section to record the books you read in 2013. One thread per member, please.
User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee & The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Vanessa's 2013 Reads

Postby Vanessa » Fri February 1st, 2013, 9:49 am

A good start to the year, here's my list for January:

The House at Sea's End by Elly Griffiths 4
Six bodies are unearthed at the bottom of a cliff which turn out to be those of German soldiers from WWII. Archaeologist forensics expert Ruth Galloway is called in to investigate, alongside DCI Harry Nelson, and it all leads to murder. Another intriguing and enjoyable mystery from this author.

The King's Spy by Andrew Swanston 4
Set during the English Civil Ward, bookseller Thomas Hill is requested by the king to decipher some messages. This leads to murder and mayhem. An enjoyable debut and a good start to a promising trilogy.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey 5
Inspired by a Russian fairytale and set in 1920s Alaska, Mabel and Jack have moved from Pennsylvania to live on a remote homestead for a fresh start after a still-birth. As they try to come to terms with their loss, one night they build a snowgirl and the next day the snowgirl has gone and a mysterious girl appears. When spring begins she disappears again and Mabel and Jack have to wait to the first snow of winter to see her again. This is a magical and enchanting tale, beautifully told. I loved it!

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh 5
Victoria Jones has spent most of her childhood in foster homes and now at 18 she has been emancipated from care. She finds a job helping a florist who discovers her gift of choosing the right sort of flower for her customers. Victoria meets a young man at a market stall who brings back memories and unearths the secrets of her past. I thought this was an excellent debut and just a lovely story. Beautifully written, too. Another book I loved this month!

Queen's Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle 5
An excellent, entertaining and well researched historical novel centring around the life of Katherine Parr, the sixth and last surviving wife of King Henry VIII, and that of her maid, Dorothy Fownten, better known as 'Dot'! I was gripped by this book from the very first page. I thought it was vividly and imaginatively told, combining fact with fiction. It's wonderfully written in a beautifully flowing style which is easy to read and difficult to put down.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee & The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

February

Postby Vanessa » Fri March 1st, 2013, 11:05 am

Here's my list for February:

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts 5
A semi-autobiographical tale set in India in the 1980s where the author recounts his colourful and eventful life in India after he escapes from prison in Australia. This is a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining rollercoaster of a novel where a lot of it has to be taken with a pinch of salt! It's also amusing at times. Well worth the read. It's a chunky book but it's fast paced and rattles along.

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde 3.5
Set hundreds of years in the future in a Britain not as we know it, where we are ruled by which colour we can see. Eddie Russett has been instructed to travel,along with his father, to East Carmine to carry out a chair census as punishment for some inappropriate behaviour. On the way a 'wrong spotted' man dies and Eddie meets up with a very unfriendly 'grey' called Jane. All is not as it seems and Eddie finds himself in the middle of quite a mystery. I thought this was a clever and imaginative book, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the Thursday Next series.

The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway 5
This story begins with the Marquess of Blackdown, Lord Nicholas Falcott, time-travelling to the 21st century from 1815 to avoid being killed in battle and his being enrolled in a society called 'The Guild' who specialise in such people as him. He is told he can never return to his previous life but one day he receives a summons which negates this rule. He then finds himself once again in battle, but in this instance against time itself! The love interest comes in the form of Julia Percy from the 19thC who has her own secret - the ability to manipulate time. I found it an imaginative and absorbing tale. It was intriguing, believable and I was easily transported between the eras. A thrilling historical fantasy adventure with a smidgen of romance, an excellent debut novel and a definite page turner.

Agatha Raisin & the Fairies of Fryfam by M C Beaton 4
The tenth in the Agatha Raisin mysteries. Agatha decides to go to Fryfam to try to forget about James Lacey, the love of her life. Of course, trouble always follows her about - a valuable painting is stolen and a murder follows. Enjoyable, fun stuff!

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant 3
The story of Dinah from the Book of Genesis in the Bible. We follow the story of her birth in Canaan and her eventual life in Egypt, as well as the stories of her four mothers. After all the rave reviews on Amazon, I was somewhat disappointed by this book. I thought it was interesting but some of the rituals just made me squirm. The thought of a load of women stuck in a tent together for three days at a time sounded very claustrophobic and definitely like purgatory to me! It's nicely written but didn't engage me like I thought it would. I was pleased when I had finished it.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee & The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

March

Postby Vanessa » Tue April 2nd, 2013, 8:11 am

Here's my list for March:

Sepulchre by Kate Mosse 5
A dual timeframe story set in France, one tale set in the 1890s and the other in 2007. It's an adventure centring around a pack of tarot cards, the stories inter-connecting. Leonie in the 19thC goes to stay with her widowed aunt and brother in a chateau, escaping from a villainous man. In the 21stC Meredith is putting together her family's life story and comes across Leonie's and so their paths link with a supernatural element. I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a fun read and I loved all the tarot card hocus pocus!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 3.5
Told in two voices, that of a husband and wife. When Amy goes missing after what looks like an abduction, her husband Nick becomes the main suspect. But all is not as it seems! I enjoyed the first part of this book, although most of the characters are unlike able. However, I thought the plot got a little unbelievable and silly.

A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen 5
A touching true story about a homeless man who finds hope in the shape of a cat named Bob! The author finds an injured cat in the building where he lives and forms a special with bond with him. Bob changes his life for the good. It was a delightful and easy read and I would recommend it for those of you who love cats.

A Storm of Swords: Steel & Snow by George R R Martin 5
The first part of the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The battle in the Seven Kingdoms is raging for the iron throne with several would-be kings and a queen fighting for their right to wear the crown. Exciting stuff!

A Storm of Swords: Blood & Gold by George R R Martin 5
The second part of the third book in the A Song of Ice & Fire series. More exciting stuff with lots of shocks in store. How is it all going to end, I keep asking myself, when the author finally writes the last book? I'm finding this series very gripping.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

rebecca
Compulsive Reader

Postby rebecca » Wed April 3rd, 2013, 12:55 am

"Vanessa" wrote:Here's my list for March:

Sepulchre by Kate Mosse 5
A dual timeframe story set in France, one tale set in the 1890s and the other in 2007. It's an adventure centring around a pack of tarot cards, the stories inter-connecting. Leonie in the 19thC goes to stay with her widowed aunt and brother in a chateau, escaping from a villainous man. In the 21stC Meredith is putting together her family's life story and comes across Leonie's and so their paths link with a supernatural element. I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a fun read and I loved all the tarot card hocus pocus!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 3.5
Told in two voices, that of a husband and wife. When Amy goes missing after what looks like an abduction, her husband Nick becomes the main suspect. But all is not as it seems! I enjoyed the first part of this book, although most of the characters are unlike able. However, I thought the plot got a little unbelievable and silly.

A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen 5
A touching true story about a homeless man who finds hope in the shape of a cat named Bob! The author finds an injured cat in the building where he lives and forms a special with bond with him. Bob changes his life for the good. It was a delightful and easy read and I would recommend it for those of you who love cats.

A Storm of Swords: Steel & Snow by George R R Martin 5
The first part of the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The battle in the Seven Kingdoms is raging for the iron throne with several would-be kings and a queen fighting for their right to wear the crown. Exciting stuff!

A Storm of Swords: Blood & Gold by George R R Martin 5
The second part of the third book in the A Song of Ice & Fire series. More exciting stuff with lots of shocks in store. How is it all going to end, I keep asking myself, when the author finally writes the last book? I'm finding this series very gripping.


I think SOS is one of my favourites in the series. I just finished re-reading Feast for Crows and enjoyed it better the second time around, in that I knew there were no Tyrion chapters.

I hated Gone Girl and found it incredibly dull and in the end I didn't care who did what or what happened to any of them.

Bec :)

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee & The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Wed May 1st, 2013, 10:16 am

Here's my list for April:

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy 4
A gentle character based story set on the west coast of Southern Ireland. A big house in Stoneybridge is converted into a hotel. The tale is a snapshot of the lives of its first visitors and how they find some sort of peace within the comforting confines of Stone House. An enjoyable read.

Last Rituals by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir 4
The first in the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir mystery thriller series set in Iceland. When a young German student is found murdered with his eyes gouged out, Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, a lawyer, is asked to help investigate by his family, alongside an ex policeman, Matthew Reich. The clues all point to witchcraft and sorcery. I enjoyed it and really liked the setting. It's not as grisly as I thought it would be and I'm interested in reading the next book in the series.

Hurry Up and Wait by Isabel Ashdown 4
The story begins in 2010 with 39 year old Sarah Ribbons returning to the seaside town of her childhood to attend a reunion, which brings back some painful memories of her schooldays in the 1980s. I enjoyed this somewhat powerful and intuitive coming of age story. It's an easy, compelling and captivating little read told with a touch of humour about all those feelings we have as young adults.

The Duchess of Drury Lane by Freda Lightfoot 3.5
The story of the 20 yearlove affair between actress Dora or Dolly Jordan and the Duke of Clarence, later to become King William IV. Quite an interesting little tale but lacked a bit of spark!

After Flodden by Rosemary Goring 5
Set in Scotland just after the battle of Flodden in 1513, during a turbulent time in Scottish history, this follows the lives of severy characters in the aftermath. I thought this was a fascinating and intriguing tale of love, war, espionage and adventure with a good plot at its heart. It cleverly combines historical fact with fiction and is so vividly and beautifully written that I almost felt I was there! A page turner and I would highly recommend it to historical fiction fans.

Agatha Raisin & the Love from Hell by M Beaton 3.5
Agatha Raisin is now married to her beloved Jame but all is not rosy in the garden. James has gone missing and a woman is found dead, James the prime suspect. Agatha Raisin to the rescue, along with her little helper in the guise of Sir Charles Frith! All fun stuff!
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

User avatar
Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: Christmas Lights by Karen Swan & The Christmas Card Crime and other stories
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Tue May 14th, 2013, 9:18 am

I've just visited the area near to where the Battle of Flodden took place, so now I will have to read "After Flodden"!
Currently reading "Christmas Lights" by Karen Swan & "The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories"

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee & The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Tue May 14th, 2013, 9:35 am

It's published in June, Madeleine, but I'm not sure when the paperback is due out.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

User avatar
Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: Christmas Lights by Karen Swan & The Christmas Card Crime and other stories
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Tue May 14th, 2013, 10:02 am

Thanks for that, Vanessa, I thought it wasn't out for a while yet.
Currently reading "Christmas Lights" by Karen Swan & "The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories"

User avatar
Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: Christmas Lights by Karen Swan & The Christmas Card Crime and other stories
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Tue May 14th, 2013, 3:54 pm

Just been reading up on Flodden and they are still looking for James IV's body, it's rumoured to be in Richmond, just outside London, but no one is sure exactly where he ended up. There is a proper memorial in the town of Branxton, in Northumberland, but Coldstream is the nearest town in Scotland, and the local nuns helped care for the injured at the time.
Currently reading "Christmas Lights" by Karen Swan & "The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories"

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee & The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Thu May 16th, 2013, 5:51 pm

Obviously Richard III has a lot to answer for!!!! ;) :D
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind


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