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LoisAnn's 2009 Reading List

What have you read in 2009? Post your list here and update it as you go along! (One thread per member, please.)
Posts: 54
Joined: August 2008
Location: Marlow, Oklahoma

LoisAnn's 2009 Reading List

Post by LoisAnn » Sun January 11th, 2009, 2:46 am


Joanna, Roberta Gellis - 3rd in the Series - 3.5/5 ... Finished it and am also finished w/ the series!

Rough Weather, Robert B Parker - 5/5 ... Sometimes a good, fast-paced yarn full of Spenser & Hawk just hits the spot! Note: Not HF.

Pope Joan, Donna Woolfolk Cross - 4.5/5 ... Pope Joan, 9th Century, Frankish Empire.

The Wild Hunt, Elizabeth Chadwick - 4/5 ... Guyon & Judith, 1100's English/Wales border. First of Ravenstow Trilogy.

In Dublin's Fair City, Rhys Bowen - 3.5/5 ... Molly Murphy, book 6. I'm probably through w/ this series. Plot was a trifle weak; series seems a bit stale; I was glad when I was finished & could move on to something else!

Shields of Pride, Elizabeth Chadwick - 4.5/5 ... Joscelin & Linnet, 1173 - 1175 England. Rebellion of Young King Henry. Elizabeth Chadwick ... 'nuff said!

Death at Gallows Green, Robin Paige - 4/5 ... 2nd Victorian Mystery featuring Miss Kate Ardleigh. A delightful "cozy" mystery - plot well developed, some nice twists at the end, a developing romance that leaves me ready for the next book in the series.


The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., Sandra Gulland - 4.5/5 ... 1st in trilogy about Josephine Beauharnais. Very well done & very interesting!

Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe, Sandra Gulland - 4.5/5 ... 2nd in Josephine Beauharnais trilogy. The 2nd book did not disappoint at all - very well done - and left me ready for the third!

The Last Great Dance on Earth, Sandra Gulland - 5/5 ... 3rd in Josephine B. Trilogy. Is wonderful! Brings the story and various threads to their historical conclusion in a thoughtful, sensitive manner. Overall rating for the trilogy is 5/5.

Guernica, Dave Boling - 5/5 ... Basque town of Guernica; set in 1930's. Main event is the bombing of this town by Germans in 1937. Reference: Picasso's painting "Guernica."

Girl With a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier - 4/5 ... Fictional account of the girl in Vermeer's painting. Set in 1660's Delft, Holland. I will read more books by this author.

The Island at the Center of the World, Russell Shorto - 5/5 ... About the the Island of Manhattan and America's non-English colony. Manhattan & Hudson River Valley were first settled by the Dutch as part of New Netherland. Fascinating, informative book. Non-fiction.


City of Dreams, Beverly Swerling - 4.5/5 ... A nice follow-on book to The Island at Center of the World. This sweeping story covers the years of 1660 - 1798 in Early Manhattan. Great book & I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

The Winthrop Woman, Anya Seton - 5/5 ... Elizabeth Fones Winthrop, niece of John Winthrop, immigrated to Massachusetts Bay as part of Great Migration in 1630's. Rebelled against strictures of Puritan Society. Wonderful story.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Murder, Karen Swee - 2/5 ... Very weak. Poor writing. Did not enjoy at all.

Death at Daisy's Folly, Robin Paige - 4/5 ... 3rd in this delightful Victorian mystery series featuring Sir Charles Sheridan & Kate Ardleigh.

On the Grind, Stephen J. Cannell - 4/5 ... A typical Shane Scully; 'nuff said. Note: not HF.

Silent on the Moor, Deanna Raybourn - 5/5 ... 3rd in the Victorian Mystery series featuring Lady Julia & Nicholas Brisbane. Such a wonderful series! Now the waiting begins for the next book!


84, Charing Cross Road, Helene Hanff - 4.5/5 ... A delightful book on which the movie (same name) was based starring Anne Bancroft & Anthony Hopkins.

The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, Helene Hanff - 4.5/5 ... The diary of Ms. Hanfff from her 5-week trip to London. Another funny & delightful little book that should be read and then shared.

City of Darkness, City of Light, Marge Piercy - 4.5/5 ... French Revolution. Follows stories of 6 real life revolutionaries: Georges Danton, Nicholas Condorcet, Pauline Leclerk, Claire Lacombe, Manon Roland and Maximilian Robespierre.

Dark of the Moon, John Sandford - 4.5/5 ... the 1st Virgil Flowers book. Quite the yarn - Sanders does a good job w/ his plot development, characters, etc. A most exciting crime thriller. Note: Not HF.

Heat Lightning, John Sandford - 4.5/5 ... the 2nd Virgil Flowers book. Very good & a little better than the first one. This is set to be a great series. I love Virgil & love that he wears rock and roll t-shirts all the time. Note: Not HF.


The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, Kate Summerscale - 4/5 ... Very interesting, although a little dry & tedious in parts. It is not a book just about this murder & Mr. Whicher, but rather a treatise of the art & impact of detective work - both real-life & literary in Victorian England. Non-fiction.

The Devil's Brood, Sharon Kay Penman - 5/5 ... Concludes the Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy (Christ/Saints & Time and Chance). It is brilliant; exactly as one expects from SKP!

Frederica, Georgette Heyer - 4.5/5 ... a delightful romantic romp set in the Regency era, with all its strict societal pressures. Fun, quick read, wonderful characters in Alverstoke & Frederica as well as the entire supporting cast!

The Candlemass Road, George MacDonald Fraser - 4.5/5 ... Great little book set on the English/Scottish border during Elizabeth I's reign. Main characters: Lady Margaret Dacre, Waitabout Archie Noble, Father Louis (Jesuit priest & narrator of the story).

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford - 4.5/5 ... Wonderful book! I really enjoyed it. Set in 1986, with flashbacks to 1942 - 1945, set in Seattle, story of Henry a Chinese boy and Keiko, a Japanese girl whose family was sent to an Japanese internment camp. Probably one of the best books about this blight on America's history that I have ever read.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, John Boyne - 5/5 ... An amazing, very powerful book, especially when one considers that it's only 216 pages long! Told from the perspective of a 9-year old boy, son of the Commandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak - 5/5 ... Probably best book of the year so far! Wonderful, lyrical tale of a young girl in Nazi Germany. The Book Thief is her story, with Death as our narrator and commentator.


The Love Knot, Vannessa Alexander - 4.5/5 ... Wonderful little book. Author took a couple of very bare historical facts about Joanna of Acre (Edward I's daughter) and wrote this book. The book is a series of fictional letters from Joanna, her lover Ralph Monthermer & Henry, the court clerk sent to find out the truth about their love & about the death of Joanna's 1st husband, Gilbert de Clare.

Q's Legacy, Helene Hanff - 4/5 ... As delightful as the other two books by her about her relationship with Marks & Co. books. This one was a little repetitive and, therefore, a little tiring, but so glad I read it. It was a nice punctuation point to the other two books (see April's reading list).

The Time of Singing, Elizabeth Chadwick - 5/5 ... Earl of Norfolk Roger Bigod & his wife Ida, a former mistress of Henry II & the mother of William Longspee. Wonderful, fascinating book!

The Champion, Elizabeth Chadwick - 4/5 ... Historical fiction featuring Alexander, a tourney knight & Monday, daughter of a tourney knight & granddaughter of a earl. Book straddles timeframe of the latter years of Richard I's rule & beginning years of John's rule. Alexander becomes a hearth knight of William Marshal.

Celia Garth, Gwen Bristow - 5/5 ... Revolutionary War in Charleston, South Carolina. Wonderful book! Time frame is late 1779 - 1781 & the surrender of Cornwallis to General Washington. Main character is Celia - an orphaned seamstress who marries Luke Ansell, a rebel scout & soldier for Francis Marion.

Shadow Patriots, Lucia St. Clair Robson - 4.5/5 ... Revolutionary War in Philadelphia & New York. This book concerned itself primarily with the spies on both sides, with the main characters being a brother soldier/spy for the rebels (Seth Darby) and his sister (Kate Darby), a member of the Culper spy network for the rebels. Fascinating book. Also written in a witty & clever style - very enjoyable!


City of Glory, Beverly Swerling - 4.5/5 ... Wonderful sequel to City of Dreams. Entire book (except for the prologue) takes place over a span of roughly 10 days in August 1814, set against the backdrop of the War of 1812. Enjoyed this book very much! Main thrust was the trading industry that had been shut down because of the British blockade.

Murder on Bank Street, Victoria Thompson - 4/5 ... 10th book in the Sarah Brandt/Frank Malloy series. A fun & enjoyable series - in this one, we finally solve Dr. Tom Brandt's murder and Sarah & Frank move just a wee bit closer to acknowledging the attraction between them.

A Morbid Taste for Bones, Ellis Peters - 4/5 ... the first in the Brother Cadfael mystery series set in 1100's Shrewsbury, England. In this one, several of the Brothers go to Wales to collect the bones of a Saint to bring back to their own abbey. This a delightful series, cleverly written with interesting characters.

One Corpse Too Many, Ellis Peters - 4/5 ... 2nd Brother Cadfael. This one set in Shrewsbury, when King Stephen takes the castle & hangs the 94 defenders from the castle ramparts as an example to all who defy him.

The Marsh King's Daughter, Elizabeth Chadwick - 4/5 ...

Finger Licking Fifteen, Janet Evanovich - 4/5 ... 15th Stephanie Plum book. Enjoyable, funny & I will definitely continue to ready the Stephanie books. However, this one is not up to par with some of the earlier ones - maybe it's just that they are becoming a little too formulaic ... ??? Note: Not HF.

Gone Tomorrow, Lee Child - 4.5/5 ... 13th Jack Reacher & unlike the Stephanie Plum books, Lee Child keeps the Jack Reacher novels sharp & tautly drawn. This one is set primarily in NYC & has the effects of the Patriot Act as its moving force. An active Al Qaeda cell has coerced a government employee who commits suicide right in front of Jack Reacher. Note: Not HF.

The Heaven Tree, Edith Pargeter - 4/5 ... 1st in the Heaven Tree Trilogy, set in early 1200's - waning years of King John's reign in the Shrewsbury region of England. Harry Talvace is a master mason who undertakes the raising of a church for Ralf Isambard, Lord of Parfois.

The Green Branch, Edith Pargeter - 4/5 ... 2nd in the Heaven Tree Trilogy. This one picks up 15 years after the end of the 1st one and takes place in Wales as well as Parfois. Main character is Harry's son, also Harry Talvace, who has been raised as a foster son to Lord Llywelyn. Our King is now Henry III.


The Scarlet Seed, Edith Pargeter - 4/5 ... 3rd in the Heaven Tree Trilogy. Book reaches its inevitable conclusions - with lots of nice action, a few plot twists and historical fact as a backdrop the storyline. The trilogy was a very enjoyable read - I am glad I read these books & I would recommend them.

Nectar From a Stone, Jane Guill - 4/5 ... Set in Wales in 1351 about Elise and her escape from her cruel, sadistic husband Maelgwyn (a very bad man). To her rescue is the handsome Gwydion (a perfect leading man). However book was not just a historical romance, but a well developed novel with lots of development & a wonderful mix of characters.

Crackdown, Bernard Cornwell - 4/5 ... One of his "sea thrillers." Plot for this one concerns itself with the cocaine-addicted twin children of Senator Crowninspear. Set in the Bahamas. Entertaining, well developed book - wonderful writing style of BC. Note: Not HF.


These Old Shades, Georgette Heyer - 4.5/5 ... She is truly the best in the genre of historical romance! In this one, our hero rescues a young urchin boy who is really a young girl & the discarded heiress of an arch enemy.

The Tory Widow, Christine Blevins - 4/5 ... Set in NYC during early days of Revolutionary War. Good, well-written, would definitely recommend. Similar to Shadow Patriots in terms of time frame & setting. Really liked Anne Merrick, our main character & Jack Hampton, her love interest & our leading man.

Midwife of the Blue Ridge, Christine Blevins - 4.5/5 ... I really liked this one better than Tory Widow. This one is set in the 1760's when the American Frontier was in Ohio and Kenta-ke was first being explored by white hunters and trappers. Main character is Maggie, a midwife immigrant form Scotland. Lots of action, lots of good secondary characters and subplots.

Death at Devil's Bridge, Robin Paige - 4/5 ... 4th entry; set in Victorian England. Kate & Sir Charles are now married. In this book, they host a mortor car exhibition and balloon chase - one of the drivers turns up dead at the bottom of Devil's Bridge.

Monk's Hood, Ellis Peters (aka Edith Pargeter) - 4/5 ... 3rd Brother Cadfael mystery. These are just delightful little books - quick & easy whodunits. In this one, Brother Cadfael's childhood sweetheart (Richildis) shows up. Her son is accused of murdering his stepfather.

The Lady & The Unicorn, Tracy Chevalier - 4.5/5 ... I like this one a little better than Girl/Pearl Earring. Perhaps it's the setting - or maybe this book seems a bit more well developed - the setting is in two places, we have a household from the nobility & an artist in Paris & weavers in Brussels. Also enjoyed learning about the art of tapestry making.


Red Adam's Lady, Grace Ingram - 4/5 ... Delightful book with a great hero & heroine, plus a well-crafted mystery thrown in for good measure. Set in northern England during the time when the Young King was trying to build a coalition to overthrow Henry II.

The Reluctant Widow, George Heyer - 3.5/5 ... Finished it, but the least favorite of all the Heyer books I've read so far. Just too much fluff & nonsense in this one. Plot was a little convoluted and more forced than in some of her other books.


Grave Goods, Ariana Franklin - 4.5/5 ... Third "Adelia" book - and just as good as the others. In this one she is commissioned by Henry II to determine whether recently uncovered bones may be those of Arthur & Guinevere. Nice secondary characters, nice twists & turns, and a very interesting overall plot development ... :-)

Widow of the South, Robert Hicks - 3/5 ... Novel about Carrie McGavock, the woman who established the Confederate cemetery on her land following the Battle of Franklin. Her house, Carnton, was turned into a Confederate hospital during & following the battle. This novel should have been much, much better than it was. Author spent far too much time pondering the 'greater meaning of life.' All this great thinking really distracted from the storyline and slowed down the pacing.


The Savage Trail, Sheldon Russell - 3/5 ... Just okay. Not a struggle to get through, but neither a book, story, nor author I care to pursue. Had a couple of fun characters that the author gave nice 'voice' to ... made the book a little more worthwhile than it would have been otherwise.

The Mercy Seller, Brenda Rickman Vantrease - 4/5 ... The sequel to The Illuminator. I liked this book a little better than the first one - liked the storyline, the characters, etc. Situations were genuine, nothing too contrived. Really liked young King Henry V's role in this book.
Last edited by LoisAnn on Wed December 30th, 2009, 3:29 pm, edited 49 times in total.
I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. ~ Charles de Secondat


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