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What are you reading?

Retired Threads
Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Thu September 18th, 2008, 12:16 am

EC, the only reason I was able to get through Queen's Fool was I wanted to know just how many ways she got judaism and that time period wrong.

Still with Strongholds and Shadows (just finished a non HF book, Mourning Ruth by Helen Dunmore, which was excellent) and just received Marsh Queen.

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Telynor
Bibliophile
Location: On the Banks of the Hudson

Postby Telynor » Thu September 18th, 2008, 4:15 am

Right now:
Princes of the Golden Cage by Mallet

Then:
Heretic Queen by MMoran
Pomegranate Soup
The Burnt House by Faye Kellerman

Ash -- I was appalled by The Queen's Fool -- it was one of the worst books that I've read that has incorporated Judaism, and got it quite wrong. What angers me is that someone finds out that I'm Jewish and that I read HF and then they start on on how wonderful this book is, etc. and I have to say, it's complete and utter dung.

I really do wish that HF writers who are not Jewish actually decide to do some research into Judaism before they toss it into a novel. It just keeps perpetuating the stereotypes and tends to get it very very wrong. Or if they're trying to bring in the occult, and they latch onto the Kabalah -- oh, it's just horrid. (Ok, rant over. back to the low simmer...)

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JMJacobsen
Reader
Location: Gig Harbor, Washington

Postby JMJacobsen » Thu September 18th, 2008, 5:51 am

Just finished Time and Chance, by Penman and started in on The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I was hooked within the first 5 pages of this one.

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EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Postby EC2 » Thu September 18th, 2008, 9:03 am

"Telynor" wrote:Right now:
Princes of the Golden Cage by Mallet

Then:
Heretic Queen by MMoran
Pomegranate Soup
The Burnt House by Faye Kellerman

Ash -- I was appalled by The Queen's Fool -- it was one of the worst books that I've read that has incorporated Judaism, and got it quite wrong. What angers me is that someone finds out that I'm Jewish and that I read HF and then they start on on how wonderful this book is, etc. and I have to say, it's complete and utter dung.

I really do wish that HF writers who are not Jewish actually decide to do some research into Judaism before they toss it into a novel. It just keeps perpetuating the stereotypes and tends to get it very very wrong. Or if they're trying to bring in the occult, and they latch onto the Kabalah -- oh, it's just horrid. (Ok, rant over. back to the low simmer...)


I am still reading TQF as it's not bad enough to give up on, but I have a lot of issues with it and suspending my disbelief is one of the main ones. I am telling myself this is 'just a story' and imagining it as mostly fantasy woven on some known historical facts. I wouldn't know about the Judaism but the gut feeling adds to my overall impression. None of that side of Hannah's life feels right.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Kailana
Reader
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Contact:

Postby Kailana » Thu September 18th, 2008, 10:55 am

"Telynor" wrote:Right now:
Princes of the Golden Cage by Mallet



I read this book at the beginning of the year! It was pretty good. She had another book out in the summer and I preordered it, but I never received it. Now it is saying currently unavailable.

User avatar
pat
Avid Reader
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Postby pat » Thu September 18th, 2008, 11:09 am

"Telynor" wrote:Right now:
Princes of the Golden Cage by Mallet

Then:
Heretic Queen by MMoran
Pomegranate Soup
The Burnt House by Faye Kellerman

Ash -- I was appalled by The Queen's Fool -- it was one of the worst books that I've read that has incorporated Judaism, and got it quite wrong. What angers me is that someone finds out that I'm Jewish and that I read HF and then they start on on how wonderful this book is, etc. and I have to say, it's complete and utter dung.

I really do wish that HF writers who are not Jewish actually decide to do some research into Judaism before they toss it into a novel. It just keeps perpetuating the stereotypes and tends to get it very very wrong. Or if they're trying to bring in the occult, and they latch onto the Kabalah -- oh, it's just horrid. (Ok, rant over. back to the low simmer...)


You will love Pomegranate Soup! Well, I hope you will!!!
A good book and a good coffee, what more can anyone want? xx

User avatar
sweetpotatoboy
Bibliophile
Location: London, UK

Postby sweetpotatoboy » Thu September 18th, 2008, 9:10 pm

"Telynor" wrote:I was appalled by The Queen's Fool -- it was one of the worst books that I've read that has incorporated Judaism, and got it quite wrong. What angers me is that someone finds out that I'm Jewish and that I read HF and then they start on on how wonderful this book is, etc. and I have to say, it's complete and utter dung.

I really do wish that HF writers who are not Jewish actually decide to do some research into Judaism before they toss it into a novel. It just keeps perpetuating the stereotypes and tends to get it very very wrong. Or if they're trying to bring in the occult, and they latch onto the Kabalah -- oh, it's just horrid. (Ok, rant over. back to the low simmer...)


I'm Jewish too. And The Queen's Fool is the only Gregory I've read, and I'm not going to rush to read more, though it hasn't completely put me off.
Yes, I did find much of the Judaism in the book just plain wrong - but then, I've experienced that before, worse even. (The book I mentioned in the worst HF ever thread was far, far worse in that respect.)

I think it's good, once in a while, to read a book where something you actually know about is dealt with completely incorrectly. Just makes you realise how many other things may be wrong in novels that you're not in a position to judge on!

On the one hand, I acknowledge how difficult it would be for something like Gregory to get that sort of thing quite right - by herself. But she should have prepared to consult with an appropriate scholar to make sure it rang true of its era and the community in question (and been prepared to adjust her novel appropriately).

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Telynor
Bibliophile
Location: On the Banks of the Hudson

Postby Telynor » Thu September 18th, 2008, 10:46 pm

"sweetpotatoboy" wrote:I'm Jewish too. And The Queen's Fool is the only Gregory I've read, and I'm not going to rush to read more, though it hasn't completely put me off.
Yes, I did find much of the Judaism in the book just plain wrong - but then, I've experienced that before, worse even. (The book I mentioned in the worst HF ever thread was far, far worse in that respect.)

I think it's good, once in a while, to read a book where something you actually know about is dealt with completely incorrectly. Just makes you realise how many other things may be wrong in novels that you're not in a position to judge on!

On the one hand, I acknowledge how difficult it would be for something like Gregory to get that sort of thing quite right - by herself. But she should have prepared to consult with an appropriate scholar to make sure it rang true of its era and the community in question (and been prepared to adjust her novel appropriately).



I agree completely. What really annoyed me is that there is plenty of nonfiction, historical accounts of the Marranos, and how they behaved to evade notice by Christian authorities as to how they were fitting in. One fascinating book I read was A Drizzle of Honey, that was taken from Inquisition accounts in Portugal and Spain, and not just that, but also recipes. Really helped me to figure out the period and setting, along with some mouthwatering cookery. One of the best books on Judaism that I've come across is the new edition of Jewish Literacy by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, who not only can write very well, but also can convey some very complicated ideas into a very understandable format for both Jews and non-Jews. His other books are excellent as well -- I found Words that Hurt, Words that Heal one of the best books on the role of forgiveness and compassion in society.

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michellemoran
Bibliophile
Contact:

Postby michellemoran » Thu September 18th, 2008, 11:00 pm

Telynor: I really do wish that HF writers who are not Jewish actually decide to do some research into Judaism before they toss it into a novel. It just keeps perpetuating the stereotypes and tends to get it very very wrong. Or if they're trying to bring in the occult, and they latch onto the Kabalah -- oh, it's just horrid. (Ok, rant over. back to the low simmer...)


I agree with Telynor on the subject of Judaism in TQF. Quite a mess.

On a totally different subject, right now I'm reading an ARC of SIGNORA DA VINCI by Robin Maxwell. This is without a doubt my favorite book of hers. It's about Leonardo da Vinci's mother and although I won't be finished until tonight, it's a great read.
Visit MichelleMoran.com
Check out Michelle's blog History Buff at michellemoran.blogspot.com

Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Fri September 19th, 2008, 12:28 am

"sweetpotatoboy" wrote:On the one hand, I acknowledge how difficult it would be for something like Gregory to get that sort of thing quite right - by herself. But she should have prepared to consult with an appropriate scholar to make sure it rang true of its era and the community in question (and been prepared to adjust her novel appropriately).


Thats what her job is - find out what she doesn't know. One of the best professors I ever had taught with the assumption that we wouldn't remember everything she taught us, but she was going to make sure we knew the resources for how to find out the information we needed. That skill learned as a freshman has served me well throughout my life, and it still amazes me when I read a book which shows the author not only doesn't know, but didn't take the time and energy to get it right.


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