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September 2010: What Are You Reading?

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Post by Ludmilla » Sat September 4th, 2010, 1:16 pm

DeGrasse Tyson wrote a lovely tribute about "A Wrinkle in Time" which is published in my daughter's edition of that book. I used to read his column in one of the Science magazines, can't remember if it was Natural History or Discover.

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Preferred HF: The Middle Ages (England), New Kingdom Egypt, Medieval France
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Post by Nefret » Sat September 4th, 2010, 1:16 pm

The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne
Into battle we ride with Gods by our side
We are strong and not afraid to die
We have an urge to kill and our lust for blood has to be fulfilled
WE´LL FIGHT TILL THE END! And send our enemies straight to Hell!
- "Into Battle"

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Post by burlgirl » Sat September 4th, 2010, 4:01 pm

I haven't read Connie's "To Say Nothing of the Dog", but when I requested "Blackout" I also requested "Dog" - it's been on my mental TBR list for years, so I thought, why not now? Besides, years ago I read "Doomsday Book" by her and was very pleased with the book. It got me to look into more modern times (since ancient history has always been my love, even the 14th century was too modern!)

I'm just short of half way through "Blackout" and just discovered that a sequel is due out later in the year. I hope I remember what has happened in "Blackout" by the time "All Clear" comes out (since I guess I'll have read another 10 - 20 books in between, at least)- I'm afraid I'm oppressed with "halftimers".
In any case, I admit that until recently, WWII wasn't a big draw for me, but my DH has been watching quite a few programs about it, so I made the jump into this book.

I'm loving how historians from the future come to the WWII England and try to learn about the time without really changing history. So far, it's really working - it's almost like having 2 stories going on. I'm interested in the short time we spend in the not so distant future, but even more interested in what was happening in London during WWII. We do get the Blitz, Dunkirk and other places that I'm blanking on. I'm also pretty fascinated with the story about the evacuated children that takes place in a more country setting. I knew that had happened, but knew as much about it as I do String Theory - which is to say, nothing, really.

I do admit that I sometimes get confused about the jumping between main characters, since they all have back stories, and I sometimes mix up the 4 main characters back stories. And, since I'm not as familiar with places in England as I should be, I wish the book had a map of England with the places in the story shown. I know they are more or less close to London, but where exactly? I'd also like to have a map of London, so when they talk about bombs falling here, there and everywhere, I can look and see where those places are compared to the ones that fell the night before.

One other thing I'm having a problem with is the time travel aspect. When she talks about how this works, with the "net" and some other aspects (trying hard not to give anything way) I wonder if there are other books she's written about this that would explain how this works, and she's expecting the reader to know this already. Or, is this part of the story, to be revealed later? Only continual reading will tell, I suspect.

So far, I'd give the book 4 out of 5 stars. I do admit that I'm an easy grader though.

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Post by lindymc » Sat September 4th, 2010, 10:29 pm

A year or so ago I read Helen Hollick's novel Harold the King, about King Harold, and today I finished Parke Godwin's novel about him entitled Lord of Sunset. I loved both novels, I love and admire Harold. I'm wondering how history students in England, and the 'common man' feel toward Harold. Is he studied much in England's schools? How is he regarded in relationship to the 'saintly' Edward the Confessor? I really wish some of the members of this forum who live in the UK would respond. Thanks.
She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain. (1873) -- Louisa May Alcott

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Post by annis » Sat September 4th, 2010, 11:40 pm

Harold is one of my heroes, too (although I'm not English). I enjoyed both those novels, and also recommend Hope Muntz' book The Golden Warrior. It's a bit harder to get into, being written rather in the old saga style, but very good.

I find it hard to re-read any of the novels about Harold because I don't want him to have the tragic ending he does, but unfortunately can't change history!

He does appear to have been the best of the Godwins, and would have made an excellent king. He was strong, capable, ruthless where needed, but an attractive personality liked and admired by many. Even William the Conqueror liked him and thought him a good sort, though it didn't deter his ambitions. William understood and took advantage of the fact that Harold wouldn't be able to handle his people being attacked by the Normans and would rush into action impulsively before being properly prepared, rather than wait in London which would have been a better choice and given him time to build up his forces, sadly depleted after the Battle of Stamford Bridge.

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Post by Misfit » Sat September 4th, 2010, 11:49 pm

[quote=""annis""]I find it hard to re-read any of the novels about Harold because I don't want him to have the tragic ending he does, but unfortunately can't change history![/quote]

Similar to reading a book on R3 and you know how it's going to end and hope one day it will be different. I'm happy to see Harold (albeit with a new title) getting a new lease on life in the US next year thanks to Sourcebooks.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Post by Telynor » Sun September 5th, 2010, 1:02 am

Finished up The Pluto Files and posted the review over at Epinions. I gave it 5 stars. Now onto The Courtiers -- I think I am really going to like this one!

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Post by LoobyG » Sun September 5th, 2010, 3:17 pm

I'd say Harold is only touched upon briefly in History in schools here in England, in relation to the lead up to the battle of Hastings and his tragic end. I maybe spent a week on that when I was about 14? And then that was it, which was a shame. I know very little about that time period, I do have Helen Hollick's book on him on my TBR pile however :)

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Post by rockygirl » Sun September 5th, 2010, 3:19 pm

Reading The Blind Eye by Marilyn Todd. I'm about a third of the way through, and I'm still not sure if I like it.

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Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
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Post by Vanessa » Sun September 5th, 2010, 5:10 pm

I'm just about to start The Seance by John Harwood.
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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