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November 2010: What Are You Reading?

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Ash
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Location: Arizona, USA

Post by Ash » Sat November 6th, 2010, 10:23 pm

Reading my first Arianna Franklin; nice read for lazing in the autumn sun, but I have some historic quibbles as well as some anachronisms that are making me stop. Did they have cement in the 12th century? She makes a comment about the cast being as hard as cement. Anyway, the writing isn't bad, the characters interesting and the plot is moving along quickly. I've read worse.

Also reading a NF memoir My Father's Paradise, about the authors journey - physical and emotional - to his father's Kurdish village, one of the last traditional Jewish communities in Iraq which was 'rescued' and taken to Israel in the 50s. Very interesting; Has a bit of fictional embellishment but he indicates what is what, and its well written enough that Im not very bothered (tho I am early in the read)
Last edited by Ash on Sat November 6th, 2010, 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Berengaria
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Posts: 307
Joined: July 2010
Location: northern Vancouver Island, BC Canada

The Morland Dynasty series

Post by Berengaria » Sat November 6th, 2010, 10:24 pm

Have just received a book from a friend...it is the first book in the dynasty series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. The Foundingbegins in the 15th century and has fictional and real characters. I've read the first few pages, and seeing as there are others who want to read it, I plan to concentrate on it over the next few days. The weather in the North island is miserable today, so it is a good time to sit by a fire and sink myself into the era! Hope everyone is having a good weekend! :D
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“No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. She will not want new fashions nor regret the loss of expensive diversions or variety of company if she can be amused with an author in her closet.” ~Lady Montagu

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Sat November 6th, 2010, 11:46 pm

[quote=""Ash""]Reading my first Arianna Franklin; nice read for lazing in the autumn sun, but I have some historic quibbles as well as some anachronisms that are making me stop. Did they have cement in the 12th century? She makes a comment about the cast being as hard as cement. Anyway, the writing isn't bad, the characters interesting and the plot is moving along quickly. I've read worse.
[/quote]

Not sure. I wouldn't use it. I'd go for mortar to be safe. There are a lot of historical errors - Henry's head being described as a billiard ball comes to mind and the whole thing with the monk and the catheter is very silly because if he's in that condition, it's not just going to be a one off quick cure is it? The guy's doomed. I enjoyed the first one despite the constant anachronisms. She told a great fast-paced tale that was fun to read. Just don't mention the second one. :eek: :eek: :eek:
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

Ash
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Location: Arizona, USA

Post by Ash » Sun November 7th, 2010, 1:49 am

I finally lost it when Henry says to Adelia 'whats that got to do with fish?'. The book isn't heavy enough to be a wall banger, but it did make a nice thud against the patio window.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sun November 7th, 2010, 4:20 am

The Romans had cement -- even a variety that cured underwater, which modern technology didn't figure out until the 1940s. The Pantheon in Rome is a huge dome, done with five different grades of cement in a single pour. We still can't match it today.

No clue if the middle ages retained that knowledge.

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Vanessa
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Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Post by Vanessa » Sun November 7th, 2010, 4:14 pm

I've just started Mariana by Susanna Kearsley.
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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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Sun November 7th, 2010, 5:34 pm

[quote=""Ash""]Did they have cement in the 12th century? She makes a comment about the cast being as hard as cement.[/quote]

Sorry to be the word quibbler here, but cement and concrete are frequently and erroneously interchanged. From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

CEMENT:
"...a powder of alumina, silica, lime, iron oxide, and magnesium oxide burned together in a kiln and finely pulverized and used as an ingredient of mortar and concrete."

CONCRETE:
"...a hard strong building material made by mixing a cementing material (as portland cement) and a mineral aggregate (as sand and gravel) with sufficient water to cause the cement to set and bind the entire mass."

Like the use of "less" when "fewer" is called for, this may be a lost cause. Words shift meaning all the time in common speech. Cement and concrete may retain their particular meanings only among building specialists. And MLE is right, concrete allowed the Romans to achieve many wonderful engineering feats including building ports with underwater setting concrete.

As to the writing, I mildly enjoyed the first one Mistress of the Art of Death, but I guess I've watched too many CSI shows, because I was able to predict all of the plot twists. ;)
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Sun November 7th, 2010, 5:40 pm

Finished an ARC copy of Conn Iggulden's newest: Khan: Empire of Silver--review coming soon. I finally started Antony and Cleopatra by Colleen McCullough--OK so far, but understand the complaints of "plodding."
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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chuck
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Location: Ciinaminson NJ

Medieval CSI

Post by chuck » Sun November 7th, 2010, 6:42 pm

[quote=""Ash""]Reading my first Arianna Franklin; nice read for lazing in the autumn sun, but I have some historic quibbles as well as some anachronisms that are making me stop. Did they have cement in the 12th century? She makes a comment about the cast being as hard as cement. Anyway, the writing isn't bad, the characters interesting and the plot is moving along quickly. I've read worse.

Also reading a NF memoir My Father's Paradise, about the authors journey - physical and emotional - to his father's Kurdish village, one of the last traditional Jewish communities in Iraq which was 'rescued' and taken to Israel in the 50s. Very interesting; Has a bit of fictional embellishment but he indicates what is what, and its well written enough that Im not very bothered (tho I am early in the read)[/quote]

I have read most of Ariana Franklin's Novels....From the start I accepted the Forensic premise....So I basically let the anachronisms slide....I enjoy the main characters and the plots are interesting with the exception of "The Serpent's Tale"...did not like or believe the "Fair" Rosamund Clifford and Eleanor of Aquitaine and the nasty intrigues that drove the story....

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Sun November 7th, 2010, 7:38 pm

[quote=""chuck""]I have read most of Ariana Franklin's Novels....From the start I accepted the Forensic premise....So I basically let the anachronisms slide....I enjoy the main characters and the plots are interesting with the exception of "The Serpent's Tale"...did not like or believe the "Fair" Rosamund Clifford and Eleanor of Aquitaine and the nasty intrigues that drove the story....[/quote]

I was so astounded at the goings on in The Serpent's tale that I couldn't believe in it, even setting my quibbles aside. The 'defrosting' scene has to be one of the most bizarre and distasteful scenes I have EVER read in a historical novel... and the later 'squelch' scene - well! :eek: :eek: I felt it entered defaming the dead territory, especially as neither Eleanor nor Henry were around in England at that point, and Rosamund had another 3 years to go befor she died. A shame because I enjoyed the first one enough to play along.
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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