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MUST Reads

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
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MUST Reads

Post by tsjmom » Thu November 11th, 2010, 1:29 am

Ok, so we have different lists, but let's just list our absolute "you HAVE to read these books" of all time.

I'll start:

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
The Glass Castle
The Book Thief

Now it's your turn :)

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Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Thu November 11th, 2010, 1:40 am

Oh gawd, don't get me started I'll be here all night :o

Penman's Welsh Trilogy, H&E trilogy and Here be Dragons
The Far Pavilions MM Kaye

I'm sure there's more but I'll come back later.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Compulsive Reader
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Joined: September 2010
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Post by wendy » Thu November 11th, 2010, 2:52 am

Lord of the Flies
The Other Boleyn Girl
Gone With the Wind
Jane Eyre
Their Eyes Were Watching God
A Farewell to Arms
The Bluest Eye
My Antonia
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Madame Bovary
The Da Vinci Code
The Hot Zone

An odd-ball selection . . . but that reflects me!

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Posts: 3565
Joined: August 2008
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) » Thu November 11th, 2010, 3:40 am

The Book of James. And it's only 23K words.

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Compulsive Reader
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Joined: January 2009
Location: Castilla

Post by emr » Thu November 11th, 2010, 7:39 am

Eagle in the Snow
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

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Joined: November 2010
Preferred HF: European and American (mostly pre-20th century)
Location: Colorado

Post by Mythica » Thu November 11th, 2010, 9:58 am

Forever Amber
Wolf Hall
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Pillars of the Earth
Memoirs of a Geisha
The Red Tent

To be honest, I hated TOBG but it's so famous I think everyone should read it and make up their own minds. I also haven't yet read Katherine, Wolf Hall or Pillars of the Earth but they are on my to-read list. Likewise, I think they are just such big titles in HF, everyone should give them a go.

Does The Da Vinci Code count as historical fiction since it's set in modern day times? I read a lot of this sub-genre... historical/archaeological mystery thrillers set in modern day time. Or at least mostly set in modern times, some of them have a historical side-plot. But even so, I'm not sure I would consider them historical fiction.

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Location: Nottingham UK

Post by EC2 » Thu November 11th, 2010, 11:09 am

The Game of Kings - Dorothy Dunnett
Hanta Yo - Ruth Beebee Hill
Lord of the Rings - Tolkien (okay fantasy, but with strong historical motifs).

Edited to say I have many, many favourite historical novels that I would happily award top marks, but then some go beyond that and have become woven into my life path, whereas the others are just beloved companions. The above 3 for me are part of my heart and soul.
Last edited by EC2 on Thu November 11th, 2010, 11:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
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


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Currently reading: "Murder on the Ile Sordou" by M L Longworth
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime, dual time-frame
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Thu November 11th, 2010, 11:28 am

The Lord of the Rings - to me it has a very strong historical feel, somewhere between the Dark and Middle Ages, but that's just my impression.
Jane Eyre
To Kill a Mockingbird (not HF I know but still a relevant book for any time)
Far from the Madding Crowd
Wuthering Heights
Into the Wilderness
The Other Boleyn Girl (I loved it, and whatever anyone else thinks I think it's an excellent intro to HF)
The Mallen Trilogy (not great lit, but my first HF-type read and a good story!)
Any of C J Sansom's Matthew Shardlake books
The American Boy

I shall leave it there for now before I get carried away completely!
Currently reading "Murder on the Ile Sordou" by M L Longworth

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Location: Delaware

Post by Brenna » Thu November 11th, 2010, 2:53 pm

All of Sharon Kay Penman's books
Elizabeth Chadwicks Marshell "trilogy"
Legacy by Susan Kay
Within the Fetterlock-Brian Wainwright
Camulod Series-Jack Whyte

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Post by Ash » Thu November 11th, 2010, 3:23 pm

Didn't we do this a while back? I need to go look so I can see if my list is still the same.

Ah, here we go:

http://www.historicalfictiononline.com/ ... ic+fiction

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