Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

What Are You Reading? March 2011

Retired Threads
User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Fri March 4th, 2011, 3:29 am

Lily Cigar by Thomas Murphy. It promises to be a big fat ole' rags to riches soap opera from New York to San Francisco.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

User avatar
Brenna
Bibliophile
Posts: 1358
Joined: June 2010
Location: Delaware

Post by Brenna » Fri March 4th, 2011, 3:04 pm

Finished The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent and have now started Nan Hawthorne's An Involuntary King. I am a little curious about the spacing issue but I'm not sure if that is a Kindle thing or not. Easy read so far.
Brenna

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Fri March 4th, 2011, 5:41 pm

About 100 pages into Lily Cigar by Tom Murphy and loving it. Very well written, about a young orphan who goes from being the backstairs maid for a wealth NY family 1850's to disgrace at the hands of the young spoiled son and shunted off to San Francisco. I think it ends around the 1906 earthquake/fire with lots of adventures in between. Loving it.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Fri March 4th, 2011, 7:32 pm

Reading Stewart Binn's Conquest, a novel about post-Norman Invasion resistance fighter, Hereward the Wake. A lot of readers clearly love this book, but though I'd like to love it, I find I'm struggling with it. I accept that Hereward's story has always contained elements of fantasy- even the monk-historian who wrote the original chronicle about his exploits got carried away, despite having actually interviewed men who had personally known Hereward,. Even so, Hereward is presented here as just too much of an epic fantasy hero for my taste. There's also something about the writing style which prevents me from becoming immersed in the story as opposed to just reading it.

Kudos to Binns though, for not going blindly with Charles Kingsley's version of Lady Godiva as Hereward's mother. This is highly unlikely but adopted by many authors, probably because it's a name readers will actually recognise. Like me, Binns believes Hereward's father to have been an Anglo-Saxon thegn named Leofric (not Leofric, Earl of Mercia) and his mother to have been of Danish extraction.
Last edited by annis on Fri March 4th, 2011, 7:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Elysium
Reader
Posts: 182
Joined: December 2010
Location: Finland
Contact:

Post by Elysium » Fri March 4th, 2011, 9:44 pm

Started By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan

User avatar
Kasthu
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 699
Joined: December 2008
Location: Radnor, PA
Contact:

Post by Kasthu » Fri March 4th, 2011, 10:24 pm

Hester, by Margaret Oliphant.

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Fri March 4th, 2011, 10:27 pm

[quote=""Kasthu""]Hester, by Margaret Oliphant.[/quote]

I really liked that one a lot. IIRC some real quirky characters.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

User avatar
Tanzanite
Bibliophile
Posts: 1963
Joined: August 2008
Location: Northern Virginia
Contact:

Post by Tanzanite » Sat March 5th, 2011, 1:19 am

[quote=""annis""]Reading Stewart Binn's Conquest, a novel about post-Norman Invasion resistance fighter, Hereward the Wake. A lot of readers clearly love this book, but though I'd like to love it, I find I'm struggling with it. I accept that Hereward's story has always contained elements of fantasy- even the monk-historian who wrote the original chronicle about his exploits got carried away, despite having actually interviewed men who had personally known Hereward,. Even so, Hereward is presented here as just too much of an epic fantasy hero for my taste. There's also something about the writing style which prevents me from becoming immersed in the story as opposed to just reading it.

Kudos to Binns though, for not going blindly with Charles Kingsley's version of Lady Godiva as Hereward's mother. This is highly unlikely but adopted by many authors, probably because it's a name readers will actually recognise. Like me, Binns believes Hereward's father to have been an Anglo-Saxon thegn named Leofric (not Leofric, Earl of Mercia) and his mother to have been of Danish extraction.[/quote]

I'm glad it wasn't just me - I liked it but didn't love it as much as I hope to. I also didn't really care for the whole "magical" talisman plot line and the set up of the whole story meant a lot of telling at times. I really hope Helen Hollick writes his story...

As for what I'm reading now - The Queen's Rival by Diane Haeger.

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Sat March 5th, 2011, 3:02 am

Posted by Tanzanite
---the set up of the whole story meant a lot of telling at times.
This is what stopped me from becoming involved in the story - Binns would have done better to let the story tell itself a bit more, so to speak. I've noticed that historians and academics who turn to writing historical fiction write well, but are sometimes rather lacking in a sense of story-telling. I couldn't warm to Torfida either - she just never felt like a realistic character.

Helen Hollick is supposed to be writing a novel about Hereward, but says it won't be ready till next year. There's also another novel about him coming out later this year by James Wilde, called Hereward. The Wake is certainly having a renaissance as an HF subject!
Last edited by annis on Sat March 5th, 2011, 4:41 am, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Nefret
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2980
Joined: February 2009
Favourite HF book: Welsh Princes trilogy
Preferred HF: The Middle Ages (England), New Kingdom Egypt, Medieval France
Location: Temple of Isis

Post by Nefret » Sat March 5th, 2011, 4:51 am

Calendar by David Ewing Duncan (non fiction from college library.)
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"
{Ensiferum}

Locked

Return to “Archives”