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.

May 2011 Book of the Month: Nominations

Retired Threads
User avatar
boswellbaxter
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3066
Joined: August 2008
Location: North Carolina
Contact:

May 2011 Book of the Month: Nominations

Post by boswellbaxter » Tue March 1st, 2011, 6:10 am

Misfit has suggested our theme for May 2011: novels that deal with civil wars. Please note that this doesn't limit you to the American Civil War or to the English Civil War! Nominations close March 4.
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/
http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3562
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) » Tue March 1st, 2011, 7:50 am

Okay, since the American Civil war is being done in April, I nominate Prince of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger. The piecemeal wars between and within the city states of the Italian peninsula in 1500 certainly qualify as a civil war, since almost everybody was swept up in them.

Lacking much of a product description, I copied a paragraph from one of it's many five-star reviews:

This is a great cloak & sword story, in the tradition of The Three Musketeers, The Mark of Zorro, or Robin Hood. The story is set in Renaissance Italy, and concerns Andre Orsini, a ambitious young man aspiring to become the complete Renaissance Man: Warrior, Philosopher, Artist, and Lover. Passing himself off as being of noble birth, he enters the service of the ruthless Cesare Borgia hoping to make his fortune and be instrumental in the unification of Italy. Borgia sends Andre to the fictitous city-state of Citadel del Monte to prepare the way for a coming military campaign. Andre is to persuade the aged ruler to align with Borgia or suffer the consequences. Failing that, Andre is to arrange for the old Count's death. As a reward, he is promised the old man's titles, and his beautiful young wife, the lady Madonna Camilla.

second-hand copies are available everywhere, it was a mega-bestseller in its day.

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4226
Joined: August 2008
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 » Tue March 1st, 2011, 9:19 am

I'd like to nominate Best of Men by Claire Letemendia.
It is 1642, and Laurence Beaumont has just returned to England after six long years fighting - and avoiding fighting - in the European Wars. Having fled his homeland to escape the responsibilities of his noble birthright, he has been a lowly infantryman, a spy, and a cardsharp in a Dutch brothel. He has seen the worst inhumanities visited on men, women and children by enemy and neighbour alike, and he no longer has faith in God, in causes, or much in humankind itself. Yet as the clashes between King Charles I and his mutinous Parliament come to a crisis and England is thrown into civil war, Beaumont is drawn back into the world of warfare and intrigue when he discovers coded letters outlining a plot to assassinate the king. Soon the conspirators - one of whom is among the most powerful men in the kingdom - are in hot pursuit, and he must find proof of their identities before they overtake him. Pressed into service by the Secretary of State's ruthless spymaster, Beaumont finds himself threatened on all sides, facing the possibility of imprisonment, torture or worse, if he makes a single wrong step. The ravishing Isabella Savage, a practiced seducer, is interested in helping, but may only lead him deeper into the conspiracies within the king's camp. And all the while, Beaumont is haunted by a prophecy and by the memory of a love betrayed.

Vivid in it's detail, filled with gripping action scenes, bawdy and smart, "The Best of Men" is a rousing, rich and thoroughly satisfying historical novel in the vein of Iain Pears' "An Instance of the Fingerpost" and the bestselling works of C J Sansom. Laurence Beaumont is an unforgettable new character, and Claire Letemendia is a dazzling new storyteller.
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

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Tue March 1st, 2011, 9:38 am

Tricky- I really enjoyed both Prince of Foxes and Best of Men.

Have we ever had As Meat Loves Salt as a BOTH? If not, I'll nominate that.

User avatar
Divia
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4435
Joined: August 2008
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Post by Divia » Tue March 1st, 2011, 11:02 am

I'm only interested in the American Civil War, so I'm going to throw out this radical idea. American and a YA book

Two girls of gettysburg by Lisa Klein

In 1861, the Confederacy has just declared its independence from the Union, but life goes on much as usual in the quiet town of Gettysburg. Fifteen-year-old Lizzie Allbauer and her cousin Rosanna, recently arrived from Virginia, have big plans to attend the Ladies' Seminary together in the fall. Then Lizzie's father and brother enlist in the Union army and she must stay home to help her mother run the family butcher shop. Rosanna flees back to Richmond after a Gettysburg beau is killed in one of the early battles. Torn between her romanticized view of the war and her parents' conservative rules, Rosanna impulsively agrees to marry a former beau, John Wilcox. Within a month of marriage, he is injured, and Rosanna rushes to meet up with the Virginia Infantry so that she can care for him. Realizing that she has a gift for healing, she stays on with her husband's company as a nurse. Chapters alternate between Rosanna's journal entries of her life as a Confederate nurse and Lizzie's accounts of the events leading up to the July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. While Klein's extensive research is evident, the alternating voices have only limited success: readers will be drawn to Lizzie's genuine warmth, but frivolous Rosanna's leap to the ultra-responsible wife and nurse and the stilted dialogues in her journal entries stretch credibility. Still, Klein's weaving of the young women's stories to a shared conclusion gives a fresh perspective on the complexities of the Civil War.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.
http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 5706
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Tue March 1st, 2011, 2:03 pm

[quote=""annis""]Tricky- I really enjoyed both Prince of Foxes and Best of Men.

Have we ever had As Meat Loves Salt as a BOTH? If not, I'll nominate that.[/quote]

This book sounds fab - just seen on Amazon UK that it's being re-issued in the UK at the end of March - with a headless woman on the cover :confused:

I really fancy both this and The Best of Men, so voting will be difficult! ;) :rolleyes:
Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross

User avatar
sweetpotatoboy
Bibliophile
Posts: 1641
Joined: August 2008
Location: London, UK

Post by sweetpotatoboy » Tue March 1st, 2011, 2:12 pm

[quote=""Madeleine""]This book sounds fab - just seen on Amazon UK that it's being re-issued in the UK at the end of March - with a headless woman on the cover :confused: [/quote]

WTF??!!! I'm sorry - I couldn't take your word for it, I had to go and check for myself and I've just seen the cover.
I've only recently read this book (As Meat Loves Salt) - in fact, we read and discussed it in detail at my book group.
To have a woman's image on the cover - with or without accompanying head - is just ludicrous given the book's content. I can't imagine the author would be happy with such a decision. Many readers of the book will take against her, feeling they've been led up the wrong path.

User avatar
Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Posts: 1346
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Tue March 1st, 2011, 3:05 pm

I'll second As Meat Loves Salt. I just snagged a like new used copy of it.

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

Post by Brenna » Tue March 1st, 2011, 3:36 pm

I like all of them (and As Meat Loves Salt does not have a headless women on the cover in the U.S-Whoopee!).
Brenna

User avatar
Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 5706
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Tue March 1st, 2011, 4:20 pm

[quote=""sweetpotatoboy""]WTF??!!! I'm sorry - I couldn't take your word for it, I had to go and check for myself and I've just seen the cover.
I've only recently read this book (As Meat Loves Salt) - in fact, we read and discussed it in detail at my book group.
To have a woman's image on the cover - with or without accompanying head - is just ludicrous given the book's content. I can't imagine the author would be happy with such a decision. Many readers of the book will take against her, feeling they've been led up the wrong path.[/quote]

Absolutely :eek: I wonder what the promotional blurb will say?
Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross

Locked

Return to “Archives”