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What are you reading? July 2011

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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 July 19th, 2011, 3:36 am

I'm reading Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. And just for fun, Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages by R.W. Southern. Dry and scholarly, but connecting some dots that other histories miss. But if you don't already have a good idea of what was going on in medieval France, Spain, Italy, and England, you'd find yourself seriously confused.

rebecca
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Joined: July 2011

Post by rebecca » Tue July 19th, 2011, 3:54 am

I read 'A Reliable Wife' earlier this year and enjoyed it. It is bleak without being miserable(if that makes sense) and I like the fact that none of the characters were whiter than white but rather a mixture of good and bad.

Right now I am reading 'The Merlin Trilogy' by Mary Stewart.I love the Arthurian myths and legends and have no idea why it has taken me this long to read Stewarts interpretation of Arthur, Merlin and the Camelot legend.

Best Wishes

Bec

annis
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Post by annis » Tue July 19th, 2011, 3:57 am

Posted by Sweetpotatoboy
Just started Helena by Evelyn Waugh, a novel about the mother of Emperor Constantine.
I keep meaning to read this one. I'd be interested to know what you think- some sources feel that Waugh completely lost his sense of irony with this one and created a real hagiography

annis
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Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Tue July 19th, 2011, 4:10 am

Posted by Rebecca
I read 'A Reliable Wife' earlier this year and enjoyed it. It is bleak without being miserable(if that makes sense) and I like the fact that none of the characters were whiter than white but rather a mixture of good and bad.
I was impressed with A Reliable Wife. It fair snaps with a dark, poetic energy and is unputdownable. None of the characters are likable, but as you become aware of the circumstances which have made them the flawed people they are, you find them not just unsympathetic but also pitiable.

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EC2
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Location: Nottingham UK
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Post by EC2 » Tue July 19th, 2011, 8:52 am

I am busy with an ARC of SKP's Lionheart (he he!) and also reading a fun modern romantic fantasy spoof on my Kindle by my friend from the RNA Kate Johnson - The Untied Kingdom.
In research reading I'm busy reading a history of Louis VII in French - and not having studied French since I was at school (I do have a qualification in it, but long rusty), I am going rather slowly, but managing to get the gist.
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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Madeleine
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Posts: 5706
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Tue July 19th, 2011, 8:55 am

I've just started "The Lantern" by Deborah Lawrenson - modern and set in Provence; so far it's a little like Barbara Erskine's books, where there are alternate chapters which hint at the past (not sure how far back it goes though) and a haunting or two. Promising so far.
Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross

jessicajames
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Posts: 13
Joined: July 2011
Location: Gettysburg
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John Esten Cooke

Post by jessicajames » Tue July 19th, 2011, 2:04 pm

I walked into a used bookstore last Saturday and found a copy of Mohun by John Esten Cooke, one of my favorite authors from the Civil War era and a very hard to find book! It is fantastic!

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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 July 19th, 2011, 2:49 pm

I'll be starting Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier later on.
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

rebecca
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Joined: July 2011

Post by rebecca » Wed July 20th, 2011, 12:35 am

"It fair snaps with a dark, poetic energy and is unputdownable. None of the characters are likable, but as you become aware of the circumstances which have made them the flawed people they are, you find them not just unsympathetic but also pitiable."

Exactly so. It is not an easy read but it does keep your interest going and his vivid descriptions of the landscape almost made me want to shiver with the chill. I don't know why but it kind of reminded me of Ethan Frome in that it is not a 'happy ever after' story but rather it delves into the darker nature of people and what motivates them.
I really did enjoy the book and feel I got my money's worth.

Best wishes

Bec

annis
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Post by annis » Wed July 20th, 2011, 8:24 am

Just reeled my way through The Fallen Blade, Jon Courtenay Grimwood’s paranormal fantasy adventure set in an alternate 15th century Venice ruled by the descendants of Marco Polo. This story is oddly compelling, mostly because of the vivid portrayal of Venice itself, but also exhausting. The plot is chaotically frenetic; murderous Machiavellian aristocrats scheme, and assassins and the currently obligatory vampires and werewolves battle it out all over the city, slithering their way through guts and gore galore. Even my relative tolerance for fictional battle violence was stretched to the limit by the endless eviscerations and excretions splashed over every page. On balance, just too OTT – the reader is left with the impression that Grimwood forgot to take his Ritalin while writing this one.

Now heading for the relative peace of an early 19th century naval adventure- Conquest, the latest in Julian Stockwin’s Kydd series.
Last edited by annis on Wed July 20th, 2011, 6:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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