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What are you reading October 2011?

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Post by annis » Mon October 24th, 2011, 3:26 am

That sounds like a truly scary experience,Bec! I'm a pretty cynical type, but I wouldn't ever discount the possibility of paranormal activity. When I was a teenager my family rented a large old house while we were having a home built. It was part of an estate, the land was still being farmed but the house was not being used. We all experienced unusual activities while living there. My parents constantly got up during the night to check on us kids after hearing footsteps down the hall, and my sister's friends refused to stay over after experiencing otherwordly lights, voices and music from the large lounge, formerly a reception room, next to my sister's bedroom.

My strangest experience was the night I was lying in bed in the dark (the room was huge, with an old-fashioned light pull in the centre of the room, miles away from the bed.) The door opened and someone came in. I heard the footsteps cross the room and papers on the stand next to my bed were rustled. I thought it was my sister playing tricks, but when there was no response to my questions, I got a tad nervous. The hair rose on the back of my neck and I lay frozen in bed for ages before daring to leap out and turn the light on. There was no-one there, as i'd suspected, the door was firmly closed and my sister was fast asleep on the other side of the house.

It was creepy, but there wasn't a sense of malevolence such as you had- more of parallel lives touching- it was as if people in a past age were carrying on their lives at the same time as us.The land was eventually subdivided and the old house sold and carried off to a new location. I often wondered if the ghosts went with it!

Currently reading Bernard Cornwell's Death of Kings- yay, more Uhtred! Really appreciating Cornwell's art as a storyteller- I think this is one of the best yet in his Saxon series, though it could be that I'm coming back to it fresh with there having been a bigger break than usual between this one and the last.
Last edited by annis on Mon October 24th, 2011, 3:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Currently reading: "Murder on the Moorland" by Helen Cox
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime, dual time-frame
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Post by Madeleine » Mon October 24th, 2011, 8:47 am

Wow Rebecca that's quite an experience! Did you ever have the house investigated, or look into it's history?

I think I've told this before on this board, but I used to work in an old Georgian building in London which was reputedly haunted, and we all experienced that feeling of someone behind you, or walking across the room, on several occasions, and quite often the door to the office - which was an old-fashioned, quite thick wooden door - would open and close even on non-breezy days. One day, I was in the office with a colleague (thankfully although there were people in the room next door) and we both saw a lady in white (cliche I know!) walking across the room and sort of materialize into the wall, where we knew there used to be a door through to the next-door property (I think it was all one big building at one time, and you could still see the outline of the old door where they'd some hideous modern panelling over it). However, as Annis has said, it wasn't really creepy or malevolent, more like the two worlds briefly crossed, and it seemed as if the moment the lady realised she'd been spotted, she disappeared. I don't think I'd like Rebecca's experiences!
Currently reading "Murder on the Moorland" by Helen Cox

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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.
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Post by Vanessa » Mon October 24th, 2011, 8:52 am

That definitely sounds a scary experience, Rebecca. Perhaps you are particularly receptive. I'm a bit of a sceptic, too, as I've never experienced anything like that, although I am prepared to be persuaded otherwise!

Her Fearful Symmetry is not scary at all. More like The Ghost and Mrs Muir! LOL.
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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Post by scubachick420 » Mon October 24th, 2011, 12:55 pm

Like catlvr14, I too have been a lurker here for a couple of years. Thought I would come out of the closet! This is such a great site and I have found so many new authors here (and thanks to your help, avoided a few too!) I've been reading historical fiction since leaving Nancy Drew behind as a pre-tee and I have read almost of all of EC's, CW's, SH's, MM's work (to name a few here).

Currently reading 2 War of The Roses by Alison Weir and J. R Lander.

Thanks so much for all the inspiration for book buying and shelf bulging! ;)

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Post by Ludmilla » Mon October 24th, 2011, 12:56 pm

[quote=""Vanessa""] Yes, the ghost in HFS is a lady who is the aunt to the twins who inherit her flat so she's a sort of loving ghost! :) That happens at the beginning, so no spoilers there.[/quote]

I read this when it first came out (also because it was October at the time and I was looking for a ghostly book). I'll be interested in what you think of the ghost by the end of the book.

I've just started Joan London's Gilgamesh.

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Post by Brenna » Mon October 24th, 2011, 1:04 pm

Bec-I've had a similar experience. During college, I moved into this old farmhouse that had been split into two apartments. My roommate and I were on the 1st floor which was split into two sections. Portions of old slave quarters (didn't find this out until after we moved in) were where our bedrooms were. My dad helped me to move in and the minute he saw the outside, he was like "no, you are not living here."

**Full disclosure** this was in the boonies of Virginia and the place was really rundown, but hey, I was a college student!

Anyway, dad moved me in and the first night I woke up freezing. It was a very humid May night so I have no idea why I was shaking. Through the next few weeks, I would find myself getting extremely angry or hopelessly crying for no reason. This would end if I left the house, but during long breaks or weekends, this overwhelming sadness would come over me. My roommate started to notice that she would stay away from my room and my friends were the same way. They had zero interest in coming over and would actually prefer to stay on campus. I finally decided to do some research to find out about the history of this place. I asked our landlord and after a few uncomfortable minutes he explained what the "old" farmer had told him shortly before he died. Apparently this farmer had lived on the property since birth and there was a housekeeper during the 20's and 30's that would tell this farmer stories about her family. Her family apparently used to be slaves of the farmer's family. Right before the Civil War started, the housekeeper's grandmother gave birth to a baby girl. No one knows what happened to both mother and daughter as they both "disappeared" the same night.

Then the Civil War happened and no one (well at least the farmers family) thought about it until afterwards when they had to sell large portions of property to pay off debts. When they started to convert one of the slave homes into a farm house, bones were found. The landlord let the story end there as he didn't want to freak me out more.

Yeah, cause the extreme cold in the room and the overwhelming need to throw myself off the nearest cliff didn't freak me out enough. Needless to say, I moved the day of graduation and never looked back.

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Post by Misfit » Mon October 24th, 2011, 1:08 pm

[quote=""scubachick420""]Like catlvr14, I too have been a lurker here for a couple of years. Thought I would come out of the closet! This is such a great site and I have found so many new authors here (and thanks to your help, avoided a few too!) I've been reading historical fiction since leaving Nancy Drew behind as a pre-tee and I have read almost of all of EC's, CW's, SH's, MM's work (to name a few here).

Currently reading 2 War of The Roses by Alison Weir and J. R Lander.

Thanks so much for all the inspiration for book buying and shelf bulging! ;) [/quote]

Another lurker out of the closet! Welcome.

PS, I'm sailing through This Other Eden by Marilyn Harris. More later, but this is very very good.
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Post by Ash » Mon October 24th, 2011, 1:59 pm

Its no secret that I was not a fan of Pillars of the Earth. So I was not sure about the recommendation in a book group for his new book Fall of Giants, about WWI. The time period is certainly of interest to me, so I want to read it. But I wanted to see if others here read it and what their impressions were. Is it as graphic and poorly written as Pillars? How historically accurate?

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Post by Leyland » Mon October 24th, 2011, 7:18 pm

On page 86 of Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures and enjoying so far. Love her lean, pared down descriptive narrative and am impressed the way she can do justice to describing certain fossils through the eyes of early-to-mid 19th century characters in this style.
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams ~ Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Ode

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Post by Veronica » Mon October 24th, 2011, 9:52 pm

Reading an amazing NF (non HF) as well as a HF Lady on the coin - Margaret Campbell Barnes/Hebe Elsna. Check out the great cover!

"Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted"


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