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What were your favorite reads of 2011?

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What were your favorite reads of 2011?

Post by Ash » Mon January 2nd, 2012, 4:01 pm

I had a less than stellar reading year - lots of personal and professional distractions had me reading much less than usual. But I did have some stellar reads. Here are mine:

Historical Fiction (in no particular order)

-Court of the Lion Eleanor Clooney
-A Place of Greater Safety by Hillary Mantel
-Heir to the Glimmering World Cynthia Ozick
-Lionheart Sharon Kay Penman

Historical Fantasy
-Under Heaven Guy Gavrial Kay

Non Fiction/Biography
-So It Goes: The Life of Kurt Vonnegut Charles Sheilds
-Pearl Buck in China Hilary Spurling

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Post by Misfit » Mon January 2nd, 2012, 4:06 pm

In no particular order,

•Lily Cigar Tom Murphy
•The Alnwick Trilogy Carol Wensbey-Scott
•Books 1-5 of the Eden Saga by Marilyn Harris (books 6 & 7 are dogs)
•Lionheart Sharon Peman
•Lady of the English Elizabeth Chadwick
•The Second Duchess Elizabeth Loupas
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Post by fljustice » Mon January 2nd, 2012, 4:44 pm

I didn't read anything this year that made me want to shout it out to everyone on the street. I've been writing a lot, so my reading list is heavy on the research books and fiction in time periods other than my passion. However, there were several enjoyable reads. These were the best:

Historical Fiction
Eromenos by Melanie McDonald (literary take on Antinous and Emperor Hadrian)
Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende (she's back!)
Pompeii by Robert Harris (a ripping good read)

Other Fiction
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (classic SF that got promoted from commuting book to fireside book, because it grabbed me)
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (a relentlessly sad story of two women in Afghanistan with an upbeat ending)
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (oh no, hooked on another fat book series!)

Biographies (read lots of these this year!)
Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Freida (excellent biography of a fascinating woman)
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff (interesting, well-researched)
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie (fascinating woman and brilliant book)
Faith L. Justice, Author Website

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Currently reading: "The Winter Garden" by Nicola Cornick
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Post by Madeleine » Mon January 2nd, 2012, 5:11 pm

I had quite a good reading year - 40 books in total which is excellent for me. The favourites were:

Passion by Jude Morgan
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Martyr by Rory Clements
Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robertson
A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin

The disasters were:

Worth Dying For by Lee Child
At Home with the Templetons by Monica McInnerny
The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscales
all of which were dumped unfinished.

Biggest disappointment was Kate Morton's "The Distant Hours", which I did finish but found a struggle, mainly because it was sooooo sloooooowwwww.

For sheer fun, I enjoyed re-reading books 2,3 and 4 of the Sookie Stackhouse series, but found the next couple very disappointing, so I hope this series hasn't peaked too soon.
Currently reading "The Winter Garden" by Nicola Cornick

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Post by Sharz » Mon January 2nd, 2012, 5:15 pm

I loved a lot of books this year. My top 6, more or less in order:

1) Knight's Fee by Rosemary Sutcliff

2) Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman

3) Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick (my new overall favorite of her books)

4) The Far Pavillions by MM Kaye

5) Jubilee Trail by Gwen Bristow

6) Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick

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Post by Brenna » Mon January 2nd, 2012, 5:25 pm

In no particular order:

Historical Fiction
The Winter Sea Susanna Kearsely
The Help
All of Kate Morton's books
The Second Duchess
The Josephine B Trilogy
Lady MacBeth
Joan Wolf trilogy
EC's Shadows and Strongholds

Other books:
The Jefferson Key (audiobook)

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Post by boswellbaxter » Mon January 2nd, 2012, 6:01 pm

I read mostly nonfiction this year. I did have a few novels I especially enjoyed, however:


My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry That Led to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by Nora Titone

The Rise and Fall of Thomas Cromwell by John Schofield

Antony and Cleopatra by Adrian Goldsworthy

Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by Edward Steers Jr.


Jane Seymour by Frances Clark

Rivals in the Tudor Court by D. L. Bogdan

The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller

The Secret Diary of a Princess by Melanie Clegg
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


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Post by LoveHistory » Mon January 2nd, 2012, 7:38 pm

Did not read as much as I'd hoped but still did better than 2010. Here are my favorites from last year.


Selene of Alexandria by Faith L. Justice
Trade Wind by M.M. Kaye
Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly
The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope
The Sunne In Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman
A Midnight Carol by Patricia K. Davis
The Shepherd, the Angel and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Berry (really funny!)


Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser
Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo
Autism Every Day by Alyson Beytein (fabulous book about life with three boys on the specturm, seems like my life in fast forward almost)
Last edited by LoveHistory on Mon January 2nd, 2012, 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Susan » Mon January 2nd, 2012, 8:16 pm

In no particular order:

Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
The Wordsmith's Tale by Stephen Edden
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Finally reading the Outlander series
Starting the Game of Thrones books
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Royal news updated daily, information and discussion about royalty past and present

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Post by emr » Mon January 2nd, 2012, 11:40 pm

In no particular order:

- The Troy trilogy by David Gemmell
- Mistress and Daughters of Rome by Kate Quinn
- The Second Duchess by Elizabeth Loupas
- The Mistress of the Art of Death series by Diana Norman
- Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick
- The Oracle Glass and Master of All Desires by Judith Merkle Riley
- Rome: The Coming of the King by M.C. Scott
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

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