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What Are You Reading? July 2012

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
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Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4231
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 » Sun July 15th, 2012, 10:50 am

[quote=""Misfit""]I'm reading The Shadow Queen by Rebecca Dean. Apparently this book only covers Wallis' life up to her meeting with Edward. I can't decide if there wasn't enough material in her early years to make for an interesting book, or if the author hasn't made it interesting enough. I'm bored :( [/quote]

Oh dear! I have this on my Kindle. The title is just 'Wallis' in the UK.
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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EC2
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Posts: 3661
Joined: August 2008
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Post by EC2 » Sun July 15th, 2012, 12:32 pm

Just finished The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes. Excellent read set in 1917 and modern day and the story behind a disputed painting. 5 stars and highly recommended. The author is at the top of her game at the moment.
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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Misfit
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Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Sun July 15th, 2012, 12:33 pm

[quote=""Vanessa""]Oh dear! I have this on my Kindle. The title is just 'Wallis' in the UK.[/quote]

Let me know what you think of it. I finished, and the ending was one of those where the author must have realized they've maxed the page count and have to hurry up and wrap things up. This went out to Amazon Vine, and most of the reviews are fairly positive.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Susan
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3746
Joined: August 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA

Post by Susan » Mon July 16th, 2012, 2:04 am

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks just became available in the eLibrary, so Thomas Cromwell will still have to wait.
~Susan~
~Unofficial Royalty~
Royal news updated daily, information and discussion about royalty past and present
http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/

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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) » Mon July 16th, 2012, 5:14 am

I just finished the first Percy Jackson book, and was vastly underwhelmed. The whole thing felt half-baked--not as funny as Harry Potter, whose humor made the not-very-believable 'magical world' work; and altogether too mixed in with the regular world to allow for suspension of disbelief. The protagonists seemed too much a knockoff of Harry-Ron-Hermione, but without all the extra little twists.
And when it got to statements like 'Persephone's visits were the reason for the changing seasons, not the tilt of the earth', I couldn't help thinking that Riordan appeared to have forgotten everyone in Australia. Well, maybe they don't read him down there.

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) » Mon July 16th, 2012, 5:17 am

I also finished M. Louisa Locke's Uneasy Spirits, which was a fun light romp but very well researched. A kindle freebie I would gladly have paid for. Back to Railroad Schemes by Cecelia Holland.

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Susan
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Joined: August 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA

Post by Susan » Mon July 16th, 2012, 12:16 pm

[quote=""MLE""]I just finished the first Percy Jackson book, and was vastly underwhelmed. The whole thing felt half-baked--not as funny as Harry Potter, whose humor made the not-very-believable 'magical world' work; and altogether too mixed in with the regular world to allow for suspension of disbelief. The protagonists seemed too much a knockoff of Harry-Ron-Hermione, but without all the extra little twists.
And when it got to statements like 'Persephone's visits were the reason for the changing seasons, not the tilt of the earth', I couldn't help thinking that Riordan appeared to have forgotten everyone in Australia. Well, maybe they don't read him down there.[/quote]

I just finished reading two of his more recent books, the first book in the Egyptian series and the first book in the series that adds some Roman mythology. I think his writing is a bit better in those books, but I agree it is nowhere near Harry Potter. When I read Harry Potter, I was taken into a new and interesting world, a different culture and I don't get that kind of feeling with Riordan's books. Riordan's books more or less follow the same plot, a few demi-gods are on a quest to save the world by a certain date or else... The Egyptian series had a couple of different twists, but it also re-uses elements out of Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and The Da Vinci Code. In the Roman book, I figured out a lot of the plot because of my mythology knowledge, but I doubt that many kids would. The Roman series has new characters, but it does have some cross-overs from Percy Jackson. The Egyptian series is all new characters, so far.

The eLibrary does not own any more of the Egyptian or Roman books, but it does have all of the Percy Jackson ones and I will continue reading them. I've reserved book #3 and have been #7 out of 7 for about 10 days. There is a 14 day limit, and at that rate, I should get the book in 6 months. I am intrigued by the Egyptian series, so perhaps I will pick the next one up...if some kids don't have all the copies!

I teach middle-school aged kids in an urban area. The majority of my students don't read outside of the school, but many do read these books. If Riordan's books can motivate kids to read and teach them some mythology along the way, that's OK with me.
Last edited by Susan on Mon July 16th, 2012, 12:43 pm, edited 8 times in total.
~Susan~
~Unofficial Royalty~
Royal news updated daily, information and discussion about royalty past and present
http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/

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rockygirl
Avid Reader
Posts: 349
Joined: August 2010
Location: Upstate New York

Post by rockygirl » Mon July 16th, 2012, 1:02 pm

[quote=""Susan""]

I teach middle-school aged kids in an urban area. The majority of my students don't read outside of the school, but many do read these books. If Riordan's books can motivate kids to read and teach them some mythology along the way, that's OK with me.[/quote]

My middle school students are reading them, too. I agree with you 100%!
Currently reading Cocaine Blues.

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fljustice
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Posts: 1995
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Post by fljustice » Mon July 16th, 2012, 3:07 pm

Re Black Adder: Adored it and the Christmas Carol was brilliant.

Re Percy Jackson: Agree that it was quite derivative of HP, but can see where kids would enjoy it. I thought it was a fun light read. It's spawning some LARP (Live Action Role Playing) camps. My daughter worked at Camp Half Blood in Prospect Park, Brooklyn this summer. The kids were all myth crazy, not just the Riordan books, but Norse as well. Anything that gets kids reading AND outside running around is good with me!
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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Susan
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Joined: August 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA

Post by Susan » Mon July 16th, 2012, 4:12 pm

[quote=""fljustice""]Re Percy Jackson: Agree that it was quite derivative of HP, but can see where kids would enjoy it. I thought it was a fun light read. It's spawning some LARP (Live Action Role Playing) camps. My daughter worked at Camp Half Blood in Prospect Park, Brooklyn this summer. The kids were all myth crazy, not just the Riordan books, but Norse as well. Anything that gets kids reading AND outside running around is good with me![/quote]

I bet the Camp Half Blood was a blast! I just Googled Camp Half Blood and came up with an article about the camp in Brooklyn: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... =129251388

I just came home from the library with a well worn copy of The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson Book 3). All nine copies of the second book in the Egyptian series are out! I only saw a total of 4 Rick Riordan books on the shelf. Kids are reading!
Last edited by Susan on Mon July 16th, 2012, 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~Susan~
~Unofficial Royalty~
Royal news updated daily, information and discussion about royalty past and present
http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/

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