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What are you reading? December 2013

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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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Tue December 10th, 2013, 6:21 pm

Just started "Au Bonheur des Dames" (The Ladies' Paradise) by Emile Zola for a book group. This is the book on which the BBC series The Paradise is based (not that I've seen it yet).

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Favourite HF book: Welsh Princes trilogy
Preferred HF: The Middle Ages (England), New Kingdom Egypt, Medieval France
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Post by Nefret » Tue December 10th, 2013, 6:25 pm

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz. And some other fantasy novels.
Into battle we ride with Gods by our side
We are strong and not afraid to die
We have an urge to kill and our lust for blood has to be fulfilled
WE´LL FIGHT TILL THE END! And send our enemies straight to Hell!
- "Into Battle"

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Post by EC2 » Wed December 11th, 2013, 5:36 pm


Also reading Janet Evanovitch Visions of Sugarplums for book group. This is not my cup of tea. It was supposed to be funny, but so far, everything sounds contrived to the point of kitsch.

My, I'm getting grumpy and curmudgeonly in my old age.[/quote]

Not just you MLE. I picked up 'Smokin' Seventeen and instead of laughing - which I used to do, I dumped it because I was irritated. Perhaps it's just a series that's gone way past its sell by date.

Instead I picked up In The Dark by Deborah Moggach. Fine writing and edgy. There's a lot of symbolism and layers as you'd expect from a Moggach novel. As WWI draws to a close, run down boarding house owner Eithne is courted by butcher Neville Turk who has his eye on making a fortune. The novel contains numerous juxtapositions of darkness and light, and at times is quite richly, viscerally sensual, but in a totally non erotic way. I loved her novel Tulip Fever. Yeah, I guess I'm a Moggach fan. :)
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


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Post by Misfit » Wed December 11th, 2013, 6:36 pm

Finished Daughter of Fortune by Carla Kelly this morning. I guess she writes a lot of regency romances, but this is very different and don't pick it up based on the cover, it's all historical and based on a very brutal incident, the Pueblo revolt of 1680, New Mexico. Very brutal details of the Indian attacks (and an Apache raid at the start). Interesting stuff and well done, but won't suit every reader.

Just started Benedict Hall by Cate Campbell. 1920, Seattle setting.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Currently reading: "The Rising Tide" by Ann Cleeves
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime, dual time-frame
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Post by Madeleine » Wed December 11th, 2013, 7:40 pm

Also reading Janet Evanovitch Visions of Sugarplums for book group. This is not my cup of tea. It was supposed to be funny, but so far, everything sounds contrived to the point of kitsch.

My, I'm getting grumpy and curmudgeonly in my old age.[/quote]

I like the "proper" Stephanie Plum books, but read "Visions" a few years ago and agree it's rubbish, and I haven't read any of her spin-off books since.
Currently reading "The Rising Tide" by Ann Cleeves

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Preferred HF: I like a series the best - more to look forward to after one book ends. Masters of Rome, The Century Trilogy, & the Outlander series are some of my favorites.
Location: Southern California

Post by red805 » Wed December 11th, 2013, 8:00 pm

Listening to Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd, a historical sweep big novel set in Salisbury, England. Having finished the audiobook of Paris, which I really enjoyed, I picked this up as his only other unabridged audiobook that was a reasonable price in Amazon. At least one of his other books had an abridged version that was reasonable, but why in the world would anyone want that? Also just finished The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, ONLY 10 years after it was published - I'm a little slow. Fabulous, but I liked A Thousand Splended Suns better. I have yet to pick up his new book. But it's a small quibble about which is better, as he's such a powerful storyteller.

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Post by annis » Thu December 12th, 2013, 5:14 am

Just finished Murder on the Ballarat Train, third of the Phryne Fisher murder mysteries. Definitely style over substance, but it's delectable, decadent Flapper style to die for, darlings :)

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Post by emr » Thu December 12th, 2013, 12:09 pm

Started The Gates of Rome by Conn Iggulden as an audiobook so it'll take me a while cause I only listen when gardening (not much in winter except pick up endless bags of leaves) or in the kitchen. Reading Chain of Evidence by Garry Disher as well.
Didn't know Witches of East Ed was a book. The tv series is k to watch but I really want to strangle the lot of them :D
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

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Post by Prof.Hirata » Thu December 12th, 2013, 6:17 pm

[quote=""LadyB""]Oh! Now that is interesting. I wrote my thesis on Heian Japan, and have never heard of this author before. Thanks for mentioning![/quote]
Great! I am glad to have directed you to a new author. If you come to reading her maybe you could comment on her exactness in historical background.

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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.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
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Post by Vanessa » Fri December 13th, 2013, 10:18 am

The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald
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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