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List your favorite Top 10 Historical Fiction Reads

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red805
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Post by red805 » Tue December 30th, 2008, 2:53 am

My Top 10 So Far

1. the Masters of Rome series, Colleen McCullough (I can't pick just one!)
2. The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett
3. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough
4. The Falcon of Palermo, Maria Bordihn
5. Katharine of Aragon, Jean Plaidy (originally three books)
6. Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell
7. Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
8. The Far Pavillions, M.M. Kaye (still reading this, but it's up there)
9. Katherine, Anya Seton
10. Hawaii, James Michener

After reading everyone else's favorites, & coveting many, many books on the lists, I fear I'm going to be smothered by the ever-growing TBR pile on my nightstand.

Ash
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Post by Ash » Tue December 30th, 2008, 3:26 am

The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough

I loved this book, and just picked up her most recent one about Rome, which my book group is going to read in a few months. Its huge - but hopefully as well done as I remember that book.

Katharine of Aragon, Jean Plaidy ]

If you get a chance, read King's Pleasure by Norah Lofts, just recently rereleased, about the same subject. I'd love to hear how you'd compare that story with Plaidys (who I have never read and think I should)

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Post by gyrehead » Tue December 30th, 2008, 4:29 am

Can we add to our lists? ;)

I am rather embarassed I did not include Mary Renault on my list. Particularly The Persian Boy. I was a complete innocent when I read it the first time and it never occured to me that it might strike many as being salacious for its time. As an adult I still find it one of the most beautiful epics ever written.

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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Tue December 30th, 2008, 6:07 am

Mary Renault was a wonderful writer! The King Must Die may even have begun my passion for historical novels.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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red805
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Post by red805 » Tue December 30th, 2008, 11:35 pm

[quote=""Ash""]The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough

I loved this book, and just picked up her most recent one about Rome, which my book group is going to read in a few months. Its huge - but hopefully as well done as I remember that book.

Katharine of Aragon, Jean Plaidy ]

If you get a chance, read King's Pleasure by Norah Lofts, just recently rereleased, about the same subject. I'd love to hear how you'd compare that story with Plaidys (who I have never read and think I should)[/quote]

Ash - Are you going to be reading The First Man in Rome? That's the first book in McCullough's Masters of Rome series. The whole series is amazing, given her research & memorable characterizations. I will always think of "her" Marius & Sulla whenever I come across those names in other sources. And yes, the Thorn Birds was so enthralling that when I read it, on vacation in Europe, I stayed in bed for hours reading instead of sightseeing! I do have Lofts' The King's Pleasure on my Amazon wish list, so I think I will use the gift card I just got for that. Plaidy's depiction of KofA was sympathetic, as is usually the case with her main characters, at least in her books that I have read so far. I'm looking forward to Lofts' book, which will probably be my next read after I finish Far Pavillions. Have you read that? At first when I saw your name on this board I thought you might have loved FP & picked your nickname because of that.

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Post by Ash » Wed December 31st, 2008, 12:50 am

[quote=""red805""]Ash - Are you going to be reading The First Man in Rome? [/quote]

Yes, I am reading it for a book group, but its not till April I think. Thanks for the info, if I love this book, I'll continue the series (I don't tend to read books on Rome, we got it so much in school that it was over kill. But I was fascinated by the ruins I saw in Europe and am intrigued enough that I think I might enjoy this. )

I do have Lofts' The King's Pleasure on my Amazon wish list, so I think I will use the gift card I just got for that. Plaidy's depiction of KofA was sympathetic, as is usually the case with her main characters, at least in her books that I have read so far. I'm looking forward to Lofts' book, which will probably be my next read after I finish Far Pavillions. Have you read that? At first when I saw your name on this board I thought you might have loved FP & picked your nickname because of that.

I will have to read the Plaidy, I'll be interested in your take on Loft. And yes, FP is one of my all time favorite books, let alone one of my all time fav HF reads. And no, I didn't chose my nickname because of it; its actually part of my real name :)

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Post by Misfit » Wed December 31st, 2008, 1:03 am

And yes, FP is one of my all time favorite books, let alone one of my all time fav HF reads. And no, I didn't chose my nickname because of it; its actually part of my real name
I just love MM Kaye and look forward to talking more come January 1 and our book of the month. This one is a strong tie with GWTW for all time favorite HF reads on my list.

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red805
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Post by red805 » Wed December 31st, 2008, 10:52 pm

I have seen so many books on all your Top 10 lists that I want to read that I thought I'd have a little fun & make a spreadsheet to see which books were mentioned most often. (As an accountant my idea of fun might be a bit different than some of yours :o ) Anyway, here are our most mentioned books -

Katherine, Anya Seton (12 lists)
The Greatest Knight, Elizabeth Chadwick (7)
the Outlander series, Diana Gabaldon (7)
Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell (6)
Forever Amber, Kathleen Winsor (6)
The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory (5)
Here Be Dragons, Sharon Kay Penman (5)
The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett (4)
The Far Pavillions, M.M. Kaye (4)
The Sunne In Splendour, Sharon Kay Penman (4)
Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield (4)
Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier (3)
The Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett (3)
The Crimson Petel and the White, Michel Faber (3)
Nefertiti, Michelle Moran (3)
Devil's Brood, Sharon Kay Penman (3)

There were 27 books/series listed twice, & dozens listed once. If I spelled any names wrong, sorry. I did look up some, but mostly I just went with what you all wrote. If you listed more than 10 books, I just listed your first 10. My spreadsheet is current through today.

I've only read six of the 16 books/series listed above, so I see I've got my work cut out for me in 2009! Happy New Year everyone.
Last edited by red805 on Wed December 31st, 2008, 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Kasthu » Thu January 1st, 2009, 12:00 am

[quote=""red805""]I have seen so many books on all your Top 10 lists that I want to read that I thought I'd have a little fun & make a spreadsheet to see which books were mentioned most often. (As an accountant my idea of fun might be a bit different than some of yours :o ) Anyway, here are our most mentioned books -

Katherine, Anya Seton (12 lists)
The Greatest Knight, Elizabeth Chadwick (7)
the Outlander series, Diana Gabaldon (7)
Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell (6)
Forever Amber, Kathleen Winsor (6)
The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory (5)
Here Be Dragons, Sharon Kay Penman (5)
The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett (4)
The Far Pavillions, M.M. Kaye (4)
The Sunne In Splendour, Sharon Kay Penman (4)
Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield (4)
Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier (3)
The Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett (3)
The Crimson Petel and the White, Michel Faber (3)
Nefertiti, Michelle Moran (3)
Devil's Brood, Sharon Kay Penman (3)

There were 27 books/series listed twice, & dozens listed once. If I spelled any names wrong, sorry. I did look up some, but mostly I just went with what you all wrote. If you listed more than 10 books, I just listed your first 10. My spreadsheet is current through today.

I've only read six of the 16 books/series listed above, so I see I've got my work cut out for me in 2009! Happy New Year everyone.[/quote]

Great list! The only ones I haven't read are Gates of Fire and the Lymond Chronicles.

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Post by Misfit » Thu January 1st, 2009, 12:15 am

(As an accountant my idea of fun might be a bit different than some of yours)
:D :D :D :D I know what that's like. We still can't get the controller to tell us what the name of the class is in college where they taught a*** retentiveness. Of course, he's better than the last one, that one got quite buggy because he wanted us to hand write out purchase orders (with prices!!) just for the Costco run for office supplies. OK.....

Kasthu, give the Lymond books a whirl before you completely give up on Dunnett. I loved them to bits, but have no interest in the Nicollo books (at least not yet). She does take getting used to, I think I fared better than some as she's so similar to Dumas and I've read quite a few of his books.
Last edited by Misfit on Thu January 1st, 2009, 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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