Discussion Forums - Historical Fiction

Topic: 100 All-Time Best Historical Novels

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Subject: 100 All-Time Best Historical Novels
Date Posted: 7/2/2010 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,797
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I just saw this at Sharon Kay Penman's blog...

http://www.onlineclasses.org/2010/06/01/100-all-time-best-historical-fiction-books/

 

Have you read any of them?

Date Posted: 7/2/2010 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,142
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26 of 100

Date Posted: 7/2/2010 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,417
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35/100

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 7:36 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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I've only read 5 and listened to one on CD. 

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 7:42 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2005
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28 out of 100

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 8:53 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,459
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34/100

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 9:03 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,797
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Did any of you think there were some odd choices on this list? One of them isn't even H/F; it's fantasy - The Deryni Novels. And, The Secret Magdalene? If I'm remembering the correct book, it was a DNF for me, but I think it had a time travel element and those are frequently left unfinished, so maybe I shouldn't really think of it as a bad book, just not my thing.

I've read 52 of them. I have about 10 more on the TBR mountain. There is one book that I really do want to try; "Pharoah" by Boleslaw Prus. I actually requested it here once, but it was in German, darn it! I thought I'd found a goodie. :-(

 

With the list our dear Christa started for us, we'll have our own "Top H/F" list and it will be much better, I think! ;-)

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 9:08 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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I thought a lot of the choices were odd.  Philippa Gregory the "best" books on the Tudors?  And nothing by Chadwick?  or Penman?  Our list will be way better.  I do like how he made sure each time period was represented. 

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 9:31 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,797
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Yeah, I liked that the list was broken down into time periods too, but leaving off Penman is a huge mistake. I was glad to see McCullough, Robert Graves, Mary Renault, and Mika Waltari there though and I totally agree with you on Gregory. She should maybe be on a list of most popular H/F, but not the best.

I was just a bit suprised that Jenning's book "The Journeyer" was there instead of "Aztec". I would say that Aztec is the book of his that is most widely loved and even though I thought "Journeyer" was more adventurous and fun, I'd consider Aztec to be the best, in regards to the writing and the story.

I have a terrible thing for book lists though and I've already put this one in my book catalog. I wish I knew why I was obsessed with book lists so I could make it stop, lol.

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,797
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Christa, do you think we should do some lists by time period? That really might be a lot of fun!!

We could have the main "Top H/F" list that you've already started for us and then also have more detailed lists for time periods. I can't be the only that gets stuck wanting to read about a certain time and place so lists like that would be really helpful.

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
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Hey, all .. Sunne in Splendour is # 25 in the list ... so our SKP is represented; granted not nearly enough, though. 

 

Kelly has read 36 / 100.

 

Linda has read 37 / 100.

 

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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28 out of 100 and I found a few to add to my summer reading list!

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,034
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Oops!  You are correct, Kelly (or Linda!)  I missed that one on the list. 

I think lists for each time period are a good idea!  I tend to gravitate to the Middle Ages myself.

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,142
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Valli, I was surprised by the Deryni books made it as well,  These too are on my keeper shelf, loved them as a teen, reread them a few years ago still loved them.  I should qualify this cause there are so many I am referring to the first 3 books, Deryni Rising, Deryni Checkmate, and High Deryni.



Last Edited on: 7/3/10 10:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/3/2010 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,848
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I've read 26.5 of those.  I thought some of the choices were odd too, especially all of the Tudor books being PG.  There is probably more Tudor HF out there than any other kind of HF and they stick to 1 author for that category?  I think our list will be better.

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,480
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Yeah -- I saw the list a few weeks ago when Sharon posted a link to it, but pretty much dismissed it when I saw the Tudor category -- and was also annoyed because Dorothy Dunnett wasn't on it.  I've read 49 on the list -- possibly 50 or 51 because I can't actually remember if I actually read Gone With the Wind and/or Dr. Zhivago or just saw the movies several times each!

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 25,001
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I have read 24. I have read all of Katherine Kurtz's Deryni books. I love them.. 

She has one of my least favorite books of all time on the list, The Scarlett Letter, ick....

Alice

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,098
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47/100 and I agree with Deb-  no Dorothy Dunnett...at all?!  Come on!!

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2008
Posts: 68
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I don't think I can put much faith in this list when Girl with a Pearl Earring was listed under American frontier stories. A Dutch painter in the 1600's? Maybe a mistake, but .......

Some good books listed but all time best H/F?

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2008
Posts: 225
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I have read 6 and have 15 of them in my TBR pile.

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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31 but the Deryni group is more - 3 and I read it for fanasy reads.  I agree about Gregory!  There are much better books and much better authors.

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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28/100. Is there a way to create our own list? As a group, I mean. Like they do at Goodreads - where we vote titles up or down?

Date Posted: 7/3/2010 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 25,001
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There is the list feature. Christa has started a very good list of Essential Historical Fiction. Much better than this one. you can vote for your favorites. I have also created a historical mystery list too that you can vote on.

Go to the community button in menu bar, go to list and go to club list. You will see Christa's list.

Alice



Last Edited on: 7/3/10 5:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/3/2010 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,797
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Here is a link to the "Essential H/F" list - http://www.paperbackswap.com/lists/list_details.php?lid=307

You can add titles and vote on them.

Here is the Historical Mystery list - http://ttp://www.paperbackswap.com/lists/list_details.php?lid=420

I wish the lists were searchable so that we could find those based on the genres we like.



Last Edited on: 7/3/10 5:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/3/2010 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Cool. Headed there now.

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