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Topic: 2010 H/F Challenge #2 - A-G

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Subject: 2010 H/F Challenge #2 - A-G
Date Posted: 11/26/2009 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
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Discuss the books you read for the alphabet challenge, letters A through G.

Date Posted: 1/5/2010 12:26 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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I just finished Emilie's Voice by Susanne Dunlap  for E .  Set in Louis IVX court, It was a very lovely story and a bitter sweet love story,  Center on a simple girl with a great gift and how she is used by the powers at court.  I really liked this.

Date Posted: 1/6/2010 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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In The Company Of The Courtesan by Sarah Dunant.  D in the aIpha challenge.  I had high hopes for this book, The second sack of Rome the flight to the safey of Venice, the struggle to regain health and fortune.  So much promise and it didn't deliver.  Not only that but it didn't make me want to read any on her other work.   



Last Edited on: 1/6/10 2:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/7/2010 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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I ready City of God by Beverly Swerling for the letter B.  I really enjoyed all 3 books in this series - highly recommended!

Date Posted: 1/11/2010 8:50 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,710
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I just finished The Legion of the Mists: a novel of Roman Britain, by Amanda Cockrell for my "C" book.  This is Cockrell's first novel, and I loved it!

Roman Britain is easily one of my favorite time periods, and this novel, explaining the disappearance of the mysterious Ninth Legion Hispana, has it all: a good story, characters you come to know and love, action, love, and most of all, the ability to make me hesitate to read that final chapter.  I didn't want it to end! 

Now I'm interested in reading her other Roman novels, which she wrote under the pseudonym of Damion Hunter.

ETA:  Good grief, I just found out she is also Dana Fuller Ross! 



Last Edited on: 1/16/10 9:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/11/2010 12:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society was my "G" book for this challenge.  I already talked a bit more about it the Challenge 1 posting, so I won't go into detail again, but I really enjoyed this book!

Date Posted: 1/12/2010 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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I just finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society thus fulfilling my letter "G" commitment.  What a charming, charming book! I absolutely LOVED it! 

Date Posted: 1/12/2010 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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I read Born of the Sun by Joan Wolf for the B entery.  Loved it.  Totally loved it.  She did such a good job of bringing to life the feel and cultural shifts of the time (post-Roman Britain, post-Arthur), with so little source material to work with.  I will definitely read some of her other books now.



Last Edited on: 1/12/10 5:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/13/2010 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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"River of Darkness" by Rennie Airth. I posted my comments in the challenge #1 Who dunnit category. I found this to be a really good book and since I am also an avid mystery reader, I feel that I can recommend it highly! I know that I will be reading more by this author in the future.

Date Posted: 1/13/2010 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Jeanne, I loved River of Darkness. There's a second book - The Blood Dimmed Time, which I haven't read yet. Heard it wasn't as good. But if you're willing to be a guinnea pig, I'd *totally appreciate* your opinion. >;-)

Date Posted: 1/13/2010 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,415
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Oh Genie, I will eventually be reading it because I have that one too. I've got a couple books here from the library that I need to read first and one of them is Company of Liars -ta-da!! I will let you know what my impression is of The Blood Dimmed Tide. I'm so glad you liked his first one - at least I know it's not just me.

Date Posted: 1/13/2010 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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I LOVE Rennie Airth!!  I've read both River of Darkness, and A Blood-Dimmed Tide.  I liked the second one just as much, in the end.  It takes place 10 years later, which was a little startling.

He's done a third book, "Dead of Winter" which I have at my library, but I haven't read yet.  I will, though!

Date Posted: 1/14/2010 7:44 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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A Blood-Dimmed Tide.  I liked the second one just as much, in the end.

Thanks, Vicky. That prompts me to try it.

I'm looking forward to your opinion, too, Jeanne. :)

Date Posted: 1/14/2010 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 798
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I read Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors for my D book. I was looking forward to reading a book about the French Revolution NOT focused on Marie Anotoinette. It did not disappoint! I was afraid it was going to be more a romance novel, but I was surprised to find that it was not, although there were a few bodice-ripper-esque (is that a word?) scenes. I couldn't put it down. I was shocked to find out that English was the author's second language. I thought that the prose was absolutely beautiful.

Date Posted: 1/15/2010 3:50 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,415
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Virginia - I happened to pick up Mistress of the Revolution at my UBS because I thought it sounded good and I wasn't disappointed either.

Date Posted: 1/16/2010 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 298
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I read Below the Salt by Thomas Costain.  Costain weaves a good story around the possibility of Eleanor of Britanny's escape from imprisonment in Corfe Castle where her uncle, King John of England had put her. (I never knew of her existence before this book!)   I liked the writing, the blend of history and medieval romance, and Costain's knowledge of the era.  He introduces other historical characters as well, but not in depth.

But I cared less for secondary story and the theme of reincarnation that takes place in modern times (the first 75 and the last 25 pages take place in the 1950s) which I thought completely unnecessary.  I would have preferred to be plunged right into the past.  But it was written well-enough that I was able to accept it as part of the story.   All in all, a quick read and very entertaining.



Last Edited on: 1/16/10 5:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/16/2010 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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amerigo,  Thanks I have this on my TBR Challenge list and I glad you liked it.

Date Posted: 1/16/2010 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 298
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I read Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike.  So far my favorite of the month of January.   Updike provides a convincing backstory that develops into the tragedy we are familiar with in Shakespeare's Hamlet.   His characters are well-developed and their motives are believeable.  Updike consulted some early sources of the Hamlet tale for this novel.   I really liked this one.  It's a different sort of historical fiction because of Updike's style of writing, so it might not be for everyone.



Last Edited on: 1/16/10 5:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/16/2010 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 298
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Hi Jerelyn;

I'd love to hear what you think when you get to read it.

 

Date Posted: 1/16/2010 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Amerigo, I also loved "Gertrude and Claudius"! It was such a well done book. and I'd agree that it's a totally believable spin on the story of Macbeth. I bet you'd also enjoy Dorothy Dunnett's take on Hamlet, "King Hereafter". It's a brilliant novel, but it's not as complicated as her other books. It's a great introduction to Dunnett. I've actually read it twice and I hardly ever re-read anything.

Thanks to Jeanne, Genie, and Vicki, I just had to request "River of Darkness". By the time everyone gets finished reporting on their challenge books, I'm going to have to toss my family out of the house so it can contain my ginormous TBR!!

Date Posted: 1/16/2010 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I'm finishing up A Magnificent Mind at Any Age, which, if anyone cares, is an interesting read. I find Dr. Amen a bit extreme, but I can't deny the truth of what he says. He's also down right funny.

Anyways, I'll be picking up The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova next. I was lucky enough to win it in the Early Reviewers drawing at LibraryThing. It arrived today.

Date Posted: 1/16/2010 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 298
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Valli - I'm so happy to know I'm not the only one that loved Gertrude and Claudius!  And thanks for the heads-up about Dunnett's, The King Hereafter.   I really like Dunnett's work but I've never read this one.  I will probably love it too!

And lucky you, Genie, winning Kostova's new book!  Congratulations!  

Date Posted: 1/16/2010 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,710
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Genie....I would love to hear your thoughts on The Swan Thieves.  I enjoyed The Historian very much, although I listened to it and I think that may have helped me; I didn't have to struggle with all those Eastern European names! 

Date Posted: 1/17/2010 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Well, I see I posted my remarks in the wrong thread. LOL! Y'all are probably wondering what they had to do with Challenge #2, A-G.

Anyhoo, I loved The Historian. I read it and then listened to the audiobook and then read it again. Obsessive, I know. I'll let you know about Swan Thieves ... hopefully, in the right thread this time.

Vicky, The audiobook is awesome - the best I've ever heard.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 2:16 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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The Fallen Angels Bernard Cornwell  Well what can I say it's Cornwell, simply effortless to read interesting take on the French Revolution very little about the revolution as it turns out.  More fiction than history.  But he can spin a tale and I enjoyed it.

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