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Topic: 2010 H/F Challenge #2 - N-T

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Subject: 2010 H/F Challenge #2 - N-T
Date Posted: 11/26/2009 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Discuss the books you read for the alphabet challenge, letters N through T.

Ideas for Q: The Quincunx by Charles Palliser, Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton, Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey, All the World’s Mornings by Pascal Quignard.



Last Edited on: 11/27/09 8:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/3/2010 3:40 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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Finished Pirate Latitudes,  I am unfamiluar with Crichton so I can't compare his other works, this book was eh.  I just didn't really care about the characters, I guess I understand why it never saw the light of day while he was alive. it seem unfinished and raw to me.

Spielberg I understand has the movie rights, Brad Pitt as Hunter I'd watch it.

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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Like Letty, I read Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton for the letter "P.'  Unlike Letty, I rather enjoyed it!  LOL!  It certainly is no great novel (and I've never read any other Crichton either so I can't compare it to his other work, but he sure seems popular), but I found it to be a fun, quick (finished it in 2 days) read. 

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
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"Quick" is definitely good for Crichton.  I read Jurassic Park when I was like 13, and while I enjoyed it, it took me forever to read due to the scientific terms and genetics-type subjects in the dialogue!  I look forward to reading Pirate Latitudes myself.  Any chance you'll be posting it, Shelley? ;)



Last Edited on: 1/4/10 4:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/18/2010 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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For the letter "S," I just finished The Secret Supper by Javier Sierra, and I must say, I didn't really like it.  I should've bailed on it, but around 40-50 pages I kinda' got into it, so I kept going.  I never did get beyond the semi-interested state with it.  I didn't like any of the characters, really. It was somewhat confusing.  There was absolutely no humor in it whatsoever (I don't expect to be rolling in the aisles when I read HF, but I do like moments that make me chuckle from time to time), and when the mystery and the "bad guy" were revealed, it was pretty much anti-climatic.  Eh. 

Date Posted: 1/18/2010 2:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
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For "T" I read Moss Rose by Day Taylor (1980). While I don't mind historical romances that have contents that match the typical cover we've come to expect, this one, despite having a clinch on the front, was mainly about a plantation county's struggle during Reconstruction. Corruption, wary ex-slaves, the Klan, nasty sweet-talking "old families" and the like. Great lead characters, excellent supporting characters who were actually given lots to do, and a frustrating cliffhanger that promises a continuation that was, AFAIK, never written. Arrrgh! Still, I enjoyed it. One of those "more historical than romance" meaty tomes of the late 1970s/early 80s.

Date Posted: 1/19/2010 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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I really, really hate those "cliffhangers"! That has actually soured me on many an author, especially when they don't do it all of the time. You never know what to expect. Usually it results in having to purchase the next book, but in this case, Karka, NO NEXT BOOK!?!

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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I read Roselynde by Roberta Gellis for my R.  It's an old medieval romance, very heavy on the history and light on the romance.  No purple prose, no TMI, no characters of modern attitudes and sensibilities, and it's outside the typical romance formula.  I loved it; 5 star keeper.



Last Edited on: 1/20/10 12:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/20/2010 1:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Gellis is the author that got me into the historical fiction genre, love her!  I am always so happy to see others discover her.  She also wrote an excellent mystery series. Set around a brothel and it's madam, A Mortal Bane, Bone of Contention, A Personal Devil, and Chains of Folly. Set in the time of King Stephen  Magdalene la Batarde is William of Ypres somethime mistress and Sir William Bellamy the Bishop of Winchesters man. the Bishop is owner of the Abbey Guest house (the brothel is on church property).  I am only sad she has only writtern 4 of these books.

Date Posted: 1/21/2010 7:41 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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I finished The Serpent's Tale.  I liked this one even more than  the first one.  I loved her take on Henry and Eleanor, it has wit and depth, and I am in love with Adelia ,Rowley.  It's a throughly readable mystery.  I have already ordered the 3rd in the series, I'm hooked.

Date Posted: 1/21/2010 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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Genie: I have a question about this category. I see that you gave Sue Grafton's "Q is for Quarry" as an example. This really isn't HF, so I'm thinking that that book wouldn't qualify (?). It would be great if it did, since I have it on my shelf and haven't read it yet, but I wanted to check this out with our very knowledgable (and lenient) leader!

Date Posted: 1/22/2010 12:36 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
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Yeah -- Genie -- I was a little surprised by that myself. I am a big Sue Grafton fan but I just couldn't in good conscience use her Q book for the HF challenge -- too many good Q books available that are truly HF -- but you know that I tend to be a purist and not nearly as nice and lenient and understanding as you, and you are the final arbiter, but really??

[Sorry, Jeanne...]

Date Posted: 1/22/2010 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
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I see that you gave Sue Grafton's "Q is for Quarry" as an example. This really isn't HF, so I'm thinking that that book wouldn't qualify (?).

Brain fart. You're right.

Sorry to disappoint y'all, but the HF cop is fallible.

LOL!

Date Posted: 1/22/2010 9:27 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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LOL, Genie! I just thought you included that one because you said we could cheat a bit with the harder letters.

Date Posted: 1/22/2010 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Yeah -- I thought you were just being too nice too -- never occurred to me that you could be fallible -- in fact, I'll just stick with my interpretation...

Date Posted: 1/22/2010 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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Whew, glad that one's straightened out!;)

Date Posted: 2/2/2010 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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I read I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles for the letter "R".  I really enjoyed it, especially after having just read The Autobiography of Henry VIII.  I loved how Rosalind Miles told the story of Elizabeth starting when she was very young, so you can see her progress to the Queen she became.  And I also enjoyed how as she told the story, she inserted Elizabeth's thoughts and doubts about herself - it made her seem very real.  Definitely recommend this one.

Date Posted: 2/2/2010 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Michelle - I, Elizabeth is excellent, isn't it?  I loved the voice the author gave to her.  I so wanted to hang out with Elizabeth while I was reading the book.

Date Posted: 2/2/2010 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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Shelley - Definitely!  She had just the right amount of sarcasm and humor that made her someone that I know I'd like!

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 2/3/2010 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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For the letter R, I read Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott.

Ghostwalk is about a woman named Lydia whose ex lover, Cameron asks her to finish his mother's book. His mom, Elizabeth was an Isaac Newton scholar writing a controversial biography about Newton and the mysterious deaths in Cambridge surrounding his practice of Alchemy. Lydia is not only pulled back into a Cambridge she left behind, but also to Cameron's bed. The entire book is written as if a letter to him. Lydia talks of how she unraveled his mothers death and connected the murders back in the 1600's and the murders currently going on. It is apparent very early on in the book that Cameron is dead. Which the more of his character that is revealed, the more I am glad the bastard is. lol. The theme of the book is obsession and done very well. It was well written, The story draws you in and doesnt let you go. My only complaint about the book, is the choppiness. The author wil be on one topic and the next paragraph be somewhere else. I had to flip back and forth several times to make sure I wasnt missing something.  Though, I read it believing it was Historical Fiction, I feel that while it had HF elements, it was more of a drama.



Last Edited on: 2/3/10 1:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/5/2010 8:18 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I read Taliesin by Stephen Lawhead. My review is in the Challenge #1 thread called, R U Kidding Me?

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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I finished my "Y" book, "Girl in a Cage" by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris.  It's a young adult novel about Marjorie, the daughter of Robert the Bruce.  She is captured by Edward I of England, and put in a cage in the village square of Lanercost.  This is based on true accounts, and so well-written!

The narrative goes back and forth in time, with Marjorie's memories of her father and her family, to her present captivity.  She's only 11 years old, so when her father is crowned King of Scotland, she is thrilled to be a real princess.  But, it's not that easy, apparently.  The characters have a depth that I (as an adult reader) appreciated.  You come to hate Edward "Longshanks" for his treatment of Marjorie and the people of Lanercost, but the authors also show us glimpses into his deep grief for his dead queen Eleanor, and his fear of dying. 

I will put this one into my library...I can sell this book!  The afterword tells the reader what is true about the novel, and what was fabricated to make the story flow, something the kids will find interesting too.  Well done!

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 10:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,299
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Great review, Vicky. Sounds like a very good book. I may have to get this one, not only for me, but For my granddaughter as well! Thanks - another book to be on the lookout for!!;)

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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Oh, great review.  Another book to add to my RL.  I want to read it.  I "met" Margory in Trantor's Bruce trilogy, but really only AFTER she returned home and I'm interested in a closer look. 

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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Jeanne and Sharla...I'm glad this one sounds good to you...it really is!  But ladies, you should have pointed out that I'm IN THE WRONG THREAD!

Nice.  A librarian who doesn't know the alphabet...

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