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Topic: 2013 HF Forum Un-Challenge - 7 thru King Discussion

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Subject: 2013 HF Forum Un-Challenge - 7 thru King Discussion
Date Posted: 12/25/2012 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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Date Posted: 1/15/2013 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
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I'm using Her Highness the Traitor by Susan Higginbotham for the "unchallenge not a queen" category.  This book is actually about two ladies of high station, neither one of which was a queen...Frances Grey and Jane Dudley.  Gosh I wish I could like this author's books more...but I just don't.  This will probably do it for me although it was the best of the 3 I have read.

Date Posted: 1/15/2013 4:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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The Un-Challenge

Seven: Start a series that has at least seven books in it. 

Eight: Read a book about a priest, nun or other (supposedly) pious person 

Nine: Read a book where any character loses a sporting event. 

Ten: Read a book where a main character leaves their native country, OR a book NOT set in India OR a book NOT set in the West Indies:  A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly is a fascinating story about an actual woman who is murdered and a murderer who was also real.  However, most of the rest of the characters are fictional, including the young woman who tells the story.  The narrator was based on the author's grandmother who told her about the murder.  Fascinating story!  Finished 1/12/2013, 5 stars

Jack:  Read a book about a real person who was a royal, or a book about anybody not named Jack:  The Snake Stone by Jason Goodwin is the last in a series I've been reading by this author.  It's actually the second in a series of three but I often read books out of sequence.  NeverthelessIt's soo good - better than The Bellini Card, the last in the series.  If you like mysteries set in exotic countries you may enjoy his writing as much as I do.  So much detail and so complex..

Queen: Read a book about anybody who is not a queen

King: Read a book about anybody who is not a king:  Blue Horizons by Wilbur Smith is an exciting ending to the saga of the Courtney family who have settled in Africa and encounter danger and adventure from maurading natives to those who just want to kill the family.  In this one they have finally demolished their last enemies.  Completed 1/14/2013, 4 stars  


Clubs (or Puppy Feet, if you must)

The Poker Hand Bonus

Royal Flush: Complete Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten all from one challenge
Straight Flush: Complete any five consecutive categories all from one challenge
Four of a Kind: Complete the same category four times, can be from either challenge
Full House: Complete one category three times and another category two times, can be from either challenge
Flush: Complete any five categories from one challenge
Straight: Complete five consecutive categories, can be from either challenge
Three of a Kind: Complete one category three times, can be from either challenge 
Two Pair: Complete two different categories, two times each, can be from either challenge.The “Follow Suit” Bonus Mini-Challenge

Last Edited on: 1/15/13 4:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 11
Date Posted: 2/27/2013 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
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I'm using The Kingmaking by Helen Hollick for the "king" category.  My thoughts on the book about King Arthur are in the monthly reading thread.

Last Edited on: 2/27/13 10:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/3/2013 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
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ETA (3 May 13): Posted in the wrong category ... My book doesn't go in the un-category. 

But, too late now ... here it stays ... sheesh ...

For the Jack card, I read Sparrowhawk: Jack Frake by Edward Cline. This is the first in a series of books designed to take a broader look at the circumstances and events leading up to those contrary colonials in America rebelling against their King. I am fascinated by books like this simply because I think the history we are taught in school is so one-dimensional, it's practically useless. The more historical fiction I read, the more I realize how little I know! (Perfect examples are the two Salem witch trial books I read last year by Kathleen Kent.)

But I digress.

Jack Frake opens the series in 1744 England. Our title character is a young boy from poor & unloved circumstances. Jack ends up with a gang of smugglers and proudly becomes a "Skelly" man. What sets this particular group apart from the other smugglers and pirates is that these are honorable men who have been forced into a life of outlawry by the government of the very country they love and are loyal to. See where this is going?

With their actions, they are pushing back against the ruinous taxes, absurd laws and unjust treatment that strip the common English man of the very liberties and freedoms England purportedly stands for. In their own quiet way, they are rebelling against - not their country - but against the monarchy.

I love Jack, who, by book's end, is on board the Sparrowhawk bound for the American Colonies with an 8-year sentence as an indentured servant ahead of him. I think the author does an admirable job of constructing his plot, developing his characters and moving the plot forward. Unfortunately, he writes probably like I would - gets a little bogged down from time to time with historical narrative that interrupts the flow and pacing a little. They are all good words; and important to enhance the reader's understanding ... but, I think it could have been done better; shorter; maybe letting some of this background evolve via a conversation between characters; something. 

It's a minor thing ... and not something that even bothered me ... it is just that it does slow the book down unnecessarily. Overall, it's a solid 4/5 read for me and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone interested in a more in-depth look at the background of what led to American's independence from England. I expect this series to just keep getting better and better and I 'm looking forward to the second one.



Last Edited on: 5/3/13 2:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/3/2013 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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Category 8 in the unchallenge: Re reading about a nun, priest or other pious person, I read The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau.  I thought this book was pretty good - it held my interest but I was very exasperated at times by some of Joanna's stupid decisions! The book was certainly action packed but I was not as enamored of it as I was her first book, The Crown. I gave it 3.5 stars.

Date Posted: 5/3/2013 9:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,438
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Last Edited on: 5/3/13 9:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/3/2013 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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Category:  A book about a person who is not a queen

In this slot, I put Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. It's a very imaginative and compelling story in which the main character, Ursula, is born, dies and is re-born into the same life over and over again. Each time, a detail changes which in turn changes everything else. It's historical in the sense that the time frame is mainly 1910 to the mid 1940s and there is unflinching detail about the human effects of the bombing raids on London during WWII. Far from a neat little wrap up at the end but one that I will be thinking about for a while, I'm sure.