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Topic: 2014 Historical Fiction Challenge - Discussion

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Subject: 2014 Historical Fiction Challenge - Discussion
Date Posted: 1/1/2014 12:52 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 747
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I'm starting the challenge with The Forsyte Saga by Jihn Galsworthy to fill in the spot Hollywood Squares. I actually started it a few days ago and it's a bit slow going. Has anyone read it before ? 

Date Posted: 1/1/2014 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
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Category #6  Password

I completed A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell for this category.  It's a rather complex story about Italian resistance fighters in northwestern Italy during WWII.  There are many characters to keep track of as well as several alternating story lines.  There are some brilliantly drawn characters and lots of good writing, but it's a very tough subject and the author does not spare us from an unflinching account of the types of atrocities that were committed during this time.  A solid 4-star read from one of my favorite writers.

Date Posted: 1/3/2014 7:22 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 318
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Last Edited on: 2/4/15 3:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/6/2014 12:36 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2009
Posts: 94
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Loving the challenge this year. I didn't finish last years (1 book shy - doh!), but am feeling more optimistic this year! :) 

I just finished my first HF book and it's a wishlisted book. How do I go about using it to complete category #2 -Let's Make a Deal? Do I just post the name and someone will snatch it up? How do I get a credit if I can't post it on the site? Sorry to be so dense, I've never done a direct swap.

Date Posted: 1/7/2014 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 747
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Kate,

You can either list the book in this thread or in the Available Books thread, stating that if anyone is interested, to buddy you a credit and asking them to pm you with their address. 

If you don't feel safe doing that, you can post it the traditional way :)

CR

Date Posted: 1/7/2014 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,458
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I finished up Tristan and Iseult by J D Smith today.  This was a freebie on the kindle (I think) and is only available as an e book.  This was really a pretty good story told in alternate chapters by the two main characters.  Sometimes the freebies aren't worth the bother, but I enjoyed this one.

Oops, forgot to mention what category I was using this for....1 vs 100!



Last Edited on: 1/8/14 9:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/7/2014 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2009
Posts: 94
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Thanks Carolyn! I posted in the available books thread.

Date Posted: 1/9/2014 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2010
Posts: 2,138
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I'll be starting off my year, and this challenge, with People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I've placed it in the X-files category, as the contents of the book are treasures. ;) I've also picked this as my IRL book club read for January, so I'm especially pleased with myself for fitting it into both, haha. 

Date Posted: 1/11/2014 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,393
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Just finished The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell.  Anyone who is familiar with Uhtred from this wonderful Saxon Series knows that the main character will be involved in a battle. So, this was the perfect book for  # 14, 1 vs 100.  Uhtred always must fight against long odds.  Vintage Cornwell and I'm already looking forward to the next installment.

Linda

Date Posted: 1/11/2014 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
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Category:  To Tell the Truth

For this category, I read "The Chalice" by Nancy Bilyeau, which was a SS gift this year.  I really enjoyed this book and think it was as good if not better than the prequel, "The Crown." The main character, Joanna Stafford, an erstwhile nun and daughter of a minor noble, finds herself the center of a series of prophecies regarding the restoration of the Catholic faith tradition following the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII and his enforcer-in-chief, Thomas Cromwell.  For sure, some implausible things happen to Joanna, but the storyline is compelling and the first person narrative brings to life what it must have been like for real people living through these events.  Solid 4****



Last Edited on: 1/11/14 8:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/13/2014 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,300
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For the Queen For a Day category, I read The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick. What a read - this is definitely going on my "best books of 2014" list!  Chadwick has created a real page turner here. Once I started it, I didn't want to put it down. I always knew that Louis Vll was a jerk but wow, the way she describes him makes your heart really bleed for Alienore. All the characters are so well developed and the locations so descriptive that you feel as if you are right there. The upcoming books in this trilogy are titled: The Winter Crown and The Autumn Throne - I will be looking out for those, you can bet!!!!

Date Posted: 1/13/2014 10:39 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,458
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It sounds wonderful Jeanne!

Date Posted: 1/13/2014 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,300
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It is good, Cheryl and the paperback will be coming out in June - I may have to get that too! yes

Date Posted: 1/13/2014 11:32 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2010
Posts: 2,138
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Jeanne (and other Chadwick fans) - I have a few of her books on TBR and haven't picked any up to read yet because I don't know if there is a particular order I should read them in or not. Off to google, but I'd love to know if her books are just "jump in wherever" or if there is a for sure start place I need to know about. 

Date Posted: 1/13/2014 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2008
Posts: 267
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For The X Factor catagory I read Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown. Lots of pirates. The main one was a woman. She kidnaps a chef and forces him to cook for her. Overall I liked it. It did drag a little for me in the middle, though.

Subject: kidnappi
Date Posted: 1/13/2014 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 747
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Kidnapping a chef and forcing him to cook ? That sounds like every woman's fantasy!!! smiley

Date Posted: 1/14/2014 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,393
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LOL, Carolyn! Where's the "love button" ???

Kelly E: What books of Chadwick's do you have moldering on Mt. TBR? (And just as well you haven't started any of them yet, because when you do, the genie will be unleashed and nothing else will get done until they are all read!) Some of her books are stand alone books of a (very good IMO) historical romance vein, some are duos; some trilogies. 

There are several Elizabeth Chadwick threads on this forum ... one of them is http://www.paperbackswap.com/Surrender-Elizabeth-Chadwick-Series-William/topic/265046/

(And, we're all a little jealous that we are not also discovering Eliz Chadwick for the first time!)

Kelly

 

 



Last Edited on: 1/14/14 9:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/14/2014 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,393
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For my Monopoly game, I'm reading books set during the period of time encompassing WW I and WW II. The first one is City of Women by David Gillham and I loved it! The first 80 or so pages are a little slow, then the story lines come together, the character development coalesces and away we go!

Kelly

 



Last Edited on: 1/14/14 10:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/15/2014 11:09 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,393
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#16 - Double Dare - start two new series

Read In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff, first in a mystery series featuring a NYC policeman, Simon Ziele, set in 1905.  Enjoyed it and plan to continue the series.

Linda

Date Posted: 1/15/2014 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 747
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Linda,

I'd be interested to hear how you like the following books in the Pintoff series.  I read In The Shadow of Gotham and didn't particularly like it, but I have the rest in the series, so will continue to finish it.  But I'm hoping for some positive reviews from you to cheerlead me on.  No pressure. cheeky

CR

Date Posted: 1/16/2014 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,393
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Carolyn,  I wouldn't call this a favorite mystery, but I did like it enough to order the second book, and I'm looking forward to reading it.  I did like Simon Ziele, the main character.  And I liked the fact that the author included a real event, sinking of the General Slocum.

Linda



Last Edited on: 1/16/14 11:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/17/2014 6:51 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,393
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#19 - $100,000 Pyramid - set in a place that has sand -- I read The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian.  The setting for this novel is the Armenian genocide of 1915, an event of which I was aware, but sadly ignorant.  When I added this book to our WL my note to myself was a reminder that a favorite way to learn history was through HF and I felt I needed to learn about this tragedy.  I'm glad I read this well-written novel.  It held my interest, I liked the characters, and definitely would recommend the novel.

Linda

 

Date Posted: 1/17/2014 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,101
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Hi all --- I am trying this Challenge this year and have a couple of books on  my list.  Will report on those later.  Could someone let me know where to find the banners???  Many thanks.

FOUND IT



Last Edited on: 1/17/14 11:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/20/2014 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,393
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I am slotting The Girl You Left Behind into my Monopoly challenge. A large part of the book takes place in 2006, but the key aspect of the book is because of events happening in WW I and a bit during the WW II years. Because of this, I am considering it a "War Years" book.

All that aside, I loved the book! Set in 1917 and 2006, with a few journal entries from 1945, the reader gets a glimpse of the horrors of German occupation of a small French village during WW I and the upheaval war causes. The plot centers around a painting, The Girl You Left Behind, that (in 2006) is being reclaimed by descendants of the artist as restitution for war crimes.

Very fascinating - great characters, good pacing, wonderful love story - both in the past and in the present. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it and, I wouldn't hesitate to read another book by this author.

Kelly

 

Date Posted: 1/20/2014 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,458
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I finished Circle of Shadows by Imogen Robertson for the #6 password category.  This is the latest (but not the last according to friend Jeanne) in the very excellent Crowther and Westerman mystery series.  I could have used this book under many categories for both challenges, but as a secret society figures prominently in the storyline I felt this was the most logical one for me.  Highly recommended.

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