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Topic: It's August - What Are You Reading?

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Subject: It's August - What Are You Reading?
Date Posted: 8/1/2009 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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I decided to pick up my bonus book next: A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth.  It's a whopper at 1474 pages, but I've heard only good things about it and I've been wanting to read it for awhile.  It's set in the early '50s in India (I may be stretching the HF timeline a bit, but oh well!).  It centers on a mother's search to find a boy for her daughter to marry.  I can't imagine 1400+ pages with just that story, but apparently it's done well, so we'll see!  I have a feeling this one will take me through the rest of the summer!

Date Posted: 8/1/2009 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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I am reading the Bernard Cornwell Saxon series, I also just finished "The Tory Widow"  which I very much enjoyed.  I also have some N/F which takes me longer to read.

Date Posted: 8/1/2009 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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I finished The Serpant's Tale today, and I really enjoyed it!  I liked it as much as Mistress of the Art of Death.  I had to laugh at Franklin's portrayal of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and as in MOD, I love her King Henry II. I was tempted to read The Book of Eleanor since I was in that time period anyway with TST, but I had to get to a library book first, which was . . .

Forever Amber  which I started this afternoon, and am liking it a lot already.  Off to finish up a few things around the house and then lay in bed and read!

Michelle - I have A Suitable Boy on my bookshelf as well.  I'll be anxious to hear how you like it.



Last Edited on: 8/1/09 10:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/1/2009 10:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2009
Posts: 388
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I'm about 3/4 of the way through Sharon Kay Penman's When Christ and His Saints Slept, and I'm in awe of how good she is. I've read a lot of good books this year, but this one is definitely in a class by itself. I open it up and just lose myself in the story. She really brings the characters and the time period to life. I'm thrilled to know that I have many more Penman's ahead of me, as this is my first!

However, when I finish this one, I think I'm going to read something a bit more "light and fluffy" before I move on to the 2nd in the Penman triology. I have the first book from the Dark Queen series by Susan Carroll coming to me, and I might pick that up next. Or I might read Abundance: a Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund next; I just got that one in today!

Even when I'm reading a series, I like to break it up a bit. I like to savor the books instead of feeling like I'm flying through them.

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 12:26 AM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I'm about 2/3 of the way throught "The King's Daughter" about Elizabeth of York (thanks Daphne) - it'll be my "headless lady" challenge

 

 

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 1:18 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 924
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I'm about halfway through Taking Liberties by Diana Norman. I had a hard time with A Catch of Consequence, but am really enjoying this second book in the series a lot more. :)

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 7:56 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2005
Posts: 714
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I'm reading Devil's Brood by Sharon Kay Penman. Now I know why she is one of my favorites. The story is so good, I find it hard to put down! I can't wait for her book about Richard the Lionheart! I love her!

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I loved Devil's Brood. I'm still not reading much HF, though.

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,495
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Right now I am reading Antonia Fraser's The Wives of Henry VIII.  Even though I am pretty familiar with the subject matter I enjoy this author very much and she has some interesting insights into these ladies.

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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In the last 4 or 5 days I've read a couple of  contemporary fiction novels: Crossroads Cafe by Deborah Smith and Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons.  I am more than ready to get back to some historical fiction.  Planning to start Of the Ring of Earls by Juliet Dymoke about Waltheof of Huntingdon (the hero of Elizabeth Chadwick's The Winter Mantle)

Linda

 

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2009
Posts: 181
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Started The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly and having trouble putting it down - picked it up at a local church booksale last month.   I'm reading it every free minute - I have  that  "held captive"  feeling that sometimes make me feel guilty for neglecting other things.

I read a couple of contemporary fictions before that for a "beach break".  The Wednesday Letters (Jason Wright) and Shelter Me (Juliette Fay) which was really, really wonderful by a new author.

Trish

 



Last Edited on: 8/2/09 2:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/2/2009 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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Linda, what did you think of Off Season?  I'm getting close on the WL, but I wasn't crazy about the last book I read by Anne Rivers Siddons.  So I was thinking about deleting myself from the WL. 

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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Christa,  I really enjoyed Off Season while I was reading it, esp. the first half or more; mixed feelings about the ending.  I think I got a bit disenchanted with Siddons myself the last time I read one of her books, but can't remember what it was.  I usually enjoy her novels, likewise Dorothea Benton Frank.  Off Season is one of those where I was wishing Kelly had read it too, so I could discuss it. 

Linda

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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That's about what I thought of the other ARS book I read...the first half or more was good, but the ending was weird.  I've read two DBF books and think I prefer her.

Sorry for the derail from Historical Fiction!  Back to our regularly scheduled program.....

Date Posted: 8/3/2009 8:26 AM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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Oh....lucky, I have The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose on my bookshelf.  They do look good!  So many books that I want to read, I wish I had more time!!

Date Posted: 8/3/2009 8:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I just finished up the audio version of The Bellini Card by Jason Goodwin, third in a mystery series set in 1830's Istanbul and featuring Yashim the Eunuch. This one was partly set in Venice also. I must admit I prefer the print version of these, the reader for this one was kind of annoying and the plots and historical details are so rich and complex that it was hard not being able to flip back to earlier in the book to check on something. All of the varying names and titles in this one left me a little dazed. LOL I still liked it, and I love Goodwin's Istanbul.

I'm also finishing up Death of a Squire by Maureen Ash, the second Bascot de Marins medieval "Templar knight" mystery. I'm almost done but forgot it in my desk at work over the weekend so will finish it up today.

Cheryl

Amy
Date Posted: 8/3/2009 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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I just finished 1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion (Irish Century) by Morgan Llywelyn. In a word: Superb! All subsequent books in this series are on my TBR pile. (1921, 1949, 1972, and 1999)

I'm reading now a non-fiction historical book called America's Most Hated Woman: The Life And Gruesome Death Of Madalyn Murray O'Hair by Ann Rowe Seaman

After that, I'll be diving into An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears.

Date Posted: 8/3/2009 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I've read an odd mixture of all sorts of things this past week. My son and I stayed at a beach house that was right on the beach all week, but I didn't read anything that could be called a "beach book", lol.I read a lot though, so I'm smarter with  a nice tan. ;-)

I read about the devastating Alaskan earthquake of 1964; "Alaska Earthquake:Where Were You?"; a compilation of true stories told by people who experienced the earthquake.

I read a fabulous bio of Mary Kingsley -  "A Voyager Out: The Life of Mary Kingsley" by Katherine Frank.  Mary decided to run off to Africa by herself to explore at a time when women were only allowed to preside over the tea table. What courage! The author used bits of Mary's diaries and books in this book and she had a wonderful, dry sense of humor that really had me laughing out loud. If you ever develop an interest in explorers, this book would be a great one to try. I am definitely planning to read the books Mary wrote herself.

Next up was "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane" by Katherine Stowe. It's kind of a supernatural mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed, even though I felt like it took the author almost half of the book to really hit her stride. I think Howe will do even better with her second book. I'd definitely recommend reading this one though. The parts set in old Salem were really good and interesting.

I also read a wonderful history book - "Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West" by Hampton Sides. I loved every page of this book. I actually read it with a notebook and pen right next to me because the author mentioned so many intriguing people and events. I think the Old West is going to be my next reading obsession. It's a shame more American History isn't told like this; kids would be clamoring to learn! I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone, even to people who don't usually care for American History.

I went from American History to a book about the end of the world as we know it -  "World Made By Hand" by James Howard Kunstler. If you enjoy post-apacolyptic fiction, you should definitely read this one.

Now, I'm reading "Stand the Storm" by Breena Clarke, an H/F novel about a black family who bought their freedom. It's a great story so far; moving and tragic, but also hopeful.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,892
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Goodness thats alot of reading Valli!  Hopefully I'll get to read that much on my vacation to TX at the end of the month.

I just finished up In the Shadow of the Crown by Jean Plaidy.  I liked it but not as much as The Courts of Love.  The book was more focused on her earlier years and kind of glossed over her reign and the end of her life.  Kind of surprising because usually she is so detailed in every aspect.

Now I am reading Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Holly, it really was a lot of reading, but I was there with just my teenage son and his friend, and of course, they were too busy to hang with Mom, so I was alone on the beach with nothing to do but read. It was pure heaven!

Amy, let us know what you think of "America's Most Hated Woman" when you are finished with it! My library has that one and I was thinking of borrowing it. Let us know if it's a good read, please!

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,402
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One of the books that Elizabeth Chadwick mentioned having on her keeper shelf was Henry of the High Rock by Juliet Dymoke.  Since that was on my TBR shelf I went to locate it, realized that chronologically I should probably read Dymoke's Of the Ring of Earls first.  I just finished it and really enjoyed it.  It's the story of Waltheof, the hero of EC's The Winter Mantle.  Although I already knew much of Waltheof's story, I found this novel fascinating and hard to put down. Next up naturally is the novel about Henry I

Linda

Amy
Date Posted: 8/4/2009 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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Will do, Valli. I'm about halfway through it right now. I'll keep you and everyone else posted.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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I'm so jealous - everyone reading books that they can't put down.  i can't seem to find anything that appeals to me lately.  It's a few page of this and a few pages of that.  i really want something that I can't put down.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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Holly - I loved Pope Joan!

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
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I received a review copy of Gregory's The White Queen and started reading it last night.

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