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Topic: B&N's Top 10 Historical Fiction Novels

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Subject: B&N's Top 10 Historical Fiction Novels
Date Posted: 12/30/2008 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,062
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Favorite Haunting Historicals


2008 was a banner year for historical fiction, as readers lost themselves in the dramatic sweep and scope of intriguing stories using events in the past as the springboard. One standout in a windfall of richly imagined novels is People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, a brilliant historical mystery that traces the provenance of an ancient Sephardic codex across five centuries.

  1. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  2. City of Thieves by David Benioff
  3. A Mercy by Toni Morrison
  4. The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie
  5. Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
  6. The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon
  7. Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen
  8. The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz
  9. The Given Day by Dennis Lehane
  10. America America by Ethan Canin
Date Posted: 12/30/2008 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,900
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Wow, I've only read one of those, have one on TBR pile and one on my WL.  I may  have to add a few more of those.



Date Posted: 12/30/2008 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,513
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Me too - I haven't read any of them, one is on my WL.

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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Where have we been? I've never heard of any of those......am printing list now for future TBR acquisitions

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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I have 2 of them on my WL (Sea of Poppies and The Commoner).  Other than The Enchantress of Florence, I haven't heard of the rest either!

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 2:43 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,538
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I haven't read any of them.

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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It's an interesting list, but I've only read one - People of the Book. I own one of the others, "The Enchantress of Florence", and I have five of the others on my wishlist - The Commoner, Mercy, Sea of Poppies, City of Thieves, and The Given Day. I'm most looking forward to Sea of Poppies and Mercy. I just wish Mercy was a longer book because I never want books by Morrison to end. I've heard mixed reviews of The Given Day which isn't all that surprising because I think Lehane usually writes thrillers and maybe his normal audience wasn't happy with a historical work. It does sound like an awfully good book of historical fiction though.

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,585
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I read People of the Book a while back.  The story was interesting but I thought the ending just too improbable.  Everything tied together just a little too neatly even for fiction.  I have Enchantress on my wishlist.

Date Posted: 1/2/2009 8:50 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 2,027
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I read People of the Book and gave up halfway through.  I felt like it lost steam and was just floating into nowhere-ness.

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 8:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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I have read People of the Book and quite enjoyed it, but haven't even heard of any of the others. However, my TBR stacks and WL are already full enough so I'll wait to investigate those a bit. LOL