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Topic: Best of the Best - One only Compiled!

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Subject: Best of the Best - One only Compiled!
Date Posted: 12/10/2011 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,154
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See below!  Might be a help as you complete the reading challenge for 2012.  l know I plan to read several of these books whether scheduled for the challenge or not.

Last Edited on: 12/27/11 5:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 7
Bruce -
Date Posted: 12/10/2011 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2008
Posts: 3,412
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That's a tough one but I'd select "Byzantium" by Stephen Lawhead. The most excellent of my choices cover to cover.

Mary (mepom) -
Date Posted: 12/10/2011 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 1,192
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I am looking for the best. THat is easier than top ten.

What's yours  REK?


Bonnie (LoveNE) - ,
Date Posted: 12/10/2011 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2007
Posts: 5,982
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From this year I'd have to choose Conn Iggluddens Genghis  series.

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Well, if forced to choose just one, I'd go with Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo (eta: unabridged translation by Buss)...

but Pargeter's Heaven Tree Trilogy would be right behind. Oh, and Jennings' Aztec. And Kaye's The Far Pavilions. They're all excellent HF.

Last Edited on: 12/11/11 6:17 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/11/2011 6:21 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,154
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While I can't always pick just one read this year I can.  It's Moloka'i by Allen Brennert.  If history were included I'd add Home of the Blizzard by Douglas Mawson, an awesome read by an explorer who happens to be a fine writer.   I hope I didn't miss anyone but here's the list from your suggestions.

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

Conn Iggluddens Genghis  series

Outlaw by Angus Donald

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Green Darkness by Anya Seton

Madame Tussuad by Michelle Moran

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough 

The King's Man by Angus Donald

 One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

The Knight's Fee by Rosemary Sutcliff

Lily Cigar by Tom Murphy

Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick

Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman

The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett

Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead

Morgan's Run by Colleen McCullough

Skeletons on the Zahara by Dean King

Heart of the West by Penelope Williamson

The Fugitive Wife by Peter C Brown

Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (eta: unabridged translation by Buss)

Elizabeth George novels


Last Edited on: 1/5/12 1:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 32
Date Posted: 12/11/2011 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,178
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I would have to say Outlaw.by our Angus.  I love his totally rational take on a story that has been done to death, and breathing new life into it.

Date Posted: 12/11/2011 10:17 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 763
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I didn't make an official list, but if I had to recommend one it would be Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.  It's a doorstopper (close to 1000 pages), but so worth it.

Date Posted: 12/11/2011 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2008
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Mine would have to be A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. 

Date Posted: 12/11/2011 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/28/2005
Posts: 226
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Green Darkness by Anya Seton- You have to get past the hokey 70"s stuff at the beginning of the book and then it is so worth it.

Date Posted: 12/11/2011 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,979
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Well, Letty, of course I agree with your choice, but I think I'd make mine The King's Man since Angus' books just get better all the time (or maybe I should just say The Outlaw Chronicles)!

Date Posted: 12/11/2011 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,900
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The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 12/11/2011 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 43,893
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I read a lot this year but the HF I read was good but not exceptional my one favorite for this year may be Michelle Moran's Madame Tussuad or Jim Fergis's One Thousand White Women.


Date Posted: 12/11/2011 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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The best is easy this year: The Knight's Fee by Rosemary Sutcliff.  I gave it 6/5.

Date Posted: 12/11/2011 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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I had a lot of good solid reads this year, but very few knock my arse off solid doorbusters. Lily Cigar probably has to take the cake, with Lady of the English and Lionheart close seconds (don't anyone tell the authors I said that...)

ETA, I see the two cheaper used copies of LC have disappeared into the wind. Wonder who got them. Fess up ladies.

Last Edited on: 12/11/11 7:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/11/2011 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
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The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett definitely!!

Date Posted: 12/11/2011 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,575
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I wish I had never read A Town Like Alice so that I could read it again for the first time.  The first time I read it, the title was still The Legacy.

My pic of the year would also be 1,000 White Women by Jim Ferrgis.  I was really moved by this book.  Four more worth mentioning are Morgan's Run, Skeletons on the Zahara, Heart of the West and The Fugitive Wife (by Peter C Brown, there are several with this title.)

All of these were great novels with great characters.  I don't know if any of them are really great historic fiction.

Date Posted: 12/12/2011 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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I think my recommendation would depend on exactly who i was making the recommendation to----for a pretty serious reader, it might be a Margaret George....for a lighter reader, it would be a PG or maybe Outlander....

Date Posted: 12/12/2011 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,154
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This is such great fun!  I'm enjoying all the wonderful comments and I just have to share something so very special that happened to me today.  I received two WL books in the mail from one of my gr friends unsolicited.  Some of you may know that goodreads had a bookswap that was discontinued.  However, people were allowed to order books for a month afterword but could accumulate no credits.  I sent about two dozen books to people who requested from me knowing that I would get no credits in return.  One of those requesting books from me was a gr friend who just sent Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls who wrote The Glass Castle which I read twice and Pauline Gedge's Child of the Morning.  

Last Edited on: 12/12/11 3:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/12/2011 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,178
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REK that is so nice!   I never used the swap over at Good Reads.  But I know some that are missing it.

Date Posted: 12/15/2011 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/13/2008
Posts: 247
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@ Sharla - I searched for A Knight's Fee by Rosemary Sutcliff.  It is selling on Amazon for $41+++++!!!!!  You must have the only copy!  LOL....Can I borrow it? I will send it back - promise!  Pinky-swear promise!  

Last Edited on: 12/15/11 8:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/15/2011 6:15 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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I wish I had never read A Town Like Alice so that I could read it again for the first time.

I feel that way about Shadows and Strongholds by EC.  The reunion scene between Jocelin and Sybilla may be my very favorite scene in any HF book.