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Topic: It's February 2009! What are you reading this month?

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Subject: It's February 2009! What are you reading this month?
Date Posted: 2/2/2009 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,451
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I'll start the thread this month.  I' m reading the BOM for February A Crowning Mercy by Bernard Cornwell and Susannah Kells.  A good swashbuckling adventure with a little romance thrown in.  So far a good, strong female character for a change!



Last Edited on: 2/2/09 7:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/2/2009 8:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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Ditto what Cheryl said, although I didn't start the thread!  ;) 

Cheryl - Looks like next month we'll have another strong, female lead character with March's BOM.  Are you in? Who can resist a she-pirate??



Last Edited on: 2/2/09 8:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/2/2009 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
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I'm reading The Champion by Elizabeth Chadwick.

Date Posted: 2/2/2009 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
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1776 by David McCullough.

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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Michelle, I'll be curious to see how you like 1776 as it's my choice right now for the non-fiction book in the HF challenge.

I started The Twentieth Wife Indu Sundarsan last night.  I'm a little over 100 pages into it and really enjoying it so far.  Seems like a quick read.  I also plan to head to the library today to pick up A Crowning Mercy.

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
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I read 1776 several years ago and was glad that I had read it.  I can't say that I really enjoyed reading it, because frankly there is a lot of detail crammed into that book and I had to keep referring to the maps in the front of the book.    I also made the mistake of listening to the audio version of the book.   Again, with so much detail I really needed to have the relevant maps in front of me while reading - and that's hard to do while listening to the audio version and driving in a car!  I eventually just gave up on the audiobook and read it instead.    I did learn a LOT from 1776 - primarily that we almost lost the war several times during that year thanks to several factors, not the least of which were some rather dumb moves made by Washington and his generals.  Thankfully, he ended the year with a rather brilliant move.  

Last year I got the illustrated version of 1776 for Christmas, which is pretty cool:  http://www.amazon.com/1776-Illustrated-David-McCullough/dp/1416542108/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233678167&sr=1-1

As a complement to 1776, I also read Mount Vernon Love Story by Mary Higgins Clark.  I know that Mary Higgins Clark isn't exactly known for writing historical fiction - but I thought she did a pretty good job on it.   She obviously did her research before writing it.   And while 1776 was good for reading about Washington's military moves and believes, Mount Vernon Love Story shed more light on his personal life.

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I've always wanted to read 1776, but have not.

I'm working on Fires in the Dark by Louise Doughty which is about the Romani (Gypsy) people during World War II. It's historical fiction and quite well done. I did a paper on the Romani in college, so I have a basic understanding of their experiences, but it is fantastically researched.

 

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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I have been reading "The Johnstown Flood" by David McCullough. What a tragedy! When the book started out, he was introducing all of the characters and I got so bollixed up that I almost put this book down!  But ---- I kept reading! Things really picked up and the events were incredible. It is amazing that this tragedy happened since there were symptoms all over the place which indicated that this could occur! McCullough is excellent in his presentation of the events!

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,451
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I'm so glad to hear you liked Johnstown, JeanneI have become a fan of the author after reading John Adams and 1776 and that one was on my list to read next.

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Okay, since I finished February's BOM (which was excellent!), I've decided to tackle another challenge book.  I'm going with The Twentieth Wife, which is for the "headless ladies" challenge and a book I've been wanting to read for a long time!  Off to start it!

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
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I just finished a mystery called Clea's Moon, by Edward Wright, which takes place in Los Angeles right after WW II. Talk about a well-researched book! And the story was excellent. I guess it was the author's first novel, but it certainly doesn't read like a first novel.

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 11:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
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I finished the February BOM, A Crowning Mercy, and plan to read Georgette Heyer's The Corinthian next. I'm trying to whittle down a stack of Heyers I've collected through PBS and an eBay auction. A Crowning Mercy whetted my appetite for adventure, and The Corinthian seems promising: thieves, murder, a girl dressed as a boy ...

I'm off for a soak in the tub and a bit of reading before bed!

Date Posted: 2/4/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,390
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I'm reading Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe, by Sandra Gulland ... this is the 2nd in her trilogy about Josephine Beauharnais (Napoleon's wife).

I just finished the first one (The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B) this morning, so I'm not very far into Tales of Passion, but if it shapes up like the 1st book - I'm in for more of a well-written story about a fascinating woman.

 

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 2/4/2009 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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I am reading The Track of a Cat by Navada Barr. It is a short read and really good so far.

I am a big fan of David MacCullough as well. I have 1776 on my TBR for the challenge.

Date Posted: 2/4/2009 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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I just finished the first one (The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B) this morning

How was this one? I've had it on my bookshelf forever, but haven't gotten around to it.

Date Posted: 2/4/2009 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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I'm reading a book by David McCullough too - Wars of the Irish Kings. Right now, I'm reading the part about Brian Boru. I don't think McCullough can write a bad book, but I couldn't read his book Truman. I think that failing was mine though. ;-)  

I'm also reading Death March: The Survivors of Bataan by Donald Knox. Very hard to read. I can only read a little bit before I have to set it aside. It's written in the words of the survivors, basically it's a book of personal recollections of Bataan.

One more -  I'm reading His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis. Really, I'm just skimming this one because I have read other books about Washington and it is due back at the library soon.

I'll be glad when the Month of the ILL's is over!

Date Posted: 2/4/2009 5:51 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,451
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Valli:  Is His Excellency GW worth reading even though you are skimming?  I have it on my challenge list.

Date Posted: 2/4/2009 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
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I didn't know McCullough wrote a book on the Irish!  Going to look it up now!

Date Posted: 2/4/2009 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,390
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Shelley ... Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B is excellent! I'll write more of a "review" after I've finished the trilogy on the Bonus Challenge thread ... but suffice to say I give it highest recommendations!

Shamed to admit, but the only thing I really knew about Josephine was from reading a book in high school (a b'zillion years ago!) titled Desiree. In this book, Josephine only shows up towards the latter part of the book and is the "other woman!" So, although I at least knew who she was ... that is the only, tiniest bit of information I had on her.

I've learned so much about her ... and the French Revolution (what a mess that was!) ... all in a wonderful, well-written format. Sandra Gulland's format of telling the story via Josephine's diary and letters written to Josephine is genius! The story advances rapidly, the reader feels like they have been let in on Josephine's secrets and things such as plot, character development and background do not suffer at all. She also peppers the book with factual footnotes that really enhance the reader's understanding and there is a chronology, family tree, bibliography and reader's guide at the back! I love bonus material!!

When I was deciding what to read next, I picked this book up and read the first page or two ... and was hooked! This is my challenge to you ... give it a thorough "look-see" and read the first few pages ... see if you, too, are not completely caught up and wondering "what happens next?"

Kelly

Date Posted: 2/5/2009 1:53 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,488
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I'll second the Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.  That was an excellent book!

Date Posted: 2/5/2009 7:13 AM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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Thanks for the review, Kelly.  I also have had the series on my TBR shelf for awhile.  So many books to read, so little time!

Date Posted: 2/5/2009 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2005
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I just finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (loved it) and the Nature of Monsters by Clare Clark(liked it, didn't love it).

I am getting ready to start the Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly.

Date Posted: 2/5/2009 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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I just finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (loved it)

I'm thinking of buying this in paperback when it comes out later this year. The wish-list lines here are loooooong!

Date Posted: 2/6/2009 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I loved Gurnsey too!

Date Posted: 2/6/2009 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2005
Posts: 404
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The Devil is in the Music-Kate Ross

Kate is a super good writer and has 3 running charicters in her books.  It's so sad she only wrote 4 books and then died.

I also love Barbara Hambley and I am going to read another of hers next. 

I collect books by Ellis Peters with stories about a crime solving monk in the dark ages.

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