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Topic: Happy February, what's everyone reading this month?

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Subject: Happy February, what's everyone reading this month?
Date Posted: 2/1/2010 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
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No one has started a new thread yet, so here goes.   I am reading The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell.  Shelley is right, our hero Uhtred is in fine form once again;) in more ways than one.  Lots of battles, lots of sarcasm and lots of great writing.  I can see I am going to finish this way too quickly.

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
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I just started the Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss. I have never read any of his works but thought I would give him a go this month.
Date Posted: 2/1/2010 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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I'm just about done with Grave Goods by Ariana Frankiln.  Should finish it up today.  After that, I'm not sure.  I'm tempted by a couple, and Valli had mentioned a possible Aztec read-along in another thread . . .

Cheryl - Yes, Uhtred is his usual smarty-pants glorious self, isn't he?  I think I got The Burning Land done in like 4 days.

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
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This morning I finished my February Book Club book (The Bible Salesman by Clyde Edgerton) and I'm about to start Elizabeth Kostova's new one, The Swan Thieves.  I know the reviews have been mixed, but I'll see what I think.

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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Dang...I was trying to hold off on Uhtred until I worked my TBR pile down a bit.  But I do love a smarty-pants.  I might not be able to wait much longer.

Hand of Isis has sucked me in.  And it's odd because the first few chapters are about Cleopatra and her half-sisters as children.  I don't usually get into children as characters.  But this one is good so far...rioting mobs, palace intrigue and the old "women have to be twice as smart as men to get half as far" bit, all in the first 50 pages.  And not that I'm trying to play up the benefits of swaps or anything, ;) but this is a book I won in a swap and never ever would have picked up on my own.

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2009
Posts: 388
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I began Vanity Fair (William Makepeace Thackeray) last night, but fell asleep after just a few pages. Hopefully that was a sign of exhaustion and not the book's fault!

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
Posts: 482
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Started Dancing for Degas last night.  This is a debut novel and an uncorrected copy, so I'm having some nitpicky edit issues (not just typos but also storyline) but hopefully it will improve.

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,892
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I should finish The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer tonight sometime.  Then I will be attempting Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross again.  I started it about 6 months ago but then I started a reading challenge and had to put it down.  Yay for getting to read historical fiction again!



Last Edited on: 2/1/10 3:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/1/2010 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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Ooooo  Pope Joan...I love that book.  I am not a re-reader, but if I was, that would be near the top of the list.

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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I really liked Pope Joan too!

I am in serious need of a Chadwick fix so I am going to re-read A Place Beyond Courage.  Maybe I just need a Marshall fix!

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 5:47 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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I seriously have to get to Pope Joan one of these days. I've had it on my bookshelf for ages!

I finished Grave Goods.  Very good.  Lots re: the King Arthur legend, and other than the highlights (Guinevere & Lancelot, the sword in the stone, a table that's round, Merlin and a place called Camelot), I am embarrassed to say I know very little of it.  To rectify that, I'm going to start Cornwell's "The Warlord Chronicles" tonight with the first book, The Winter King. It doesn't fit into any of the categories for HF Challenge #1, but I'll use it for "W" in HF Challenge #2, and it will help fulfill my personal goal of reading all of the books in the trilogy this year.  Cornwell has said it's his favorite of the series he's written.  I'm a bit miffed that he slighted Uhtred like that, but I won't judge too harshly until I've read the books!  Could I possibly like Arthur better than Uhtred???  I think probably not, but I'll check him out. ;)



Last Edited on: 2/1/10 7:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/1/2010 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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 Could I possibly like Arthur better than Uhtred??? 

I personally would be frightened of you if that came to pass. 

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
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Shelley:  I don't think it will be Arthur that you will like but rather Derfel, the narrator of the books.  Maybe Mr. Cornwell wrote these before the Uhtred books?  I'll have to go and check my publication dates.

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
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"The Warlord Chronicles" tonight with the first book, The Winter King. It doesn't fit into any of the categories for HF Challenge #1, but I'll use it for "W" in HF Challenge #2

The Challenge cop says The Winter King fits in category 1 of challenge one. It's legend, which often translates into historical fantasy. I'm reading Taliesin for this category myself, which is Stephen Lawhead's interpretation of the legend. Taliesin covers the fall of Atlantis, when the "evil" Morgian's step-sister is a young woman. This is before she marries the bard, Taliesin, and gives birth to Merlin.

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Genie - Thanks, but I already fulfilled that challenge.  Someone else will probably appreciate the "heads up" though!

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,502
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I restarted Signora da Vinci by Robin Maxwell and I am totally sucked in.  I had only read about 8 pages before.  For some reason it didn't click with me the first time.  I decided to give it a second try and knocked off 60 pages last night.

(It's about Leonardo's Mother, by the way)

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,502
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Arika, I loved Vanity Fair, so give it another shot.  Coincidentally, a few months after reading it I read Custom of the County by Edith Wharton and I found the stories incredibly similar.

Date Posted: 2/2/2010 7:19 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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I seem to be the only one on the planet that thought Pope Joan was just meh. The perils of Pauline like near misses drove me nuts.

I'm about 100 pages into Sheen on the Silk by Anne Perry. I can't put my finger on what it is the author is doing but I don't feel like I'm in a medieval setting - the story could be set in any century. I hear she usually writes Victorians so that may be it.

Date Posted: 2/2/2010 7:29 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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I finished Dracula (which I enjoyed; why do I feel like a better person when I read a 'classic?' LOL) and I started the sequel "Dracula: the Un-Dead" written by Bram Stoker's great grandnephew...but I didn't like it.  Just...no. 

So last night I started another book on my HF challenge list, "Girl in a Cage" by Jane Yolen.  This is my "Y" book, of course.  It's a young adult novel about Marjorie Bruce, Robert Bruce's daughter, and her capture and captivity by King Edward of England (aka Longshanks).  He's got her in a cage in the public square.  She's only 12. 

I love it..and being YA, I'm already halfway through!  This one is an ex-library copy from PBS, but I may try and spiff it up a bit and donate it to the library.  I could SO sell this book to reluctant readers!!

Date Posted: 2/2/2010 7:40 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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I just finished Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire--I chose it for the fantasy category in the challenge. It was terrific, not something I'd pick up ordinarily. I also just finished The Book Thief for my IRL (my kid taught me that: 'in real life' in text/cyber game speak) PBS book club meeting last night--thank you, Genie for the new copy as my secret santa gift.

 

I'm about to start on the sequel to Interview with the Vampire, called the Vampire Lestat.  It's for the sequel category in the challenge--we'll see how long I can stand to be away from my beloved HF--this will make three in a row, the withdrawl symptoms are starting already....

Date Posted: 2/2/2010 7:44 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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I liked Lestat even better than Interview.  You get to meet Maris who made Lestat.  I have Pandora which tell Maris's story if you find you'd like to read it just let me know. 

Date Posted: 2/2/2010 8:40 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Melody - I loved Signora Davinci.  I hope you can get into it this time.

I'm also a huge fan of Anne Rice, and I loved a good part of her vampire series, although after awhile it just got tiresome. I think in addition to Interview with the Vampire, The Tale of the Body Thief and Memnoch the Devil were my favorites.  After MTD, though, IMO, the series went downhill.  Rice's The Witching Hour  is my favorite book of all time!

Date Posted: 2/2/2010 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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I have to agree Shelley, and not just because you like my jokes. ;)  Did you ever read her Cry to Heaven about the Castri singers!  The first and only book I ever actually threw, and not because I hated it but because I just got so mad at a character!!!

Date Posted: 2/2/2010 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,953
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Still working on some January reads: Arrow of Love by Manfred (too many ordered library books arrived), The Other Queen (finally finished), Company of Liars (done also), two of my fantasy challenge reads and an ARC book I ordered that I just wanted to read. Also completed Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland (nice read) and Moses, Man of the Mountain by Zora Neale Hurston (admirable author unappreciated during her life). Finished Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, a great book. Almost put it down once because Cromwell seemed to be two different characters but Mantel resolved that as I went along. (The transition could have been better.) I recommend the book because it gives a view of Thomas Cromwell different from how many of us think about him. He was a highly complex person who worked 15 to 18 hours a day for his king and his country. There wasn't much time for a personal life. I like books such as this one. Of course, enjoyed Rasputin's Daughter for much the same reason. History cannot reveal the personalities of such influential people. Mantel writes well, too. Would I recommend Wolf Hall? Yes!!! Finished The Owl Masters, an interesting book but I didn't like it as well as Company of Liars. Read Bernard Cornwell's The Last Kingdom- not my favorite author but I like the author's discussion at the end very much. Finished The King's Way by Francoise Chandanger.The book was good and she must have made a mark on French history because over 70 years later her bones were dug up and strewn about. Finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Anne Barrows. It was a quick pleasant read. Using letters to carry the story was an interesting technique. Far Bright Starby Robert Olmstead and Hood by Stephen R. Lawhead completed. The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory is up next.Got caught up in a couple of my fantasy reads: The Early Asimov Book 1 and Orson Scott Card's Enchanment as well as Melusine.



Last Edited on: 2/28/10 9:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 17
Date Posted: 2/2/2010 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Jerelyn - Yeah, Anne's had some clinkers, Cry to Heaven being one of them, IMO.  I wasn't keen on Violin either.  (And yes, your jokes are funny!)

Bigstone - I'm glad to hear you are enjoying Wolf Hall.  I have that on my bookshelf. I ordered it awhile back but haven't gotten to it yet.  I haven't read many reviews around the HF forum, so I was wondering if anyone had read it.

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