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Topic: I Heart February - Which books are your Valentines this month?

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Subject: I Heart February - Which books are your Valentines this month?
Date Posted: 2/1/2014 2:58 AM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2007
Posts: 8,502
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I just finished "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline (which I really enjoyed!) and am excited to pick up a new historical I won in Alice's recent swap game. Starting "The Orphanmaster" by Jean Zimmerman. I put it on my WL way back in 2012 and am very excited to finally have a copy in hand to enjoy.

Ready Page One...

wink

Date Posted: 2/1/2014 8:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,880
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I've completed His Majesty's Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal which was interesting.  I really don't like the heroine and can't understand why.  For her supposedly methodical approach to life she does some impulsive things that seem inconsistent with the character.  I really, really enjoyed The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier.  The author does such an outstanding job with the characterization of Honor Bright, a transplanted Quaker from England to Ohio.  Indeed, I gave it five stars.  Boris Akunin's Special Assignments includes two stories.  The first is about about a rogue who delights in bilking the rich and/or famous of some of their wealth.  The second is about a Jack the Ripper style murderer.  Both are quite good.  Truly enjoyed The King's Mistress by Emma Campion which had been languishing on my shelves since 2010.  I liked that the author gave a different view of Alice Perrer' who is viewed as a harlot by many.   Finished A Curtain Falls by Stefanie Pintoff a few days ago and found it soo good.  She does an awesome job in her research and her tales demonstrate a talent with words and plot as well.  The Siege by Helen Dunmore was about the Nazi blockage of Leningrad, focusing on a young woman whose talent for drawing could have led to a career except for the war and the death of her mother.  



Last Edited on: 2/20/14 9:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 13
Date Posted: 2/2/2014 6:01 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Reading A King's Ransom by SKP.  I am at the last third, and I just don't want to pick it up again.  This is the end for Sharon's work with the Angevins and I just know that this is going to be a heartbreaker.

Date Posted: 2/2/2014 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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@ Jerelyn. Just finished. Have tissue at hand, you're gonna need it. 

Date Posted: 2/2/2014 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,458
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I just finished Warlord by Angus Donald and now I'm going to go back and pick up Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati.  It's been calling to me for a few weeks now!

Date Posted: 2/2/2014 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 4/13/2008
Posts: 247
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@ Cheryl - I read Into the Wilderness and the rest of the series. I really enjoyed it.  I live near the area the books take place in so it was very interesting.  Hope you enjoy them also.  And of course - Love the Outlaw series by Angus Donald.

Date Posted: 2/2/2014 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Starting The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley.

Date Posted: 2/2/2014 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2010
Posts: 754
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I'm reading The Ringed Castle by Dorothy Dunnett.  I'm 100 pages in, and I'm shocked I still know what's going and am not lost yet. LOL. 

I'm also reading Angelique and the Barbary by Sergeanne Golon. 

Date Posted: 2/3/2014 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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I started The Widow's War by Sally Gunning late last week and am enjoying it so far.

I'm listening to A Red Herring Without Mustard and am enjoying that as well.  I love the narrator, Jane Entwistle.  She gives Flavia a good "voice."

Date Posted: 2/3/2014 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I finished A Feast for Crows and I really enjoyed it. It was much better than the reviews would indicate.

I've never read Harry Potter, so I borrowed from the Amazon Kindle Library to read the first book in the series.

Date Posted: 2/3/2014 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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Oooh, Genie - the Harry Potters are so fun, enjoy!

I am just about to start one of the Mary Russell - Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Laurie R. King, "The Moor"

Date Posted: 2/3/2014 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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I hope you enjoy Harry Potter, Genie!   I am definitely a Potterhead.   I own all of the books and have seen each movie multiple times (since they rerun them on ABC Family ALL OF THE TIME.     When I was planning my trip to England in 2012, I found out that they were opening up tours of the HP Movie Studios that year (located about 30 miles outside London) and knew that I had to go.  I told my friend/travelling companion (who has only seen the first movie) that she had two choices (1) go with me, or (2) do something else that day because I was going regardless LOL.  Luckily she was understanding and she did end up coming with me and it was a very cool experience.  And she got to tell her young niece and nephew all about it - which I think is the reason she agree to go in the first place.   No pressure about liking the HP book though.   There is a (small) percentage of people who don't :-)

Well, the reading challenge is over - and in all I read 20 books over the four week challenge.  Of those, 12 were historical fiction.    In that last week I read Murder on Gramercy Park and Murder on Washington Square - the 3rd and 4th books in Victoria Thompson's Gaslight series.   This is definitely a series that I'm going to keep going with.  It's great!     And while I read several re-told fairy tales over the course of the reading challenge, the one that I read last week -  Briar Rose by Jane Yolen - was the best.  It was sad - and eye-opening - and still beautiful.

And the last HF that I read for the challenge was the one that I won from our own Alice in a Historical Fiction game - The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty.   This was a book that I didn't even know existed until Alice offered it in the game.   It was very good.   Got 4.5* from me!  Thanks for offering it Alice!


 



Last Edited on: 2/3/14 7:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/3/2014 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2009
Posts: 94
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I'm reading The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe.  I like it so far.  It's less historical than I thought, in that most of the book takes place in 1991 with only brief chapter flashbacks to the past (late 1680s-1800s). So I suppose technically it still qualifies as HF (which is good for my 2014 challenge) it was just less than expected.

I love Harry Potter! I'm jealous of you reading them for the first time!

Lynne, I also really enjoy the Gaslight series!  I'm a book or two behind in the series.  But they are such fun.

Next up is Beautiful Ruins for my book club, I think it's set in the 60s so I'm gonna count that as HF for my challenge too!

Date Posted: 2/4/2014 7:38 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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It's good to hear all the excitement about Harry Potter. I'm about 1/4 the way thru the first book. It's written at a middle school level, which is a wee little childish for me. But it is a good story so far and I'm enjoying it. I understand the later books in the series are written at a YA level, which should be more to my liking. smiley

Date Posted: 2/4/2014 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,880
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Last Edited on: 2/16/14 10:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/4/2014 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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I was never able to get into the Harry Potter books---I stopped reading the first one about half way into it....I've always felt like I'm the only one who had that reaction to it, as it's been so very popular.

Date Posted: 2/4/2014 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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Lynne - I also really like the Gaslight Mysteries - I think I'm about one or two behind the most current.

Date Posted: 2/6/2014 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
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I've got three books going at the moment which is something I never do.  I'm still reading The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini and am also reading Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani (literary fiction set in Iran and The Woman in Black by Susan Hill because I've really been in the mood for gothic novels lately.

Date Posted: 2/7/2014 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Im not a Harry Potter gal. So sorry, Lynne and others. I completely lost interest about a quarter way into the story and gave up halfway through.

I picked up The Wild Hunt by Elizabeth Chadwick. I'm enjoying it, though not as much as some of her later works.

Date Posted: 2/7/2014 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,300
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I was wondering if you would weather through those books, Genie. I could tell from the onset that they weren't for me but they do entice a lot of people and that's what reading is all about!

I've just started the first book by Martin Walker titled Bruno, Chief of Police. Barely into it but I'm loving the author's writing and descriptions of this small town in the south of France!

Date Posted: 2/7/2014 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
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Finished Arundel, which was wonderful.  Starting the second in the trilogy, A Rabble in Arms.  These are old books - published in the 1930s but really excellent historical fiction about the American Revolution - impeccably researched, lovely human story, great writing filled with wit and humor.  Highly recommended if you are interested in this topic.

Date Posted: 2/8/2014 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2007
Posts: 8,502
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Still working on "The Orphanmaster". It is good, but I've been so busy with other things this week that I haven't made much progress. I'm hoping the next few days will be a little less crazy and I'll be able to get more reading time.

Date Posted: 2/9/2014 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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I finished The Widow's War by Sally Gunning last night.  Good read.  I liked it better than Bound (which is the second book in the 2-book series), which I liked but had a hard time getting past the fact that I didn't really like the main character, Alice.  I actually liked reading these books out of order.  Reading Bound, the other characters in the book (other than Alice) had a sense of mystery about them because I didn't know their story.  It was fun to then read the first book and get the "story behind the story."  When I read Bound, I didn't know anymore about Widow Berry and Freeman than Alice did, and I liked that.  \

I think I will start These Is My Words by Nancy Turner this evening, which I recently had posted to my WL by our lovely friend Kelly!  Thanks again, Kelly!

Date Posted: 2/9/2014 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Snow day today. Working on The Winter Bride by Carola Salisbury. Nice little Victorian era gothic.

Date Posted: 2/9/2014 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Finished Arundel, which was wonderful.  Starting the second in the trilogy, A Rabble in Arms.  These are old books - published in the 1930s but really excellent historical fiction about the American Revolution - impeccably researched, lovely human story, great writing filled with wit and humor.  Highly recommended if you are interested in this topic.

I second this recommendation. Kenneth Roberts was the author that got me started with historical fiction many years ago.

Jeanne, don't speak to me about weather. lol. There's about 2 feet of old snow in my yard and more is falling. The nerve of mother nature!

I finished The Wild Hunt today and would rate it 4/5 stars. I liked it, but not as much as Chadwick's later works, such as Lords of the White Castle.

I started The Princeling from the Morland Dynasty series.



Last Edited on: 2/9/14 5:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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