Discussion Forums - Historical Fiction

Topic: January Historical Fiction Books We Are Reading

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Date Posted: 1/2/2015 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
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I just finished A Heart Too Proud by Laura London. I loved it, even for a lighter romance. Regency era with lots of spies and stuff. Despite it having been published in the old school days, there's no sex (just some kisses and maybe an almost sex stopped in the nick of time). And so funny, the heroine's voice is hysterical, even if she's a bit too modern at times.

Not sure what I'm going to pick up next.

I read the Earth's Children series back in the 80s and liked them well enough then, but I reread most of them a few years ago and they didn't age well. Auel has to impress everyone with her research and club the reader over the head with it. Plus the Big Misunderstandings once they get going. I so wish that video reviews from that one lad were still public on YouTube. Sooooooooooooooo funny. Especially Jon-duh-lar cheeky

Date Posted: 1/2/2015 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
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thanks, Jeanne--from the description and all of your recommendations, I'm sure I'll love the Outlaw series.....I've just never gotten my hands on any of them!

Date Posted: 1/2/2015 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
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Just requested Outlaw from my library. Not sure when it 'll be shipped to my branch, but there's only 1 copy in total available through the Queens Library! 

Date Posted: 1/2/2015 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
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I also liked The Mammoth Hunters when I read it lo these many years ago, it was probably my favorite or close to. I think Valley of the Horses is the most smutty of the series, IIRC.

Thanks to  my fabulous Secret Santa, Kelly, I am working on Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald.  Enjoying it so far.

Date Posted: 1/2/2015 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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Colleen - I wish that I had some to send you! For a while there, I thought that I was the main supplier of his books (in the USA). Now I have them all on Kindle or Audible. If I run across any good deals on them, I will let you know!

Okay, I already checked around and the best prices are on Abebooks. Here's a link: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=angus+donald&bsi=30&prevpage=1

I see good copies of Outlaw (which is the first) for $1.00 and also Holy Warrior for $1.00. King's man for $2.48, etc. Take a look and see what you think. Some have free shipping and for others the shipping is very inexpensive.



Last Edited on: 1/2/15 6:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/2/2015 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2010
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Glad to hear that The Mammoth Hunters seems to be liked better! Mimi, what in the world happens in the last 200 or so pages that would make Valley of Horses the most smutty?! LOL! Seriously, Ayla and Jondular haven't even met yet, and I'm over halfway through. There was some sexy action with Jondular and the group he found, but it must not have been steamy enough for me to continue for very long with the book before I let it collect dust for another couple of months. LOL! 

However. I did take a trip to the library tonight and picked up the audiobook and popped it in at some random spot towards the end (finding my place will be a blast, not!) and I think the audiobook might just be the answer. Forward harch! ;)

Date Posted: 1/3/2015 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
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ooooooo, thanks, Jeanne! I never think of Abebooks, although I have ordered from them before. I guess it's because there aren't seven email ads from them in my inbox every morning.....surprise  I'll check w Vicky to see what she'll be sending and see about ordering the next ones. I HATE starting a series and not being able to read them all straight through. And, yes, I did that w/ the Outlander series as well---that was a several month commitment, given her tomes, he he he.

Date Posted: 1/3/2015 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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I hate to admit it but I have not read even one of the Outlander books, although I have several of them on my Kindle!! crying

Good luck with finding the books in the Outlaw series (Angus Donald's books)!

Date Posted: 1/3/2015 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
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Maybe I'm misremembering :)
Date Posted: 1/3/2015 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
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Kelly --- You do realize that there are 6 of those books do you not???  Goodness I believe I read those first three which were published in the early 80s and then stopped.  I do remember some "smut" somewhere along the line, but could not even guess as which book.  That has been a very long time ago. 

Date Posted: 1/3/2015 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
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Those are six BIG FAT BOOKS at that. Don't even bother with Land of the Painting Caves. Even Auel's die-hard fans were ticked off at that mess. 

Date Posted: 1/3/2015 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2010
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Haha, yes I know it's a huge series. I've heard that about the last one, and probably won't bother with it. But then again, how can you NOT read the last book of a long series? 

And Mimi, it's funny because last night as I was popping random audio discs in to find my place, I came across a few different sexcapades. Haha, ok maybe I'm wrong there, but I truly didn't remember much of it! :)

Date Posted: 1/4/2015 2:21 AM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2007
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I have never read an Auel book. Does that make me weird?

For some reason, they never held any appeal for me.
 

Date Posted: 1/4/2015 7:07 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
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Lauri, 

I've only read Clan of the Cave Bear. It was ok, but not so good that I wanted to continue the series.

Date Posted: 1/4/2015 8:16 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
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@Kelly, I hear ya on finishing a series and all. Library only and prepare to skim. I have a friend who listened to them, and the never ending repetition of The Mother's Song wore very, very thin.

 

Edit: never in my experience posting reviews on Amazon has a scorching review of a popular author received so many positive vote and supportive comments. 



Last Edited on: 1/4/15 8:18 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/4/2015 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
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Lauri --- you are definitely NOT weird.  As I said, I read those first three hot off the presses in the early 80s as there was so much press about them at the time.  If I came upon them today and just read the back of the book description, I would not read them.  It was all the hoopla of the time.

Date Posted: 1/4/2015 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
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It seems to me that at the time Clan of the Cave Bear first came out, it was something of a novelty. There weren't other books like it on the market. I read the first three just as soon as I could get my hands on them (I think via the Doubleday Book Club). They were almost a guilty pleasure; kind of like reading a book by Harold Robbins. A complete and utter escape from one's day-to-day responsibilities. But by the third one, they just became a complete waste of time for me & I let it go.

Agree completely with Becky, if I picked them up today, they would not attract my attention at all. There are better books out there and my reading tastes are quite different. Hats off to Kelly E. for her perseverance!

Kelly P

Date Posted: 1/4/2015 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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I just read Clan of the Cave Bear for a challenge category here a few years a ago.  I really loved it but haven't read the rest of the series. 

Date Posted: 1/5/2015 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,002
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Plugging along on Lily Cigar by Murphy.  I did finish The Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King.  Of course, Mary Russell is missing in this novel and it took me a bit to become accustomed to a new character.  However, I found that I liked the all too human and sometimes bumbling Harris Stuyvesant, a private investigator who has a way of getting in trouble with both his girlfriends and the police.  A very nice read that I would give 3.5 stars which means I must round it up to 4 when I post any kind of review.  I read another rather long novel, Voss by Patrick White.  He develops each character with such care!   I find Voss, himself, a most fascinating and unusual individual.  He is one of those who people say 'marches to a different drummer'.    Of course, there are other fascinating characters in this Pulitizer Prize winner.  Check it out.  Neverhome by Laird Hunt is a quick and interesting read about a woman who posed as a man and fought in the Civil War.  Her experiences are varied, mirroring those of the many who fought along side her.  Thought the author did a fairly nice job of putting narrative into the voice of the woman who was there.  I'd give it four stars.  And, I cruised through Lucky Us by Amy Blom, about the experiences of two sisters who lived in the 1940s.  Quick, easy read that has you laughing at times. 



Last Edited on: 1/20/15 5:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 5
Date Posted: 1/5/2015 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,897
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Started Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin last night.  Have a feeling this one is going to take me awhile..

Date Posted: 1/6/2015 7:59 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,416
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Is it too early to name a "Best Book of 2015" ??  Just finished Life in a Jar  (Christmas/birthday gift from Kelly)

What a wonderful story!  Two stories really, I was spellbound by the story of Irena Sendler during WWII, and equally fascinated by the story of the Kansas teenagers who 'discovered' her story and shared it with the world.  Highly recommended.

Linda


 

Date Posted: 1/6/2015 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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I'm soooo glad you liked that book Linda! I thought it was one of my best reads ever!

Date Posted: 1/6/2015 8:22 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
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I just finished A Lonely Death by Charles Todd. I love this series and only have about three more to be caught up.

Date Posted: 1/6/2015 11:02 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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REK - Will look forward to your thoughts on Lily Cigar.  I've had that one on my shelf for quite awhile.  Hoping to get to it this year.

Date Posted: 1/6/2015 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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Well, Shelley, it's a long one with small print which is one reason I put off reading it so long.  And, yes, I will post my reactions once I am done.

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