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Topic: June Historical Fiction Reads

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Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Subject: June Historical Fiction Reads
Date Posted: 6/1/2017 7:32 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,359
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What are all reading in June?

I am still trying to get through The Summer Before the War: A Novel :: Helen Simonson 

Seems to move very slow. Writing is quite nice but I am not very engaged.

Date Posted: 6/2/2017 9:13 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,091
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Last night I finished a book, "Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah.  No doubt I am late to this reading party and it is historical fiction, not mystery, but it is one of the better books I have read in a very longtime.  Surrounds France in WWII and some in modern day.  Was crying at the end --- cannot give it enough stars.

Date Posted: 6/2/2017 9:54 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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Becky, I need to read that one too.  I'm glad you've jumped on the Sir John Fielding bandwagon!  I'm almost finished with book 5, "Jack, Knave and Fool" and then...I'm not sure if I'll move on to book 6, or read something that fits into the challenges.

Date Posted: 6/3/2017 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
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Spent a couple of days in the hospital (I'm fine now) so I had plenty of time to read.  I finished Maisie Dobbs #2, Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear.  Our Alice is so right; what a beautiful, interesting and well written series this is!  I think I actually liked this book better than the first one.



Last Edited on: 6/3/17 11:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/4/2017 1:37 AM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
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Went on a bit of a reading binge and finished The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron, A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner and Maisie Dobbs by Jaqueline Winspear.  Cheryl-glad to hear that #2 is awesome.  I read #1 for book club and definitely plan to conitnue.

Now I am trudging through If I Could Tell You by Elizabeth Wilhide which was described on Goodreads as Kristen Hannah's Nightingale meets Anna Karenina.  I normally love WWII era books but this is nothing like the Nightingale and the only resemblance to Anna Karenina is how much I loathe and despise the main character.  This one is more relationship drama which just happens to take place during WWII rather than an actual historical fiction book.  Can you tell I'm loving it so far? ;-)

Date Posted: 6/4/2017 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
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Holly & Cheryl --- All in all the "Maisie Dobbs" series is a very good one.  Seems there is one book somewhere along the way that is a bit draggy, but persevere it is worth it.

Cheryl --- I am very sad to hear you had a hospital stay!!!  Hope it was uneventful.

Hollly --- Sounds as though you should ditch the Anna Karenina book --- feel my life these days is too short to labor over a so-so book!!!!

Vicky --- Yes, I am enjoying the Fielding books.  I am now in possession of all but the very last one.  Something I swore I would never do again, accumulate all series books!!!  When I moved back to Oklahoma I had books in so many series for which I had lost my enchantment I vowed I would not do so again.  In that case there were some very happy PBS readers when I listed all of them!!!!!  I believe you will truly enjoy "Nightingale".

Date Posted: 6/4/2017 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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Someone told me the last Fielding book isn't up to par, as Bruce Alexander died and his wife and publisher "finished" it.  That's the only one I don't have as well, and I may borrow it from the library ILL or...I may just let it be.

I picked up (after finishing book #5) "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck.  This June marks her 125th birthday, and the new library director and I organized a community read of "The Good Earth" with a community book discussion on June 22.  It should be fun!  For those of you who don't know (and why should you) I live in Pocahontas County, WV where Pearl was born.  I am on the board of directors of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation; we operate a museum out of her mother's home, where she was born.  You can find us on Facebook, or at www.pearlsbuckbirthplace.com.  The cool thing is that we sell autographed copies of some of her books on our web page.  It's just a fun thing to be involved in...

Date Posted: 6/4/2017 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
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That is so interesting Vicky.  I read so many of her books when I was a young teenager.  I loved them, but especially The Good Earth.

Date Posted: 6/4/2017 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,218
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Very interesting Vicky! Thanks for sharing that - I'll check it out!

Date Posted: 6/4/2017 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,091
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Okay --- Please do not stone me thru the internet, but I have never read a book by Pearl Buck.  Actually with all of the English Lit courses I took, I feel a great loser to even admit this!!!  Happy for a recommendation.

Date Posted: 6/5/2017 7:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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Alice - I just got The Summer Before the War from the library. A slow start. Maybe not much really happened the summer before the war - lol.

Cheryl - Glad that you are home and doing well.

Vicky - I will check out the site you mentioned. I have not read much of Pearl Buck but I did read The Good Earth and thought it was masterful.

To Holly and all: I think some of the review blurbs on books these days are ridiculous. I'm reading America's First Daughter. On the back - "Not since Gone with the Wind has a single-voume famiy saga so brilliantly portrayed the triumphs, trials, and sins of a family in the American South." - Really?

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 6/5/2017 8:05 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,359
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Donna the the last half of the book is better. The writing style of the book is beautiful, still not one of my favorites though.

Alice

Date Posted: 6/5/2017 11:24 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,867
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Well, I'm really out of the loop but I'm trying to read from my bookshelf to move some of the HF books that have been taking up space.  I am about to start a 2016 book, Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner whose work I love.  Did just finish The Princes in the Tower, a historical which for me was gripping.  Five stars for sure.  Kept reading sections to DH as we drove to a family member's graduation party 200 miles away.  Nightingale sounds like a winner so it's added to the TBR.



Last Edited on: 6/5/17 11:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 6/5/2017 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
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REK --- I am hoping the "Princes" book was by Allison Wier ---- I just ordered one by that title here on PBS. 

Date Posted: 6/9/2017 9:07 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,478
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I just finished:

  • A Twist in Time by Julie McElwain and thought it was okay. The main character is a former FBI agent who somehow got flung into 1815 and is unable to return to present day. In this installment, she must help prove her protector's nephew didn't brutally murder his former mistress.
  • What the Dead Leave Behind by Rosemary Simpson. This historical mystery is set during the New York blizzard of 1888. The MC is a wealthy young heiress who is waiting for her fiance to arrive and learns he is killed during the blizzard. Her stepmother is her guardian until she marries. Murder and greed abound and we know almost from the beginning who is behind it all, but not the why or how. I liked the story though it did repeat itself a little too often and the characters were rather shallow.
  • Call to Justice by Edith Maxwell. I liked this second book in the Quaker Midwife series. (Read it first and trying to get the first one..) Nicely drawn characters, set in 1888, the MC tries to help a young Quaker woman who is pregnant and unmarried. She is later shot at the 4th of July festivities and the MC tries to solve the murder as a former slave and friend of hers is accused of killing the young woman. Well written and nice little mystery.


Last Edited on: 6/9/17 4:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/9/2017 11:10 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,452
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I finished The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer; just what I needed after a horrible book earlier.  This is a fine romantic romp, almost in the realm of a mystery with a penniless heroine, a sudden death, international spies, unexpected houseguests and a loveable big old dog.  Very fun!!  Now I'm going to be starting All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani; old 1930s Hollywood.  Looks great!

Date Posted: 6/10/2017 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,867
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Ah, yes, found an excellent book about WWII, Gone to Soldiers by Marge Percy.  The reader follows the lives of several characters throughout the book.  It's long, 700 pages, but so far it's a great read even if the print is small.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 6/11/2017 6:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,359
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I finished A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain. It goes between present day and 1815 England. It was pretty good. I thought they were too accepting of someone who dropped in through time in 1815.  Second half of the book was better than the first half. Mary I see you just finished the follow on book. It is on my WL.

I am now reading one of my favorite series. Cora Harrison's Burren. The book is Deed of Murder book 7 in the series. Always a good read. I love reading the paragraph on Brehon law at the start of each chapter. Great series but start with book 1.

Cheryl. I enjoy reading about 1930's Hollywood too. I read that one hope you enjoy it too.

 

Alice



Last Edited on: 6/11/17 6:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 6/11/2017 7:32 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,359
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Here is a fun quiz to take. I came out as Cleopatra

Which of These Incredible Women Were You in a Past Life?

http://m.livingly.com/quiz/e6AxSS_b_K..."

Date Posted: 6/11/2017 9:42 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,218
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I came out as Rosa Parks!  You were Rosa Parks! Famous for refusing to give up her seat on that bus – and for her activism in the Civil Rights Movement – Rosa was remembered for her fearless ability to stand up for what she believed in. History won't forget her anytime soon!

Fun quiz - thanks Alice!

Date Posted: 6/11/2017 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,091
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Queen Elizabeth I --- do not know whether to be happy or sad about this one!!!

Date Posted: 6/11/2017 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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Amelia Earheart!  Hmmm...

Date Posted: 6/12/2017 10:02 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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Did I mention Steve got me a German Shepherd puppy for Christmas?  Max will be 8 months old this coming Saturday.  Oh. My. God.  He is such a handful!

I HAVE NO TIME TO READ!  This dog...if I sit down, he says, "Hey, if you have time to sit, you have time to play frisbee, or tug of war, or hide treats for me!"  I'm exhausted!  I'm only halfway through "The Good Earth." 

I've had German sheps before, but I had two of them, not just one.  And I was not this old....

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 6/12/2017 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,359
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Puppies are a lot work, cute but work.

 

Date Posted: 6/12/2017 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,218
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Maybe you need another German Shepherd to keep the youngster company, Vicky! wink Yes, they are work but boy oh boy are they worth it!!!!

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