Discussion Forums - Historical Fiction

Topic: Leaving the comfort zone of Historical Fiction

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Leaving the comfort zone of Historical Fiction
Date Posted: 10/27/2011 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,432
Back To Top

During the months of January through September, I've read 99 novels, and except for 4 titles, all of them were HF.  During October I've read 10 novels, 5 of which are contemporty - acturally in the area of thrillers.  I read the 3 books about the girl with the dragon tattoo, back-to-back, hardly stopping for a breath.  And now, in my old age, I've become a Jack Reacher fan.  I read the first one (Killing Floor) over two years ago and told Kelly it was way too bloody for me.  But she convinced me to give them another try, and here I am, in love with Jack Reacher.  Maybe by Thanksgiving I can get back to Historical Fiction.


Last Edited on: 10/27/11 5:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/27/2011 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,175
Back To Top

Linda, good for you for doing this, I wish sometimes that I appreciated other genre's more.  I went through a true crime/police procedural kick that lasted for about 2 years.  I also went on a Anne Rice jagg that lasted about a year,  I was able to come back to my favorite genre with a renewed appreciation of it.  I often marvel at those who can go from genre to genre with an appreciation for them all. 

Date Posted: 10/27/2011 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
Back To Top

I went through true crime for years, then while cleaning out (via reading) a bunch of mixed genres I'd gathered over the years I hit on HF and haven't looked back since. I don't know that I can either.

Date Posted: 10/27/2011 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,637
Back To Top

I bounce back and forth between HF, M/T and history mainly, and I've done this for years....and years. I find that I need breaks from each genre from time to time. I dunno - it works for me!!

Date Posted: 10/28/2011 7:22 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,721
Back To Top

I need breaks too, but the real problem is I like just about everything!!  I had to consciously tell myself, "Vicky, you don't like Westerns.  You don't like romances. You can move on."   And really, I'd read either one if nothing else was at hand.  But for my sanity's sake, I had to eliminate something!!  

I tend to stick with mysteries/thrillers, historical fiction and fantasy/science fiction.  Oh, and young adult.  I like contemporary too, for a change.  And I've just begun exploring steampunk!  See?  It's a sickness...

Date Posted: 10/28/2011 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
Back To Top

I bounce mostly between CF and HF.  When I want my Mystery/Thriller fix, I'll usually make it a CF or HF M/T, killing two birds with one stone. I'll throw a women's fiction or other contemporary fiction in there from time to time just for a change of pace, but not all that ofter.

Date Posted: 10/28/2011 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,637
Back To Top

LOLVicky! I know what you mean about your sanity. I was avidly reading William Johnstone books for quite awhile (westerns) and Alan Furst - and then I just had to give those up in order to have the time to get to my main interests. There is just sooo much out there to read! I still don't read Romance - unless it's by mistake! wink

Date Posted: 10/28/2011 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
Back To Top

For me, 95% is historical in one form or another. Mostly historical fiction, a slice of historical romance, a historical mystery or two, Christian Fiction, but always set historically, nonfiction history. Classics, always set in times long before the present.  A few fantasies here and there, which may or may not feel "historical".  (Ex, Game of Thrones does, Brent Weeks Night Angel doesn't. IMO.)   About the only exception to the history is the occassional political commentary, memoir, or theory (and come to think of it, political theory is almost always the older stuff that shaped the present theories, written by men long dead.)

I think I was born a good century too late. 

Date Posted: 10/28/2011 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,062
Back To Top

I find I need variety so I bounce around a bit.  One constant in my life has been fantasy and science fiction.  A couple of years ago I discovered historical fiction, not realizing that I had read such books off and on throughout my life.  The genres I enjoy are HF, contemporary, YA, fantasy, classical, mystery (for fun and relaxation), and whatever else strikes my fantasy.  I am currently reading Mayflower and Kushiel's Dart.  

Last Edited on: 10/28/11 1:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/28/2011 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,508
Back To Top

I read a fair amount of Contemporary Fiction, especially for Book Club. 

Date Posted: 10/28/2011 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,128
Back To Top

My mainstay is, and has been, mystery/thriller for years, but I do, and have, read a lot of historical fiction as well.  Never have been a romance reader.  Occasionally I do read some contemporary fiction.  In the mystery genre I do enjoy those of an historical bent and also things medical both in the thriller and historical categories.  Think I may have been a medical person in a former life (hee hee).

As to Jack Reacher --- he has been a hero of mine for some time, but when I heard that they were casting Tom Cruise, of all people, in the role I have almost had to give up reading about him for fear of imagining Cruise in the role!!!!!

Date Posted: 11/1/2011 8:52 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
Back To Top

I will always go for the HF title if given a choice....which is why I joined the local IRL PBS group here in my area. They do not like HF (I report this phenomenon but do not understand it) and so I know that I will at least read 12 non-HF books a year. I feel better balanced that way.


My father did something awful at the time but in retrospect wonderful while I was growing up. He would let me choose 3 titles to read but every 4th one he got to choose. In that way, I was exposed to a whole lot of topics/titles/genres/classics. By the time I was 16 I was exceedingly well read, to the point of having read most of my college assigned reading already once. My boys are not readers but if they were, I would repeat his exercise.


Like Vicky, today, I will read whatever is at hand, regardless of genre/subject matter/topic. The cereal boxes even. :)

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 11/1/2011 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 42,401
Back To Top

I rotate my genres, HF, mystery, paranormal and YA, and what ever my book club throws at me. My daughter and I share a lot of the YA books.

Now a good historical, paranormal mystery is just the best but hard to find.


Date Posted: 11/1/2011 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,128
Back To Top

Alice --- Historical paranormal has a poetic ring to it!!!  Rather akin to a Cole Porter song!!!