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Topic: Looking for something "dfferent" than what I normally read...

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Subject: Looking for something "dfferent" than what I normally read...
Date Posted: 8/2/2008 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2007
Posts: 21
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I have read most of Jodi Picoult's, all of Nicholas Sparks's and a few chick-lit type books recently.  I am now looking for something "different" from what I have been reading.  I am interested in  historical fiction set in pioneer times , preferrably written from a woman's point of view.  Non-fiction would be OK too.  Are there such books out there?  Thanks for any suggestions that you might have!

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 12:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Gwen Bristow writes really, really good historical fiction from a woman's pov. Also look at Joanna Trollope and Elizabeth Jane Howard. They aren't historical but are very good. Try some good mysteries? Ruth Renddell, Catherine Aiird, Barbara Vine, Virginia Lanier...

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2008
Posts: 426
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How about a few historical mysteries? Margaret Lawrence's "Hearts and Bones", "Blood Red Roses", and "The Burning Bride" are set in colonial America. They're excellent. A little more lightweight, but in the same period, is Margaret Miles. Start with "A Wicked Way to Burn". 

Another set of mysteries, set in New Orleans around the early 1800s, is Barbara Hambly's series about Benjamin January, a free black doctor. It's not from a woman's POV, but Hambly is incredibly good at bringing the period to life. Start with the first called "A Free Man of Color". 

A classic novel, not a mystery, set in colonial times is James Houston's "Ghost Fox" about a girl captured by Indians who survives and eventually escapes...sort of.  Very powerful.

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2005
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Not pioneer days, but when I was looking around for something different from what I usually read, I stumbled across Diane Gabaldon's OUTLANDER. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it and the other books in the series. If you haven't read these, you might give them a try.

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2008
Posts: 664
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Tisha: The Story of a young teacher in the Alaska Wilderness by Robert Specht - set in 1927 in Alaska, true story - romance and adventure

Mrs. Mike by Benedict & Nancy Freedman - another true story

Anything by Willa Cather

Young Pioneers by Rose Wilder Lane (daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder)

If you didn't read Laura Ingalls Wilder as a child, they are great books to read for any age.


Last Edited on: 8/2/08 4:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/2/2008 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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All of these recommended books are really, really good.

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 364
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I'm going to suggest One Thousand White Women.  It fits all the things you're looking for...historical fiction...set in pioneer times...written from a woman's perspective.  :)

ETA....I just checked and there are copies available here on pbs.  :)

Last Edited on: 8/2/08 6:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/2/2008 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 12,167
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You might also like Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness series.  http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780553578522-Into+the+Wilderness

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/2/2008 8:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Not a pioneer book, but a wonderful book: A Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks.

Last Edited on: 8/2/08 8:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/2/2008 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
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Have you ever read Willa Cather?  She might be up your alley.

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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Have you read 'The Diary of Mattie Spenser' by Sandra Dallas?

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
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My Antonia by Willa Cather is an excellent place to start.
Date Posted: 8/2/2008 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2007
Posts: 21
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Wow!  You all have given me a lot of great sounding suggestions.  Now to go check them out and get started!  Thanks!

Date Posted: 8/3/2008 1:46 AM ET
Member Since: 4/3/2008
Posts: 541
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This is a play script and not a novel, but it's exactly what you're looking for: http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780822209287-Quilters

It's called Quilters, and I was involved with a local production a few years back.  It's short scenes of experiences pioneer women had.

Date Posted: 8/3/2008 7:45 AM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 206
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Definitely One Thousand White Women by James Fergus, and The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton by Jane Smiley.

Date Posted: 8/3/2008 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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I enjoyed Sara Donati's series:


Date Posted: 8/3/2008 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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I agree with Theresa.  Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series is historical fiction from a woman's point of view but it is in the 1700s.

Also, if you like mystery, try Lee Child's books.  Great reads.

Subject: Some suggestions
Date Posted: 8/5/2008 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 46
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Look on my bookshelf at a book called "American Dreams."  It's a collection of short love stories, historical fiction, that might just float your boat.  They're nothing incredibly thought-provoking, but sweet and enjoyable.

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,575
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Shaman by Noah Gordon is a great book written about civil war times but not specifically about the Civil War,

The prequel is The Physician by Noah Gordon. 

Outstanding books.





Date Posted: 8/5/2008 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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The Diary of Mattie Spenser by  Sandra Dallas

Unexpectedly married to the man considered the catch of her hometown, a young woman finds herself traveling via covered wagon to Colorado in search of a new start, with only her reticent husband and her personal journal to keep her company.

I believe Lori Wick has some that might fit....Cassidy comes to mind.

Also, My Antonia and O Pioneers by Willa Cather for sure...

Last Edited on: 8/5/08 7:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/6/2008 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,575
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I thought of another great novel:  Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels.  I loved this authors writing.  Word pictures.  Feelings and emotion so beautifully written.  Little known but great book.

Date Posted: 8/7/2008 1:13 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 576
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I also recommend Willa Cather. My Antonia is a very good book. It's relatively short and I found it captivating.

Date Posted: 8/7/2008 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2005
Posts: 463
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Try any book by author Lucia St. Clair Robson.  IMO she writes great books!   Here are some titles-they are all historical fiction-most based on real people:

Mary's Land (when Maryland was first being settled;  main character is a girl who is an endentured servant)

Shadow Patriots (on my TBR,  set in Rev. War times)

Ghost Warrior (Apache Indian girl)

Walk In My Soul (Cherokee Nation, Trail Of Tears, Sam Houston)

Light A Distant Fire (Seminole Indians, Andrew Jackson, how the Seminoles never gave up their land)

Ride The Wind (hist. fiction about Cynthia Parker, mother of last "free" Comanche chief Quanah Parker)-this one is my fave!  The ending was SO sad.

She also wrote a hist. fiction book about Sarah Bowman, who was a tough woman who lived out in old Texas.   Sorry I can't remember the title now! 

Date Posted: 8/7/2008 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2005
Posts: 463
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Oh!  Also check out books by Anna Lee Waldo and/or Alexander Thom.

Date Posted: 8/7/2008 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2007
Posts: 21
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Thanks for all the great ideas!  I have ordered One Thousand White Women and The Diary of Mattie Spenser and added about 15 or so books that were recommended to my reminder list.  That should keep me busy for awhile!  LOL!