|Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.|
The year is half over.... What are the best books you have read so far?
I've read 87 books so far, but some of those were not finished.
The best H/F of my year so far....
The Kitchen House - The most moving I've read.
Other standout H/F:
The very best Historical Mystery
More great mysteries -
The best Non-Fiction -
The best Fantasy, Ghost Stories, Etc. -
The best contemporary fiction -
The best series books -
Joan Wolf's trilogy:
The Millenium Trilogy:
My biggest disappointment -
Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine
Last Edited on: 6/5/10 11:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
The best HF for me has been:
The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea, by Mary Renault
Legion of the Mists, by Amanda Cockrell
The Stone Goddess, by Minfong Ho
Best HF series, mystery, and Main Character Cutie Pie:
The Justin deQuincy series, by Sharon Kay Penman
Best short story collection:
Black Juice, by Margo Lanagan
Red Spikes, by Margo Lanagan
Just After Sunset, by Stephen King
Best Audio book:
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Pompeii, by Robert Harris
Best contemporary fiction:
The Third Angel, by Alice Hoffman
Dracula, by Bram Stoker
My biggest disappointment:
Helen of Troy, by Margaret George
(And the ending of Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See)
I've read 37 so far. Mostly historical romances-there's about 12 historical fictions in there.
In the hf category:
Shadow Queen Edith Felber(Edith Layton)-love her style-her talents will be greatly missed
Tory Widow Christine Blevins
honorable mention for a really good debut Ella Chase's The Virgin Queen's Daughter.
I've got better than a dozen hf's sitting on my shelf...not bad for someone who hadn't delved into this category a year ago!
Best H/F book thus far would have to be a tie between 2 BC's The Burning Land and Enemy of God
Best H/F mystery is Roman Blood by Steven Saylor with SKP's The Queen's Man not very far behind
I also really liked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society very much no matter what category you would consider it under
The best fiction/mystery The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith
Best N/F so far is Ladies of Liberty by Cokie Roberts although I thought it rambles a bit compared to her first book Founding Mothers
Biggest disapointment would have to be Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran.
Last Edited on: 6/6/10 11:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Wow -- and I thought I read a lot....
Best HF (so far):
The Greatest Knight - Chadwick
The Winthrop Woman - Seton
Genghis: Birth of an Empire - Iggulden
Honorable mention: The Romanov Bride - Alexander; The Secret Scripture - Barry
Best HF series most recent installment:
The Devil's Company - Liss
Honorable mention: The God of the Hive - King
Best HF Fantasy:
The Crystal Cave - Stewart
Best HF Mystery:
The Black Tower - Bayard
Mistress of the Art of Death - Franklin
The Queen's Man, Cruel As the Grave, Dragon's Lair, Prince of Darkness - Penman
Silent in the Grave, Silent in the Sanctuary, Silent on the Moor - Raybourn
River of Darkness - Airth
Best HF Spoof:
The Adventures of Alianore Audley - Wainwright
The Woman in White - Collins
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Orczy
The Black Tulip - Dumas
Under the Banner of Heaven - Krakauer
The Tender Bar - Moehringer
A Girl Named Zippy - Kimmel
She Got Up Off the Couch - Kimmel
The Road From Coorain - Conway
My best reads in 2010 to date ...
Whiskey Rebels by David Liss
Mariana by Susanne Kearsley
Taliesin by Steven Lawhead
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Green Darkness by Anya Seton
Sophia's Secret by Susanna Kearsley
Best Literary Fiction
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Best New-to-Me Author
Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
This Is Not the Life I Ordered by D.C. Stephens (still reading, but nearly finished)
The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
I am sooo far behind all of you (have only read 17 books not including the 4 I have started and not finished yet) and miserably behind in the challenges. But I do have some favorites.
My Favorite Historical Fiction
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Inkheart by Cornelia Funk
Sherlock Holmes short stories
The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte
Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott
Gone For Soldiers by Jeff Shaara
The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain
Atlantis by David Gibbons
It's hard to pick the best - there are several HF novels that merit mention. (Have read 119 books since Jan. 1 - not all HF, of course.) I loved the Chadwick series about William Marshall which I read just because Letty recommended them, enjoyed Company of Liars so much, waded through First Man in Rome and Wolf Hall, both of which I rate highly, found Nefertiti most entertaining (sorry Letty), and Hood by Stephen Lawhead was exceptional. I so enjoyed The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee and enjoyed The Eagles Quest A Prince's Flight for Freedom by Charlotte Lederer, FLanagan's Run by Tom McNab and Sword in the Stone by T.H. White because it was so funny. The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland was depressing but memorable. Marrying Mozart was funny, light and entertaining. Time and Again by Jack Finney was an excellent read and so was Lord John and the Private Matter (need to read the next two in the series). The Deanna Raybourn mystery series is worth reading, too. Good mysteries without ghoulish dialog and a wonderfully strong heroine in Lady Julia Grey. I simply cannot end this commentary without mentioning Pauline Gedge's saga, The Eagle and the Raven, an exceptional book indeed. Isn't it wonderful that I found so many wonderful reads - many because of all my PBS friends. Thanks! After looking at your lists I have so many more!
Last Edited on: 6/10/10 4:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 8
My favorites so far this year are..
The Wilderness, series by Sara Donati
To Defy a King, by Elizabeth Chadwick
Mistress of the Art of Death series, by Arianna Franklin
Silent In series by Deanna Raybourne
Company of Liars by Karen Maitland
Veil of Lies by Jeri Westerson
Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas
Broken Wing by Judith James
Her Royal Spyness and Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen
Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran (Just didn't live up to the hype)
Island of the Swans Cili Ware. (just didn't live up to the hype)
Last Edited on: 6/9/10 2:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
I love reading everyone's lists. I get to find new to me books! I am a bit disturbed though to see so many books I bought new on your "Biggest Disappoinment" lists, aargh.
One of these purchases was really stupid because Genie had already told me it sucked, "The Swan Thieves". Oh, why didn't I listen?!
I'm always happy to see Jack Finney's "Time and Again" on a "best" list! It is a marvelous book, one I've read twice, and I would encourage everyone to try it! I love Finney's descriptions of a lifestyle gone by! I found a book of 3 short stories by Finney, read a few pages, set it down, and I haven't seen it since. I have searched high and low; the book is hiding from me!
Last Edited on: 6/6/10 10:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
I've read 24 books so far.
- The Lion of Ireland by Morgan Llywelyn
- Penmarric by Susan Howatch
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Books with sheer readability that kept me turning pages:
- Whiskey Rebels by David Liss
- The Golden Tulip by Rosalind Laker
- Victoria Victorious by Jean Plaidy- started out so wonderful, but Victoria quickly became annoying. This was the first Plaidy I've read where I couldn't wait for it to end!
Last Edited on: 6/6/10 3:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Top 5 HF (but I?ll include parts of a series as one entry):
-Born of the Sun, Joan Wolf, and the rest of the trilogy
-Falcons of Montabard, Elizabeth Chadwick
-Roselynde and Alinore by Roberta Gellis
-Into the Wilderness by Sarah Donati
-Vagabond by Bernard Cornwall
Best Non HF: Dracula and Rebecca
Biggest disappointment: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourne.
What fun, reading everyone's lists! Like Valli, I thought The Kitchen House was wonderful, and Joan Wolf''s Dark Ages trilogy is an all-time favorite series. In fact Kelly just mailed that series to Jennifer (my granddaughter) for summer reading and she is already well into The Road to Avalon.
Another series I absolutely loved is the Wilderness series by Sara Donati that Jerelyn mentioned, and also agree with Jerelyn that To Defy a King by Elizabeth Chadwick is a favorite.
Like Deb, I thought Romanov Bride was wonderful. And, I agree with Geni that Susanna Kearsley is a great new-to-me author.
Favorite historical romances: Jubilee Trail, Gwen Bristow and The Proud Breed, Celeste de Blasis (both are American HF)
Other favorites not yet mentioned: City of God, Beverly Swerling; City of Thieves, David Benioff; Galway Bay, Mary Pat Kelly
Another I must mention is Forever Amber even 'tho I have a bit of a love/hate opinion of that novel. But it's one I've heard of all my life, and I'm really glad I read it.
Also like Valli, I find I've moved several titles to the top of the TBR stack: Company of Liars, Black Tower, Veil of Lies. And I just added Devil's Company to the Wish List.
The best Historical Fiction I have read so far for 2010 would be............
CONFESSIONS OF A PAGAN NUN by Kate Horsley.
COMPANY OF LIARS by Karen Maitland
RELIABLE WIFE by Robert Goolrick
Aztec, Aztec, Aztec!!!!!
Definitely the best book I've read so far this year. Others to note -
Really, Really Enjoyed -
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
The Burning Land
The Winter King
The Sunne In Splendour
And although I'm not quite done with it, I have to add Outlander
The Duds -
The Secret Supper
I've read several other books, but those are the ones that stand out.
Last Edited on: 6/10/10 6:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
The Saxon Chronicles - Cornwall
The Sunne in Splendour - Penman
Blood and Thunder - Hampton Sides
Stitches - David Small
This Body of Death - E. George
Crime and Punishment
The Queen's Man & Cruel As The Grave
One Amazing Thing - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
The Winter Queen - Akunin