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Topic: Nitty, Gritty History - fiction (with lots of factural tidbits) or non-fict

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Subject: Nitty, Gritty History - fiction (with lots of factural tidbits) or non-fict
Date Posted: 12/28/2011 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2011
Posts: 6,260
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lay it on me.

What is your fave account of history?  No glossed over, no holds barred, interesting, alive history.

I'm in the mood and would love some recommendations and thoughts about this branch of literary delights. Please share your experiences - hey, I'm interested in the good, the bad and the ugly (if you want to tell me some tomes to avoid, I'd love to hear that, too).  :)

Date Posted: 12/28/2011 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  Loved all the history in that.  Loved the books, period. 

Date Posted: 12/29/2011 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
Posts: 795
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Love Edward Rutherfurd!  His books are big enough to use for doorstops but I've never been bored with one.  I've read Sarum (long historical novel of England) and New York (historical novel of the city up until 9/11, and will probably try another one of his soon.

Date Posted: 12/31/2011 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2011
Posts: 6,260
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Anyone read, "Catherine" about Catherine the Great?  Is that worth it?

Date Posted: 12/31/2011 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2006
Posts: 236
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I suggest Herman Wouk's pair of history duo's : the WWII, Rumors of War and Winds of War then the Israeli history, The Hope and The Glory.  Great and interesting reading.

Cheers, Margaret

Date Posted: 12/31/2011 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2010
Posts: 40
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The Flames of Rome by Paul L. Maier is a very engaging, very fact based fiction. (the author has pages and pages of notes in the back, backing up all the historical facts, as well as the grounds for his fictions)

Though many actual incidents have been made up, almost all of the characters existed as did all of the historical events listed. The topic is the early church during the reigns of Roman emperors Claudius and Nero, so there is quite a bit of fairly explicit content, as well as some true-to-life violence, but if it were a movie, it would probably still be PG-13.

Yes, they're young adult novels, but still avoid Indian Captive by Lois Lensky and The Ramsey Scallop ( I can't remember the author, but I think it was Frances someone or other) Just terrible books. The plots drag, the characters are thin and unsympathetic, and in the end, I found myself asking "What was the point?"

I read a lot of historical fiction, so I'll tell you about any other standouts.

Date Posted: 12/31/2011 4:58 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2011
Posts: 6,260
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Thanks, Marissa - excellent info.

Date Posted: 12/31/2011 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 763
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I loved Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series.  It starts with The First Man in Rome.  They're fairly large books, if that doesn't scare you.

Date Posted: 12/31/2011 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2010
Posts: 495
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People's History of the United States 

by Howard Zinn

Date Posted: 12/31/2011 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2007
Posts: 5,272
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"The Terror" by Dan Simmons has become my new favorite book to recommend.  It's fiction, but loaded with history.  It's about a real expedition led by Sir John Franklin to find the northwest passage across the arctic ocean to China.  He led two ships to the arctic, where they were promptly frozen in by a whole lot of ice.  The ships were called the HMS Terror and the HMS Erebus.  Me, I wouldn't have been caught dead sailing on a boat named the Terror, fer cryin' out loud.  Simmons adds in a bit of the supernatural by throwing in a mystery creature that preys on the sailors, but even then he somewhat justifies it with more facts.  I looked up the events on Wikipedia after I read it and was just astounded at the level of detail that Simmons went to, to write this book.

703 pages on my Nook, BTW.  And I loved every last one of them.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2011
Posts: 6,260
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Oh, I have "The Terror" on my to be read shelf.  Great!  :)