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Longtime lurker, first time poster here! With the change of seasons, I find I'm looking for some new HF books/series/authors to add to my TBR pile. For some reason this time of year always makes me want to dive into the past by a warm fire with a mug of hot cider. I'm not a newbie to the genre and have read many of the books on the Essential HF book list, so I'm looking to branch out a bit. I found the wonderful SKP & Bernard Cornwell via this forum so I know you all will have many other fantastic authors up your sleeves if you wouldn't mind sharing.... I am *shockingly* still an Elizabeth Chadwick virgin ( I never knew where to start as she's so prolific) so I'd definitely welcome any suggestions there!
Thank you in advance!
PS I am also eagerly awaiting the announcement of the 2013 HF challenge as I came late to 2011 and had a baby during 2012 so have not yet actually been able to participate. This is my year!
Are you nuts??? You do realize that when you ask this group for recommendations, you need to be prepared to spend all your credits, buy more bookshelves, haunt all libraries and bookstores within a 50-mile radius, forego all chores and other activities, such as sleeping and eating, neglect your new baby (belated congratulations, by the way), and generally risk your health and sanity in order to acquire and read all the titles that you're about to be bombarded with. That being said, welcome!!
Where to start? Well, obviously, you're gonna have to get to Elizabeth Chadwick. I would start with The Greatest Knight, The Scarlet Lion, and A Place Beyond Courage. Cathy (Misfit) has a list on Amazon of Chadwick's books that you might want to check out. And of course, you should check out her, Tanzanite's, and Holly's blogs -- lots and lots of HF recommendations. (Apologies if I've missed other regular forum members' book blogs.)
Kudos on discovering Penman and Cornwell -- keep reading them. I see you have the first of the Lymond Chronicles by Dunnett on your WL. From my perspective, this series is simply brilliant and a must for any HF fan.
My other absolute favorite HF books that I've read in the past couple years and that are all doorstoppers (i.e., 700+ pages):
Other HF favorites:
Other HF books that I really, really liked:
Oops -- DH is home -- gotta run. More later.
One warning about Chadwick, and that there are two authors writing as Elizabeth Chadwick. One is US and writes regency type romances, the EC you want is from the UK and writes medievals. You definitely opened yourself a big can of worms asking for recommendations, but I'm still wool gathering. I'd either name every favorite book I could think of for a tl;dr post or just throw things out at random as they come to me.
Deb's made a good start, and I second most of her mentions (a few I didn't love as much and/or haven't read yet, that's life). The Heaven Tree trilogy is lovely, love Legacy, and just about anything (not all!) by Anya Seton. Zemindar and the MM Kaye books - fabulous.
She has a couple of dogs. I've been more on the hunt (and mood) for the long-lost gems of HF and haven't been reading much of the new releases. I also like a healthy dose of romance in my books, but not a requirement. Here's a few thoughts.
The Kirov Trilogy by Cynthia Harrod Eagles. Anna, Fleur & Emily (I think that's the order). They can be read as stand alones and the libraries do have copies. Russia, Napoleonic period book 1, Crimean War book 2, Revolution book three. There is enough passage of time between books they can be read as stand alones.
Emma Drummond. Beyond All Frontiers (India), Behold the Glory and Scarlet Shadows (Crimean War).
Men on White Horses (Catherine the Great) and The Quickenberry Tree (English Civil wars/Cromwell era) by Annette Motley.
Speaking of the English Civil Wars, definitely look for Pamela Belle. She wrote a trilogy and a quartet set in the period. Best place to sort it out is the fan tribute site pamelabelle.com
A recent favorite is Omamori by Richard McGill. WWII, set in Japan.
Oops, posted but there's more (I'm trouble with a capital "T").
Forever Amber by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Charles II, restoration period.
Lily Cigar by Tom Murphy and The Proud Breed by Celeste de Blasis (old California)
My fingers are getting tired and I must go and read so I'll be back later. A fun list over at Goodreads for more ideas on the older hidden gems here.
Welcome to the forum Kate.
Here is a link to our lists for the best reads of 2011 http://www.paperbackswap.com/H-F-Top-10-2011/topic/252021/
Some of us like historical mysteries, if those intrest you at all?
I love Jeri Westerson's Crispin Guest series.
Imogen Robertson's Westerman and Crowther
Caro Peacock's Liberty Lane series
I just finished reading the Robert McCammon historical mysteries this summer loved those.
We have talked about the Elizabeth Chadwick books and where to start the consensus seems to be to start with the Marshal series. If you have read Penman then William Marshall isn't unknown to you, and EC really delves into the history surrounding the Marshal's in A Place Beyond Courage (this deals with John Marshal) and personally this is where I would start. The The Greatest Knight, and then The Scarlet Lion, The TIme of Singing, and For the Kings Favor Most libraries have these they don't come up for trade very often. My personal favorite Chadwick is The Love Knot, that takes place during the anarchy and war between Stephen and Maud.
Thank you all so much for these suggestions! Our library book sale is in a few weeks and hopefully I'll find a good chunk of these there. Can't beat their prices, a bag full of books for $3! I'm so excited to have so many new titles to choose from. I'm going to need more bookshelves...,
I seen my favorite historical authors was not mentioned, Lisa Kleypas, Diana Palmer, Mary Balogh.
I really enjoy every book they have wrote ck them out. Lisa Kleypas has a series that starts with the Wallflowers series,
then she has 3 more series of books and all the 3 series ties together, i cant remember them off hand though.
Characters from each series are mentioned in the other series so you can see what happened to them, am i making sense. lol
Welcome Kate! Deb gave you a great list. I’ll just add a few more:
Year of Wonders – Geraldine Brooks
Pope Joan – Donna Leon
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Ragtime – E.L. Doctorow
Shadowbrook – Beverly Swerling
Katherine – Anya Seton
An Inconvenient Wife – Megan Chance
My Name is Mary Sutter – Robin Oliveira
Fire From Heaven, The Persian Boy, Funeral Games – Mary Renault
Galway Bay – Mary Pat Kelly
Elizabeth I: A Novel – Margaret George
Revolution – Jennifer Donnelly
How is this possible? My library doesn't have a single book by Elizabeth Chadwick. I live in a small town, but not that small... I'll have to look into their ILL program.
And Deb, I will definitely snatch up as many good HF books I find! I'll be happy to send them out, once I read them first that is! Haha!