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Topic: Researching while reading?

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Subject: Researching while reading?
Date Posted: 2/24/2011 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2010
Posts: 2,138
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Do a lot of you research times/places/events the books you're reading are about? I just finished Cornwell's The Last Kingdom and am now reading Queen Hereafter by Susan King and had to start it over again (started last week and had to take a break to read TLK.) because I keep trying to figure out what's going on and who's who.

Maybe I shouldn't have read two books in different time periods back-to-back, but I'm finding myself researching and researching the Saxons, Scots, Danes, and the history of England and Scotland to try to make sense in my head of what's what and who's who. (Mainly who was plotted against each other, who took over what, etc.)

Does anyone else research and try to figure this stuff out while they read, or is it just me? LOL! BTW, these are my first two books on these time periods and places and I really knew nothing about it beforehand.

Date Posted: 2/24/2011 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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I always do this, and look at maps.

Date Posted: 2/24/2011 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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I look at maps and family trees in the book, but I try not to research online until I finish the book.  Too many spoilers!  But once I've finished the book, then I do some research to help place everything. 

Date Posted: 2/24/2011 12:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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It's a job hazard for me. My whole day is spent researching. The best part is when I get to research MY questions. LOL!

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 2/24/2011 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,746
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I think is a metric of a good historical fiction book that it makes you want to look the facts of that time period, person or event..

Alice

Date Posted: 2/24/2011 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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I will do research on occasion, but like Christa I'm cautious. Learned the hard way whilst reading Penman's Welsh trilogy. With those books I recommend staying off the net entirely until you're done.

Date Posted: 2/24/2011 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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I look at maps and family trees in the book, but I try not to research online until I finish the book.  Too many spoilers!  But once I've finished the book, then I do some research to help place everything.

^^^This. constantly.

Date Posted: 2/24/2011 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2010
Posts: 2,138
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I'm really having fun researching this stuff, and now I fully understand why some folks will read books and books about the same time period/place. I always thought that would get boring after a while, but I see myself totally doing the same thing now. :)

I'm not sure I'll be able to wait until I'm done reading to research, but I'll try my best! I can say that researching a little more about the Kings of Scotland has been very beneficial to my reading Queen Hereafter this go-round. I was so confused on Macbeth and Malcolm's history, etc in the book, but now it's much easier to read and get into. (Loving this book, btw.)

Date Posted: 2/25/2011 7:57 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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I try to do any research after I've read the book, because major spoilage can occur.  But, if I'm like Kelly and very confused about something (and it's usually a king and his politics) I'll research it while reading.  I have a copy of "Kings and Queens' of England" handy at all times.  wink

Date Posted: 2/25/2011 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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I don't mind spoilers in the least -- I prefer them, actually.  So that is no hindrance to my researching during reading.  But I generally wait until afterwards, too.  The one frequent exception is when I'm thinkin "no way, this is made up, can't be real" strongly enough that it's interfering with my enjoyment of the story.  Then I'll do some quick googling so that I know whether to accept it or dismiss it.  Like right now.  I was reading Margaret George's Cleopatra.  She has Cleopatra in Rome for the last two years of Ceasar's life, including his death, and that Cleo (and her servants) was the one who recovered his body and took it to his wife .  I'm going "no way" -- she couldn't have been in Rome at the time ... could she?  And I'm going to google it very shortly.

Date Posted: 2/25/2011 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2010
Posts: 2,138
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Ooh, Vicky - I didn't know such a book existed. Too bad it's WL'd! I put myself on it, but I might have to order it somewhere. I think that's a book that would come in very handy for me (and save me a lot of research time)!