Discussion Forums - Historical Fiction

Topic: September 1st --- What are you reading?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: September 1st --- What are you reading?
Date Posted: 9/1/2016 10:13 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,101
Back To Top

Hello All,  I have been absent for a bit but all is well.  Hope the same is true for you.  Just now I am reading a modern day mystery, but as usual, my norm is historical.  Just taking a break.

Date Posted: 9/1/2016 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
Back To Top

Where has summer gone? Reading has taken a bit of a back seat to out door things, but I did just finish All the Light You Cannot See.  I had a hard time getting into it, but after I got used to the very short chapters, alternate narrators, and back and forth time periods, I became immersed in the story. A very sad, emotional but worthwhile read.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 9/2/2016 6:33 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,756
Back To Top

Yay it is September. I am ready for cook crisp weather!! I am reading Deadly Scandal (Deadly Series) (Volume 1) :: Kate Parker

It is set in 1930's England. I really like her Victorian bookshop series.. This one is turning out good too pulling in the political climate of 1937 Europe.

Date Posted: 9/2/2016 8:13 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,458
Back To Top

I finished The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubbenfeld, a murder mystery set in 1909 New York City that brings in Freud, Jung  and other famous or infamous names of psychoanalysis as companions.  A little gruesome in some parts for my tastes and not quite up to level I was expecting, but hey, the hero explains Hamlet to you, so a worthwhile read.  I gave it 3 and a half stars plus it covered my new to you author category for the mystery challenge.

Date Posted: 9/2/2016 10:48 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,101
Back To Top

Cheryl --- I read "Interpretation" some time ago and found it very difficult to enjoy in the beginning.  Normally I would have thrown it over, but for some reason I continued on.  It seemed a struggle through the entire book, but there were some very interesting times as well.  He has another book out there, also involving Freud, but I have not read that one.

Date Posted: 9/2/2016 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,300
Back To Top

Interpretation was a DNF for me. I figured life is too short to try and figure out what's going on in a book that doesn't really grab me. Kudos to those of you who persevered!

Date Posted: 9/2/2016 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
Back To Top

I was on a roll with reading for awhile and then I decided to give Downton Abbey another go as I had borrowed Season 1 from the library 3 times and never got a chance to watch it before it was due back.  Well it is two weeks later-I haven't read any books and I am waiting very impatiently for Season 5 to come in.  I decided to start Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly until Downton arrives.  



Last Edited on: 9/2/16 7:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/6/2016 6:18 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,791
Back To Top

I've been reading Anne O'Brien for a very easy reading as I've been so busy going and going and going.  They are easy reading books that I can pick up and read for a few minutes and pick up later and continue without having to re-read.  

Currently reading The Scandalous Duchess about John of Gaunt's Mistress and then wife, Katherine Swynford.

Date Posted: 9/7/2016 8:05 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,881
Back To Top

I love reading about what you all have chosen to read and so appreciate the sharing of your impressions.  I've just started Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier which I have had on my shelf for just ages.  I imagine that most of you have already read it.  Now it's my turn.

Date Posted: 9/7/2016 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,458
Back To Top

That was a good one REK!  I've picked back up on the the Temeraire series that I had kind of forgotten about.  I finished Crucible of Dragons by Namomi Novik and now I am onto Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye

Date Posted: 9/7/2016 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2008
Posts: 1,149
Back To Top

I started In a Treacherous Court by Michelle Diener this morning. I resent every second that I have had to spend working since I opened the book. I am very glad to have all 2.5 (a novella!) of the rest of the series!

Now, about work...frown

Date Posted: 9/8/2016 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,394
Back To Top

Recently finished Lilac Girls and really enjoyed it.  Always enjoy learning about a real historical person that I'd never heard of prior to the novel.  In this case, Caroline Ferriday, an American socialite who donated much effort and funding to help French refugees and orphans during WWII.  And afterwards she became involved in the effort to help survivors of the Ravensbruck medical experimentation, the Ravensbruck "Rabbits". 

Now I'm reading Romancing Miss Bronte.  It started a bit slow and I considered setting it aside.  Glad I kept on; I'm enjoying it.

Another recent read:  Anatomy of Evil, the best Barker and Llewelyn yet!

 

Linda

 

Date Posted: 9/8/2016 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,101
Back To Top

Linda --- For some reason I gave up on Barker and Llewelyn.  It just seemed the books were so wordy.  At least I believe that is why I gave up.  The characters were wonderful, but it took so long to get to the point!!!  With your comment now I wonder if I should have kept on!!!

I am reading an historical mystery on my Kindle just now, "Behind the Horseman" by Suzanne Downes. This is a series with two brothers (Underwood), one a priest and one a former Cambridge don.  They are easy reading and not really a silly sort of mystery.  I believe these are free right now with Kindle Unlimited, or $2.99 without.  Just checked, these books are apparently only offered on Kindle.  Is this something that any of you are finding --- Kindle only books???



Last Edited on: 9/8/16 10:05 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/9/2016 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,394
Back To Top

Who has read At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier, and what did you think? I just finished listening to it, and while it certainly held my attention, it seemed dark and rather tragic. I'm glad it ended well.

Next up for me is Salt to the Sea, by Ruth Sepetys ... and I'm still reading A Memory of Violets, Hazel Gaynor (not a page turner for me).

Kelly

 

Date Posted: 9/12/2016 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2008
Posts: 1,149
Back To Top

Finished the Michelle Diener trilogy and I really enjoyed it. Politics is still pretty much the same, minus the crossbows! Now I'm reading S. L. Linnea's Chasing Eden. I am enjoying learning about both the historical aspects of the Garden of Eden along with more about the Iraq war from the chaplain and soldier perspective. Really good!

Debbie

Date Posted: 9/12/2016 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,458
Back To Top

I finished Dust and Shadow:  An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson by Lyndsay Faye.  I really do enjoy this author's writings very much!

Date Posted: 9/13/2016 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,394
Back To Top

I did too, Cheyl!! I liked Dust & Shadow far more than I expected to when I first started the book!

 



Last Edited on: 9/13/16 8:19 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/13/2016 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,458
Back To Top

For a first novel I thought it was very well done although I do like her Gods of Gotham books even better.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 9/15/2016 7:27 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,756
Back To Top

Last night I started Fates and Traitors: A Novel of John Wilkes Booth :: Jennifer Chiaverini

I really enjoy her writing style. Not too far into it yet but like it so far.

Alice

Date Posted: 9/15/2016 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
Back To Top

Howdy, it's been a long time since I posted over in this forum, but since I've been reading a lot of historical mystery recently I thought I would pop over and see what's going on! Kelly, I listened to At the Edge of the Orchard last month and really liked it--yes, definitely dark and dismal in places, but that's Chevalier all over, and is one of the things I like about her work...it's not all sunshine and roses, and she squeezes so much into each character, definitely not one dimensional people!

Currently reading Goodnight, Sweet Prince by David Dickinson (#1 Lord Francis Powerscourt mystery) which centers around the death of Prince Eddy in 1892. History says he died of influenza, but what if he was actually murdered and a massive coverup ensued? Very interesting premise and the book is quite good so far. Also just going to start listening to Princess Elizabeth's Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal, the second Maggie Hope book. I have high hopes for it...haha!

Cheryl

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 9/15/2016 9:31 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
Back To Top

Hi everyone!! Its been a very long HOT summer. Works finally slowing down and I am very happy for the cooler weather to start. 

I didnt read too much over the past few months, but I did start the Robin Hood trilogy by Stephen Lawhead. I read Hood and am almost finished Scarlet. I took a break to read a non-fiction someone loaned me and need to get back to it. I am really enjoying the books. Lawhead set the story in 1093 in Wales rather than during the crusades in England. It is a time period I really havent read a lot about. He makes a good argument for why the tale makes more sense in that time and place. 

Up next, I will probably start the third book in the series Tuck



Last Edited on: 9/15/16 9:33 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/15/2016 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,394
Back To Top

Cheryl, I enjoyed your comments re: Edge of the Orchard and Tracy Chevalier. Your comment about her characters not being one-dimensional particularly resonated with me. So very true. And, while I think that, perhaps, the dysfunction and tragedy was a little over the top in this particular book, I did appreciate the excellent character development of the primary characters.

In other news, I finished The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin this evening. This book put me in mind of a somewhat sluggish river ... the story develops slowly, is more introspective than what I usually read and if you set the book down, there will no problem with catching up when once you pick it up again. Frankly, I'm not real sure what I think about it overall. The setting is wonderful ... late 19th century Oregon orchard and an aging, introverted bachelor who takes two pregnant runaways under his care. 

And that's all that. 

Kelly

P.S. I may be in need a Georgette Heyer or a cozy mystery of some sort after the back to back books I've been reading lately, including listening to the wonderful Salt to the Sea by Ruth Sepetys. Highest recommendations for this one! :)

 



Last Edited on: 9/15/16 10:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/16/2016 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
Back To Top

Well I finished Lilac Girls (loved!) and The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron.  Every once in awhile I'll attempt to read a historical inspirational.  I liked the story very much but then every once in awhile it veered off into preachyville and I really dislike that.  It bogs the story down.  This happened a lot towards the end so it kind of killed the ending for me.  I know its a risk you take reading inspirationals but some inspirationals do very well with creating awesome stories without overdoing it.  It's why I like Sandra Byrd's books so much.  Also finished Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas which was a decent YA reimagining of Sleeping Beauty.

Tried to start Heresy by S J Parris last night but opened the book and the print was miniscule.  Ordered the Large Print version from the library and am going to start Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant while I'm waiting for it to come in.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 9/17/2016 7:19 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,756
Back To Top

I finished Fates and Traitor it was okay but read more like nonfiction very fact based. Not my favorite one of her books

Last night I started Mata Hari's Last Dance: A Novel :: Michelle Moran

I have never read a book about Mata Hari and am finding it quite interesting.

Date Posted: 9/18/2016 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,458
Back To Top

I'm reading The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks.  It's a novel about the biblical King David as told from the perspective of the prophet Nathan, or Natan as he is called in this book.  Very good so far.

Page: