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Topic: Top 10 All-Time Favorite HF??

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Subject: Top 10 All-Time Favorite HF??
Date Posted: 4/22/2008 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2007
Posts: 112
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I'm always looking for new books to read.  What are your all-time favorite historical novels?  I'm not including classics here, because well, they're classics.  Mine are, in no particular order:

1. Hawaii-James Michener

2. Girl With A Pearl Earring- Tracy Chevalier

3. The Other Boleyn Girl-Philippa Gregory

4. The Sunne in Splendour-Sharon Kay Penman

5. Ragtime-E.L. Doctorow

6. Abundance-Sena Jeter Naslund

7. Suite Francaise-Irene Nemirovsky

8. Down the Common-Ann Baer

9. Pillars of the Earth-Ken Follett

10. Clan of the Cave Bear- Jean Auel

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2007
Posts: 782
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In no particular order:

1: The Memoirs of Cleopatra- Margaret George

2: I, Claudius- Robert Graves

3: Claudius the God- Robert Graves

4: The Sunne in Splendour- Sharon Kay Penman

5: Beneath a Marble Sky- John Shors

6: Child of the Morning- Pauling Gedge

7: Lady of the Reeds- Pauline Gedge

8: Masters of Rome Series- Colleen McCullough

9: The Physician- Noah Gordon

10: To Live- Yu Hua


Date Posted: 4/22/2008 4:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2007
Posts: 812
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I, Mona Lisa     Jeanne Kalogridis

The Other Boleyn Girl      Philippa Gregory

The Boleyn Inheritance     Philippa Gregory

The Constant Princess      Philippa Gregory

Lonesome Dove     Larry McMurtry

Memoirs of a Geisha   Arthur Golden

Pompeii    Robert Harris

The Birth of Venus    Sarah Dunant

The Thorn Birds    Colleen McCullough

Stones From the River    Ursula Heigi

and Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

 ETA:  I forgot Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks!


Last Edited on: 4/22/08 6:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/22/2008 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,900
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Wow, I only get to choose ten? 

1.  Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell

2. Roots - Alex Haley

3. The Other Boleyn Girl/The Queens Fool - Philippa Gregory (its a tie)

4. Queen - Alex Haley

5. Mary Queen of Scots and the Isles- Margaret George

6. The Mists of Avalon (fantasy/hist fiction cross but I love it anyway)

7. Memiors of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

8. Scarlett- Alexandra Ripley

9. Cry the Beloved Country - Alan Paton

10. The Kitchen Boy - Robert Alexander

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
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No particular order:

Katheryn in the Court of Six Queens - Anne Merton Abbey

The Greatest Knight - Elizabeth Chadwick

Here Be Dragons - Sharon Kay Penman

The Edge of Light - Joan Wolf

The Scarlet Lion - Elizabeth Chadwick

The Lady in the Tower - Jean Plaidy

The Dark Queen - S usan Carroll

The Boleyn Inheritance - Philippa Gregory

Harold the King - Helen Hollick

The Bronze Horseman - Paulina Simmons

Subject: I get 10 choices?
Date Posted: 4/22/2008 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Captain from Castile and The Black Rose by Thomas Costain.

Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres

Naguib Mahfouz's The Cairo Trilogy

 The foregoing add up to six books, so for the remaining four I name the four books that make up Vilhelm Moberg's series about Swedish immigrants to 'Amerika' that begins with The Emigrants, continues withTo a New Land and The Settlers, and concludes with Last Letter Home.

Last Edited on: 5/21/08 6:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/23/2008 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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King Hereafter - Dorothy Dunnett

Forever Amber - Kathleen Winsor

When Christ and the Saints Slept - Sharon Kay Penman

A Hollow Crown - Helen Hollick

The Widow of the South - Robert Hicks

Helen of Troy - Margaret George

Kristin Lavransdatter (the whole series) - Sigrid Undset

Eiriksdottir: A Tale of Dreams and Luck - Joan Clark

Wife to the Bastard  - Hilda Lewis

The Scarlet Lion - Elizabeth Chadwick

I'm sure that I've left something important out! If I could have eleven, I'd probably choose Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi. It's a great book!

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2005
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The Sunne in Splendour - SKP

Here Be Dragons - SKP

Falls the Shadow - SKP

The Reckoning - SKP

Queen of Swords - Judith Tarr

Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett

Mary Queen of Scots and the Isles - Margaret George

Pope Joan - Donna Cross

Katherine - Anya Seton

An Army of Angels - Pamela Marcantel

Subject: Top 5 so far!
Date Posted: 4/23/2008 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 35
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The Red Tent - Anita Diamant

Year of Wonders - Geraldine Brooks

The Birth of Venus - Sarah Dunant

Snow Flower and The Secret Fan - Lisa See

Christ The Lord - Anne Rice


Date Posted: 4/24/2008 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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This is such a great way for getting ideas about books to read. Thanks, Kathy, for starting this thread!

I also find it interesting to see what you all like. Here are mine:

1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

2. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

3. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

4. Lords of the White Castle by Elizabeth Chadwick

5. Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman

6. River of Darkness by Rennie Airth

7. The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman

8. Aztec by Gary Jennings

9. Rabble in Arms by Kenneth Roberts

10. Northwest Passage by Kenneth Roberts


Last Edited on: 4/24/08 3:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/26/2008 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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In no particular order:


Crimson Petal and the White

Pillars of the Earth

The Thornbirds


Year of Wonders

Gone With the Wind

The Kitchen Boy

Lonesome Dove

Clan of the Cave Bear

Memoirs of a Geisha

Last Edited on: 4/26/08 1:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/26/2008 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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I'm really drawing a blank. The two that come to mind are Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell and Exodus by Leon Uris.  I know I've read others.  I love historical fiction, but haven't read as much of it as I'd like.

Right now I'm reading a book by R.F. Delderfield, To Serve Them All My Days, which probably qualifies as HF.  I prefer HF about England, Ireland and other overseas countries.  Not American history so much.

Thanks for the ideas!

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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In no particular order (and I'm probably forgetting some major ones...I have a headache and can't think straight at the moment)

  • The entire "House of Niccolo" series by Dorothy Dunnett (no way I can choose just one of them)
  • Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
  • Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd
  • The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
  • Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
  • Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
  • Dreaming the Eagle by Manda Scott (first of her Boudica books)
  • Bernard Cornwell's Arthurian trilogy (treated more historically than the 'fantasy' aspects of Arthur)
  • The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel


Subject: Abundance
Date Posted: 4/28/2008 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,581
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I just picked up "Abundance" on the cheap pile at Barnes and Noble.  Have you read her "Ahab's Wife"?  If so, did you think this was as good as "Ahab:?

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 1:22 AM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 211
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In no particular order:

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet

Chesapeake by James Michener

Centennial by James Michener

Charleston by John Jakes

North and South by John Jakes

Poland by James Michener

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier

Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley

On Leaving Charleston by Alexandra Ripley

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2007
Posts: 112
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One of my good friends whose book judgment I absolutely trust hated Ahab's Wife so I didn't read it.  However, I read Abundance on her recommendation and loved it.

BTW-I can't wait to check out some of these recommendations.

Last Edited on: 4/29/08 10:35 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/29/2008 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,513
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I adored "Ahab's Wife" the writing is so amazing in that book.

I have "Abundance" on the way, but I've not read it (thanks Karen!)

Subject: Top Ten HF
Date Posted: 5/7/2008 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2008
Posts: 1
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1) Outlander Series - Diana Gabaldon (6 books and counting)

2) Wilderness Series - Sara Donati (5 books and counting)

3) Swan Series - Celeste DeBlasis(3 books)

4) Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett(just bought World without End, I'm sure it will be a favorite!)

5) Queen of Fools - Phillipa Gregory

6) Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country - Rosalind Miles(3 books)

7) Wide Acre Series - Phillipa Greogory (3 books)

8) The Virgin Lover - Phillipa Gregory

9) The Other Boleyn Girl - Phillipa Gregory

10) Clan of the Cave Bear - Jean Auel


Date Posted: 5/7/2008 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 576
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well, I don't have a whole list of 10 by my current favorite is Alexandre Dumas' The Black Tulip.  He wrote it about Holland during the time when it was in the midst of "tulipmania".  He wrote it a few hundred years after the fact and it seems a lot of his inspiration came from artists paintings from the times.  It was very interesting!

I also enjoyed:

The Queens Fool

The Other Boleyn Girl

and am currently reading and likeing A Foreign Affair by Caro Peacock

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 550
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I read a book called Tulip Fever which sounds a lot like what you are describing above Hannah

Date Posted: 5/20/2008 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 3,140
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A few on my list would be:

The Winds of War                     Herman Wouk

War & Remembrance              Herman Wouk

Gone With the Wind                  Margaret Mitchell     

Inside Outside                           Herman Wouk

The Source                                James  Michener                                

Last Edited on: 5/20/08 4:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 43,502
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A friend asked me the other day whay I like in historical fiction so I told her a few. Thought I would bring back this topic and see what folks had to add. Of there are the ones that I can not remember the author or title but enjoyed.

Captains and the Kings  - Taylor Cauldwell

Thornbirds - Colleen McCullough

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Other Boleyn Girl Phillipa Gregory

Aztec  Gary Jennings

The Covenent  James Michner

River God by Wilbur Smith

Outlander - Diana Gabaldon

Avalon  - Anya Seton

Courts of Love - Jean Plaidy

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 298
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I would sit down and reread any of these in a heartbeat:

The Lymond Chronicles - Dorothy Dunnett

The Saxon Tapestry - Sile Rice

Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell

The Thornbirds - Colleen McCullough

The Frenchman's Creek - Daphne du Maurier

Citizen Washington - William Martin

Ragtime - E.L. Doctorow

Oldest LIving Confederate Widow Tells All - Allan Gurganus

I, Claudius- Robert Graves

Claudius the God - Robert Graves

Last Edited on: 12/9/09 6:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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Hmmm....glad to see a lot of the books on my TBR and my 2010 challenge plan on your lists!  Based my comparatively little experience with HF, my favorites in no order would be:

The Thornbirds      Colleen McCullough

Mystery of the Art of Death     Ariana Franklin

Washington's Lady      Nancy Moser

Kent Family Chronicles Series    John Jakes

Pope Joan    Donna Woodford Cross

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
Posts: 482
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Oh geez, this is impossible.  But I'll take a stab, though they may not add up to 10.  In no particular order (because honestly, how could I choose?):

Moloka'i - Alan Brennert

City of Thieves - David Benioff

March - Geraldine Brooks

Number the Stars - Lois Lowry (goin' old school YA with that one - read it at least 15 times when I was a kid)

Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Lisa See