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Topic: What are you reading? What's on your shelf? What have you found?

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Subject: What are you reading? What's on your shelf? What have you found?
Date Posted: 6/5/2007 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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I wanted to start a thread similar to the one we historical-fiction fans had going in "Hidden Gems," where we can alert others to good reads, books on our shelves and books in the system.

I'll start it off ...

I am now reading The Lost King of France. It's on a number of wish lists, but I spotted a copy with a different ISBN in today's history listings. TAKEN

The book is compelling and hard to put down, but heartbreaking! It details the sufferings of the young son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, who simply was born in the wrong place at the wrong time to the wrong parents.

I have some historical fiction on my shelf. I'll do a 2-for-1-credit deal on any of these. Just PM me with the title of your free book:

  • Baudolino by Umberto Eco
  • The Bloodied Cravat (historical mystery) by Rosemary Stevens
  • Master and Commander, Post Captain and H.M.S. Surprise by Patrick O'Brian (first three books in the Aubrey Maturin series)
  • Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester
  • Romola by George Eliot

 

 



Last Edited on: 6/6/07 11:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/5/2007 10:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
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I'm currently reading The Eagle and the Raven by Paulline Gedge.  It is the story of Boudicca who led the tribes of Britain against the Romans around 55 AD.  It is a long book (almost 800 pages) and details the nature of the warring tribes and how some of them made peace with Rome and others united to fight.  It is very interesting.

Thanks to Felicia's post in the Bazaar, I managed to pick up a copy of Lancaster and York by Alison Weir today which was posted under a different ISBN than one that is wishlisted by several people.   Yeah!!!



Last Edited on: 6/5/07 10:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/5/2007 11:57 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2005
Posts: 109
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Yesterday I finished reading Bowery Girl by Kim Taylor.  Here is the description:

The Bowery, 1883: Gamblers and thieves, immigrants and Street Arabs, Do-Gooders and charity houses, impossible dreams and impossible odds. This is the story of two "Bowery girls"—the pickpocket Mollie Flynn and the prostitute Annabelle Lee, young women without family or education who must fend for themselves.Two young women whose survival depends on each other. After a chance encounter with Emmeline DuPre, a "Do-Gooder" who has recently opened a settlement house, Mollie and Annabelle are given the opportunity to better themselves. But the city offers many temptations, and on the streets of the Bowery, you do whatever it takes to survive.  This vibrant, carefully researched novel shows how much—and how little—our world has changed.

Date Posted: 6/6/2007 2:17 AM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 21
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I'm currently reading:

1) Kathryn in the Court of Six Queens by Anne M. Abbey

2) I Am Mary Tudor by Hilda Winifred Lewis

3) Rise to Rebellion by Jeffrey Shaara

Kathryn is terribly difficult to find, and used copies are very expensive, so I was thrilled to find out I could get this through Interlibrary loan (ILL). I'm not a fan of romance at all, so I was a bit put off by the cover, but it's received so many rave reviews that I figured I better give it a chance. :) I'm only a few chapters in, but I'm enjoying it so far (no bodices have been ripped yet)!

I also was able to obtain I Am Mary Tudor through ILL. I picked this out because of all the raves in the previous "Hidden gems thread" and I'm enjoying it. Although I've read many books about the Tudors, I've only read a couple that really focused on Mary, so I'm finding the book refreshing. I (hopefully) have the next two books in the trilogy coming through ILL as well.

Here's the description of Rise to Rebellion:

Spanning the crucible years beginning with the Boston Massacre in March 1770 and continuing through the signing of the Declaration of Independence on, the story is told from the perspective of a handful of characters well known from our history books (Samuel Adams, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Gen. Thomas Gage, and George Washington). This masterful dramatization of the fateful escalation of the rebellion following the Boston Massacre moves from the battles of 1775 at Lexington, Concord, Fort Ticonderoga, Bunker Hill and the siege of Boston, through the convening in 1776 of the Continental Congress and the reading of the Declaration of Independence. Richly embroidered with portraits of such heroes as Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, Paul Revere, John Hancock and Thomas Jefferson, the tapestry chronicles America's plunge toward liberty.

I was afraid this would be a bit too "battle heavy" and thus difficult (for me) to get through, but I'm finding it quite easy to read. Mr. Shaara definitely seems to know his history.

In terms of what's on my shelf, I have some historical mysteries about Sir John Fielding--they're really quite good!



Last Edited on: 6/6/07 2:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/6/2007 8:31 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
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I bought a copy of Kathryn in the Court of Six Queens last year off ebay (for $24 - pretty reasonable for that book) and loved it!  I haven't read anything by Hilda Lewis yet although I would like to.

Date Posted: 6/6/2007 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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Daphne, I'm glad you snagged Lancaster and York. Lost King was taken almost as soon as I posted the link.

Emily, I was thinking about trying interlibrary loan for some hard-to-find books, such as two and three in Hilda Lewis's "Mary" trilogy and the last two books in Fidelis Morgan's Restoration London mystery series. How long did it take to receive the books, and from how far away did they come? I found a Web site that lets you search nationwide for library books and found the closest available copies of Hilda Lewis's books were in the Midwest, 1,000 miles away from me here in Colorado.

Ironically, a lot of the rare historical fiction I'm dying to read has popped up in the Northwestern University library, my alma mater. If only I'd checked out the books when I was there! (Yeah, like I had the time to read anything that wasn't assigned!)



Last Edited on: 6/6/07 11:04 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/6/2007 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 1,080
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Felicia: I  missed out on both.I have them on my wishlist now.

Date Posted: 6/6/2007 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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I've got a couple more for all of you. These just popped up in the daily listings:

A Lady Raised High by Lauren Gardiner (about Anne Boleyn)

Falls the Shadow by Sharon Kay Penman (second in her medieval Wales trilogy)



Last Edited on: 6/23/07 2:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/6/2007 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 21
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Felicia-- ILL has been quite fast, actually. It takes about a week (sometimes a bit longer) for items that I've requested to arrive. They've come from all over! Some have literally come from the same city, while others have been located hundreds of miles away. I don't know if WorldCat is the search engine you've been using, but that's what I use to find items.

I find that, more and more, I'm using PBS to find books that are "keepers" (mostly reference books) and then using my local library or ILL to find copies of everything else. I actually hadn't even thought about ILL until I drove my local library to the brink of insanity by constantly suggesting books they should purchase/acquire. They sent me a very nice note saying that they would certainly consider all my suggestions, but that perhaps I would like to try ILL for some items? :)



Last Edited on: 6/6/07 2:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/6/2007 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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Yep, WorldCat was the site I was using. I'm going to try ILL! My library has an online form you can fill out to make a request. I'll let you know how it goes.

Date Posted: 6/6/2007 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 1,932
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Oh great ,the one day I'm not online all those great books are posted! On the bright side, 4 Jean Plaidy's arrived today from PBS: The Bastard King, Battle of The Queens, The Queen from Provence and Red Rose of Anjou.

I've had katherine in the court of six kings on my WL hoping it would get posted. Would really like to read that one.

I am currently finishing Perfume and then I am going to be reading The Prestige by Christopher Priest. I've wanted to read this for some time and stumbled on a copy, so it's jumping my TBR queue and will be next. I can't wait! After that is Unnatural Murder, Poison at the court of James I by Anne Somerset.

 

Date Posted: 6/6/2007 6:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
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If some posts Kathryn in the Court of Six Queens, they don't know what they have!!  It can easily go for $50+ on ebay.  Mine was not in very good condition when I bought it which is why I got it so "cheap".

Marci G - I brought the Red Rose of Anjou with me on my business trip to read.  I haven't started it yet (I finished the book I was reading on the plane today) but will either tonight or tomorrow.  I've read the others you received - hope you enjoy them.

We don't have a library were I live (town is too small).  I could pay for a membership at the library in the next town.  I think it is $100 a year.  My husband thinks that would be a bargain considering how much I spend on books!!

Date Posted: 6/6/2007 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 1,932
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OMG Daphne, they charge you $100 to be a member of a library??? Even if your own town doesn't HAVE one? What are your taxes for??? That's terrible. $100 is pretty steep. If they charged you a small fee, I could possibly see it, but I stress, possibly.

I am always amazed at what I find at estate sales as far as books. Most avid book collectors have LOTS of books, and when the estate liquidators come in, they will often do a quick scan but assume most books are not worth the time it would take to sort thru them and will put a blanket cost on them, usually $1 for hardbacks and 50 cents for paperback. I've acquired many very collectible books this way, including a first ed of Catcher In The Rye that I paid $1 for and sold the next week for well over $100 on eBay. I don't generally look for books to resell, I look for books I want, but when I come across a book like that, well... I know it's better off with someone who will preserve it and love it. Another great find was an early copy of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, which I bought from a street vendor in Boulder, who was selling 4 books for a dollar (!!!). As it was one of my faves as a child, I gave him the $1 for just that book, and he kept trying to give me 75 cents back as he was "honest". When I got it home I saw it was a first ed, brought it to a collector, and he offered me $200 for it. It was pretty beaten up and I was shocked it was worth anything at all, when afterall, I paid $1 for it... I felt bad for the street guy and I looked for him for weeks but never saw him again.  He was probably just passing through, which is common up there. Oh well. It came to me at a good time as I need the extra money so perhaps it was meant to be.

Date Posted: 6/7/2007 2:55 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,452
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Sadly, I am not reading anything.  I finished a mystery this morning and I'm holding out for the mail tomorrow.  On the way are:

Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach.  I've been wanting to read this for sometime.  It's set in Amsterdam in the 1630s when the tulip business went out of control.

Kingston in Starlight by Christopher John Farley.  This is about Anne Bonney, the pirate

Mr. Darcy's Daughters by Elizabeth Aston.  This is set in 1818 and is a continuation of the Pride & Prejudice story.

 

Date Posted: 6/7/2007 8:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,588
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My TBR shelves are chock full of historical fiction, but since I read from a wide variety of genres, it sits there for awhile. There isn't too much in the way of historical fiction on my bookshelf since much of it is wishlisted and gets taken right away when I finish them and post them.

The most recent thing I've read that's historical was A Dark Night Hidden by Alys Clare, which is the sixth book in the Hawkenlye Abbey historical mystery series. Before that, I think it was The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory a couple of weeks ago. I've got a bunch more of Gregory's stuff here as well as several Sharon Kay Penmans and the whole Lymond Chronicles series by Dorothy Dunnett to get to at some point. And I think it's time to visit Brother Cadfael again soon, too--I'm in the midst of re-reading that mystery series.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 6/7/2007 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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Cheryl, your copy of "A Dark Night Hidden" is on its way to me!

I'm also thinking of re-reading the Cadfaels this summer.

Date Posted: 6/7/2007 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2007
Posts: 782
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I am currently reading "Quo Vadis" by Henryk Sienkiewicz. It is set during the reign of Nero. Pretty interesting so far.

Date Posted: 6/7/2007 10:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,452
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I got Tulip Fever today.  Only had a few minutes but I'm already 40 pages in.  I like it so far.

Date Posted: 6/8/2007 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 1,080
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Melody: I just ordered Tulip Fever it sounds good.
Date Posted: 6/8/2007 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2005
Posts: 456
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I read Tulip Fever a year or so ago..  It was good, but predictable.  (I'll say no more.)  But it made me want to go to Amster-Amster- dam-dam-dam.  (Sorry.  If you know the song, you'll understand.)

Date Posted: 6/8/2007 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,452
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I'm enjoying Tulip Fever so far.  I'm about half way through.  It reminds me in some ways of the Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier.   The story is written with each chapter being from another characters' perspective which I kind of like.

Date Posted: 6/8/2007 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I have a TPB copy of  Nicholas Cooke: Actor, Soldier, Physician, Priest by Stephanie Cowell available for request if anyone is interested.

Details:  http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780345390165-Nicholas+Cooke

Also,  I saw a copy of Madame de Pompadour by Evelyne Lever available a couple of hours ago. I don't know if it's been taken.

Date Posted: 6/12/2007 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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Just got done with Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.  Loved it!  I've got a Norah Lofts, a couple Philippa Carr, one Thomas Costain, and some Civil War books (my mom gave me to post on here) if anyone's interested in my shelf.



Last Edited on: 6/12/07 7:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/13/2007 11:07 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,452
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I finished Tulip Fever and I really enjoyed.  I'm now reading Mr. Darcy's daughters by Elizabeth Aston.  I'll let you know how I like it so Cozette can take another one of my books.  :-)

Date Posted: 6/14/2007 5:42 AM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2005
Posts: 456
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Believe it or not, I'm reading comtemporary fiction right now!  (Don't kick me out of this club!)  I got Paulina Porizkova's debut novel A Model Summer from the library and am enjoying it.  I know she's said in interviews it's not autobiographical, but I wonder how much of it is based on events in her life as a model. 

Once I'm done with this (it's due back to the library on the 16th), I'll pick up David Fulmer's latest St Cyr mystery, Rampart Street.  If you like mysteries, New Orleans (Storyville) in the early 20th century, I highly recommend his books.  The first is Chasing the Devil's Tail, followed by Jass and then Rampart Street.

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