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What historical novel are you reading now?

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Initial post: Jan 28, 2012 5:37:03 AM PST
Misfit says:
Perhaps time for a new thread and new discussions? This isn't for the "Bar None" historical novels (loved that thread), nor the "Best HF you've read recently". This is for what you are reading now, the good, the bad and the *meh*.

NOTE: as the OP I am asking for what books you are READING. I am not asking for solicitations from authors.

I'm reading The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb. Pretty interesting stuff. This one is for Mary Beth - I realize it's a romance and not historical fiction but it was very good - just finished Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath. First in a trilogy on a trio of brothers. Don't let the new Kindle cover fool you, it's very tame in the sex department. I'd not come across Heath before, but the library got a bunch on the kindle lending list and thought I'd try a few.

Posted on Jan 28, 2012 6:23:20 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 28, 2012 6:26:57 AM PST
@ Misfit - I have read the Leigh family series and it was great. After watching Deadwood, I seriously got into westerns! I read the synopsis of Mrs. Tom Thumb and thought it looked interesting. Then I ordered Alice I Have Been: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle) by the same author. It is sitting on my TBR pile. Currently I am reading Plainsong by Kent Haruf for my bookclub. It is not at all a new book, in fact I had read it a few years ago, but it definitely needed a reread in order to discuss it.

I love your idea for a new thread. I can hardly wait to discover all the books that people are reading and loving. Some of most favorite books were recommended on the Bar None thread....ah the days of yore!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2012 6:48:23 AM PST
Misfit says:
I can't wait until book three in the Leigh series. I adored Austin :)

The kindle selection for my library has a ton of her books, many of them western settings so I'm a happy camper. Love the new kindle library lending through Overdrive. Get a library book at 5AM on a Sunday morning. Instant gratification. Hard to find decent romances that really have a story and not just endless sex. Take a look at One Wore Blue, And One Wore Gray and And One Rode West. I finished off book two a few days ago. A bit of a let down from the first book, but still not bad. I'll be reading the third book eventually.

Mrs. Tom Thumb is good, but she's not necessarily the most sympathtic/likeable character, but I'd gather if you're born into a situation like that and dealing with fighting your way through it, I'd grow a pretty tough shell as well.

Posted on Jan 28, 2012 7:34:20 AM PST
@ Misfit - I have read Heather Graham's Civil War trilogy. It was very good. If you like American historical romance, you might want to try Pamela Clare's MacKinnon's Rangers books. They are set during the French and Indian wars in upstate New York. The books are available on kindle, so I think that they might be available for library lending. If you liked The Last of the Mohicans, I think that you may like these! The first book is Surrender (A MacKinnon's Rangers Novel)

Posted on Jan 30, 2012 7:49:09 AM PST
I am re-reading Sharon Kay Penman's Plantagenet trilogy and Welsh trilogy. Wow again! Love them! Due to whatever reasons, it is better the second time around! Good thread too, thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 8:18:17 AM PST
Elise says:
I recently finished SKP's Lionheart. The magic is still there, and I am now anxiously waiting for the sequel.

My favorite of all Penman novels is The Sunne in Splendor. The great thing about her is that she doesn't know how to write a mediocre HF novel. It doesn't matter which one you choose, they are all outstanding.

Posted on Jan 30, 2012 8:49:41 AM PST
JW says:
Thank you for starting this thread Misfit. I'm on an NF kick at the moment but will relish reading the posts until the drive for HF returns (probably about 3 more books). JW

Posted on Jan 30, 2012 10:14:53 AM PST
Selene says:
Just read Wallace Breem's The Legate's Daughter. I'm not sure why this novel never took off- it's wonderfully atmospheric, the characterisation is excellent and the mystery a challenging one which makes the reader really think (aha - maybe that's why it didn't take off!) I wonder if Lindsey Davis was inspired by this book- I can see the genesis of Marcus Didius Falco in Breem's Curtius Rufus.

Posted on Jan 30, 2012 10:57:18 AM PST
@ Selene - I really enjoyed The Legate's Daughter. I was so pleased to find another book by Wallace Breem with a Roman setting. I do see some similarities between Marcus Didius and Curtius Rufus, you may be on to something. Have you read Davis' The Course of Honour? I like it quite a bit both for the history and the romance!

Posted on Jan 30, 2012 1:01:45 PM PST
Misfit says:
I'm reading Roanoke Hundred by Inglis Fletcher. First in a long series on the settling of - you guessed it. Still in England with Sir Walter Raleigh and friends. Series info here,

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 4:32:35 PM PST
Beach Reader says:
I'm reading "The Van" by historical fiction author Lee Irby. Not the British Historical Fiction I normally read - this one is set in the U.S. in the 1960s-today, but it is a very fun read with wonderful romance and comedy
The Van

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 6:22:40 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 30, 2012 6:23:11 PM PST
Selene says:
Hi Mary Beth. I have read "Course of Honour", though it was a long time ago. I really enjoyed it and found it quite moving. I did struggle with Davis' hefty Rebels and Traitors though- way too much info-dumping, imo. I was pleased to see that she has a novel set in ancient Rome during Domitian's reign due for release this March, called "Master & God"- looking forward to that. Not sure if it's a standalone or the start of a new series at this point.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 7:38:09 PM PST
Selene - thank you for the heads up on Master & God. I will be watching for that one!

Posted on Jan 31, 2012 8:02:06 AM PST
Hi Misfit,

Let's see if we can get through this with no self-promotion! I just finished reading Caravans by Michener (I know, nothing new for this group) and it was fantastic although much shorter than other Michener books. I just ordered the first two books in Colleen McCullough's Rome series based on recommendation provided by your posts.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2012 8:52:04 AM PST
Elise says:
Oh, Stephen, if you have not read McCullough's Roman series, then you are in for a treat!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2012 9:02:08 AM PST
JW says:
Ditto that Elise. I read The Thornbirds and Tim because my friends swooned over them. I did not care for either book. However, McCullough's Roman series is quite a different story!

Stephen, do enjoy them and we would love to hear your impressions.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2012 9:42:04 AM PST
Misfit says:
I have Caravans on the pile somewhere. I have to be in the right mood for Michener and that hasn't happened yet.

I've heard a lot of good things about McCullough's Rome series, but that isn't a period that floats my boat.

It will be interesting to see if they try to get through the original post request and attempt it here. Time will tell :)

Posted on Feb 14, 2012 5:46:39 AM PST
Currently, I am reading Gift & the Promise by Sarah Pernell, a book which someone, Selene or Elise maybe, mentioned on the forum in another thread. The years around 1066 are one of my very favorite times to read about and I am loving this book. It was such a thrill to be recommended a book which I have not read and then find it to be quite excellent. So, thank you to the poster who suggested this.

Mary Beth

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2012 6:16:28 AM PST
Elise says:
Hi, Mary Beth:

I cannot take credit for the recommendation, but Gift & the Promise does sound interesting.

One of my favorite post-1066 HF novels is Elizabeth Chadwick's The Winter Mantle. If you have not yet read it, please give it a try. I don't think you will be disappointed!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2012 6:30:57 AM PST
@ Elise - I love Elizabeth Chadwick and I have read The Winter Mantle. Her book The Conquest was also a great read. Please keep the suggestions coming!

Mary Beth

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2012 10:30:11 AM PST
Misfit says:
I just adored Waltheoff. Have any of you tried Valerie Anand's Norman Conquest books? They're pretty spendy used, but I believe the libraries have them. I like what Anand did with Judith and Waltheoff, very different from Chadwick's take, but still fun.

The Norman Pretender
The Disputed Crown
King of the Wood

I'm currently reading Yankee Stranger ((The Williamsburg Series (Williamsburg Novels)) by Elswyth Thane. Second in her Williamsburg series. This one is set during the Civil War, the first one, Dawn's Early Light, is set during the Revolutionary war. Very good, although the family is so large right now all the cousins and cousins of cousins are a bit confusing. DEL and YS have recently been kindle-ized, but the libraries do have her books.

Posted on Feb 14, 2012 11:03:14 AM PST
Currently, I'm reading Raptor by Gary Jennings. I loved his Aztec & was anxious to read more of his novels. Only 100 pages in and I'm finding it quite different but good. I second the praises for McCullough Rome series.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2012 12:41:21 PM PST
Elise says:
Misfit, I loved Waltheoff, too. He was a honey according to Chadwick's version. I would have given Judith a run for her money if I'd lived then!

I have been harrassing my library system for the past couple of years about Valerie Anand. They have the first and third books of the Gildenford series, but not the second and fourth. What good is that?! It is one of the largest systems in my state, but sometimes I am just as surprised as what they do have on the shelves versus what they do not.

Donna, I also enjoyed Aztec -- reread it last year during a trip to several of the Mayan ruins in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, so I had that extra sense of place. I love those door-stop size reads when the story is so intriguing.

Posted on Feb 14, 2012 1:26:09 PM PST
Hi all,

I'm about half way through the first man in rome, and I love it! Thanks for the recommendation!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2012 1:26:42 PM PST
Misfit says:
Elise, ask them about interlibrary loan. This does go nationwide, and if your library doesn't participate get pushy and try harder :)

I've received books from all over the US, including Alaska. Even small libraries participate, I've had books from tiny Seaside Oregon and a Benedictine Abbey. Only one time was I asked to pay a fee, and that was a mighty rare book so I didn't begrudge it. According to WorldCat there are several libraries at the top of the list that have both the books you're wanting and I recognize that I know participate in ILL because I've received books from those library sytems before.
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Discussion in:  Historical Fiction forum
Participants:  100
Total posts:  360
Initial post:  Jan 28, 2012
Latest post:  Apr 17, 2014

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