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Best Historical Fiction you've read recently


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Initial post: Jul 16, 2008 8:00:46 AM PDT
Carma says:
Thought I would start a new topic. Reading "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak right now. I've been on an historical kick for a few years now. This is the best I've read in a long time.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2008 5:40:08 AM PDT
Southern gal says:
I'm reading Shades of Gray by Jessica James, set during the Civil War. Awesome!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2008 8:18:46 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 18, 2008 8:19:12 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2008 8:58:02 AM PDT
The best historical fiction I've read lately was "Beyond Dancing" by Anita Bloom Ornoff about her struggle to get well deserved Veteran's Bernifits following service in the Army Auxillary before it became the WACs [Women's Army Corps]

Another great book about women's service in WWII is SKIES OVER SWEETWATER. Check them out.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2008 10:27:02 AM PDT
MVA says:
Larry Kimport's A SMALL HARVEST OF PRETTY DAYS. An 1890's love story that ropes in Huck Finn, at 50 or so, to boot!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2008 11:13:51 AM PDT
Condorena says:
The Thousand Hour Day by w. S. Kuniczak an almost poetical description of the downfall of Poland in the beginning of WWII, the first 1000 hours of World War II and the tragedy of it all.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2008 3:48:36 PM PDT
MONTGOMERY says:
ANY HUMAN HEART - William Boyd

Written in diary form, this book describes the life and times of Logan Gonzago Mountstuart, born in 1906 in Montevideo to an English father and his Uruguayan wife, who later moves with his family to England just before the First World War, and takes the reader from the 1920s to the 1990s.

This is an incredible, thoroughly engaging book which gives the reader entree into the ups and downs, the fullness of a man's life who travelled widely and knew many of the literary, social and artistic notables of the century (e.g. Picasso, Virginia Wolff, Hemingway, and Jackson Pollack). I enjoyed this book so much I almost hated for it to end!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2008 3:13:24 PM PDT
K. Frank says:
The Book Thief is an excellent book. However, I was surprised that it was written for and is marketed to young readers. It is one of the most emotionally devastating books I have read and I would recommend that parents be aware of the content before passing it off to their children to read. It deals with the topic of the holocaust in a sophisticated and sensitive way and I do recommend it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2008 4:42:33 PM PDT
ash says:
Given the amount of violence and horror kids see in movies and tv (there were little kids at Dark Knight for gods sakes) they might not bat an eye reading this I was learning about the Holocaust from the time I was eight or so, so I am no judge. I do suspect tho that with adult help, the book would be appropriate for some Jr Hi readers, certainly HS.

It is quite well done, and even if you are like me and have read more than enough holocaust lit to last lifetimes, its one to read.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2008 9:34:53 AM PDT
kjm says:
I just finished The Grail Quest Series by Bernard Cornwell. It takes place during the 100's war. Interesting insights to the time period. Cornwell has a great ability to bring to life a cetain period. I believe his strongest talent in doing this is creating characters that obviously do not think the same way as "modern people" do. I really don't like historical fiction that has characters that seem more attune to the 21st century, then to lets say the 14th!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2008 9:06:44 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 27, 2008 9:11:02 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2008 9:11:40 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 27, 2008 9:12:00 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2008 6:55:01 AM PDT
Panzon says:
"White Doves at Morning", (Civil War)
by James Lee Burke.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2008 5:39:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 31, 2008 5:40:23 PM PDT
Just finished reading Derek Armstrong's, "Song of Montsegur: The Last Troubadour"....very enjoyable read about the 13th century Cathar Inquisition...Don't let the Tarot card theme discourage you....I don't know much about Tarot cards myself...The characters.... the good and bad of them are interesting and they all have their flaws.....The Cathar philosophy is gently weaved into the story....this is the first of three books...the 2nd volume "The Last Quest"is to be released in October 08'....

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2008 7:25:36 PM PDT
Cluggee says:
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian is far and away one of the best books I've read, let alone historical fiction.
I am working through Book 15 of Aubrey/Maturin. Six more to go!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 12:35:27 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 4, 2008 12:37:31 PM PDT
Stace says:
I have to agree with Carma. "The Book Thief" is a must read for anyone interested in books around the time of the Holocaust. The characters will capture your heart.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 1:46:49 PM PDT
I have this book on my TBR list. I just finished "The Last Queen" by C.W. Gortner; it's truly marvelous. It's haunting, evocative and full of great details that never intrude on the pace of the narrative; a very polished novel about Juana la Loca, Catherine of Aragon's sister. If you like Sharon Penman's historical fiction, you'll love this one. He's an intelligent writer who respects his reader, and he avoids formula.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 10:10:02 PM PDT
I have been trying to support independently published authors, and three works I can recommend are "Confederate War Bonnet," "High Spirits, A Tale of Ghostly Rapping," and "To the End of the Earth." Each of these are well written and thoroughly researched.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2008 7:59:55 AM PDT
The Lymond Chronicles - by Dorothy Dunnett, starting off with "The Game of Kings"
Although beware, it's a challenging read, but oh so rewarding.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2008 8:24:37 AM PDT
Misfit says:
*bangs head* How could I forget The Lymond Chronicles? Very very good read. I'm looking forward to The Last Queen, it's in a preorder with Penman's Devil's Brood so I won't see it until October.

I'm currently working on the second of the series in Dumas' take on the French Revolution and Marie Antoinette. Very good. In order (I think I've got it right), Joseph Balsamo/Memoirs of a Physician/The Queen's Necklace/Taking the Bastile, The Countess De Charney and The Knights of the Maison Rouge.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 8, 2008 7:05:17 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 8, 2008 7:07:05 AM PDT
96Lily says:
As far as Cornwell's Grail/100-Years-War series, I agree - I think that it is very revealing and accurate to show that Thomas doesn't pay much attention to rape and slaughter, and has participated in his fair share of it, as an expected part of soldiering --- probably an authentic mindset for even the best of soldiers, at the time.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 8, 2008 5:59:01 PM PDT
I prefer the more domestic historical fiction. Big fan of "And Ladies of the Club" by Helen Hooven Santmyer, "Gone With the Wind" of course, and "The Child from the Sea" by Elizabeth Goudge about King Charles II and Lucy Walter. And I keep trying to write my own historical fiction.

Tyler R. Tichelaar
www.MarquetteFiction.com

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 8, 2008 7:26:27 PM PDT
I'm working my way through Cornwell's Sharpe series in chronological order and thoroughly enjoying myself - am up to Sharpe's Battle. Have been surprised at how well written they are. However, perhaps I shouldn't have read them back to back, since he has a couple of pieces he repeats in every book - e.g. the piece about how to load a musket/rifle (in detail). But it doesn't detract too much from the pace of the action, which I like. I also like the way he includes an historical note at the end of each book, quoting his sources, and detailing what's fact and what's fiction.

Have also just finished Cornwell's Last Kingdom (Alfred the Great), which I thoroughly enjoyed, and am waiting for the next in the series. Meanwhile Valerie Fitzgerald's Zemindar is sitting in my TBR pile for when I get fed up of blood and guts!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2008 11:23:23 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 9, 2008 11:25:28 AM PDT
Selene says:
Plenty of blood and guts during the Indian Mutiny, Cherie! Have you read MM Kaye's "Shadow of the Moon"? Another excellent novel set during the Indian Mutiny period.
And getting on in age now, but still a good read; John Masters "Nightrunners of Bengal".

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2008 6:31:26 PM PDT
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Discussion in:  Historical Fiction forum
Participants:  793
Total posts:  3531
Initial post:  Jul 16, 2008
Latest post:  Apr 17, 2014

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