When are You Now? (2015)
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I'm in post-war London filled with angst and jealousy over The End of the Affair.
I'm going back and forth between 1792 and the 1780s in The Whiskey Rebels.
Just crawled out of the mire of London in 1530 via Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel. Thank you, but I am just resting now.
Two stories of Afghani girls in 2007 and 100 years before
The Pearl that Broke Its Shell: A Novel. Very good but grim.
I'm currently in 1837 on the Fair Oaks Plantation with Mattie in Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim on Kindle at night and then in 1588 with Sir Francis Drake planning against the Armada attack in Elizabeth 1: A Novel by Margaret George in Hardcover during the day. It's my first time reading 2 Historical Fiction novels together.
I'm reading River God by Wilbur Smith, set in Ancient Egypt. It is the first in a series so there is a fair bit of setting up the story going on. So far the series has four books.
I'm in 1870s or so Berlin with Harry Flashman trying to vex Bismarck and get some royal nookie on the side in Flashman and the Tiger.
>12 Roro8: you might find this book to be a bit dry in places but the follow up book The Seventh Scroll is a much better book for having read The River God
In my opinion these are among the last good books by Wilbur Smith. I loved his early books but there are few that followed this series that I liked.....except maybe Monsoon
In in the 1840s in Denmark, reading Carsten Jensen's We, the Drowned.
You probably already know this, but Hillary Mantel in Wolf Hall has a lot to say about Anne.
And she says even more in Bring Up the Bodies. But of course Mantel writes fiction, though meticulously researched. Bordo is a feminist scholar who is apparently turning her hand to populist history. That may be unfair, but I'm wary of the description of Ann as England's "most notorious queen". Says who?
Says somebody with a tale to sell you on. Notoriety is a funny thing: for starters, it all to be very relative.
I am in 1702 in Japan, traveling the Tōkaidō Road with Cat. Really enjoying it so far!
I'm 270 pages (of 690) into We, the Drowned, and the book has proceeded as far as World War One. Denmark is neutral, but many of the Danish merchant sailors of the town of Marstal are being killed by German submarines.
I recently finished The Concubine, a realistic novel about Ann Boleyn and Henry VIII by Norah Lofts.
Also just finished a Regency romance, The Duchess and the Devil by Sydney Ann Clary, and an Edwardian romance, Only Love by Barbara Cartland.
I thought The Concubine bogged down a little, but otherwise enjoyed it.
The Duchess and the Devil was a fairly typical Regency, but the Hero was a little too unrelievedly brutal to the heroine and then, voila!, realizes the error of his ways.
Only Love was a sweet romance, but the Hero and Heroine had so little interaction, it was hard to believe they had actually fallen in love with each other!
Hanging out in the Paris literary scene of the 1830's with The Dream Lover.
1896 at the Chicago World's Fair in The Devil in the White City
>30 tess_schoolmarm:, just came from there a couple of months ago, interesting place. Not fiction, though. Parts of it will make you wish it was.
I am in Siena, Italy in the 21st century and the 14th century with Romeo and Juliet by Anne Fortier. It started a little slow, but now I can't put it down!
It is 1886 and I am on a small ranch in New Mexico. A man drifts into ranch and looks like an Apache warrior near death. His is a white man, father of Maggie Baldwin who is the wife of the rancher... the warrior is her father come to see her before he dies. Maggie's daughter, Lily, is abducted in an indian raid on the ranch. Samuel Jones, the father, goes on a quest to find Lily and return her to his daughter in the novel The Last Ride by Thomas Eidson.
This book has a bit more depth than most westerns I have read...quite an interesting read so far.
I am in 1584 on the border with Scotland in Scottish Ecstasy. So far, it is rather annoying...
I'm wandering in France in 1814 with Maj. Richard Sharpe, Capt. Fredrickson and the recently demoted Sgt. Harper, in quest of lost Napoleonic gold in the midst of the 100 days in Sharpe's Revenge.
Summer, 1546, Whitehall Palace, London. I haven't been reading much historical fiction lately, but yesterday I picked up Lamentation by C.J. Sansom, the 6th in the Matthew Shardlake mystery series, from the library and am racing through it. In this one, Henry's health is rapidly deteriorating, the vultures (in the form of his advisors on the religious conservative against the religious reformer sides) are circling to be in position to take control as regent once he is gone and his still young son is crowned, religious fervor on both extremes has reached a fever pitch, and Queen Catherine Parr is caught in a perilous place of her own making that could end with her being burned at the stake.
>37 varielle: you will love the book ... I only have 2 in the Sharpe series left to find and I will have read them all.
Left Tudor England (reluctantly) and am now in the Wild Wild American West with Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp and their women, their friends and their foes in Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral, by Mary Doria Russell.
I'm sometime between 2800 and 2500 before Christ, heading towards Uruk, gearing up to read Gilgamesh by Raoul Schrott.
I'm in Greece in the 6th century BC with The Praise Singer by Mary Renault.
>46 nrmay:, maybe I should look into that. I have Irish ancestors who came to Canada as a result.
Early America, about 1600's....reading an anthology of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Goodness! I can see I have forgotten to post here in a while!
After finishing The Praise Singer, I spent a little time in 16th century Scotland with Highland Surrender by Tracy Brogan.
Then I spent some time in Regency England with Faro's Daughter and The Toll-Gate by Georgette Heyer.
Then I went from 7500BC to nearly the present day in Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd. Very enjoyable saga!
Now, I am in 1st century BC Rome, Greece, Egypt and the Middle East with Antony and Cleopatra by Colleen MCullough. Having a hard time enjoying this one, though...
Oh! The Falco series is pretty darn wonderful, isn't it!
I'm in 1850s NYC, deep in the dirty politics of Tammany Hall and listening to the insanely enraged yet eerily familiar rhetoric against immigrants, women's rights and African-Americans, and fighting crime with Timothy Wilde, the first detective in the city's first official police force ("the copper stars"), and his profligate yet charismatic brother Valentine, in The Fatal Flame by Lyndsay Faye.
I'm in London, following Tom Neave, the Plague Child (by Peter Ransley), while Charles I and Parliament are having a tense face-off over royal prerogatives and the rights of the common people; yes, it's the period immediately prior to the English Civil War. Plague Child is the first in a trilogy, and it paints a vivid picture of the turmoil of the times and the antagonism that existed between the aristocracy and the commoners, a lot of them newly converted to Puritanism. Already looking forward to the next volume in the series.
1803 in Shropshire, England and departing soon for France.
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
In England, suffering all kinds of atrocities during the war between Stephen and Maud in The Siege Winter by Diana Norman aka Ariana Franklin.
I have moved into 1493 with The Borgia Betrayal by Sara Poole. Great story-telling!
Now in late 1493, still in Rome, with The Borgia Mistress by Sara Poole.
I'm in the Western U.S. in the first decade of the 20th century, schlepping around trying to catch a nefarious, blood-thirsty bank robber known as the Butcher Bandit. In fact, I'm in San Francisco, and I just had dinner in the exclusive Bohemian Club, and Caruso was there, so I have a bad feeling there's an earthquake nigh. Yep, you guessed it . . . . Clive Cussler. I'm reading The Chase, the first book in Cussler's Isaac Bell series.
I'm in Yorkshire, England in 1937 in All Creatures Great and Small on audio, by Jamse Herriott.
I'm in Yorkshire, England in 1937 in All Creatures Great and Small on audio, by James Herriott.
fyi - you can use the "Edit" link under a message you've posted to fix it.
#71 - thanks Cecrow, sorry about all the duplicates, usually I have no problem editing, but for some reason it won't let me delete them this time! Grr!
>74 TheFlamingoReads:, you're just a few months ahead of me, I'm getting to it soon with the same hopes.
I am in 1351 in Wales after the Pestilence (bubonic plague) with Elise and Gwydion in Nectar from a Stone by Jane Guill. Enjoying it so far!
It's August 1943, a Japanese death camp for captured Australian and allied soldiers who are slave labor constructing the Burma RR as described by Richard Flanagan in A Narrow Road to the Deep North.
If you like Chinese historical fiction, I highly recommend The Palace of Heavenly Pleasures. Adam Williams has written a pretty good account of what it might have been like to live in China during the Boxer Rebellion in the 1890's. Lots of atmosphere, action, betrayal, plot twists. Give it more than a 100 page look as the book starts slow at first but takes off like a rocket the further you go.
I'm in 1820 Chile with Richard Sharpe and Patrick Harper trying to rescue a buddy and free Chile from Spanish rule in Sharpe's Devil.
Finished a saga that took me from 1830s to early 20th C Smokey Mtns and the Cherokee Nation, covering Trail of Tears and opening of the area to the RR. I disliked Charles Frazier's most famous Civil War novel and never finished it, thinking it was facile and contrived. Glad I gave him a second chance because Thirteen Moons is original, character driven, and full of fascinating historical detail. At times Frazier indulged in gushing descriptions of the natural history, but that can be overlooked.
Am about to embark on another trip into the 19th C. but it will be in China and the American West as I read Thousand Pieces of Gold, my LTER book for July.
I am now in WWII, mostly in the Pacific Theatre reading War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk. This is my third book by Mr. Wouk. I like reading his stories. Very informative, well written stories and characters. This one grabbed me in the first chapter... 100 pages in and almost 1500 to go....great.
Late 1800s San Antonio area, with Gus and Call and a slew of cattle in Lonesome Dove.
1960s Japan with a disillusioned new father who sees his dreams being sacrificed to the needs of his son.
I'm in the Black Hills of South Dakota in the 1870s looking for stolen Confederate gold, reading Sudden Country by Loren Estelman.
I could not finish War and Remembrance I sort of lost interest after 200 pages. There are too many sub-plots in this book and then there is a sort of historical aside presented many times... the asides are interesting in explanation but distract you from the story.... it is a novel after all.
I'm still slogging through a miserable civil war in John Brown's Body. Will it never end?
A mining town in the 1870s where there's no longer one, much less a Thousand Pieces of Gold.
In sixteenth century Scotland with Francis Crawford. For the third time.
It's 1922, Cairo, and my persona is an 11-year-old girl who, as one of Sally Beauman's The Visitors, is destined to witness the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb.
I am in the Caribbean in the early 18th century with Anne Bonny in Sea Star. I'm not sure if the author intentionally made me dislike Anne Bonny or not, but she certainly isn't very likable in this story!
I'm in the early 14th century in the north of England getting ready to do battle with Robert the Bruce in The Fickle Tides of Treason by Jerry Bennett.
1770's in Brooklyn, New York with the Tories and the Sam Adam's Boys in New York.
I'm in the Dublin General Post Office during the 1916 Easter Uprising via A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle.
Mostly Montana and California as we follow Charlie Russell and his wife around in the early 20th century in Behind every man : the story of Nancy Cooper Russell
I'm in Cornwall in 1794 with Ross Poldark and Demelza and the gang in The Black Moon.
I'm in mid-nineteenth century India in Shadow of the Moon by M. M. Kaye.
I'm in London with Queen Elizabeth and Grace O'Malley in The Wild Irish by Robin Maxwell
>91 Storeetllr: Winds of War was the first of that series by Wouk. I did not read that one. But I did read Caine Mutiny and I was very happy with that book as can be seen by my review. But then there was more focus to the story. His writing style is great but it was just that there were too many subplots in War and Remembrance for me to handle ... I started to mix up the characters at one point
I just finished reading Comanche Dawn by Mike Blakely. It is a very well written story of the introduction of horses to America in the 1690's and the birth of the Comanche nation. I highly recommend it. You learn a bit of Indian culture and it is not just a gun slinger western.
Britain, WWI era with The Dust that Falls From Dreams by Louis De Bernieres.
I'm reading to Ipswich, England, in the years just after World War II while flashbacking to the Polish countryside during the war, via 22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson.
I just finished Elizabeth Bathory: A Memoire: As Told by Her Court Master, Benedict Deseö by Kimberly L. Craft. Not the best writing, but a different take on the Blood Countess. It takes place in the early 17th century in Hungary.
I've now just begun to read The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga by Edward Rutherford. It begins in the 5th century and ends in present-day Ireland.
I am in south central Louisiana, along the banks of the Bayou Teche, around the turn of the 20th century, reading The Gentle Bush by Barbara Giles.
200 years after the building of Kingsbridge Cathedral in World Without End. Not a lot of substance here but it really moves along.
Last night I was 1930's Edinburgh. Today I am Chicago 1920 with The Paris Wife. Didn't take me long to nip over there!
I am now in Munich and Vienna, circa 1949, reading The One from the Other, the fourth in Philip Kerr's fantastic Bernie Gunther noir series.
I'm in Cornwall in 1792 with Ross Poldark and the gang in Warleggan, by Winston Graham.
>124 rabbitprincess: rabbitprincess: Oh Poldark! You dark heartbreaker you!! Haha. I watched the original series on TV (showing my age now lol) It was so much better than the one they had on this year. Or maybe I'm just old fashioned and thought the original held much more romanticism. That said, I never read anything for it's romantic value but do love a bit of GOOD historical fiction with a love story woven in.
>125 TheGingerDetective:: My wife and I both agree! If that shows age then we're right with you!!!
>126 ulmannc: ulmannc: Let's call it 'fabulous maturity' from now on :)
Also in Cornwall, 1780s, with Ross Poldark. I got hooked by the current TV series.
>127 TheGingerDetective: Excellent set of terms! We will start using that immediatly rather than the 'new middle age.' It's more positive!!
>124 rabbitprincess: >125 TheGingerDetective: >128 nrmay:
I have read the first 5 books in the Poldark series. I am a guy and don't generally like romance type novels but Winston Graham has a lot more going for him in this series. I read only used books which makes it fun hunting for them. I liked all of the novels so far and just finished The Black Moon which I think is the best in the series ... so far.
nrmay You must read these books in order and you have started correctly. You would never understand the undercurrents of the many stories in these novels if you don't. You will be immersed in the life in Cornwall in the 1790's... both gentry, gentry wannabe, the lowly peasant. The description in his novels is so good you feel you are there.
Take my advice and don't read them all at once... cleanse your mind with another book or two between Poldark reads... you will appreciate his wrinting more IHMO.
I have the next in the series - The Four Swans - but still have to find The Angry Tide , The Stranger from the Sea and the Twisted Sword for the complete set... I have the other books.
Yeah, there is romance in this series from several sources but it is not gratuitous leaving much to the imagination, and it does not get in the way of excellent stories. If I can make a comparison, it would be like reading the Wilbur Smith Courtney series before he became really popular in the mid 1990's (when he entered his T&A era).
>130 Lynxear: I also enjoy the descriptions of ships and life in the ports! Almost finished book 4 and will wait until the new year to read book 5. Then my mum and I will have to acquire more of the books!
>131 nrmay: It gets better and better with each book
>132 rabbitprincess: The 5th novel The Black Moon is in my opinion the BEST novel of the series so far IMHO. No Spoilers but this book has romance/religion mixed as well as a very good action section. I will be starting The Four Swans in the first weeks of Dec.
1995 Italy trying to write a biography about the publisher of a crypto-newspaper that will exist only to publish innuendo and conspiracy at the request of a corrupt Italian businessman who wants to use the faux editions for purposes of blackmailing and intimidation of government officials in order to gain access to government and get political favors for himself.
Wheels within wheels are making me dizzy while I listen/read an audiobook that I guess does not exist, either, although it's titled Numero Zero and the writer is the still living Umberto Eco.
1803 in Boston with the rousing adventure Curse of the Blue Tattoo, 2nd in the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer.
About an orphan girl on the streets of London who diguises herself as a boy and goes to sea with the Royal Navy.
I'm glad you're liking The Pearl that Broke Its Shell. Did you also read One Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini? I also liked Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher and The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis. I have a horrified fascination with the lives of women in the Middle East.
For non-fiction there's The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg.
>136 nrmay: No, I haven't read the books you've mentioned but will check them out. I really haven't delved into fiction set in the Middle East, but The Pearl That Broke Its Shell is very good and whetting my appetite for more.
Update: I've wish listed all the books you've mentioned >136 nrmay: after checking them out, so I won't forget about them. Thanks for the recommendations!
>135 Limelite:, Umberto Eco is excellent and I've read a few by him, that one's escaped me so far but I'll keep watching for it.
I'm a huge fan of Eco -- my two favorite being "Rose" and Baudolino. "Pendulum" requires a re-read because I read it when far too young and it went over my head. I was very disappointed with The Prague Cemetery, probably because Zionist conspiracy theories fail to interest me, and I didn't finish it.
Of course, conspiracy theories are Eco's specialty. But this time there's no there there -- no plot that moves forward by action and motivation from the main character; there's no character development, only mouthpieces; there's no real story present, just items that rear their head furnishing Eco the opportunity to make his "hero's" foil (the hero is really the foil's sounding board -- a role reversal), or another secondary character to deliver a pedantic monologue. Half way thru -- it's blessedly short -- and I feel like I'm reading a novel treatment that's gotten out of hand. Can't rec.
I am headed for 1702 feudal Japan in the novel The Tokaido Road by Lucia St. Clair Robson
Wow... this is my second book by Lucia St. Clair Robson and I-cannot-put-it down. The Tokaido Road is a chase adventure. The heroine - Cat - is the illegitimate daughter of a lord, she was sold into life as a geisha after his death. But when there is an attempt on her life she escapes that life, bent on traveling from Edo to Kyoto on foot along the Tokaido road where she wants to rally supporters of her father and exact revenge for his death. She is a courtesan who knows little of a simple life as a peasant. She doesn't even know how to bargain with street vendors for food and she must evade the police of the day and is being chased by a ronin hired to capture her.
IF your are a fan of life in Japan of the 1700's, you owe it to yourself to read this amazing book. The major AND minor characters are so well developed... this book is a joy to read, especially if you want details that make you feel as though you are in the scenes.
I am on the last 150 pages of The Tokaido Road and don't want the story to end. I like the detail of life in feudal Japan in 1700's, I like the problems that the heroine, Cat, has to solve to stay alive, I really like the contrast between her and her peasant companion, Kasane, on the trip and how their relationship changes to true friendship, I like the action scenes when Cat faces multiple adversaries and defeats them with ease, I like the subtle humour in the story as Cat expresses frustration for whatever reason...you are really in her head, finally I like her adversary ronin, Hanshiro, as he changes his opinion of her as he tracks her along the road and his frustrations now as he wants to come to her aid but cannot seem to catch up to her.
It is such a complete novel... there are few reviews on this book and one that is very negative. I don't know what the reviewer's taste in books is but certainly it is not in reading a riveting story :)
Question in re the Tokaido novel: Is it illustrated? The famous Japanese artist, Ando Utagawa Hiroshige, did a series of woodcuts entitled "53 Stations of the Tokaido Road."
> 147 There are map illustrations in the front of the paperback, one of which traces the route from Edo to Kyoto and the stations along the way. This is useful in that you can see what stage of the journey that Cat is at.
I would love to see the wood cuts in the book but in a paperback they would be too small. Perhaps a hardcover version of the book might have them but I doubt it.
I skipped ahead to read the author's note and she mentions the artist that you pointed out. Apparently there was a Lord Asano who some claim had a daughter and some who said not... the book's author says she took a middle ground saying he had a daughter by a second wife... so Cat is totally fictional BUT apparently the arch enemy, Lord Kira who was defeated and lost his head for it was real.
Knowing that there exists a series of wood cuts of the 53 Stations of the Tokaido road... I will try to find them... the descriptions in the book of each station are quite well done and a picture of the station would fill the void.
Thanks for pointing this out to me
Finished and reviewed The Tokaido Road I don't have to repeat how much I liked the book. I have read 2 novels by Lucia St. Clair Robson... I WILL read a lot more of her writing... she is an outstanding writer.
For a change of pace my next novel will be a post apocalyptic one by John Birmingham titled Without Warning
So much for Without Warning... did not pass the 100 page read test... I am returning to the next in the Poldark series by Winston Graham reading The Four Swans
I'm back in ancient Rome with the detective Falco and his contrary family in Saturnalia.
It's 1862. I am sitting by the Tennessee River in western Tennessee, "wishin I was fishin", instead of being stuck in the Confederate army.
>154 Don_C._Kean: What is the name of the book and how do you like it?
Having finished Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series, I thought I'd end the year by picking up the story a generation later with Robert Fabbri's Vespasian series, so I'm in 25AD in the The Crossroads Brotherhood
>156 JP000:, the whole series? Nice! Other reviews suggest to me it has diminishing returns over its course and that only the first three or four are really worth reading. I have the first three on the TBR pile.
In the early 15th century, starting on the road to knightly advancement with Georgette Heyer's Simon the Coldheart.
1926 NYC. O'Keeffe and Stieglitz living in the Shelton Hotel, courtesy Gerogia's successful exhibition in his new gallery, The Room.
>157 Cecrow:, I really liked the whole series, and enjoyed books 3 and 5 the most. The whole series covers 4 generations and 3 different periods of Roman history. There is a bit of overlap but the first 2 1/2 books cover the time of Marius and Sulla, then the time of The First Triumvirate's up to the middle of the 6th book, then The Second Triumvirate's to the end of the 7th book. I can imagine a lot of readers loosing interest as the story slows down and builds into the next period. Also at 1000 or so pages per book it's worth pacing yourself.
I was actually sorry to finish the series, so it was great to find the Vespasian series which looks like it covers an interesting period of Roman history, and starts at a time when the children at the end of the Masters of Rome are the rulers of Rome. I enjoyed the first novella, so I have high hopes for this series.
>161 JP000:, thanks for that overview. Pretty nifty that you can find another series pretty much where this one leaves off.
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