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Old 11-15-2007, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,467 posts, read 11,536,556 times
Reputation: 885

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I really enjoy historical fiction. Books that I have enjoyed in the past include Devil in the White City.... OK, now I'm blanking on the others. This being said, I'm a doctoral student and have a lot of heavy reading, so I like pretty easy reads. Any suggestions are appreciated!
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Old 11-15-2007, 05:57 PM
 
500 posts, read 982,569 times
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Devil in the White City is actually a history book, not fiction.

I liked:

The Camulod Chronicles by Jack Whyte
Labyrinth by Mosse
Pride of Carthage by Durham
Ironfire by Ball
the Julius Caesar series by Iggulden
Genghis: Birth of an Empire by Iggulden
The Religion by Willocks
Gates of Fire by by Pressfield
Pillars of the Earth/World Without End by Follett
Jeff Shaara
The Terror by Simmons, although there is definitely some non-realism in that one...
Tree of Smoke by Johnson (New NBA winner)
Michener
The Air We Breathe by Barrett
Alienist by Carr


all right, that's all I can see on the shelf by my desk.
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Old 11-16-2007, 03:28 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,684,372 times
Reputation: 19997
These are my favourites :

Any books by

Lindsey Davis ( Roman mysteries under Vespasian)
Peter Tremayne ( Fantastic series set in Dark Ages Ireland)
CJ Sansom ( 3 books so far , all brilliantly written set during the dissolution of the monasteries)
Steven Saylor ( Rome under Sulla/ excellent)
Michael Jecks ( Medieval mysteries)
Susanna Gregory ( Set in Cambridge during and after the great plague)
Edward Marston ( Set during the Norman Conquest)
Rosemary Rowe ( Roman England)
PC Doherty ( medieval mysteries, brilliant)
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:36 AM
 
Location: in the southwest
13,394 posts, read 41,895,735 times
Reputation: 13315
I will second The Devil in White City (murder and the Chicago World's Fair), as well as The Camolud Chronicles, though sometimes Whyte's writing, as the series goes on, gets a bit dry (Arthurian England, how it evolved from the Romans).

Some I've enjoyed:
Connie Willis's The Doomsday Book (the Plague, England)

Mary Stewart's Merlin series I have read and reread this series for years and years. She paints a vivid, realistic picture, and tells King Arthur's story from Merlin's point of view, as he grows from boy to man to older man.

Zoe Oldenbourg specialized in medieval France; her books are page-turners, the characters feel real to me.

Last but not least, this is one of my favorite books, ever:
Suite Francaise
World War II France.
This is fiction based on fact; and Nemirovsky wrote it as it was happening. It is darkly humorous, poignant prose, with images that penetrate the reader's mind.
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:53 AM
 
500 posts, read 982,569 times
Reputation: 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by cil View Post
The Camolud Chronicles, though sometimes Whyte's writing, as the series goes on, gets a bit dry

Oi, can it ever. His dialogue bugs the hell outta me, but the guy can write a fight scene.

Gotta second the Suite Francaise, too. Beautiful.

Here's another I loved: Fires in the Dark. Gypsies in the Holocaust, with some of the best characters I've come across.

Also, please, for your own good, read Sky Burial. Chinese woman roaming Tibet alone for 30 years looking for signs of her lost husband after China invaded... ubelievably beautiful.
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Old 11-16-2007, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,467 posts, read 11,536,556 times
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Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,194 posts, read 25,434,882 times
Reputation: 3875
Josephine Tey's "Daughter of Time," both detective story and historical fiction about Richard III is among my favourites.
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,194 posts, read 25,434,882 times
Reputation: 3875
I too have read and re-read Stewart's Merlin series, and highly recommend
Irene-Nemirovsky's Suite. Big thanks to her daughter(s) for rescuing it from possible oblivion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cil View Post
I will second The Devil in White City (murder and the Chicago World's Fair), as well as The Camolud Chronicles, though sometimes Whyte's writing, as the series goes on, gets a bit dry (Arthurian England, how it evolved from the Romans).

Some I've enjoyed:
Connie Willis's The Doomsday Book (the Plague, England)

Mary Stewart's Merlin series I have read and reread this series for years and years. She paints a vivid, realistic picture, and tells King Arthur's story from Merlin's point of view, as he grows from boy to man to older man.

Zoe Oldenbourg specialized in medieval France; her books are page-turners, the characters feel real to me.

Last but not least, this is one of my favorite books, ever:
Suite Francaise
World War II France.
This is fiction based on fact; and Nemirovsky wrote it as it was happening. It is darkly humorous, poignant prose, with images that penetrate the reader's mind.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-17-2007, 04:43 AM
 
Location: in the southwest
13,394 posts, read 41,895,735 times
Reputation: 13315
Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheroad View Post
Josephine Tey's "Daughter of Time," both detective story and historical fiction about Richard III is among my favourites.
You know, I think this was one of the first historical fiction novels I ever read.
My dad had the paperback, and I picked it up and became immersed.

Another author I have enjoyed is Mary Renault, who specialized in ancient Greece. Her book "The Persian Boy" made those times come alive for me. Her characterization of Alexander the Great was astounding. I have read her nonfiction, too.

Edward Rutherford has written some ambitious historical books, he follows James Michener's pattern of taking a particular place and covering it, in sweeping style, from prehistory onward.
Example: Rutherford's "Sarum" covers the Stonehenge area from the early days of man on into the building of the cathedral at Salisbury.

To me, Rutherford and Michener, while their works are epic and cover a lot of ground, are more "beach style" reads.
Their characterizations never absorb me the way Mary Stewart's or Renault's do.
However, these authors do portray a sense of place and time.
I especially enjoyed James Michener's "Hawaii," because I really did learn a lot of background info.
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