Historical Fiction Reads

Recently I’ve had several conversations in which the topic of historical fiction came up, spurring me to this list of few historical fiction novels I’ve really enjoyed in hopes that you might enjoy them, too 🙂 (click on each picture to learn more about the book)

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As I finished this post, I realized there are two Hemingway related books here and thus confess to being fascinated with Hemingway since I read A Moveable Feast followed by a few of his short stories. These two books address women in Hemingway’s life–his Kryptonite, if you will–and, while they’re both historical fiction, I feel like these stories let the reader get to know the man behind the legend. If you’re interested, I’d recommend you read A Moveable Feast by Hemingway himself then read these two books–it all comes together so well, such satisfying reads.

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Such a good read–with a surprising twist!

 

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The first book about the Holocaust that I finished. I was speechless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And last, but oh-so-far-from-least, is my all time favorite, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Best series ever. There is simply no comparison to Jamie and Claire’s story. *sigh*

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Read a Romance Month: Bonus

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I decided to put a specific spin on the book challenge I’ve been tagged in on Facebook  a couple times lately and thought it’d be fun to post it here as well. In a last hurrah celebration of this year’s Read a Romance Month, I’m going to expand on this past post and list 10 a buncha romance books/authors I’ve enjoyed, remembered and sometimes even re-read. Yes, it’s an excuse to talk about Jamie and Claire, yet again…and Nora Roberts books..and…

*Outlander by Diana Gabaldon— the book, yes, but also the entire eight book series. Jamie and Claire *sigh* are the sterling couple of the romance book world, the measuring stick all fictional relationships aspire to. I never tire of reading about their world.

 *The In-Death Series by J.D.Robb-the alter ego of Nora Roberts (see next in this list). Each book is a compelling romance mystery story as super cop Eve kicks ass while super thief-turned-billionaire Roarke pursues and cares for her. Roarke’s devotion to Eve is as good as it gets in the romance book world–just after Jamie’s devotion to Claire in the above mentioned Outlander series.

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*Born-In Trilogy by Nora Roberts— I read anything Nora writes and usually enjoy every story. The Born In Trilogy was my first Nora re-read. Upon that re-read, I realized the reason why I particularly liked this story was the friendships–not just the couple’s relationship. Nora has a beautiful knack of showing deep friendships among the characters, giving off a warm, inviting feeling, a true feeling of family.

 *Beach House No. 9 series by Christie Ridgway--each of these books focuses on one of a trio of battered war weary men–a journalist/writer, a combat medic and a photojournalist–and the women who find themselves wanting to bring these guys peace at home. No place better for love than Beach House No. 9.

 *Sugar Springs Trilogy by Kim Law-a small town scene where three couples find their way to forever love despite–and maybe even because of–small town gossip and lack of privacy. Pure fun, all three of these.

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 *Seasons of Love series by Jennifer Gracen–a four part series that follows a story of finding a new love and learning to trust again. I adore Sam and Lydia’s story and eagerly await the next installment. Two of the four books are out and two are highly anticipated, coming soon!

 *The Sullivans series by Bella Andre-each book follows the story of a Sullivan family member as they find their own happily ever after. The family connections are as much fun to read about as the evolving of the couple’s relationship.

 

*The Kowalskis by Shannon Stacey-Fun and engaging, the Kowalski family plays hard and loves deeply. Each story is a treat.

The list could go on and on, but these series make up a big list of great stories, so I’ll stop there for now. I hope you’ll check out some of these for your next romance reads–if you haven’t read them already. Do come back and tell me how you liked them!

 As always, I’d love to hear about what you’re reading lately. (comment here or pop over to Facebook and join the conversation!)

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Read a Romance Month: Page Two 

Read a Romance Month: Page Three

Outlander…On Screen!?

I know I’ve mentioned that I’m a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novel series—if you’ve been around me in person or online much at all, you’ve heard many times over. I first read Outlander over ten years ago and have been hooked on the series since. The books now number eight main titles with several smaller novels/novellas woven in and around the story. I really think you’ll find the story worth your time–just try the first one…see what ya think.

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While I know many fans have wished for a movie or tv series version of Outlander for a long time, I was not one of those folks. I’ve been supremely content with Jamie and Claire’s story in the books, giving no thought to tv or movie. I remain supremely content with the books, however…there is this buzz.

I dismissed all the buzz about an Outlander tv series until Diana Gabaldon herself said a deal was in the works and she was optimistic and confident Ron Moore would do justice to the Outlander story. I noted that, felt a flicker of interest but still went on less than enthused and not sure I’d bother to watch. Until now.

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When it comes to books made into tv shows or movies, I’ve always been able to enjoy both—viewing them separately, one or the other has never spoiled one or the other for me, so to speak. That being said, I still wasn’t really interested a screen adaptation of Outlander. Yet.

When Diana herself screened the first episode, then told us she was pleased and that it is her belief that we would love it, then I paid attention. If the CREATOR of Jamie and Claire’s world liked the adaptation, how in the world could I not give it a go?!?

This month the beloved saga makes its television debut and what a debut it has been already. Outlander fans everywhere are amazed with the production Ron Moore and his team have given us with Episode One. Up until now I have clarified that I’m a fan of Diana’s and of her books—after seeing Episode One, I must say I’m a fan of the Outlander tv series as well. Well done, folks, well done!

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I’m eagerly awaiting Episode Two and having a fun time chatting about all of it with other fans—social media was made for this kind of fun stuff!

Have you heard of Outlander? The book? The tv series? Have you read or watched either? Do tell…

 

Read a Romance Month: Page One

**I have expanded this post in detail here–check it out 🙂 **

Apparently August is ‘Read a Romance Month’ out in the bookish world. Who knew?!?

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Being that romance novels are a particular favorite of mine, this is my world most every month/week/day. That being said, I figured ‘Read a Romance Month’ is as good a time as any to talk about favorite books and authors that fall into the romance genre.

In my experience, romance novels range from stories that focus on the developing relationship and include some of the world around the couple involved to quick-fall-in-love-and-lust-stories that steam up the page/screen. I typically like them all at some time or another, depending on my current reading mood.

My favorite series of all time falls into romance and a whole host of other genres at the same time: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. All eight books—yep, you read it right…eight books. *sigh* I can’t do the saga justice, but will say that I think the story of Jamie and Claire, and all that is them, is epic. Simply epic. outlander

Nora Roberts/JD Robb is another particular favorite of mine. I’ve enjoyed her books time and again—the romances, the series, the stand alone novels. Some I love, some I like, all I’ve enjoyed. There are far too many to name, but off-hand my favorites include the In Death series (JD Robb) and the Irish Born In trilogy. Eve and Roarke from the In Death series rank as number two on my all time favorite fiction couples list–just behind Jamie and Claire.

Those two authors had to be acknowledged and forever documented (yet again and will be again). Top o’ my list, they.

Most recently, I’ve been devouring fun, what some call ‘beach reads’, that are let’s wrangle-this-attraction-despite-complicated-lives-and-make-happily-ever-after stories:

Bella Andre—The Sullivans series. So many interesting characters.

Christie Ridgway—I started with the Beach House #9 series, so good.

Shannon Stacey- The Kowalski family is fun, loving group to follow.

 

Are you a romance reader? What pages have you been turning lately—do tell?

 

 

Wonderful Ways of Reading and Latest Reads O’ Mine

Just look what Santa TOTALLY surprised me with this Christmas:

Yep, a Sony eReader!  The picture to the left is the sweet lit’l cover that came with it while the picture to the right is what’s found when the cover is opened. While I pondered if I wanted an eReader or not, the Santa in my life surprised me and boy do I LOVE it! This is a Sony PocketReader–no internet, no sound, nothin’ but good reading ahead. I have a laptop and a BlackBerry, all I want my eReader to do is let me read books. Santa SO scored on this one!

For me, the question has never, ever been ‘books OR eReader’. I love to read and I will take it any way I can. I love the feels and smells of my paper books and I enjoy the convenience and abilities of my eReader. Reading while eating is so easy–no book to hold open, just use one finger to press a button. This is a big deal for avid readers, is it not?!?

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The picture to the right >>> over there is how I get my reading fixes these days–any and every way possible! I enjoy using Border’s mobile eReader app on my BlackBerry (have tried B&N and Kindle apps as well, Border’s wins for smoothness and ease).  Actually, that above mentioned perk goes beyond eating whilst reading, it’s great anytime.  I really like having several books handy when traveling or waiting whilst out and about. What a fantastic and wondrous world we’re living in!!

So, having all my reading opportunities in place and always at my fingertips, what have I been reading?

*How To Bake A Perfect Life by Barbara O’Neal– Even if you are not a baker or ever intend to bake, this is simply a good story–an enjoyable story. The characters are believable and likable, I turned pages wanting to know more. I hope to see these characters again in further stories.

*Chasing The Night by Iris Johansen– I have enjoyed reading Ms. Johansen for quite some time now. I like her Eve Duncan and Joe Quinn characters–including Jane and Trevor(both of whom were not in this book but I hope will have another appearance soon).

*The Fiery Cross and A Breath Of Snow And Ashes by Diana Gabaldon– I have loved the Outlander series of books by this lady from the very first one and have read all of them thus far. These books were the first ever novels that I wanted to re-read in bits and pieces, just stroll through and visit friends from time to time. I think that is perhaps the best feeling a reader can have about characters. I have never in my entire 40 years–and I’ve been reading voraciously as long as I can remember–wanted to just pick pages to re-read in a book before this series came along.

I hope you’re finding great reads that bring you comfort, excitement, peace, laughs…whatever it is you seek at the time!

~Happy Reading!