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Free Republic Book Thread, Week of 03/05/05

Posted on 03/05/2005 11:22:06 AM PST by Tanniker Smith

Hello, once again. Welcome to the weekly Free Republic Book Club thread.

The winner of the poll and the topic for this week is historical novels.

For those of you that want to get a jump on next week, the runner up in the last week's poll was mysteries, so grab one off the shelf and get busy reading, so you'll have something for next week. 8-)


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: book; bookclub; books; club
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Last week's thread: Free Republic Book Club, Week of 2/26/05

TS

1 posted on 03/05/2005 11:22:09 AM PST by Tanniker Smith
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To: 506trooper; aberaussie; Alberta's Child; AQGeiger; arbee4bush; Ax; Brasil; Burn24; ...

Book Club Ping.


2 posted on 03/05/2005 11:23:10 AM PST by Tanniker Smith (I didn't know she was a liberal when I married her.)
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To: Tanniker Smith

Please add me to the Book Club List!


3 posted on 03/05/2005 11:26:17 AM PST by Rabid Dog (Make a difference in your community - Join your local Free Republic Chapter!)
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To: Tanniker Smith

Thanks for the ping.


4 posted on 03/05/2005 11:26:39 AM PST by SilentServiceCPOWife (Romeo&Juliet, Troilus&Crisedye, Bogey&Bacall, Gable&Lombard, Brigitte&Flav)
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To: Tanniker Smith

Add me also please!


5 posted on 03/05/2005 11:28:30 AM PST by Nate1984
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To: Tanniker Smith

Add me to your list as well. Thanks!


6 posted on 03/05/2005 11:31:53 AM PST by JustaCowgirl (You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs -- George W Bush)
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To: Tanniker Smith
Don't know if this 1887 work qualifies as a historical novel, but in 1935 it was named the most influential American novel novel of the prior fifty years in no less than three publications.

An absolute must-read for anyone who wants to understand the major driving force behind American political developments in the 20th century.

Can you guess the name of this work?

7 posted on 03/05/2005 11:32:28 AM PST by Maceman (Too nuanced for a bumper sticker)
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To: Tanniker Smith

Meant to ask to be placed on the list.

Nobody said international legal thrillers?


8 posted on 03/05/2005 11:35:35 AM PST by jim macomber (Author: "Bargained for Exchange", "Art & Part", "A Grave Breach" http://www.jamesmacomber.com)
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To: Maceman

I'm guessing that it's "Looking Backward" by Edward Bellamy. I bought it recently and the date 1887 reminded me of it. I haven't read anything beyond the introduction and I don't know if I want to continue. The introduction itself is stomach-turning.


9 posted on 03/05/2005 11:38:38 AM PST by SilentServiceCPOWife (Romeo&Juliet, Troilus&Crisedye, Bogey&Bacall, Gable&Lombard, Brigitte&Flav)
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To: Tanniker Smith

Regarding historical fiction, my two favorite authors are Anya Seton and John Jakes. I don't read much fiction anymore, but when I'm in the mood for it, I enjoy their books.


10 posted on 03/05/2005 11:46:44 AM PST by SilentServiceCPOWife (Romeo&Juliet, Troilus&Crisedye, Bogey&Bacall, Gable&Lombard, Brigitte&Flav)
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To: SilentServiceCPOWife
I'm guessing that it's "Looking Backward" by Edward Bellamy. I bought it recently and the date 1887 reminded me of it. I haven't read anything beyond the introduction and I don't know if I want to continue. The introduction itself is stomach-turning.

You are correct. But oddly enough, I didn't find it stomach truning at all. Reading this utterly, fantastically naive utopian novel and comparing its futuristic vision of an ideal American government-run society in the year 2000 with the reality of the past century was an experience in pure schadenfreude for me.

I think every Freeper should read it, and that we should never stop beating modern Progressive Democrats over the head with it.

Getting this book back in front of the public consciousness as the intellectual root of modern American progressivism will go a long way towards humiliating and destroying the entire Democratic Party agenda.

11 posted on 03/05/2005 11:47:12 AM PST by Maceman (Too nuanced for a bumper sticker)
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To: Maceman

"...humiliating and destroying the entire Democratic Party agenda."

Verily, verily, that is what we crave!


12 posted on 03/05/2005 11:51:36 AM PST by jocon307 (Vote George Washington for the #1 spot)
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To: jocon307
Verily, verily, that is what we crave!

Then getteth thou a copy and readeth it forsooth.

13 posted on 03/05/2005 11:53:43 AM PST by Maceman (Too nuanced for a bumper sticker)
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To: Tanniker Smith

Didn't know FR had a book club. I'm off to the local independent bookseller to see Kinky Friedman and have him autograph his latest murdery mystery novel. Rumor has it that the Kinkster gets killed off in this one..."Ten little New Yorkers". He's also going to run for Governor of the Great State of Texas so this will be a dual opportunity booksigning. Billy Joe Shaver will also be there with his new bio. With any luck this one might break out into song. Happy reading folks :o)


14 posted on 03/05/2005 11:56:24 AM PST by Liberty Valance (Grateful Heart Tour 2005)
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To: Maceman

Since you recommend it so highly, I will give it another try. I just found it nauseating because we hear the same things coming out of the mouths of modern liberals every day.


15 posted on 03/05/2005 12:06:35 PM PST by SilentServiceCPOWife (Romeo&Juliet, Troilus&Crisedye, Bogey&Bacall, Gable&Lombard, Brigitte&Flav)
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To: Tanniker Smith
Kim by Rudyard Kipling really ticks multiculturalists off. Which is but one reason to read it.

Libertarians love the opening sentence, "He sat, in defiance of municipal orders, astride the gun Zam-Zammah on her brick platform opposite the old Ajaib-Gher -- the Wonder House, as the natives call the Lehore Museum," reflecting disdain for petty bureaucratic regulation.

Filled with great lines, such as my tagline below, Kim is the story of Kim, Kimball O'Hara, the orphan of a British soldier gone native and abandoned in the streets of Lahore (now Pakistan) in British-ruled India.

Known on the streets as "Little Friend of all the World," Kim is able to pass as a native to such an extent he runs errands for Mahbub Ali, a Pathian (Afghan) horse-trader whose business takes him on all sides of the border.

It is through Mahbub that Kim meets Colonel Creighton, officially of the Ethnological Survey, but also the spymaster handling the Pundits, native spies in The Great Game, Britain's first "Cold War" with the Russian Empire in Central Asia.

Add in travels with an ancient Tibetan monk, Kim's capture by the "Red Bull" on the green field, more or less forced matriculation at a Catholic military school, and an interesting keen mind, Kipling tells a great tale of India, spying, and camping out.

I would recommend an annotated version, as many references to people, places, and things are likely unfamiliar to readers not intimately knowledgeable about India and Pakistan. Background will also be helpful. One might try Peter Hopkirk's The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia, an especially well-written and fast-paced read itself.

Although sections must be re-read to ensure comprehension and some of the language (especially when Kim is speaking Hindi) is awkward at times, Kim is a delightful read. I highly recommend it.
16 posted on 03/05/2005 12:07:18 PM PST by The Great Yazoo (The husbands of the talkative have a great reward hereafter.)
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To: Tanniker Smith

Please add me to the Book Club List!


17 posted on 03/05/2005 12:10:15 PM PST by joyce11111
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To: SilentServiceCPOWife
Since you recommend it so highly, I will give it another try. I just found it nauseating because we hear the same things coming out of the mouths of modern liberals every day.

Just to be clear, it is NOT great literature by any standard. Pretty dull, actually.

What makes it a great read is how seriously it takes itself, and seeing how completely history has proven its ideas to be utter rubbish. Yet it still remains the core of the Progressive vision, even today, though most Progressives are not aware of that fact.

18 posted on 03/05/2005 12:11:32 PM PST by Maceman (Too nuanced for a bumper sticker)
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To: Maceman

Did you know that Edward Bellamy's cousin, also a socialist, wrote the Pledge of Allegiance?


19 posted on 03/05/2005 12:11:54 PM PST by SilentServiceCPOWife (Romeo&Juliet, Troilus&Crisedye, Bogey&Bacall, Gable&Lombard, Brigitte&Flav)
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To: SilentServiceCPOWife

I knew that the Pledge was written by a socialist, but hadn't realized it was Bellamy's cousin.


20 posted on 03/05/2005 12:13:16 PM PST by Maceman (Too nuanced for a bumper sticker)
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To: Tanniker Smith

I have a suggestion for another category - books by Freepers.


21 posted on 03/05/2005 12:13:44 PM PST by razoroccam (Then in the name of Allah, they will let loose the Germs of War (http://www.booksurge.com))
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To: Tanniker Smith

I just finished James Patterson's, *HONEYMOON*

It was quick read, and, I liked it.

But feel Patterson has gotten lazy in his last few books...did not buy his *LONDON BRIDGES*, and don't plan to.

He has been writing with collaboraters, and, most are pretty poor reads. *Honeymoon* had a new helper, so it wasn't too bad.

Am waiting for the mail to bring Anne River Siddeons next book.


22 posted on 03/05/2005 12:14:24 PM PST by joyce11111
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To: SilentServiceCPOWife

I just bought the paper back editions of *North and South*, *Heaven and Hell*, and *Love and War*.

I have liked all of his writings.


23 posted on 03/05/2005 12:16:28 PM PST by joyce11111
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To: Maceman

His name was Francis Bellamy. He and Edward were first cousins.

I try not to think about it when I say the Pledge, but I have to admit that it does bother me that it was written by a socialist.


24 posted on 03/05/2005 12:17:26 PM PST by SilentServiceCPOWife (Romeo&Juliet, Troilus&Crisedye, Bogey&Bacall, Gable&Lombard, Brigitte&Flav)
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To: joyce11111
I was talking to a friend about Taylor Caldwell yesterday, who I read years ago.

Any recommendations?

25 posted on 03/05/2005 12:18:22 PM PST by don-o (Stop Freeploading. Do the right thing and become a Monthly Donor.)
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To: joyce11111

My husband was going to buy me the DVD's of the movie, but I told him that I'd prefer to have the books. The books are so much better.


26 posted on 03/05/2005 12:19:03 PM PST by SilentServiceCPOWife (Romeo&Juliet, Troilus&Crisedye, Bogey&Bacall, Gable&Lombard, Brigitte&Flav)
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To: Tanniker Smith

add me to ping please


27 posted on 03/05/2005 12:20:26 PM PST by don-o (Stop Freeploading. Do the right thing and become a Monthly Donor.)
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To: Tanniker Smith
Historical fiction is probably my number one favorite category. Of books I read long ago (some as a teen), several that stick out are

James Michener's Hawaii. Still one of the best novels I've ever read. Also Caravans by Michener.

Leon Uris's Exodus about the founding of Israel and the Israeli/Palestinian/British conflict of 1948. A must-read for anyone who wants to have a foundation for understanding the current Israeli/Palestine/Middle East imbroglio.

Anything by Samuel Shellabarger. He was a terrific author of historical fiction. Prince of Foxes is probably my favorite.

Irving Stone's The Agony and the Ecstasy about Michelangelo. I guess that's biography, but it's very fictionalized, I suspect.

A biography of Leonardo daVinci published of the same vintage as the above. I thought that Irving Stone wrote that one as well, but I can't locate it. It was by a famous author of that era.

More contemporary:
Bruce Alexander's mystery/crime series set in 1700's London, with Sir John Fielding, the blind justice. Stories are told through the eyes of Jeremy, the boy/young man who assists him. Great books, most are riveting.

Valley of the Horses by Jean Auel. Was not crazy about the others in that trilogy.

I could go on and on, but will stop here! Would enjoy hearing recommendations from others, as I am always looking for a good historical novel.

28 posted on 03/05/2005 12:26:24 PM PST by JustaCowgirl (You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs -- George W Bush)
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To: SilentServiceCPOWife
I try not to think about it when I say the Pledge, but I have to admit that it does bother me that it was written by a socialist.

It bothers me too. But in Bellamy's defense, I can be a bit forgiving of those in the late 1800s who were socialists, because there was not practical experience with socialism at that time, and I can see why it appeared to make sense back then when compared to the sometimes harsh realities of industrial-era capitalism.

Of course, now that the world has had 150 years of real experience with the horrors of actual socialism in practice, there is no longer an excuse for ignoring the clear superiority and comparative humanity of free-market capitalism.

Also, at least back then American socialists appeared to be patriots. Can you imagine any modern American progressive composing something like the Pledge of Allegiance today?

29 posted on 03/05/2005 12:38:42 PM PST by Maceman (Too nuanced for a bumper sticker)
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To: Maceman

But they would have been familiar with the French Revolution, wouldn't they? Wasn't it a socialist experiment?

I do agree that cultural and moral relativism would prevent today's leftists from writing anything even remotely similar to the Pledge.


30 posted on 03/05/2005 12:51:17 PM PST by SilentServiceCPOWife (Romeo&Juliet, Troilus&Crisedye, Bogey&Bacall, Gable&Lombard, Brigitte&Flav)
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To: JustaCowgirl
I read Michener's The Source many, many years ago, and loved it. I have to get back to some Michener.

I read Exodus last year, and from that went on to Leon Uris' two about Ireland. Trinity and just finished Redemption this week. They were both excellent for the Northern Ireland background, but particularly Trinity. Though Redemption, was called a "sequel", it really was a play on the voices Uris uses to tell the story. Most of the action that happens in Redemption, he had already written about in Trinity, it was told with more detail and from a different point of view.

I'm always looking for good historical fiction. And got these recommendations on Uris, from a FR thread a few years ago.

31 posted on 03/05/2005 12:51:43 PM PST by A Citizen Reporter
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To: SilentServiceCPOWife
But they would have been familiar with the French Revolution, wouldn't they? Wasn't it a socialist experiment?

I don't think the French Revolution represented socialism in the sense that term came to be understood in the 19th century. But even so, they could have made the argument that you can't draw any conclusions from one example.

A very enlightening book I read last year was A Fierce Discontent, a very well written history of the American Progressive era between 1870 and 1920. (Actually, it was this book that prompted me to read the Bellamy book).

There is no doubt that there was a lot of ugliness arising out of the dislocations caused by the industrial revolution, and I can see why some of the alarming social and economic developments would have led many people to think (in the absence of actual observable experience) that a "scientifically managed" economy would eliminate those problems.

Of course, it couldn't,considering how much back breaking brute force labor was required to build an industrial society from an agrarian one. And certainly the American coal miners, as horrible as their lives were, had it better than Russian slaves who were forced to "build socialism" under Stalin.

Also, a lot of the "discontent" that occurred in the late 1800s was due to the fact that for American capitalism created so much wealth that for the first time people were aware that there was such thing as poverty. Before that, it was just called "life."

32 posted on 03/05/2005 1:05:54 PM PST by Maceman (Too nuanced for a bumper sticker)
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To: Tanniker Smith
A thread about historical novels would not be complete without Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls and Farewell to Arms.
33 posted on 03/05/2005 1:16:25 PM PST by socal_parrot (Tryin' to reason with El Nino season.)
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To: Maceman

Thank you for the book recommendation. I'll add it to my ever-expanding list.

I just don't understand why today's liberals continue to hold on to their dreams of a socialist utopia. Millions of lives have been lost proving that it won't work. Why do they still cling to it? How many more have to die before they'll admit that they are wrong?


34 posted on 03/05/2005 1:20:26 PM PST by SilentServiceCPOWife (Romeo&Juliet, Troilus&Crisedye, Bogey&Bacall, Gable&Lombard, Brigitte&Flav)
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To: SilentServiceCPOWife
I just don't understand why today's liberals continue to hold on to their dreams of a socialist utopia. Millions of lives have been lost proving that it won't work. Why do they still cling to it? How many more have to die before they'll admit that they are wrong?

I guess it is a tribute to the apparently limitless human capacity for engagin in doublething. I go to DU sometimes for laffs, and I am continuously amazed at the people who believe the Progressive mythology.

35 posted on 03/05/2005 1:25:49 PM PST by Maceman (Too nuanced for a bumper sticker)
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To: Maceman
I don't know how you can stand to go to DU. My husband does occasionally for the same reasons that you do, but the few times that I've done it I thought that my head was going to explode.

Do you think that DU'ers and their "progressive" brethren are driven by naivete and ignorance or is it something more sinister?
36 posted on 03/05/2005 1:35:11 PM PST by SilentServiceCPOWife (Romeo&Juliet, Troilus&Crisedye, Bogey&Bacall, Gable&Lombard, Brigitte&Flav)
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To: socal_parrot
If anyone likes foreign historical novels based in Australia, I can heartily recommend absolutely any book written by Bryce Courtenay.

My favorites are three books available in one volume called "The Australian Triology." The books included in this volume are "The Potato Factory," "Tommo & Hawk" and "Solomon's Song."
37 posted on 03/05/2005 1:38:49 PM PST by formerlytempaussie (Minnesota- National Mosquito Runway)
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To: Tanniker Smith
Elizabeth Jane Howard's Cazalet Chronicles. Some might find these too liberal (extramarital affairs, homsexuality), but they are good pictures of the times in England: just before WWII, during the War, and after, for the three volumes.
38 posted on 03/05/2005 1:46:47 PM PST by firebrand
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To: JustaCowgirl

If you're looking for something closer to home, try Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels. Absolutely compelling book about the battle of Gettysburg.

It's part of a trilogy started by his father. Can't remember the other two titles. One, I believe, was The Generals. Old Sheets Byrd got a bit part in that one. They just made a movie about it.

Brings the Civil War right in to your living room.


39 posted on 03/05/2005 1:54:39 PM PST by CTOCS (This space left intentionally blank...)
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To: SilentServiceCPOWife
Do you think that DU'ers and their "progressive" brethren are driven by naivete and ignorance or is it something more sinister?

Good question. I think that it is a case of the malevolent leading the naive and ignorant. Here in Massachusetts, I know a lot of good people who would never dream of voting against a Democrat, because they somehow have it in their heads that "good people are liberals," and they never think any more deeply about things than that.

I think there are lot of people on DU, for example, who have no idea that slavery and racism in the south was primarily an institution that was promulgated by Democrats.

Also, I think that a lot of Progressives are just average people who feel somehow that they are not in control of their lives, and so just generally feel like victims. They find themselves in jobs they hate, or working with people they don't like, or not getting paid as much as they want, and think they're being exploited. It seems never to occur to them to just take responsibility for themselves and try to find some other way to make a living. They'd rather blame "Corporate America."

I've had jobs I hated in my life, and I may not have as much money as I'd like -- but I have never, ever, blamed anybody but myself for whatever bad choices I've made or the circumstances in which I have found myself as a result.

And I've always taken solace in the fact that whatever has gone wrong in my life, at least it was because I did it "my way." There is a lot of comfort in that. It's tough enough to feel like you could be doing better, or should have done things differently, without also feeling like you're a victim and stuck under the control of someone else.

I guess Progressives just never learn to understand and appreciate what it means to have free will.

I prefer the freedom of knowing that for better or worse I am where I am in life because of who I am. I think Progressives prefer being "free" from the responsibility of having to make and live with one's choices.

40 posted on 03/05/2005 1:55:36 PM PST by Maceman (Too nuanced for a bumper sticker)
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To: JustaCowgirl

Also enjoyed Michener. I was in southern Spain in the mid 70's when I read Iberia. It was actually more of a travelogue.

Two passages stick with me even after all these years. He states that if you invite a Spanish family to dinner, do NOT serve them corn. It is an insult. Spaniards believe that "only pigs and Mexicans eat corn."

The other was sort of a sweeping opinion of the country. He said - "Spain. Five thousand years of tradition unmarred by progress."

Kind of the way I though of it when I was there.


41 posted on 03/05/2005 2:01:31 PM PST by CTOCS (This space left intentionally blank...)
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To: Maceman

Have you ever tried to deprogram a young liberal?


42 posted on 03/05/2005 2:06:19 PM PST by SilentServiceCPOWife (Romeo&Juliet, Troilus&Crisedye, Bogey&Bacall, Gable&Lombard, Brigitte&Flav)
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To: A Citizen Reporter
As a matter of fact, I think The Source is the Michener title I was thinking of, not Caravans. Like you, it's been a number of years. That was a really great novel. If I'm not mistaken, and I could be, I think Caravans was set in Afghanistan. The Source is definitely in Israel. The Michener title set in Afghanistan might be a very interesting re-read.

Another good historical novel I really liked was The Journeyer by Gary Jennings, about the life of Marco Polo. It was extremely gory, as all Jennings' novels are, but fascinating.

43 posted on 03/05/2005 2:09:43 PM PST by JustaCowgirl (You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs -- George W Bush)
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To: CTOCS

Interesting insight into Spain. I didn't finish Iberia, I found it dull. But being there would definitely change one's perception, I'm sure.


44 posted on 03/05/2005 2:11:19 PM PST by JustaCowgirl (You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs -- George W Bush)
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To: CTOCS
Yes, I've had that one recommended to me. I LOVE alternate history, it's probably my most favorite category. (I think Killer Angels was alternate history, if I'm remembering correctly).

My absolute favorite alternate history (time travel, actually) of all time is Time and Again by Jack Finney. I you haven't read that, it is a must read, IMO. Takes you back to gaslight-era New York City via the Dakota Hotel.

My other favorite alternate history is the Eden series by Harry Harrison, the series based on the premise that dinosaur and human species developed in parallel and come into competition for dominance in ancient times.

Thx for the recommendation. Never been a Civil War buff, but maybe I'll have to try it.

BTW, another good historical novel: Lion of Ireland, about Brian Boru, the first king of Ireland.

45 posted on 03/05/2005 2:19:27 PM PST by JustaCowgirl (You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs -- George W Bush)
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To: SilentServiceCPOWife

I like Anya Seton as well. Haven't tried John Jakes.

I also like Mary Stewart a lot. Her Merlin trilogy was wonderful.


46 posted on 03/05/2005 2:23:43 PM PST by JustaCowgirl (You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs -- George W Bush)
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To: don-o

At Amazon.com you can buy the paperbacks for about 80 cents.
They have a lengthy list, as well.
I also buy books at www.zooba.com.
They have all the new best sellers....some skimpy historicals.
Lots of craft books there.
All they charge is $9.95 and that includes the shipping...when I finish a new book I sell it at Amazon.


47 posted on 03/05/2005 2:27:07 PM PST by joyce11111
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To: JustaCowgirl

Which Anya Seton book do you like the best? My favorites are "Green Darkness" and "Catherine".


48 posted on 03/05/2005 2:27:19 PM PST by SilentServiceCPOWife (Romeo&Juliet, Troilus&Crisedye, Bogey&Bacall, Gable&Lombard, Brigitte&Flav)
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To: JustaCowgirl
Two of my favorites by Michener (besides the ones you named) are Chesapeake and Poland.

Auel's first two books, Clan of the Cave Bear and Valley of the Horses were very good.

Ditto on anything by Leon Uris although I've read that the last novel he published wasn't so good--I've avoided reading it because I don't want to be disappointed.

Paul Scott's Raj Quartet is awesome. I'm currently reading M.M.Kaye's The Far Pavillions--very good. I also liked her Shadows of the Moon.

Enjoy John Jakes.

Also Colleen McCullough's work except I didn't much care for A Creed for the Third Millinieum.

Byzantium (Stephen Lawhead) is very good.

Ken Follet--Pillars of the Earth.

I've read two Edward Rutherford novels: Sarum and London and both were very good.

49 posted on 03/05/2005 2:31:41 PM PST by elli1
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To: elli1

Ken Follet--Pillars of the Earth....I loved that book!


50 posted on 03/05/2005 2:55:42 PM PST by formerlytempaussie (Minnesota- National Mosquito Runway)
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