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Pelican Road
Beautiful storytelling, in the simplest sense of the word. If you need a strong or complex plot, this is not your book. But if you like good character ...more
Jul 26, 2012
May 25, 2012
The Invisible Bridge
I read this right on the heels of The Book Thief, not realizing that it had a common theme. Most of the time, I would have set this aside, not wanting ...more
Mar 14, 2012
Jul 11, 2011
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
An amazing story of the later part of a remarkable life. Millard tells the story well, but with enough rich research detail to keep us aware that this ...more
Aug 08, 2010
Aug 14, 2010
The Gods Will Have Blood (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
An interesting mix of almost farcical commentary on the extremes to which fanatics will go, and a a somber meditation on the victims caught up in such ...more
Nov 25, 2014
Sep 11, 2010
Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome (Cicero, #1)
Wonderful. Enjoyable language, vivid depiction of place and time, and marvelous history that comes alive like a political thriller. Anyone who thinks ...more
Jan 31, 2011
Jan 31, 2011
The Bull from the Sea (Theseus, #2)
I read and loved many of Renault's Greek and Persian historical novels when I was in high school. I periodically reread them, and often recommend them ...more
Jan 1978
Nov 29, 2008
The Turkish Gambit (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #2)
An enjoyable spy-romance. The characters are a bit of a stretch, but it moves along well. Fine escape, and I'll probably check out a few more of Akuni ...more
Feb 08, 2014
Feb 17, 2014
Arthur Rex
An often humorous, if stilted, telling of the Arthurian legend. I enjoyed much of it, but also grew impatient with the prose.
Jul 12, 2014
Aug 16, 2014
Munzinger Pascha.
Cain't nobody write about Fernweh wie 'n Schwiizer. Super Darstellung von Kolonial Nord-Afrika. The contemporary story in Olten was a little weak, and ...more
Aug 15, 2013
Jul 30, 2013
Eric Sloane's Sketches of America Past
Just scanned this library copy, but will be buying a copy to read with my son. An interesting cross between a book of historical craft, and Little Hou ...more
Mar 21, 2011
Feb 24, 2011
The Last Time I Saw Paris
Having already read the wrong book with the same title The Last Time I Saw Paris, I was hoping for a little more with this - I wanted to like this boo ...more
Jul 06, 2013
Aug 12, 2011
I love this kind of historical fiction - a good read, interesting characters, and I feel like I learned a lot along the way. Extra points for includin ...more
Nov 18, 2012
Nov 14, 2012
As Above, So Below: A Novel of Peter Bruegel
Another of those books that makes you hope that the author did his research carefully, because the portrait of the characters, place, and time are so ...more
Apr 10, 2010
Apr 04, 2010
The Captain from Connecticut
A perfect summer read. Excitement, romance, and enough background on the War of 1812 and details of life at sea to be compelling and make you feel lik ...more
Aug 17, 2013
Aug 03, 2013
The Sandalwood Tree
The writing in this starts out pretty unevenly, and takes a while to smooth out, but the story and the history are very interesting. The 19th century ...more
Aug 13, 2013
Apr 06, 2011
A Conspiracy of Paper (Benjamin Weaver, #1)
Interesting story about the early days of abstract money and financing, and the common theme across the ages that knowledge is power, as is the abilit ...more
Jun 22, 2013
Dec 12, 2008
The Caves of Perigord
Picked this up becuase I enjoyed the Bruno stories so much. This is much more substantial, and covers a lot of ground. The protrayal of French Resista ...more
Jul 05, 2012
Jan 28, 2012
The Lost Diaries of Frans Hals: A Novel
I really enjoyed this book. I am a sucker for the fictionalized accounts of artists, and am not at all certain how much invention there is in this nov ...more
Oct 15, 2008
Nov 02, 2008
The Game of Kings (The Lymond Chronicles, #1)
A long, labyrinthine romp through historical Scottish politics, heavily salted with Scots, Latin, and French. I managed to finish it, and the last thi ...more
Apr 22, 2014
Mar 01, 2014
Winter in Madrid
When I started reading this, I wondered if I could slog through another war story. But not far into it, the writing grabbed me, the history fascinated ...more
Oct 2012
Sep 04, 2012
Suite Française
Worth reading. Sometimes moving, often a little scattered (but then, then author never really finished it).
Sep 15, 2012
Aug 19, 2012
Eagle in the Snow
This is a great novel set in the decline of the Roman Empire, in the region that would become the French-German border. It really draws you into the w ...more
Aug 2006
Feb 04, 2008
The Coffee Trader
Well researched, fun for the depiction of old Amsterdam, and interesting for the glimpse into early market mechanisms. The plot is just a vehicle for ...more
Mar 27, 2009
Dec 12, 2008
The Bells
Really deserves 3.5 stars for lack of depth, but I liked the characters enough, and the vivid descriptions of singing, to round up rather than down. T ...more
Jun 10, 2013
Jul 18, 2011
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
This is an amazing, appalling story that grips you throughout. You keep reminding yourself that it really happened, and are forced to shake your head. ...more
Jan 2004
Feb 04, 2008
Black Arrow (Sugawara Akitada, #3)
Good escape read. Akitada finally tastes some serious blood. Three stars because the stories are beginning to blur together.
Oct 03, 2010
Nov 29, 2008
Mountains of the Moon
Interesting characters (primarily Richard Burton) in interesting times. The book feels overlong, and somewhat misanthropic.
Jun 27, 2010
Jun 12, 2010
The Masuda Affair (Sugawara Akitada, #7)
I like this series generally, but this one seemed to plod along, and not really go anywhere.
Jun 13, 2013
Aug 29, 2010
The Known World
Moving and provocative - a nuanced look at slavery and the mid 19th century.
Jun 30, 2012
Jul 25, 2011
The Praise Singer
not set
Nov 29, 2008
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