The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Looking For Recommendations > Historical Fiction

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message 201: by Alex (new)

Alex Yeah, I agree: it's standardized testing that kills our teachers' souls, which in turn kills ours. From what I hear from teacher friends, No Child Left Behind has made it much worse.


message 202: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (fl7689) Alex wrote: "Oh, and F1; funny, as a guy who also grew up in New England - I literally walk to work on the Freedom Trail - local history is the last thing I'm interested in. I didn't get interested in history ..."

That's funny, Alex, I'm just the opposite! I'm from North Florida, which is rich in history and it only fueled my fascination. Spanish occupation, Civil War, Civil Rights- I love it all. And I agree about standardized testing. Florida has the FCAT and teachers are not allowed to teach, only to make sure the kids memorize facts to pass the tests which fund the schools. This is the reason why Florida ranks as one of the three worst states for quality of education.


message 203: by F1Wild (new)

F1Wild | 484 comments I must have had either awesome teachers, progressive school system or both (not to mention cool parents). We didn't study just the important facts and dates.

When studying the colonization we traced family histories (since many student's families settled the area) both in the USA & those from other parts of the world. I remember finding out that my grandfather's family owned ships that took those leaving Europe from Bremerhaven, Germany - the opposite of Ellis Island. We re-enacted the "She's a witch!" scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail and of course took insider visits to Salem. Our backdrop was Lowell, Mass. when studying the Industrial Revolution and found out what it was like to own factories as well as work in them. We read from journals written by slaves, young soldiers & quite a few Yankees while learning about the Civil War and since it was the late 60s/early 70s it was always tied in with the 20th century Civil Rights Movement.

All in all, my teachers/schools made it a rich experience to study history - combining world history with our own US thus providing a broader view of what it's like to live in this world - past & present.

In addition every other weekend or so my parents would take us to a different event or musical experience - protest marches, a seedy jazz club, rock, blues, reggae concerts, the Boston Symphony, ballet and of course, the Boston Pops on the Esplanade for the 4th of July.

Maybe this is why I love HF??


message 204: by Alex (new)

Alex Wow, F1 - yeah, sounds like you did have awesome teachers. That sounds really cool. If my teachers had let me act out Monty Python scenes, maybe things'd be different.

And I think the joint conclusion of this conversation is that standardized testing is death, right? As soon as you get to reenact Monty Python, standardized testing goes out the window and interest comes in.


message 205: by F1Wild (new)

F1Wild | 484 comments It wasn't as fun for the one who played "the duck".... ;-)


message 206: by John (new)

John Karr (Karr) | 28 comments Would you consider a modern-day tale with an historic figure to be 'historical fiction' ?


message 207: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) John wrote: "Would you consider a modern-day tale with an historic figure to be 'historical fiction' ?"

Not sure what you mean? Like somehow a historical figure was transported to the current time? I wouldn't consider that HF, really.


message 208: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Baer | 182 comments I read lots of history, lots of fiction but the only Historical fiction I've read is War and Peace by Tolstoy. Surely I must have read more!!


message 209: by John (new)

John Karr (Karr) | 28 comments Becky wrote: "John wrote: "Would you consider a modern-day tale with an historic figure to be 'historical fiction' ?"

Not sure what you mean? Like somehow a historical figure was transported to the current time..."


Yes, that's what I meant.

Wonder how it would be classified, then? Just General Fiction?


message 210: by Joseph (new)

Joseph  (BlueManticore) | 906 comments John wrote: "Yes, that's what I meant.

Wonder how it would be classified, then? Just General Fiction?"


Either that or Sci-fi or Fantasy depending on how that historical figure was transported to the present.


message 211: by John (new)

John Karr (Karr) | 28 comments Interesting, thanks.


message 212: by Estela (new)

Estela BEST BOOK Historical fiction for American pioneer times...
1000 white women read it last year and my group is still saying was the best book we read. Excellent book by far!


message 213: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn O'Halloran | 2 comments I'm another fan of historical fiction. I prefer it to reading history because history focuses so much on important people but I want to know what it was like for ordinary people and how they lived their lives.

At the moment, I've been reading a bit of Japanese historical fiction. I'm finding it hard to find stuff that isn't all samurai and geishas though. I read James Cavell but find his stuff a bit too macho.


message 214: by T.V. (new)

T.V. LoCicero (tvlocicero) | 3 comments For most of 6 decades as a reader I avoided historical fiction, but recently a friend in the UK turned me on to Hilary Mantel, a remarkable talent who has written both fiction and non-fiction and in a variety of genres. I started with Wolf Hall and was quickly hooked and and next it'll be Bring Up the Bodies. Both are Man Booker winners, the most prestigious UK prize.


message 215: by LindaD (new)

LindaD (freedom333) | 253 comments T.V. wrote: "For most of 6 decades as a reader I avoided historical fiction, but recently a friend in the UK turned me on to Hilary Mantel, a remarkable talent who has written both fiction and non-fiction and i..."

great place to start! there are plenty of stinkers out there, too - that's where Goodreads helps


message 216: by A Serious Lover (new)

A Serious Lover (RenaissanceLady) | 4 comments Have you tried Phillipa Gregory?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 1736 comments Gregory is sort of up-and-down for me; I've given a couple of her novels 4 stars (Virgin Earth and The Boleyn Inheritance), and found others unreadable (Wildacre, I'm lookin' at you).

Also, she's more into the "fiction" than the "historical."


message 218: by Georgina (new)

Georgina Mcniff (ToughCritic) | 4 comments "Knock Knock" by Suzanne McNear- a moving historic fiction that follows main character, "March Rivers," from her childhood during WWII, through to her wild career at Playboy (Chicago in the 60's) and into her older adult life. She struggles with historic societal conventions showing us what society used to look like for women who weren't what the world saw as proper or normal. It's really great.


message 219: by Liz (new)

Liz (HisSheep) | 463 comments Susanna wrote: "Gregory is sort of up-and-down for me; I've given a couple of her novels 4 stars (Virgin Earth and The Boleyn Inheritance), and found others unreadable (Wildacre, I'm lookin' at you).

Also, she's ..."


I agree with you Susanna on your evaluation of P. Gregory -- in the beginning I thought I'd found a winner; after a few, I set this author aside ...


message 220: by Julia (new)

Julia (goodreadscomjuliap) | 26 comments Estela wrote: "BEST BOOK Historical fiction for American pioneer times...
1000 white women read it last year and my group is still saying was the best book we read. Excellent book by far!"

I also read this book last year and found it to be very interesting. I have recommended to several people.


message 221: by Liz (new)

Liz (HisSheep) | 463 comments Julia wrote: "Estela wrote: "BEST BOOK Historical fiction for American pioneer times...
1000 white women read it last year and my group is still saying was the best book we read. Excellent book by far!"
I also r..."


Julia wrote: "Estela wrote: "BEST BOOK Historical fiction for American pioneer times...
1000 white women read it last year and my group is still saying was the best book we read. Excellent book by far!"
I also r..."


... and the name of this books is? Can't seem to find the original message! ;o)


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