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Recommendations? > BCE (Before Common Era) Books

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Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 304 comments Have any favorite books set way back, or do you want recommendations for some good ones from someone else?


message 2: by April (new)

April (booksandwine) | 39 comments I want to try Colleen McCullough's Rome series, it looks so fantastic. Has anyone here read it?


I also was really into The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley, it went into depth on Cassandra, the seer from the Trojan War.


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 304 comments Kandice ADORES that Rome series April, and I really want to give it a try too...I kinda fancy having a reading partner for it since they aren't easy reads though...maybe we can work that out sometime.


message 4: by April (new)

April (booksandwine) | 39 comments How does September sound to you, for picking up at least the first book in this series?


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 304 comments sounds good to me. Maybe if I start a thread for it other people will get interested too.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I want to read them as well. Can I read them with you girls? Maybe we could do the series as a side group read?


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 304 comments Linda Grace wrote: "I want to read them as well. Can I read them with you girls? Maybe we could do the series as a side group read? "

of course Linda! I made a Masters of Rome series over in the other folder, so hopefully we can get ourselves organized to start next month :)


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Awesome. I will put the first book on hold at my library! :)


message 9: by JG (Introverted Reader) (last edited Aug 05, 2009 06:16PM) (new)

JG (Introverted Reader) Queenmaker A Novel of King David's Queen was really good, as was the sort-of sequel, Wisdom's Daughter A Novel of Solomon and Sheba. This same author has a new book coming out fairly soon about Samson and Delilah. I don't know if anyone cares, but I wouldn't consider them to be Christian fiction. They're just good stories about Biblical people.

I remember the series that starts with Dreaming the Eagle as being good too. They're about Boudica, the warrior queen in Britain during Roman times.

One more: Pilate's Wife A Novel of the Roman Empire.

And Pompeii made it onto that big list Allison posted, but I'll say here that I enjoyed it too.

Edit: I can't believe I forgot The Red Tent!


message 10: by April (last edited Aug 05, 2009 06:18PM) (new)

April (booksandwine) | 39 comments Another of those Biblical people stories which I enjoyed was The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, it was so fantastic and quickly paced. Plus it made me feel that being a woman is awesome.

Oh, and I'm the type of person who avoids Christian fiction with a 10-foot pole. Not that it's a bad thing, just not my thing. :-)


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 304 comments April wrote: "Another of those Biblical people stories which I enjoyed was The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, it was so fantastic and quickly paced. Plus it made me feel that being a woman is awesome."

I loved Red Tent too!


message 12: by Donna (new)

Donna | 49 comments Hi JG, April, and Allison. Another 2 thumbs up for The Red Tent and Pompeii.

I can also recommend The Last Days of Dogtown A Novel by Anita Diamant (early 1800s New England) and Enigmaby Robert Harris (WW II) hmmmmm this probably belongs elsewhere. So hard when good writers "time travel" :)


message 13: by Andra (new)

Andra (aezadnik) | 9 comments Everyone! Red Tent is by far one of my favorite books of all time.

AND, if we're talking beginning of the world books you cannot go without mentioning The Clan of the Cave Bear is it. It's a really wonderful rendering of characters you never thought of liking: neanderthals.


message 14: by Donna (new)

Donna | 49 comments Naguib Mahfouz has written a number of books about Ancient Egypt. I particularly enjoyed Akhenaten Dweller in Truth A Novel and Rhadopis of Nubia. They are especially good as an introduction to Ancient Egypt since they are not long and complicated stories.

He also wrote many books about contemporary (1900s) Cairo which I am looking forward to reading someday.


message 15: by Jon (new)

Jon | 342 comments Wilbur Smiths, River God series is pretty good


JG (Introverted Reader) Helen of Troy was really good from what I remember too.


message 17: by Jackie, That's Her Constableness to you! (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2463 comments Mod
I loved the Red Tent! I have to add the Canaan Trilogy by Marek Halter- consisting of Sarah A Novel, Lilah A Heroine of the Old Testament, and Zipporah, Wife of Moses A Novel.


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 304 comments I have two of those three Jackie, I think Sarah and Zipporah. Haven't read them yet.


message 19: by Jackie, That's Her Constableness to you! (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2463 comments Mod
I read these a long time ago but I don't remember liking Zipporah that much. I think Sarah was my favorite out of the 3. I think the covers are gorgeous which is what drew me them in the first place.


Jayme(the ghost reader) (jaymeiltheghostreader) | 2965 comments April wrote: "I want to try Colleen McCullough's Rome series, it looks so fantastic. Has anyone here read it?


I also was really into The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley, it went into depth on Cassandra, ..."


I have the Firebrand. :)


message 21: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (harshmallow) | 405 comments Black Ships by Jo Graham, although technically classified as a fantasy novel, is more of a historical with fantastical elements. If you're familiar with The Aeneid by Virgil, then this is right up you're ally. Black Ships is basically a modern retelling of that. I've never read the Aeneid and I know little about it--I still enjoyed Black Ships despite my very limited knowledge of Ancient Greek mythology and lore.


message 22: by Laura (last edited Jul 23, 2011 12:36AM) (new)

Laura Gill | 162 comments JG (The Introverted Reader) wrote: "Queenmaker A Novel of King David's Queen was really good, as was the sort-of sequel, Wisdom's Daughter A Novel of Solomon and Sheba. This same author has a new book c..."

I LOVE India Edghill's books. Delilah was great. I hear the author is currently working on a book about Queen Esther.

If you like ancient Egypt, then I recommend anything by Pauline Gedge.


message 23: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 19 comments Black Ships is on my mental TBR - i.e I don't have it in the house, but I keep thinking about buying it. The Illiad, the Odyssey and the Aenid were some of my favourite childhood books.


message 24: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie I didn't know about this thread. I have recently finished Jocasta: The Mother-Wife of Oedipus. Here follows my spoiler-free review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... This is a stand alone novel.

Then later I began the first book of a trilogy: Children of Tantalus: Niobe and Pelops. My review of that is here:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... . It doesn't end with a cliffhanger, but still I wanted to know how several issues would be resolved so I immediately picked up The Road to Thebes: Niobe and Amphion, which I am reading now!

I very much like the style of writing. You learn all about the ancient Hellene legends in captivating stories, with characters that you feel for.


message 25: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Chrissie wrote: "I didn't know about this thread. I have recently finished Jocasta: The Mother-Wife of Oedipus. Here follows my spoiler-free review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... Th..."

Again, Chrissie, love your reviews. My interest is peaked. However, dang nabbit, you are costing me money (smiles). Since this book is not available at the libraries or local Barnes & Noble and I want paper vs electronic version, I will be ordering from Amazon and accosting my mailman daily until it arrives :)Jocasta: The Mother-Wife of Oedipus


message 26: by Chrissie (last edited Jul 24, 2011 12:02PM) (new)

Chrissie Kimberly, that is definitely the best one to start with. I have had some trouble with the secone of the series, the one I am reading now. It has improved! The problem could lie with me. I do not usually read series.


message 27: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (harshmallow) | 405 comments Mary Renault is famous for her books about Ancient Greece, including The King Must Die and Fire from Heaven, which is the first of her trilogy about Alexander the Great. I never read anything by Renault, though my mother loves her stuff.


message 28: by Judith (new)

Judith Starkston | 75 comments Donna wrote: "Naguib Mahfouz has written a number of books about Ancient Egypt. I particularly enjoyed Akhenaten Dweller in Truth A Novel and Rhadopis of Nubia. They are e..."

I'd read Mahfouz's contemporary novels, some of them anyway, but I didn't realize he had some set in ancient Egypt. I'll definitely have to get to them. Thanks for the enlightenment!


message 29: by Greg (new)

Greg (greg108) | 6 comments Mary Renault is the best. I've read all of her historical books, and she totally transport you into that era. She is an authority on ancient Greece, and moving, captivating writer. I would start with "King must die" and continue with "The bull from the sea".
Happy reading.


message 30: by J.S. (last edited Jul 28, 2011 11:43AM) (new)

J.S. Dunn (httpwwwjsdunnbookscom) | 29 comments Hannah wrote: "Black Ships by Jo Graham, although technically classified as a fantasy novel, is more of a historical with fantastical elements. If you're familiar with The Aen..."</i>

Second the posting re: Black Ships. The following are more titles set in BCE and from small presses so the titles may not be as familiar but they all deserve readers :
[book:Noah's Wife
, straightforward and well researched; and J--The Woman Who Wrote the Bible about the alleged daughter of King David and her role as one of the writers transcribing oral tales into the Old Testament. These will both evoke Diamant's The Red Tent.

Set in pre-Roman Italy, Lavinia has some "fantasy" elements but overall a solid read and atmospheric of that culture.

More in the vein of Jean Auel's Clan series, eg : The Clan of the Cave Bear or the Gears' novels of preColumbian North America, is the recent Bending the Boyne: A novel of ancient Ireland and I can personally state that novel required ten years of travel and research. So congratulate me! A recent title from a small press for historical fiction.



message 31: by Jay (new)

Jay Penner (jaypenner) | 5 comments Wilbur Smith's river god series was engaging though it got too fantastical in the latter series. Thomas Harris' imperium series written from the perspective Cicero's secretary/slave is another great set of books.

There was another book on Thermopylae, and while I liked it, it was just too flowery for me. I need to pick Mary Renault.


message 32: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Mikhail (michellemikhail) | 2 comments April wrote: "I want to try Colleen McCullough's Rome series, it looks so fantastic. Has anyone here read it?


I also was really into The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley, it went into depth on Cassandra, the..."



message 33: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Mikhail (michellemikhail) | 2 comments I've read two of the series - she is an excellent author.


message 34: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Iciek | 468 comments Colleen McCullough's Rome series was excellent at the start, but like a lot of series, it dragged on towards the end. I think the author or her publisher thought the series should just keep going, but really the first 3 or 4 books were the best.


message 35: by Fiona (new)

Fiona Hurley (fiona_hurley) | 229 comments The Gathering Night by Margaret
Elphinstone, set in prehistoric Scotland

Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish by Morgan Llywelyn, about the arrival of the Celts in Ireland

The classic I, Claudius by Rovert Graves, about the Roman emperor Claudius and his rise to power


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