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Favorite HF Authors > Colleen McCullough

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message 1: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Colleen McCullough is one of my all time favorite authors. I will buy and read every single book she puts out as soon as I can get my hands on it. She writes on a variety of subjects, and in a slew of genres, but it's all lovely. She has yet to disapoint me.

She breaks ourhearts with The Thorn Birds, shows us humankind' possible bleak future with A Creed for the Third Millennium, gives us hope with Angel and shares history with us in The Master's of Rome series, Antony and Cleopatra A Novel and Song of Troy. She can bring any character to vivid life and make the reader hate or love them at will. She can describe a meadow, and I would swear I smell the flowers.

I have been to Australia, New Zealoand, Rome, Greece, Egypt and future America with her, all without leaving my living room. Any trip she offers, I know every seat will be first class, and I will walk away with aknowledge of that country,or place I never could have obtained on a "real" voyage.

I love her.


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 418 comments I was NOT a Thornbirds fan (sorry K <3), but I have read two of hers that I love, including The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet A Novel.


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 418 comments have you read Song of Troy yet Kandice? Last I knew you were just getting it from ebay.


message 4: by April (new)

April (booksandwine) | 48 comments I feel like every library booksale I go to has at least five copies of The Thornbirds. Which is good, since hopefully more people will become exposed to Colleen McCullough.

I own Song of Troy (picked it up from a library booksale). I have high hopes for it as wel as for her Rome series. I also really really enjoyed The Thornbirds, it was another book where I felt a lot of empathy towards the characters.


message 5: by Kandice (new)

Kandice The absolute second I finish Jon's book, I am starting Song of Troy and Wizard's and Glass. I can not stress how hard it has been for me to make myself wait! I really think that's why it's taking me so long to finish this current book. I pick up SOT about 100 times a day and stroke the cover. It is killing me!

April, have you read a lot of her books? I could gush about her all day.




message 6: by April (new)

April (booksandwine) | 48 comments I've only read The Thornbirds, but I really loved it! :-)

I'm actually really excited to read First Man In Rome in September! :-D


message 7: by Donna (new)

Donna | 149 comments McCullogh is certainly a varied and prolific writer and for something completely different from The Thorn Birds and the Rome series I read - a long time ago - The Ladies of Missalonghi. A light, breezy so of coming of age story set in the early 1900s Australia.


message 8: by Renee (new)

Renee (elenarenee) | 225 comments I have a confession. I hated The Thorn Birds. Please dont stone me. LOL I have never picked up another book by her because of how much I disliked that book. I may have to try again


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 418 comments yeah Renee, the story has always freaked me out because I think the movie is uber creepy (sorry Kandice, love you!!!!!)...but when I read the book the story grew on me a little more. It is still by NO means a favorite but...I recommend trying again :) she is a fantastic author.


message 10: by Kandice (last edited Aug 07, 2009 10:26PM) (new)

Kandice Well, like we've said, she wtites each of her stories so differently! Ladies Of Missalonghi is actually very funny. Some of her books are depressing, and some are just entertaining.

The Touch is a nice, epic love story without the creepy Priest factor. I don't mind that people find that creepy, but even if you do, you gotta admit it's beautifully written.

"There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in it's life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to outcarol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His Heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain...Or so the legend says."


"The bird with the thorn in it's breast, it follows an immutable law; it is driven by it knows not what to impale itself, and die singing. At the very instant the thorn enters there is no awareness in it of the dying to come; it simply sings until there is not the life left to utter another note. But we, when we put the thorns in our breasts, we know. We understand. And still we do it. Still we do it."


message 11: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3733 comments Mod
I have two McCulloughs on my shelf waiting for me: The Thorn Birds and Angel.

I'm hoping TB wins the poll, so I can read that one, but I'll read it soon anyway. Although Angel is shorter.

I'm not sure! I have so many books to read, and I feel like I haven't been reading ANYTHING lately!


message 12: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I will read anything she writes, but Angel wasn't my very favorite. I would hate for you to read that one or On, Off A Novel first. I know I gave you Angel, but that was ot read after another McCullough:D I have a diabolical plan!!!!


message 13: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3733 comments Mod
Oh... I see. Umm, you should probably mention that next time, because I was thisclose to reading it as soon as you sent it, and that would have ruined your diabolical plan! LOL


message 14: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Oh man!!!! I thought I wrote it on a post-it note inside the book! I really just wanted to share one of the only pb's I had of my favorite author with my favorite reader:D Are you busy?


message 16: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3733 comments Mod
Well you did say that this was the only pb McCullough that you had and you wanted to share her with me, but no mention of a diabolical plan at all! :P


message 17: by Renee (new)

Renee (elenarenee) | 225 comments LOL well you shared in a way with me Kandice. I am now ready to give Mccollugh another go from what peeps here have said


message 18: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (mkdotson) | 26 comments I have The First Man in Rome & The October Horse since they are hardback I try to find them used and wait to I have the complete set to read.


message 19: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 350 comments Melanie wrote: "I have The First Man in Rome & The October Horse since they are hardback I try to find them used and wait to I have the complete set to read."

That's what I'm trying to do too Melanie. So far I've found The First Man in Rome, The Grass Crown, Caesar's Women and Antony & Cleopatra. The others seem to be a bit more elusive for me.


message 20: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Jennifer, Antony and Cleopatra is an installment in the series, but not a neccesary one. It basically tells, in more detail, what another one already does. I know some people are daunted by huge series, and just don't want anyone to feel it's overwhelming.

October Horse is the same. You already hear the story in another, this just gives you more detail and different POVs.


message 21: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 350 comments Thanks Kandice. That's good to know! I don't mind reading a huge series but I often wonder if all of them are part of the novel or can be read independantly.


message 22: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3733 comments Mod
I was able to find the entire series on PaperbackSwap.com, for those of you trying to find elusive books. I got them all in MMPB, but there were other versions available too. :D


message 23: by Toni (new)

Toni Osborne (toniosborne) I love her but must say haven't read one of her books in a long time maybe after all your comments I will add one her books on my TBR shelf soon


message 24: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I know she was supposed to have "brain surgery" in January, but everytime I run a search, I come up with zilch. I guess that's good because, had she died...we'd all know, right? I've been on pins and needles.


message 25: by Jackie, That's Her Constableness to you! (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 3081 comments Mod
Awww ((K)). I'm sure she's fine. Like you said if something bad happened it would have made the news by now.


message 26: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Jackie wrote: "Awww ((K)). I'm sure she's fine. Like you said if something bad happened it would have made the news by now. "

Thanks, Jackie. I should ask Jon if anything has been said over there. That's where she lives after all. Just seems strange to me that there would be NOTHING.




message 27: by Jackie, That's Her Constableness to you! (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 3081 comments Mod
I know...it is a bit weird they haven't updated anywhere especially after putting out that she was getting surgery. Maybe you can have Jon deliver flowers to her house. I know a cute, furry koala with flowers would cheer me right up! :-)


message 28: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Ha ha! I think she actually lives on a little island somewhere that's considered New Zealand, but they consider her an Australian author because that's where she was a neurophysicist and started writing. I'll have to look and see.

He could do his hiney shaking dance and she'd just HAVE to feel beter.:)


message 29: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Norfolk Island in the South Pacific.


message 30: by Jon (new)

Jon | 374 comments Oi Norfolk Island belongs to Australia thank you very much lol


message 31: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) She is a wonderful author. I enjoyed Thorn Birds and gave it a 4 star but the story never really interested me, just the way she told it. There's something about how she writes that I quite like.

I don't think it is AuthorLove but she is definitely an author I'll continue reading.

As it is I am reading Morgan's Run by her and it is very good and the story interests me too as much as anything.


message 32: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (Snoopi) Ok, I just got the first volume in The Masters of Rome series... I love this type of book (nice and thick and full of history, and romance too??) so I know I will become addicted and want to read all of them. O la, so many books!!!


message 33: by Felina (new)

Felina | 612 comments Romance?? Granted I only got half way through but I only read about sex. No romance. :P


message 34: by Maude (new)

Maude | 976 comments I just finished reading the First Man in Rome for the challenge and I LOVED IT!! It is everything you said it was Kandice and my only regret is that I can't start on the rest until the Challenge is over. What a man, what a leader, what a strategist - totally deserving of First Man in Rome. I have mixed feelings re Sulla, loved Aurelia. I will actually probably reread it before starting the rest. There are so many people that I think I want to have a rock solid foundation before I begin the others.


message 35: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Maude, I bet if you continue the series you will fall in love, completely against your will!, with Sulla. I know I did, even though he's crazy and cruel and any number of things that should make him unattractive. I've never read a McCullough I didn't love. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.


message 36: by Maude (new)

Maude | 976 comments You may be right, Kandace, since there are qualities in Sulla that I admire - but I am going to have to be seduced a little more before I give in! Thank you for getting me so interested in this series.


message 37: by LemonLinda (new)

LemonLinda (lwilliamson0423) | 842 comments I found a spot for 3 McCullough's into the challenge -I already had all three - 2 in audiobook, but had not read any of them - recently found all 3 on PBS - Morgan's Run and The October Horse (audios) and then also The Touch. I was glad for a reason to read them now as compared to later.


message 38: by Maude (new)

Maude | 976 comments I am jealous, LemonLinda, they all look so good but I would love to read Morgan's Run since I have always been interested in Australia and the transports, etc. Good Luck!


message 39: by LemonLinda (new)

LemonLinda (lwilliamson0423) | 842 comments I am now reading The Touch by Colleen McCullough and am loving it. Like all of her books, the story line is compelling and the characters are fully developed. This one is set in Australia with a background in Scotland.


message 40: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) OOOh I have that one to read and I can't wait for it.


message 41: by Angela (last edited Sep 10, 2010 03:46AM) (new)

Angela (JLmomma) I read the first few books in The Masters of Rome series this summer. I just finished Caesar and am taking a bit of a break with a little lighter reading before I move on to The October Horse. There are just so many characters to keep track of and looking back and forth through the book to remind myself who this was or who did that. Maybe it's just me.
I fell in love with Sulla too but now after the last book I'm pretty sure I have a thing for Caesar. I really enjoyed Aurelia's character as well. I love all of her characters.


message 42: by Kara (last edited Sep 22, 2010 07:37PM) (new)

Kara (karasmannequin) | 12 comments Kandice wrote: "Colleen McCullough is one of my all time favorite authors. I will buy and read every single book she puts out as soon as I can get my hands on it. She writes on a variety of subjects, and in a slew..."

I enjoy her Rome books for their accuracy to the lifestyle of many citizens in Rome at the time and appreciate how much depth of research she put into it. Her writing's quite enjoyable too. It wasn't through her, but through all the writing of Rome (like Angela) I've read that I've "fallen" for Julius Caesar. He seems like quite the character.

I enjoyed her Thorn Birds, as well, that was a heart wrenching novel and what got me started on her.


message 43: by LemonLinda (new)

LemonLinda (lwilliamson0423) | 842 comments One of my next couple of books will be her The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet. I am using it for the task - read a book you haven't read by one of your favorite authors.


message 44: by Faith (new)

Faith Justice | 668 comments I just finished Antony and Cleopatra a couple of weeks ago and found it a bit of a slog. I loved her earlier books from the Masters of Rome series, but felt the excitement fell off after the first 3 or 4. McCollough's take on Cleopatra as a scheming "eastern monarch" who didn't understand Rome's western mindset was interesting, but I just couldn't get into the characters this time.


message 45: by Moon (new)

Moon | 101 comments I just finished The Song of Troy. I had my reservations after reading The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet, which was a complete and utter waste of my time. But I was desperate for something about Troy and it popped up in the search results at my library. The Song of Troy could have been a lot better, but I will give it some props. I did like the portrayal of Achilles. Although I would have preferred some other perspectives on the events of certain chapters, I will admit.


message 46: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3733 comments Mod
I really enjoyed Song of Troy... I liked the way that the mythology was woven into the story, and the way that the characters were depicted. I liked that they were human and not caricatures made godlike.


message 47: by Amelie (new)

Amelie | 86 comments Faith wrote: "I just finished Antony and Cleopatra a couple of weeks ago and found it a bit of a slog. I loved her earlier books from the Masters of Rome series, but felt the excitement fell off af..."

I agree with you, Faith. I loved the first few books but somehow had trouble relating to some of her later characters. She seemed to be a little too fond of Julius Caesar (although he must have been remarkable) and sometimes her voice came through too strongly (oh, bother). On the other hand some of her research and her conclusions were really fabulous - deciding to have Sulla married to a Julia, or Cleopatra's rationale for mating with Caesar, and then later Mark Anthony.


Victoria_Grossack Grossack (victoriagrossack) | 591 comments Interesting to read others' reactions! I loved the first few Masters of Rome - especially the characters like Marius, Sulla and Aurelia. And the information she gave on the legions, and the battles, and the Subura... She did seem tired by the time she reached Antony and Cleopatra - and I think I read somewhere that she only wrote it because of pressure from her publishers. I agree that The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet was, well, rather out of character for the characters.


message 49: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3733 comments Mod
I've only read a couple of McCullough's books. Tim and The Thorn Birds, which were both really, really good. I have the first 6 in the Rome series to read... if I ever get around to them!


Victoria_Grossack Grossack (victoriagrossack) | 591 comments Becky wrote: "I've only read a couple of McCullough's books. Tim and The Thorn Birds, which were both really, really good. I have the first 6 in the Rome series to read... if I ever get around to them!"

What is Tim about?


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