European Royalty discussion

Other Discussions > HF for male readers?

Comments Showing 1-45 of 45 (45 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 696 comments Ross has posted over on another thread that most members of this group seem to be female (that could be possible). Any suggestions for HF that would appeal more to a male reader?

I'm thinking Cornwell, as well as Penman and also Chadwick's Marshal books might do. Any other ideas?

message 2: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments I can't pinpoint anything specific but probably non-romance novels about the War of the Roses, the Trojan War, Napoleon, Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great. Maybe I'm stereotyping but I find guys tend to be more interested in war-time books and conquerors than women are.

message 3: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 696 comments Perhaps Penman's The Sunne in Splendour?

A bit earlier period but there's also Brian Wainwright's excellent Within The Fetterlock.

message 4: by Susan (last edited Feb 25, 2010 03:03PM) (new)

Susan (boswellbaxter) | 96 comments Ross wrote: "Miss Fit: (Yep, I changed your name :))

I'd love to find a good biography of Charles XII of Sweden or England's Victoria. Any suggestions?"

I just read We Two, a joint biography of Victoria and Albert. I thought that it was excellent. (Edited: it's not so much of a joint biography as a study of their marriage, but it's not at all touchy-feely.)

We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals

message 5: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 696 comments Ross wrote: "Miss Fit: (Yep, I changed your name :))

I am not a fan of the Marshall book by Chadwick (I gave it one star and that was generous). Robin is mostly right except that I just read a history of E..."

Shh, don't tell Misfit the kitty cat you've been messing with her name. She really does deserve it.

HF- historical fiction.

message 6: by Frances (new)

Frances | 25 comments My husband loved Cornwell's Sharpe series, though I think he's rather bored with them now and not interested in the new ones.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 378 comments I have known several men who loved I, Claudius.

message 8: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Moody | 544 comments If you like trashy (and who doesn't?) I recommend The Other Boleyn Girl. I like to call it Historical Smut.

Everyone here loves Philippa Gregory, I'm sure you will, too.

message 9: by Claire (new)

Claire | 14 comments How about the Flashman series by George Macdonald Fraser. He is the bully from Tom Browns Schooldays very well inserted into the most exciting parts of Victorian history. He is a coward, liar and the attitudes of a Victorian but the history and action is great.The Afghanistan one Flashman and the Great Game is topical, Royal Flash
has Flashman meeting Bismark, Lola Montez and getting involved in the Schweig Holstein Question. Flash for Freedom is Flashman getting involved with the slave trade, etc etc.

message 10: by Barbara (last edited Feb 26, 2010 07:56PM) (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 143 comments I don't know that we should necessarily be finding things that appeal to men more , especially if it is just to please Ross who has already

Announced his confidence in his own masculinity

Warns us about his possible sense of humour ( by which I assume he means sexism, otherwise why warn us)

Changed Misfit's name and seems proud of doing so

On explanation of said name, makes innuendo about growing up.

I'm just saying ......

message 11: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Moody | 544 comments Ross -
Your apology is too little too late. You have grievously offended us. We are smart, strong and independent women. You are hereby exiled from the group.

Obviously I'm totally kidding.
Please...bring on the childish humor, sexist behavior and masculine pride. This group is entirely too feminine already.

Again, I'm totally kidding, girls. I don't think we're too feminine. I think we're just feminine enough.
I have a problem with sarcasm. It seems to be flaring up this morning.

message 12: by Joann (new)

Joann | 10 comments My son (a history major age 29) loves historical fiction. he loved Sunne in Splendour but also Penman other Wales trilogy (Here be Dragons etc), he read all of the First Man in Rome series by Colleen McCullough, he read Agincourt recently and Genghis -- there are lots of male historical fiction novels once you get to politics, intrigue and war and not romance.

message 13: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Jean Plaidy has a good amount of Victoria books. Victoria Victorious is out in bookstores right now. She has a series of four books about Victoria as well although I believe they are all out of print (I assume covers the same territory as Victoria Victorious only in 3rd person). I haven't read these yet, but I like most of Plaidy's other books a lot.

message 14: by Brian (new)

Brian (brianwainwright) | 5 comments I can recommend an author I have recently 'discovered'.
Simon Scarrow. He writes Roman and Napoleonic stuff and he is first class.

I am also tempted to mention 'The Master', Robert Graves.

Second the recommendations for Mesdames Penman and Chadwick.

message 15: by Frances (new)

Frances | 25 comments I would not guide any man to Philippa Gregory (although Ross does sound exceptionally open-minded)! I think her books are entirely geared towards women--I loved the Other Boleyn girl, but you do get the impression that Henry VIII did nothing that was not sex/marriage/baby-related. Her other books are even more romance-like. Too much peace, not enough war, you know?
Another suggestion from the hubcap: Master and Commander (the book, not the movie!) by Patrick O'Brian

message 16: by Claire (new)

Claire | 14 comments The whole series of Aubrey is pretty good.

message 17: by Barbara (last edited Mar 03, 2010 05:27PM) (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 143 comments I dunno folks, but I think we are getting away from talking about books for their own sake and caught up in this gender business. I feel like I'm detecting a note of apolgetics in our emails as if many of the books we read the books are , somehow not worthy of men (ugh) If we are capable of sorting out gold from dross, then men can too.
I figure if anyone wants to read HF, fine, they can go ahead and do so .
End of story, if you know what I mean.

Don't mean to sound crabby, I just don't like any of the fine women on these threads sounding like they have to justify themselves.Nor work their asses off trying to find things to please

message 18: by Claire (new)

Claire | 14 comments I live in a family of men and spend my life encouraging them to read
hf with mixed results.I had left a copy of A Place Beyond Courage by the bath and my elder son, he was then 16 read bits of it and called it "medieval porn".However I have had some successes and my younger son actually found The Other Bolyen Girl helpful in his history revision.

message 19: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Moody | 544 comments Barbara,
I think some of us are enjoying recommending books that we're hoping male readers will enjoy. Like Claire implied in her post, HF is a genre most men don't really appreciate. I, for one, love to recommend a book in a genre that my husband hasn't read - and then see him love it.

Also, remember Ross didn't ask for this thread to be created, nor did he ask for any book recommendations. Misfit opened this thread (I'm assuming) because she thought some of us might have some legitimate suggestions for books or authors that he hadn't heard of.
Then some smart-ass (that'd be me!) got on and started making jokes. My Other Boleyn Girl comment was supposed to be funny, btw.

Anyway, I don't think anyone is apologizing for their reading choices (though if I were it would be for the supposed "erotica" I read last night) or is working their ass off to please a man (not here, anyway...)

We have several threads dedicated to discussing books, and several threads dedicated to recommending books. You only have to read and post on the ones you're interested in.

PS, Claire, your sons description of "A Place Beyond Courage" is the best recommendation I've ever heard! I will definitely be reading it now ;)

message 20: by Claire (new)

Claire | 14 comments It's not that racy it is just embarrassing for kids to realise their parents are sexual beings and didn't only have sex to procreate them!

message 21: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 696 comments No, I was the one to start this thread. There had been some mention on another thread that all the members of this group were female so I thought we'd come up with some recommendations for the other half.

message 22: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments I like this thread not so much for guys who like to read (who may be more open minded about which books they pick up), but more for guys like my husband who don't really care for reading (at all, regardless of the topic). It's giving me a lot of ideas for those types of people. Sad thing is, he'd prefer the war books to a romance!

message 23: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Moody | 544 comments I have a BIL like that, Sara - just doesn't read. It's like a personal challenge to find a book he'll love.
I recommended one of my favorites (not HF) to him and he loved it. My sister said it's the first book she's ever seen him read in less than a year, lol!

Back to books for boys, though...
My husband read the Here Be Dragons trilogy (after hearing me go on and on...and on about it) and loved it. So if any of our male members haven't read it - do so!

message 24: by Nona (last edited Mar 05, 2010 08:07AM) (new)

Nona (goodreadscomnona) | 145 comments My husband is not a reader by all means. He allows my love for books to expand and laughs as the boxes arrives but never had he asked which I would recommend to him until he was injured & on house duty. I easily said The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick, he read it in two days. He then read The Scarlet Lion followed up by The Champion and The Conquest and Falcons of Montabard.

He still would rather work outside or play with his atv's or cars but in the winter when it is too cold to go outside I'll find him tucked away with a book from my shelves and I can only smile.

Next up I'm going to suggest The Welsh Triology by Penman, he'll love it. Also I heard Bernard Cornwell is a mans author.

message 25: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (abycat3) Misfit wrote: "Ross has posted over on another thread that most members of this group seem to be female (that could be possible). Any suggestions for HF that would appeal more to a male reader?

I'm thinking Co..."

What about the Master and Commander series. Think the author is O'Brian maybe.

message 26: by Nona (new)

Nona (goodreadscomnona) | 145 comments O'Brian has alot of male geared books, many naval and war books.

My husband loved the William Marshall books partly because it wasn't all war and bravado but and equal dose of politics, match making and so forth.

message 27: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Ross wrote: "If I can add some "guy" comments (*LOL):

1. One of my all-time favs is The Far Pavillions...beautiful writing and a great love story.

2. I'd rather read than anything else in the world. ..."

I loved the Far Pavilions! We read that here awhile ago.

message 28: by Terri (last edited Mar 27, 2010 06:14PM) (new)

Terri I must confess, that while I am indeed a woman, I prefer books that traditionally appeal to men. I am not really into books with romance and whimsy, more books with grit and grunt and brutal honesty.
So, if I was going to recommend books for men I would recommend these authors and books....

Bernard Cornwell (my favourite author), his Saxon series (5 books)is my favourites of all of Cornwell's. There are many Cornwell series' that may appeal to men and I think it depends on their particular tastes. The Grail series (a completed series at 3 book), the Arthur series (a completed series at 3 books)and so on...

Tim Severin.
Severin has a few series'. A Viking series (3 books) and a Corsican/pirate series (2 or 3 books so far)

Steven Pressfield,
Gates of Fire: The Battle for Thermopylae amoung others. Many men love Gates of Fire and it is a bit of a cult book.

Conn Iggulden,
Iggulden has two very good series', one Roman (4 books) and one tells the story of Ghengis Khan (3 books). I recommend both series'.

Robert Low,
Has an adventure Viking series. 3 books. Whale Road, Wolf Sea and White Raven.

I also think that Manda Scott's Boudica series may appeal to a male reader....but I could be wrong.

I also read Elizabeth Chadwick and find her books very hit and miss. Some I love, some I don't love.

If we stretched the link to European Royalty, there are books such as the Shardlake series starting with Dissolution, and the Ken Follett books (Pillar of the Earth).

Wilbur Smith does good HF for men and women alike.

Sorry if that has all made my post too long..there are others i would like to recommend, but that's a pretty good cross section to start. :-)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 378 comments Gates of Fire is good.

I wasn't a big fan of Bernard Cornwell when I tried him, though.

message 30: by Terri (last edited Mar 28, 2010 03:37PM) (new)

Terri Susanna wrote: "Gates of Fire is good.

I wasn't a big fan of Bernard Cornwell when I tried him, though."

That is good to see another woman liked Gates of Fire. I am sure there are lots of women who read it and like it, but I am yet to meet one that would even pick it up because it 'looks like a guys book'.
I always find it frustrating that women do that. Women should try harder to read books that contain no romance and none or minor female characters, and men should try harder to read books that might have a little romance in them.

Yeah, people are hot and cold with Cornwell. From my experience, he hits more with men. I have gotten quite a few men in my life addicted to Cornwell.

I have never read his Sharpe series, but am willing to give them a try one day. There are just too many of them for me.
And there are other books he has done (a couple in conjunction with his wife) that did nothing for me.

message 31: by Claire (new)

Claire | 14 comments I think the early Sharpe books are very good.You don't have to read them all in one go! Its actually better if you don't because there are serious inconsistancies with the women but they are stand alone books.
I enjoyed Gates of Fire but preferred his Tides of War.I grew up with Wilbur Smith and Sven Hassel.

message 32: by Terri (new)

Terri Claire wrote: "I think the early Sharpe books are very good.You don't have to read them all in one go! Its actually better if you don't because there are serious inconsistancies with the women but they are stand ..."

In regards to the Sharpe's series, goodness, no, I wouldn't have read them all in one go! Never in a million years. :-) Nope, I meant only that I figured that because there are so many of them, if they weren't read in sequence that the stories, characters and plot would go over my head.

I have also shied away from picking up a Sharpe's book because, well, how to probably already realise this, but when Cornwell does another book in a series he does spend too much time refreshing the reader on the story 'thus far'. He did it well in Lords of the North (Saxon series), but every other series book I have read of his, he loses sight of the story too much while he explains every little nuance of past story from past books.
It is one of the main reasons that the Sharpe's baulks me. My concern that EVERY book will have this annoying facet to it.

P.S I hope people aren't assuming that when I put a list of authors and books in this thread the other day, for Male HF Readers, that I was saying that women don't read these books.
Sorry if that is how it came across. I did not mean to intimate that these books are for men only, I wanted to say that some of those authors are predominantly read by men, and that men are the target audience, just as Elizabeth Chadwick novels are targeted at women (even though men still read them).
Sorry for any mix up everyone. :-)

message 33: by Seth (new)

Seth Frederiksen | 2 comments Love the Sharpe Series, they're great. The characters are wonderful and the battle scenes are beyond great.

message 34: by Robert (last edited May 31, 2010 06:00AM) (new)

Robert (robertstephenparry) | 3 comments For the boys it really doesn't have to be all swashbuckling stuff or improbable sea stories with topsails and poopdecks. Don't forget Tolstoy wrote War and Peace as an historical - writing about events that occurred at least 50 years previously, as did Dickens in a Tale of Two Cities. Modern authors like Edward Rutherfurd are often very acceptable to us males, too. And we quite enjoy a little romance too! (but don't let on that I mentioned that).

message 35: by Terri (new)

Terri Really Robert? A little romance you say? :-) Your secret is safe with me.

message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

you know what i thought? when the topic said HF for male readers, it gave me an impression that since all you guys are not guys, well chicks, you are giving HIGH FIVES to male readers!lol! and that bubble bursted today when i finally bothered to enter the subject! oh well i love historical fiction! :P

message 37: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Lol, I had to read your comment 3-4 times before I realized how you got high five...well, here you go:

High five suffiyan! And all the other male readers here! :)

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

awww!thanks sara!!! high five to you too!! :P

message 39: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (oyastorm77) James Cameron-The Murder of King Tut.

message 40: by Chris (new)

Chris (cdavies1951) | 1 comments I really liked The Officer's Prey by Armand Cabasson by Armand Cabasson. It was an interesting blend of historical fiction and mystery during Napoleon's retreat from Russia.

I also like the Rutherford books. I would recommend the Sharpe books to anyone, but I haven't read the entire series.

The Matthew Shardlake mysteries are pretty good historical fiction, too. I believe Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake, #1) by C.J. Sansom is the first.

message 41: by Molly (new)

Molly Murphy | 14 comments Misfit wrote: "Ross has posted over on another thread that most members of this group seem to be female (that could be possible). Any suggestions for HF that would appeal more to a male reader?

I'm thinking Corn..."
Lionheart would probably be good. Also Hawk of May. Anything to do with King Arthur. The Virtues of War, too.

message 42: by KOMET (new)

KOMET | 71 comments I would be curious to know the ratio of women to men in this Group who are fans of the Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels by Patrick O'Brian, which are set (in the main) during the Napoleonic Wars. (I've been a fan of the series since July 1994).

Examples: Post Captain

Post Captain (Aubrey/Maturin Book 2) by Patrick O'Brian

H.M.S. 'Surprise'

H.M.S. 'Surprise' (Aubrey/Maturin, #3) by Patrick O'Brian

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 378 comments I read the first one, and it was alright.

message 44: by Molly (new)

Molly Murphy | 14 comments I thought the books were really cool- I almost forgot about them until you mentioned them, but I borrowed them from my library a few years ago and really liked them- I love anything to do with old ships.

message 45: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Houston | 1 comments I recommend anything by Michael Cox, David Liss, or Iain Pears. They are three of my favorite authors and their books don't have alot of romance.

back to top