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Recommendations? (Misread back of "A Breath of Snow and Ashes")

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message 1: by Cassa (new)

Cassa | 38 comments I misread the blurb on the back of Diana Gabaldon's "A Breath of Snow and Ashes" at Borders today--my brain latched onto "time-traveler" and "American Revolution" and completely missed "sixth book of the popular Outlander series." I read the first nine pages, realized it took place in Scotland, reread the blurb, and am returning the book later this week.

That said, can anyone recommend something that might more appropriately fit the excitement I had? Historical fiction, time-travel fiction, American Revolution, any combination of those would be great. Other historical periods I'm interested in are Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and most of British history. I was also really excited by the ~1500 page length, so anything engaging with some serious length is welcome.

Thank you in advance for any ideas.

message 2: by Cassa (new)

Cassa | 38 comments I should note, if I can do so without sounding ungrateful, that I'm not interested in the Outlander series as a whole, and am not looking to start at the first installment.

message 3: by Julie (new)

Julie For historical fiction and really long, there's always The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett. I hated it, but many people have loved and recommended it.

Let's see. None of these will meet the serious length request, I'm afraid.

Time travel: To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis, and In the Garden of Iden, by Kage Baker.

American Revolution: The only book I can think of is a historical mystery I read recently called Hearts and Bones, by Margaret Lawrence.

I have a number of Egypt-based historical mysteries in my to-read pile, but can't say what they're like.

I don't often read regular historical fiction, so this is the best I can do. Good luck!

message 4: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 77 comments It does sound like you'd like Connie Willis. She has two new time travel novels out this year, Blackout and All Clear, about England during WWII.

message 5: by Cassa (new)

Cassa | 38 comments I've got Pillars of the Earth on my to-read list but I'm not actually sure what it's all about. I'll take a look when I'm in the store tomorrow.

Not really into mysteries, with the exception of Agatha Christie. "To Say Nothing of the Dog" sounds pretty interesting, though! I'll definitely look for that one.

Jamie, you got me excited but I'm not sure how I feel about the time-travel starting point being 2060. I'll poke around the author's spot on the bookshelf, though; maybe once I read a few pages I'll feel differently.

Thanks, both, for the rec's.

message 6: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 77 comments Pillars of the Earth is very popular, but I wasn't crazy about Follet's writing style. The setting is nice - 12th-century England, during the war between Stephen and Maud - and it's centered around the building of a cathedral, which is more interesting than it sounds.

You might like Sharon Kay Penman. She has written some great novels about Richard III, about Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine, and about the Welsh princes. They're nice fat books.

message 7: by Cassa (new)

Cassa | 38 comments I'll check out Penman as well, then!

Part of me is really hardcore mourning the loss of new Harry Potter, too--everything I'm finding that is supposed to be the "new" HP either doesn't grow with the reader like the Rowling's style did, or is just uninteresting. Any suggestions there? Doesn't have to be the same subject matter, but something a little fantastical. I'm partway through the Percy Jackson books but they're a little young for what I'm looking for.

What's the consensus on Phillipa Gregory? I've glanced at her books but can't decide whether or not to pick one up--I know she wrote "The Other Boleyn Girl" but I seem to remember being turned off by the ads for the movie so I think that's tainting my judgment.

message 8: by Jamie (last edited Aug 26, 2010 10:30AM) (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 77 comments How about Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, then? It's a fantasy set in Regency England. You may be able to find it on the remainder table if you're going to the bookstore, I've been seeing it there. And Julie introduced me to His Majesty's Dragon, which is like Dragonriders of Pern crossed with Horatio Hornblower. It's a lot of fun.

I dislike Philippa Gregory, but she's very popular. I enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl well enough until the ending - Gregory reputedly dislikes Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I, and writes nastily about them.

Her novel Wideacre may be the only book I've ever thrown in the garbage because I hated it so much.

message 9: by Cassa (new)

Cassa | 38 comments I tried Jonathan Strange, but realized about halfway through it that nothing had really happened yet.

I had Pillars of the Earth in my hand but might grab that one at the library to try. Didn't grab me enough to put money out for.

Haven't settled on anything yet. Leaning more towards some sort of historical fiction or HP-esque series. I'll have to browse more seriously another day--my gift card didn't register the return yet.

message 10: by Julie (new)

Julie Harry Potter really made my imagination run wild. People make fun of Rowling, but daggone it, that woman created something really magical. I can't think of anything that really compares with it. Angie Sage's Septimus Heap books are good, but in a different way and probably too young. Percy Jackson started strong but either fizzled or I got bored. I can't say which it is.

This is kind of a weird recommendation as a follow up to Harry Potter, but something like Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden books might work. I'm thinking of the way the books get ever deeper and more complex as the series progresses. He ups the ante a LOT, maybe too much. They might be worth a look.

In a way, the President's Daughter series by Ellen Emerson White is similar, though without any fantasy element. The books start out fairly light and get quite serious as time passes. I highly recommend them.

Let's see: You might check out Katherine Sturtevant's At the Sign of the Star, and A True and Faithful Narrative. It's a YA duology set in 1600s England. They aren't long, though. Thinking of The President's Daughter made me think of them. I couldn't tell you exactly why!

Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small series matures as the heroine does.

I don't know if I'm helping or hurting at this point! :D

message 11: by Cassa (new)

Cassa | 38 comments Seriously; HPatGoF has been running a lot on TV lately and it's got me missing the series /hardcore/. There really isn't anything like it out there.

I think Percy Jackson suffers from being "variations on a theme" with no drastic difference in plot from one book to another. I think I got through two or three of them and I'm not exactly rushing out to finish the series.

I tried the Dresden files but had a hard time connecting to the main character. I found him really distasteful somehow and I'm not sure why.

You're definitely helping. I'm taking notes and skimming things in the bookstore or library; if nothing else I'm looking at things I wouldn't, and noticing other things in the same area--you're making me open to books all over the shelves I wouldn't otherwise look at.

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Jonathan Stroud's trilogy beginning with The Amulet of Samarkand is a well, written, sort of sad Harry Potteresque series. Michael Scott's series beginning with The Alchemyst isn't bad and feels "older" than the Percy Jackson books. For time travel, though, I'll second Connie Willis, specifically Doomsday Book.

message 13: by Cassa (new)

Cassa | 38 comments Oh, wow, if "The Alchemyst" is half as awesome as it sounds, I might have found a winner.

Willis intrigues me but I'm wary about her starting point for time travel being so far in the future. Maybe I'll get her stuff from the library to start.

message 14: by Julie (new)

Julie I didn't think of the Bartimaeus trilogy. Good call, Shoshana.

Cassa, an older series that explores some of the terrain of growing up is Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles. It lacks that sense of the writing style advancing, but it does capture a great sense of maturation from the hero.

Gah, I feel like there's something obvious I'm forgetting.

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Willis's future is very similar to the present other than that they have a time machine. It's not a "Captain Kirk goes back in time" sort of set-up.

message 16: by Cassa (new)

Cassa | 38 comments I am hearing good things about Willis all over. I've got her (and so many others) on my list of authors/books to check out. I plan on spending much time at the library trying out books tomorrow. Yay, days off!!

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