Ancient & Medieval Historical Fiction discussion

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Looking For a Book About.. > Featuring the Jewish

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message 1: by Dawn (last edited Mar 01, 2012 03:48PM) (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments So after reading Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin and The Book of Splendor by Frances Sherwood I am interested in any books, as stated in the title, featuring the Jewish faith, people, country and/or culture.
I am not looking for one small lonesome money lender character but a whole book.
Any era is welcome from ancient to modern historical fiction. Ideas for non-fiction will also be accepted. :)

Ideas please........


message 2: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Hmmm....I will have to think about this one. :-)


message 3: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Cline | 76 comments You might want to try the Catherine Le Vendeur mystery series, starting with Death Comes As Epiphany by Sharan Newman. It's about Jews and Christians in medieval France. I loved the series.


message 4: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments Funny you should mention it......I have it out from the library right now. Though I have it out because it's a historical mystery, I hadn't realized the Jews were in it. Maybe I'll have to start it this weekend. :)


message 5: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Mar 03, 2012 12:40AM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments All the ones I can think of are war related. As you are finding out, jewish history doesn't start and finish with the holocaust. There is a colourful history to be found on the Jewish. I know they have some wild 'fairytales and mythology'.

You may be interested in Elijah's Violin &Amp; Other Jewish Fairy Tales by Howard Schwartz
Elijah's Violin &Amp; Other Jewish Fairy Tales


message 6: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Cline | 76 comments Here's the first in another historical mystery series, about a blind Jewish physician in 14th century Spain. Remedy for Treason (Chronicles of Issac of Girona, #1) by Caroline Roe Remedy for Treason by Caroline Roe. I just love historical mysteries.


message 7: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments My library doesn't have the first 5 in that series unfortunately. I'll keep an eye out for them though, it looks good.

I finished 'Death comes as Epiphany'. Thought it was great, so much so that I had to buy the next four books 'cause my library only has #1, #6, #7, #8 and #9. They are supposed to come in 7-14 days. :)


message 8: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Ideiosepius A very non fiction book and focusing entirely on a specific part of Judaism - The Saphardic or Spanish Jews starting in the fifteenth century- as the author traces his family history:
The Cross and the Pear Tree by Victor Perera.
(I cant figure out how to post as link, sorry)

A Bag of Marbles by Joseph Joffo Is a strangely light-hearted and engaging story of how, as children Joseph and his brother kept ahead of the Germans in France.

Shalom, Japan: A Sabra's Five Years in the Land of the Rising Sun by Shifra Horn
Is a very funny story of an Israeli living in Japan, modern though, not historical.


Spinoza: A Life by Steven M. Nadler
Tells the story of one of the great philosophers but gives a super excellent picture of the seventeenth century Amsterdam Jewish community, it's members, organisation and habits. I found it very readable.

I'll stop now shall I :)


message 9: by Dawn (last edited Mar 11, 2012 09:40AM) (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments Thank you, I will check them all out. And if you want to add more to the list, go right ahead. I'll take all the suggstions I can get! :)

As for posting links: there is a 'add book/author' button at the top of the comment box. Once opened you can search by book or author and post either the name or picture by choosing at the bottom.


message 10: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Ideiosepius Duh. I am a Luddite and yes, I still don't have a e reader :)
One More River

methinks that may not have worked, ah well. This is a 'young adult' book and a bit rare. It is a reasonably good representation of the culture shock of a westernised Jewish teenager in the 60's who's family moves to Israel.
More of an Israeli story than a Jewish history one, and the two are often very different.


message 11: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Ideiosepius But without knowing your preferences Dawn, I think I might just suggest you take a look at:
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/j...


message 12: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Now, now, not a Luddite if you don't have an eReader. :-) Never. Not unless you really are abhorrant of new technology.


message 13: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments Don't worry Deborah, I don't have a e-reader either. Thank you for the website it looks great. Looks like my TBR list will be getting even longer..... :)

Chris, I don't think I've ever been on 'Outlook Online'. Rather than wait the indeterminite amount of time to get a inter-libary loan I've always just bought what I can't find locally. I am getting quite a list of books that I don't want to buy so I might try it out soon. Thanks for the suggestions. :)


message 15: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments Have you read it Carol? It's on my to-read list already, how good is it?


message 16: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Mar 12, 2012 07:02PM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon looks great. Terrific cover art on that edition that Carol linked.

The cover makes me want to read it. I am adding it to the tbr.
The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon (The Sephardic Cycle, #1) by Richard Zimler


message 17: by Carol (new)

Carol (ladygyn) | 304 comments Yes, I read it many years ago and loved it


message 18: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments I'm pretty happy that my library has it, I'm aiming to read it this year sometime.


message 19: by Carol (new)

Carol (ladygyn) | 304 comments You will enjoy it and it covers an interesting time in history. I.e.the Diaspora of the Jews from Portugal which I knew very little about as most history discusses the diaspora from Spain.


message 20: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Ideiosepius The Last Kabbalist! yes that was a good read! I might have to revist it. I never warmed to Exodus, I tried to since I likes his other books, but I just couldn't.


message 21: by John (new)

John | 1 comments I am a rabid David Liss fan, and while I wouldn't necessarily say the themes of the books are Jewish, they play a highly relevant role in his Benjamin Weaver novels(starting with A Conspiracy of Paper). The main character is a bit of a rogue, but charmingly so, and his coming from a Jewish family and having a high profile in the early 1700s make for some great reads.


message 22: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments I have A Conspiracy of Paper marked as to-read but I have to find a copy of it first. It looks good but neither my library or favorite used book store have a copy.


message 23: by Carol (new)

Carol (ladygyn) | 304 comments Read his books too, but am still more interested in earlier historical times. Does anyone have suggestions beyond Ivanhoe and the isaac of Genoa series?


message 24: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Had to look David Liss up to see which books were his. Unfortunately I haven't heard of him. Now I know who he is though. :)


David Liss


message 25: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Mar 13, 2012 02:47PM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Carol wrote: "Read his books too, but am still more interested in earlier historical times. Does anyone have suggestions beyond Ivanhoe and the isaac of Genoa series?"

Do you mean with a Jewish connection, Carol? And how early? Roman times early? Or later?


message 26: by Carol (new)

Carol (ladygyn) | 304 comments Not just a Jewish connection rather where a major character is either a Jew or dealing with the Jewish population of their milieu directly (think Ivanhoe) or a Jew in hiding. Something like that


message 27: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Ideiosepius @Carol - Fiction then?
Ivanhoe. ok, well I actually found the book very difficult to read due to the nauseating level of anti-Semitic stereotyping. It was accurate to the day in which Scott was writing (if not to the era he was writing about) so I bore with it best I could.

I'll think about it, there have been a lot of 'romantic fiction' type books written with Jewish characters, some of them are quite well researched and not bad. The books of Rachel by Joel Gross was pretty good have you tried that one?


message 28: by Carol (new)

Carol (ladygyn) | 304 comments No I haven't but read the blurb and other reader comments on it's site on Amazon, and it is not something I am really into...a bit schmaltzy for me. Maybe we should includePeople of the Book It we pretty good. And It fits the category


message 29: by Susan (new)

Susan | 11 comments Last Kabbalist and All Other Nights are both great. King of Flesh and Blood by Moshe Shamir is fascinating (about Alexander Yannai) and As a Driven Leaf by Milton Steinberg are two of my suggestions.


message 30: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Hi Susan
Could you please include some links for those books you would like to recommend to us?
Please, don't worry about asking how to do that, if you don't know how to use the add book/author feature. :)
You'd be surprised how many people on Goodreads don't know how to do it.


message 32: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Perfect! :D
Thanks Susan. Now I can have a look at your recommendations.


message 33: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I see both rate well on GR, but King of Flesh and Blood rates very well. Mostly 5 star reviews.


message 34: by Susan (new)

Susan | 11 comments Oh, yes, Robert Graves' Claudius the God (Sequel to I, Claudius) has a long section about King Agrippa I. Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina


message 35: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I, Claudius is one book I have never gotten to. I might be one of the last to read it when I get around to it.


message 36: by Susan (new)

Susan | 11 comments I, Claudius is great. I've read it half a dozen times or so. If you enjoy history, gossip & intrigue, you'll have a great time!


message 37: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I have heard it can drag and bog down.
That is the one thing that keeps putting me off...well..that and the fact Roman HF is not a huge favourite of mine. lol. :)
I do read Roman hf, but I rarely seek it out.


message 38: by Susan (new)

Susan | 11 comments Well, chacon a son gout, but I, Claudius is one of my favorites. And I'm interested in that period. So even when I don't like the Roman characters, I often read the books.


message 39: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I think it helps to be interested in the period. I have been interested in it before, but it wore off. No doubt it will come back to me again and I'll start chasing Roman reads.


message 40: by Tim (new)

Tim Hodkinson (timhodkinson) | 577 comments Douglas Jackson's Defender of Rome features as a prominent character a Jewish doctor from Judea working in Nero's Rome. Though he turns out to be a little more than what he first seems. I can't say any more than that without spoiling the book.
Defender of Rome (Gaius Valerius Verrens #2) by Douglas Jackson


message 41: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments I wish the library had this book, I'd like to try the series.


message 42: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Linda, you've got to please start adding links. Doesn't have to be the cover, but the title please. Thanks Linda.
The Haj by Leon Uris
The Haj


message 43: by Linda (last edited Apr 14, 2012 02:58PM) (new)

Linda (ladylawyer8650) | 1687 comments The Haj
Okay. Got a title at least. My search picked up the cover and title and maybe the author. I hit the add button but only the name carried over to the comment. I did it by myself, thank you very much.
Surely no one is following this practice session. In the event that they are: This is a required test. Repeat: THIS IS A TEST!


message 44: by Ireney (new)

Ireney Berezniak The one book that I keep being referred to is Exodus, by Leon Uris, which you guys have already mentioned. I haven't read it myself, but it is sitting in my TBR list and I will be all over it when it finally makes it to Kindle >8)

ib.


message 45: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I own that one. Have a few by Leon Uris.. I never feel compelled to read those I haven't read.


message 46: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Linda wrote: "The Haj
Okay. Got a title at least. My search picked up the cover and title and maybe the author. I hit the add button but only the name carried over to the comment. I did it by myself, thank y..."


Perfecto. :-) Title link is working fine.


message 47: by Linda (new)

Linda (ladylawyer8650) | 1687 comments Ireney wrote: "The one book that I keep being referred to is Exodus, by Leon Uris, which you guys have already mentioned. I haven't read it myself, but it is sitting in my TBR list and I will be all over it when..."

The Haj Ireney,read THE HAJ first. I liked it better than EXODUS. Mr. Uris has written historical fiction about factions causing troubles in other countries.


message 48: by Linda (new)

Linda (ladylawyer8650) | 1687 comments Practice session: This is the second discussion post wherein I practiced.


message 49: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments It is working, Linda. :)


message 50: by Linda (new)

Linda (ladylawyer8650) | 1687 comments I had some good help from Goodreads. Thanks.


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