Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Crooked Stamper Reading List

Because some people have asked, I thought I'd talk about my reading list. I love historical fiction. What is historical fiction? It's a sometimes steamy, sometimes bloody, story with fictional people woven into real history with real historical figures. It's a great way to get exposure to history and life in the past without the dryness of reading a history book. I did not mean to offend any history buffs out there, so if you like to read history books, have at it. They are just not for me.

I got started with historical fiction when I read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. If you read these, read them in order, please. You won't be sorry. The books are about a woman who travels back in time 200 years and finds herself in Scotland in the mid 1700's. The whole time-travel thing is even believable. I liked this series because it was perfect for juxtaposing present-time people and creature comforts and the aspects of life 200 years ago. These are great reads - as in "hard to put down". You'll get a good dose of history along the way, too. Here's the series:

The Outlander (Meet Claire and Jamie, fall in love with Jamie, get hooked on the series, beg for more books, mark your calendar for when the next book will be published...)
Dragonfly in Amber
Voyager
Drums of Autumn
The Fiery Cross
A Breath of Snow and Ashes


Then I moved on. I got to reading books by several authors whose characters intertwined, meaning one book would refer to a certain King's mistress from the eyes of one mistress, then I'd read another book about life from her viewpoint. Needless to say, though this is largely fiction, it is really interesting to see the other side of things.

I discovered Phillippa Gregory, and I love her writing. Here are two of her books I have read, and more are on their way to me now:

The Constant Princess (Katherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, destined to marry Arthur, Henry's older brother, then become the first wife of Henry VIII. A facinating story that includes a look into Spanish history that you rarely get when talking about Henry VIII).


The Other Boleyn Girl (Mary Boleyn, Anne's older sister. This is a great story of how women were used as pawns to advance a family's interests.)

Books by Karleen Koen. This is a trilogy, and a real page-turner (for me, anyway). Life in the times of King Charles II, which weaves in some France and The New World. The three books are:

Dark Angels
Through A Glass Darkly
Now Face to Face

Books by Anne Easter Smith:

Daughter of York. (Margaret of York, Sister to King Edward and Richard, Duke of Gloucester (eventually Richard III). A great story of how women were pawns in politics, with a ton of history thrown in to help it make sense.)

A Rose for the Crown. (Kate Haute, mother of Richard III's illegitimate children as seen through her eyes. A facinating story of politics, history, and how one's birth dictated one's privileges in life, or lack thereof.)

Books by Susan Holloway Scott:

Royal Harlot. (Barbara Palmer, Countess of Castlemaine, Duchess of Cleveland, mistress to King Charles II.)

Duchess. (Sarah Churchill. She is a maid of honor in the court of King Charles II, and she falls in love with and marries John Churchill - who formerly dallied with the Countess of Castlemaine...see the connections, here? Sarah Churchill was outspoken for a woman of her time, which of course makes for a facinating story.)

Books by Sandra Worth:

Lady of the Roses. (The story of Isobel, who ultimately marries the love of her life - John Neville, a man who plays a major role in the life of Richard III. A great story about how love mingles with family politics, and the fine line - and consequenses - between loyalty to family and loyalty to one's King.)

The Rose Of York Trilogy, depicting the rise and fall of Richard III.
The Rose of York: Love & War
The Rose of York: Crown & Destiny
The Rose of York: Fall From Grace

By Diane Haeger:

The Perfect Royal Mistress. (Nell Gwynne, mistress to King Charles II. The story from her view.)

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That's what I've read so far in the Historical Fiction arena, and I have a shipment of more books coming. Caution: If you go to amazon.com and look these up, they all link to other books and to each other through Amazon's wicked "if you like this, then you'll like ..." plot to get you to buy more books. It worked for me. I was (and still am) addicted to acquiring books long before I became addicted to stamping and acquiring stamping supplies. Do you think this is a trend?

So, do you read? Do you love it? Please take my new poll over there to the right in my side-bar, because I suspect we crafters are also readers. Let me know if I am right! Also, please leave me a comment, not just because I live for comments, but let us know what types (or genre) of books you like.

Now I'm off to do some cleaning. Ohboy.

3 comments:

  1. Merry in New JerseyOctober 19, 2008 at 10:31 AM

    I know I'm not the most observant person around, but your blog changed overnight! I love the new design!

    As for books, I read what I can get my hands on. One of the perks of my work is that many many books show up from publishers. Our book editor has a little room filled to the brim. Every so often he takes one of those huge mail-room carts and loads it with books and brings it to what we call the "freebie table." If you hear the thumping of books being loaded onto the table then you rush right over and get first pick. It's all books that have just been published or will be in the near future.

    After I read them I give the ones i don't want to my public library for their sale room. So, free books, then clean up, and then donate to a very good cause. Works for me!

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  2. I love historical fiction too. I first read Ken Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth." I could not put it down. Then I read all of Sharon K. Penman's books. She is now my all time favorite author, and her book, "Here be Dragons" is my all time favorite book. I met the author at a book signing 3 years ago. I realized I just missed her...she was in Fairfax on October 8th signing her newest book. Waaaaahhhh! I need to order it from amazon for dh's b-day anyway (his favorite author as well.)

    TFS! I'll keep your list for new historical fiction books to read :)

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  3. Oh, I knew that Miss June had impeccable taste...I was just coming here to recommend Sharon Penman! I'm totally jealous she got to meet her. I'm an historian and I will freely admit that many of the books I've had to read put me to sleep. In first year I had this one particular text that I always used to read just before be because it was so darn boring I knew it would send me right off :)
    If you like a good time travel novel (Yes the Outlander books are AWESOME) then you could try Traci Harding...an Australian fantasy novelist who writes about a girl who goes back in time to Dark Ages Wales...there's lots of history woven in with some fantasy and she ties it all up by adding in some Ancient History and mythical gods and goddesses...LOVED IT!! Start with the Ancient Future: the Dark Age...6 books in 2 trilogies.
    If you like fantasy novels I could recommend heaps :)

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I'd love to hear what you really think! :-)

PS: I've had to disable Anonymous comments, because the spammers were killing me. If you are unable to comment, please email me your comment and I'll get it posted for you. Sorry. (stoopid spammers)