Page 1 of 1 [ 11 posts ] 

IdahoRose
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Posts: 19,801
Location: The Gem State

20 Feb 2012, 12:38 am

I have been trying to take on reading as a hobby, but it's hard to find books I enjoy. I tried reading several popular books, including "Mortal Engines" by Philip Reeve, "Soul Music" by Terry Pratchett, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo", and even "Harry Potter", but I didn't like any of them enough to finish them. The only book I've read in its entirety since I began reading as a hobby was "Fingersmith" by Sarah Waters.

I'm thinking that my problem could be that I'm forcing myself to try to read fantasy books (like Mortal Engines, Harry Potter and the works of Terry Pratchett), but deep down I'm really a fan of historical dramas (like Fingersmith).

So, I'll put my rambling to a stop here and ask: Could you please recommend some historical fiction for me? I'm especially fond of stories that take place in England, but I'm willing to try reading stories that take place in other countries too.

I realize that Sarah Waters has written other books besides Fingersmith, but for now I'd like to try to seek out different authors to read.



Alexender
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Jan 2012
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,194
Location: wrongplanet

20 Feb 2012, 12:40 am

I know this isn't exactly what your thinking of, but what about Sherlock Holmes?

Im from the us, and that is one of the few book series I have read that is based in england



Kraichgauer
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 42,832
Location: Spokane area, Washington state.

20 Feb 2012, 2:07 am

The Centurions series by Damien Hunter. I really don't know if the three books are even still in print, but when I had read them years ago, I genuinely enjoyed them. Basically, all three novels deal with two half-brothers raised among the aristocracy of first century A.D. Imperial Rome. One is the legitimate heir of his father, while the other is half Gallic, and is a bastard. Both enter into the Roman legions as centurions, and are stationed in hot spots of northern Europe, where Roman culture clashes with Germanic and Celtic tribal cultures. While Roman and Barbarian cultures are unable to understand the other, the individual characters manage to. As in real life, neither the classical Roman, or tribal Barbarian cultures are perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and yet their humanity makes both worthwhile.
An important note: the third book in the series was published by a different publisher, and so in case you're at all interested in the books, you'll have to look for Hunter by name.
The first book was in fact entitled The Centurions, the second Barbarian Princess (I know - terrible title), while I'm afraid I don't recall the name of the third.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,311
Location: Houston, Texas

20 Feb 2012, 2:28 am

Maybe some of the alternative histories by Harry Turtledove, like [I]Colonization[I].

Or some of the novels by Irwin Shaw?



Stargazer43
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Nov 2011
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,604

20 Feb 2012, 4:34 am

I'm reading War and Peace right now (and have been for a while, its really long lol!), it's a really good novel set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. It takes place in Russia though.

My favorite though is the Count of Monte Cristo. I'd highly recommend checking it out, it's been my favorite book for years now. And again, sorry but it doesn't take place in England either lol.



Unspecified
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jan 2012
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Posts: 207

20 Feb 2012, 6:52 am

Off the top of my head:

Hornblower
Anything by P.G. Wodehouse
Dickens: A tale of two cities

And (arguably) the best book ever written: Don Quixote de La Mancha by Cervantes. (but that's in Spain)



MagicToenail
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2012
Gender: Female
Posts: 401

20 Feb 2012, 6:58 am

I liked The King Must Die and The Bull From The Sea by Mary Renault. It's about the myth of Theseus, but draws on a lot of real ancient Greek history, archeology and anthroplogy.



Aimless
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Apr 2009
Age: 64
Gender: Female
Posts: 8,187

20 Feb 2012, 7:38 am

http://www.thegreatstink.com/
http://geraldinebrooks.com/the-books/year-of-wonders/
http://www.louisbayard.com/mr-timothy.php
http://www.sandragulland.com/books/the- ... b-trilogy/
I've read all of these and enjoyed them very much. I really like historical fiction. I can probably come up with more if you like.


_________________
Detach ed


Ha
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 6 Aug 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 65

20 Feb 2012, 7:50 am

Mary Renault is my favorite too.



pakled
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,015

20 Feb 2012, 10:49 pm

Depends on what you're looking for.

There's been tons of historical fiction written, for as far back as you care to go. If you want to start for free, try project gutenburg, mobile books, bookyards, and sites like that. The books are on average 70 years old or older, but hey, they're free.

Pratchett's written about 40 or so books, and they're as much humor as fantasy. I personally like 'em, but it takes all kinds to fill a freeway...;)

Alternative history covers Turtledove (I've read about 40 of his or so), some of Harry Harrison's, most Steampunk (Anno Dracula is one I've finished recently).

Speaking of Sherlock Holmes; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also wrote some historical fiction, the White Company, if I remember correctly, and a couple of others.

Hope that gets you started.


_________________
anahl nathrak, uth vas bethude, doth yel dyenvey...


IdahoRose
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Posts: 19,801
Location: The Gem State

21 Feb 2012, 12:14 am

Thanks for the recommendations everyone. I think alternative history sounds like the kind of thing I want to look into. I think I'm going to check out the works of Henry Turtledove and Harry Harrison first. Once again, thanks for your input everyone! :)