logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: bloggers
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-04-14 20:51
Wanna plan a game? It's BookLikes-opoly created by Moonlight Reader & Obsidian Blue

 

We feel honored that BookLikes became an arena for book bloggers' reading game. YAY! So, who wants to play? On behalf of the BookLikes team and BookLikes bloggers Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue, the creators of the game, we'd like to invite you to join BookLikes-opoly! Game play will start on April 15th and end on July 31st, 2017.

 

The following information are copied from Moonlight Reader's blog posts and are published on BookLikes Blog with the blogger's consent. Please visit Moonlight Reader blog to read the original posts, you can also find all game posts by inserting BookLikes-opoly tag into the search box or simply click here.

---

 

A game, posts, all information and rules below were created by Moonlight Reader. In case of any game questions, please visit Moonlight Reader blog or Booklikes Bookish Bingo Club where you'll find other players as well as tips and tricks concerning the BookLikes-opoly game.

 

Booklikes-opoly:

General information

 

I will be posting the complete rules of the game over the next few posts. In order to ensure that the rules/space tasks are available, I will also be putting up a Game Play and Rules Thread in the Bingo Group, I will create a game page on my wordpress blog and my booklikes blog, and I will be posting them on the BL Expats group on GR, for those of you who are over there as well as over here.

 

In addition, I relinquish all copyright to any part of the game and make them freely available to everyone to use them as is helpful in playing the game. Download the images to your computer and post them to your personal blog, upload them to your imgur account so you can post them on GR in your personal threads, print them and use them to wallpaper your bathroom!

 

General information

 

Do not get overwhelmed. The game is quite simple, and is based on a monopoly board, but when I reveal it, it may sound very complicated. Part of my purpose in creating the game is to generate a fun way to do some TBR busting! You should not have to buy new books to gain dollars for your bank! If you want to buy new books, however, I am never going to stop you!

 

I will do a "fake" game play tutorial post at the end of this process, which should clarify things substantially! It really will make sense once you see how it works and it will be fun!

 

Feel free to play the game in the background. There are some spaces that involve a community activity that should be fun, so keep an eye out for friends who need help! 

 

 

 

 

Basic Rules & FAQ

 

* Players keep track of their own game board and bank! Feel free to set up a discussion in the Bingo group to track, if you feel that will be helpful.

* Every player leaves the Start space with $20.00.

* Dice rolls are based on the honor system. You can either roll virtual dice or you can roll real dice at home. You will either roll two 6-sided dice or one 12-sided die. Up to you! Link to electronic dice.

* Virtual dollars are awarded based on the page length of the qualifying book, as follows:

0 to 100 pages: $1.00
101 to 200 pages: $2.00
201 to 400 pages: $3.00
401 to 800 pages: $5.00
over 801 pages: $10.00

*Players are eligible to roll only on odd-numbered dates.

*Like in monopoly, you can play through a space without reading a book to fill the task, the only rule is that you have to wait until the next roll date to move (so, the next odd numbered day, which is going to be either one or two days) However, if you choose to read for a space, you can't move until you finish the book and bank your payout.

 

*The one exception to the "you must finish the book before you move on rule" is that audiobook listeners may have one audiobook in progress while they continue moving around the board. You don't bank your payout until you finish listening.

 

*If you HATE your book, here's what you do! DNF's are absolutely allowed. You can count the # of pages read to get your payout - so if you read 120 pages before DNF'ing, you get $2.00 for your bank. The only caveat is that you have to read 10% of the book to get any payout.

*Game play will start on April 15th and end on July 31st, 2017.

 

*I will set up a Q&A thread in the Bingo group. Please post questions in that thread! 

 

*Where a task refers to genre tags, this is based on GR genre tags. If you don't have a GR account, and can't get into a book page to determine if it has the required genre tags, you can post the question in Q&A. In addition, the genre tag does not need to be one of the book page tags - it can be on the first page of the "top shelves" if the book has a lot of shelvings.

*On the final day of game play, players need to submit the value of their bank accounts to be considered for prize money.

 

Read the original blog post: Booklikes-opoly: General information->

 

 

Game Play - Reading tasks

 

The Lands!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mystery Squares 

 

 

Trains, Plains & Automobiles! 

 

Read the original blog post: Game Play - Reading tasks->

 

 

 Booklikes-opoly:

Additional tasks

 

There are some remaining spaces that I'll explain in this post!

 

Unique Spaces:

 

 

Go to jail: Go to jail. Serve a sentence of 300 pages (or pay the equivalent bail of $3.00), unless there are enough pages in the prison library to spring you.

 

 

Jail visitor: Donate 100 pages (or $1.00) to the prison library before leaving the space. Post your donation on the group "Prison library" thread!

 

 

Free parking: roll the dice. Odd number sends you to the waterworks, even number sends you to the electric company, doubles sends you to the luxury tax.

 

 

Read a book with water on the cover, or where someone turns on the waterworks (i.e., cries) because of an emotional event.

 

 

 

Read a book where a main character is in STEM, or where the author's first and last name contain all of the letters in "Tesla".

 

Read a book where someone gets married, with jewelry on the cover, or where any character is a millionaire/billionaire!

 

 

 

Roll the electronic dice, and perform the task that corresponds to your roll!

 

  1. Let a BL friend choose your book! Post a list of 4 books - first one to comment chooses your next read.
  2. Give $5.00 to another player. If you don't have $5.00, roll again!
  3. Let a BL friend choose your next ride! Post your plight, and see where the first person sends you!
  4. You are in time out for two days. Wait for your chance to roll again.
  5. Collect $10.00 for yourself and one other player!
  6. It's your lucky day! Read any book for your next turn regardless of the task instructions!
  7. Double your dollars on your next read!
  8. Read in the wild! Take your book with you and find a place to read that isn't your living room for an hour!
  9. Post a picture or a story about a favorite vacation spot!
  10. Go to jail. Serve a sentence of 300 pages (or pay the equivalent bail of $3.00), unless there are enough pages in the prison library to spring you!
  11. Read for two! The rewards for your next book are doubled - and half of the money goes to another player of your choice!
  12. Wheel decide - spin the wheel to pick your next "land" and choose any property in the land for your next book!

 

Read the original blog post: Booklikes-opoly: Additional tasks->

 

 

Game Play Tutorial

A Brief Game Play Tutorial

 

I thought it would be helpful to do a few rounds of play, to help explain how it will work! 

Game Play:

 

Roll 1:

4/15/17: Rolled 7, so game piece moves to space #7, which is Toad's Wild Ride in Fantasyland. The task for that space is: read a book with anthropomorphized/talking animals or read a "classic" fantasy published before 2000. I decide to read: Redwall, by Brian Jacques to fulfill this task. My version has 333 pages, so I get $3.00 for the task, which increases my bank to $23.00. I finish it in one day.

 

Roll 2:

I can't roll on 4/16/17, because it is not a roll day. On 4/17/17, I roll a 5, which puts me in space 11 - related to the opening year of Disneyland. My task is to read a book that takes place between 1945 and 1965, or that was written by an author born before 1955. I decide to read The Gunslinger by Stephen King, who was born in 1947.  This book is 231 pages long, so I make $3.00 for finishing this book, which increases my bank to $26.00.

 

Roll 3:

I am on vacation, so I don't roll again until the 4/21/17. I roll 10, and end up on the BL square. I roll my virtual dice, and roll a 5! I collect an extra $10.00 for myself, and for one other player. I pick someone to get the extra $10.00, and go on my way! My bank is now $36.00.

 

Roll 3:

I roll again on the 23rd. I roll a 6, and I land on Adventureland 26, which tells me to read a book tagged adventure or thriller. I'm not feeling adventure or thriller, so I decide to pass on this one. My bank remains at $36.00

 

Roll 4:

I roll again 4/25/17 and I roll a 3, which puts me on the boardwalk at Paradise Pier 28. The category for this one is "read a book set during Victoria's reign or tagged steampunk on GR." I decide to read Wilkie Collins The Moonstone. My edition has 510 pages, so I get a whopping $5.00 for this one. My bank is now $41.00.

 

And so on . . . 

 

Bank: $41.00

 

Read the original blog post: Booklikes-opoly: Additional tasks->

 

 

Have fun and let us know how much you love it! Cause we're sure you will!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-09 02:04
Review: An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray
An Uncommon Protector - Shelley Shepard Gray

I'm a big historical fiction fan, and when I saw the synopsis of this book, I was excited to read it. Not only was it historical, it's by one of my favorite authors. It is the second in a series, but I wasn't lost or confused at all so it's easily read as a stand alone.

Shelley Shepard Gray once again creates characters that intriguing and complex. The emotions she weaves into the story are amazing and felt by the reader throughout the story. I love that feeling! Falling in love with Laurel and Thomas was a wonderful experience. I won't soon forget their characters!

Mixed among the pages are messages of hope, faith, love, and trusting one another. The historical elements are portrayed perfectly. This is one book I would recommend to all who are looking for a good, clean historical romance novel. You'll be taken on a whirlwind ride and fall in love with the works of Ms. Gray. I can't wait to read another in this series. Well done!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-02-19 17:36
Book Love Story: Why I love writing books

 

It's all about love during the Valentine's Week. So far we've read about book love from the reader's perspective but let's change that with the last story in our project. It's high time to look at the storytelling from the writer's point of view. We've invited author Ned Hayes to present his book love story.

 

*

 

A guest post by Ned Hayes

 

 

Storytelling as a Calling: A Book Love blog post

 

by Ned Hayes



          Storytelling is a calling: we manufacture meaning out of events through the act of storymaking. After all, the human experience doesn’t really make sense on a day to day basis. Story is a fabric laid transparent over the bumps and bricks of random occurrence, a map showing the past and the future. It is as if we weave a web of story, from inside ourselves, like a spider, and live in it, and call it world.

         I believe that story is in fact all powerful in our lives. To be truly human is to tell stories. Without stories – without that rhythm of beginning, middle, and end, without that hopefulness of meaning being given by seeing the pattern of a story – I believe that we become less than human. I believe that storytelling is what makes us human. We are homo storytelli or homo sinificans, the storytelling creature.

         This idea of the importance of storytelling was first brought to my attention by the wonderful little book The Dark Interval: towards a theology of story, by John Dominic Crossan. The critic Frank Kermode also wrote a book called The Genesis of Secrecy: on the interpretation of narrative that made an early impact on me. And finally, Annie Dillard’s book Living by Fiction also influenced my ideas about what was possible in fiction.

 

The Dark Interval: Towards a Theology of Story - John Dominic Crossan The Genesis of Secrecy: On the Interpretation of Narrative (Chas Eliot Norton Lecture) - Frank Kermode Living by Fiction - Annie Dillard

 

          Today, I write stories because they give me a way to make sense of the world. The world is a complex place, so I don’t restrict myself to one genre or one style. I’ve now written three novels that have ranged across the spectrum of storytelling, from mystery to historical fiction to young adult literary fiction.

 

The Eagle Tree - Ned Hayes Sinful Folk - Ned Hayes,Nikki McClure Coeur d'Alene Waters Preview - Ned Hayes  

 

          In telling stories, I can also help others to also make sense of this often-confusing and often frustrating world as well. The web I weave can be of use to many people. I’ve discovered this to be true most recently through talking to readers of my bestselling novel The Eagle Tree. In this novel, a young boy on the autistic spectrum wrestles to bring together his disintegrating family as he strives to climb an old growth tree. He is trying to make sense of his reality, and in this poignant and difficult story, he finds a great meaning and purpose for his life.

          I thought The Eagle Tree  was a unique and unusual story. Yet what I’ve been happily surprised by is that many readers have written me to tell me that I successfully captured part of their story of life on the autistic spectrum. They have said to me that I have “told their story” or that my story “helped to show that my son’s life makes sense.” I’ve also been told by other readers that the difficulty of interacting with a family member who has development or neurological differences are described with authenticity and with compassion. They found meaning this book as well. My small words helped to give hope to their experience and made their stories matter. The Eagle Tree  is a story that brought meaning to their lives.

        Yet along with authenticity, there’s one other duty that novelists have: Entertainment.

          “The first duty of the novelist is to entertain,” says Donna Tart, the bestselling author of the smash hit The Goldfinch and The Secret History. “It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, traveling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying.”

 

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt The Secret History - Donna Tartt The Little Friend - Donna Tartt

 

          Entertainment = storytelling as a moral duty. We have the deep and meaningful charge to write something that’s entertaining. We are not allowed to tell a boring or meaningless story. Our stories must be interesting, must be inventive, must – in the end – be entertaining to our readers.

          Entertainment sometimes gets a bad rap. People think it’s a waste of time. Yet entertainment need not be shallow. Storytelling as entertainment doesn’t need to be meaningless. We don’t have to create something false like The Transformers – because a story like The Hunger Games  or 1984  is equally entertaining, yet contains deeper truths and gives insight along with its momentum. Entertainment means delivering a tale that can lift us out of our present reality and give us a vision of something beyond our mundane reality. A good story tells the truth, and carries us along on a tide of hope and insight.

          This is why I like to read fantasy, horror and science-fiction. These genres don’t hide their attempts to entertain: these types of books wear their badges of entertainment on their sleeves, plain for all to see. Even the covers of these books communicate their intent, with their spaceships and unicorns and fantastic sorceries. Some of my favorite fantastical and horrific stories include John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy, The Ritual  by Adam Nevill, and Tim Power’s The Stress of Her Regard.

 

Paradise Lost - John Leonard,John Milton The Ritual - Adam Nevill The Stress of Her Regard - Tim Powers

 

          In the science-fiction realm, I also have special favorites. Some of the stories I admire the most in these areas include The Sheep Look Up, by John Brunner, Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler, and Downbelow Station  by C.J. Cherryh and of course, many books by Ursula Le Guin, most notably The Left Hand of Darkness.

 

The Sheep Look Up - John Brunner Parable of the Sower - Octavia E. Butler Downbelow Station - C.J. Cherryh The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin

 

          All the books I’ve named above provide wonderful entertainment while providing deeper insight. Yet the charge we bear to entertain goes beyond the simple affectations of fantasy and spaceships. As storytellers, we have a moral charge to give our readers a removal from the world, an escape hatch into a new way of thinking. Even literary fiction must entertain – it must deliver some insight and tale that lifts the quotidian events of our lives into a higher mythical and hyper-realistic realm. The story must move us.

          I found this truth brought home to me when I wrote my second novel Sinful Folk. The famous literary agent Jenny Bent read the first draft and told me “This is beautiful writing, but there’s not enough real storytelling here.” So over the course of one year after I received Ms. Bent’s feedback, I rewrote the entire book to bring my characters from just a land of beautiful (yet un-entertaining) prose into a story that was worth the telling. To learn how to tell an entertaining piece of historical fantasy, I went back and re-read some of the masters of historical fiction, especially those who wrote about the medieval period.

          The books that most influenced my approach to historical storytelling included Morality Play by Barry Unsworth, Ella March Chase’s The Virgin Queen's Daughter, Brenda Vantrease’s The Illuminator, Kathryn Le Veque’s The Warrior Poet  and Karen Maitland’s The Owl Killers.

 

Morality Play - Barry Unsworth The Virgin Queen's Daughter - Ella March Chase The Illuminator - Brenda Rickman Vantrease

The Warrior Poet - Kathryn Le Veque The Owl Killers - Karen Maitland

 

          The story that I re-wrote as the novel Sinful Folk  was finally published. It had become a heartfelt and harrowing tale that moved my main character – a fourteenth century woman – from a place of peril and heartbreak through great danger until she achieved the heights of power and privilege. My character changed over the course of the novel, transforming from fearful subterfuge into a driven, motivated heroine who conquered the High Court of England. I changed the book into a real story. And when Sinful Folk was finally published, it was described by New York Times bestselling author Brenda Vantrease herself as a “A pilgrim tale worthy of Chaucer, delivered by a master storyteller” and received starred reviews in BookList, BookNote and many other publications.

          In fact, all of the authors I list above -- whose work I read as inspiration – ended up endorsing the novel Sinful Folk (with the exception of Barry Unsworth, who had unfortunately passed away just before I published my novel).

 

          I think this love of authentic tales that entertain goes back to my childhood, when I found myself alone much of the time. And alone with only a good book to read. So books became my companions and my friends. Donna Tartt points out that “Books are written by the alone for the alone.” C.S. Lewis said “I read to know that I am not alone.” This is true of every reader. We read to connect with other human perspectives, to know those voices and embrace those souls. We also read to be accompanied by other voices in our solitary trek through time.

          When I was a child, the books that brought me companionship included Mischief in Fez by Eleanor Hoffman, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings  and finally, a story I’ve re-read many times – the deep and meaningful Watership Down, by Richard Adams.

 

Mischief in Fez - Eleanor Hoffmann,Fritz Eichenberg A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien Watership Down - Richard Adams

 

         Hoffman’s work brought me into other worlds, and showed me possibilities beyond my ken. Le Guin demonstrated the power of brevity in telling a fascinating tale, while Tolkien showed that fantasy could tell deeper truths, even while being tremendously entertaining. Adams continues to show me – every time I read him – that deep and powerful stories lie all around us, even in the lives of rabbits and seagulls, and that all we have to do is pay attention. The web of story surrounds us: all we have to do is open our eyes. Today, the tales told in these stories still resound in my dreams, and still are echoed in the books I write today.

         Finally, for anyone who is interested in telling a story, it’s important to note that listening to a story is how you become a story-teller yourself.

          I believe that to tell stories, we must read stories. Writers are readers. Therefore, I recommend anyone who wishes to write first become an avid reader. Read a book a month, a book a week, even a book a day. Become a reader, and you will be well equipped to be a writer. And you will never be alone as long as you have books and the tales within them.

 

*

 

And what's your book love story? Join our project, write your story, publish it on your BookLikes blog and tag with why I love tag so we could find it and share it. You can also add the link to your book love stories in the comment section below.

 

Dear BookLikers, writers and readers, thank you so much for participating in this amazing project. Presenting all those stories to You and about You was a fascinating time and we hope that you've enjoyed the book love story week as much as we did.

 

We're looking forward to creating more projects as such -- so, who's in? :)

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-02-18 13:31
Book Love Story: Why I love romance books

 

It's all about love during the Valentine's Week. Each day of the Valentine's week will present one book love story with a different genre insight. Today, it's all about romance books. We're happy to welcome Cat's Books: Romance on BookLikes blog. 

 

Watch out for the last Book Love Story on BookLikes blog tomorrow!

*

 

A guest post by Cat's Books: Romance

 

 

I unabashedly love Romance Novels.

 

I love them as at the center of the best ones are optimism, human connection, and feminism. The Happily Ever After promise allows the reader to explore very dark themes at times wit the knowledge that there will be hope and love no matter what. 

 

Because the main stay of romance is the find of a partner, the question of how to build a lasting connection and all the psychological l complexity of that quests shapes every romance. Most every romance is female centered. Female desire and viewpoints control the narrative.  

 

The genre is vast spanning  from science fiction, fantasy, new adult, young adult, contemporary, paranormal, historical, comedy, erotic, and eventing new sub genres all the time. 

 

In Romance, we can see the changing of social norms and the critical effort to see and explore through character and the lens of love hate and discrimination in all its forms while loving the body in all its diversity and sexuality which houses us all. 

 

At its best, the genre leads the way and it has a heck of a lot of fun at the same time. 

 

Here are some great love stories,  you should try.

Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole: Historical Interracial Romance set during the Civll Rights Era

Kulti by Mariana Zapata:   Contemporary Slow Burn Soccer Romance

To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt: Historical  Plain Heroine and with a Hero with PTSD

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison: Paranormal Dragon Shifter Hero and Thief Heroine

Kulti - Mariana Zapata Let It Shine - Alyssa B. Cole To Seduce a Sinner - Elizabeth Hoyt Dragon Bound - Thea Harrison

 

*

Watch out for the last Book Love Story on BookLikes blog tomorrow! If you'd like to join, please do! Write your book love story on your blog and add the link in the comment section below. Make sure to add why I love tag to your post so we could find it and share it. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-02-17 13:31
Book Love Story: Why I love historical fiction

 

It's all about love during the Valentine's Week. Each day of the Valentine's week will present one book love story with a different genre insight. Today, it's all about historical fiction. We're happy to welcome Susanna from SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady on BookLikes blog.

 

*

 

A guest post by Susanna from SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

 

I love historical fiction. I love it in so many of its forms, from fictionalized biographies of long-dead monarchs, to stories about "normal people" of the past, to historical mysteries, time travel stories, and historical romances.

 

Why do I love historical fiction? I read in order to be taken on a trip to places I would otherwise never visit, and historical fiction is the gateway to the past.  And I love and am interested in the past - I trained as a historian.

 

I confess I can be a bit picky about historical fiction. There is nothing more likely to take me out of the flow of a book I'm enjoying than to run headlong into a "fact" that's wrong.   My next reaction is undoubtedly going to be "well, if they got that wrong, what else did they get wrong that I didn't catch?"  But good historical novel can give you a feel for another time and place in great ways.  You can feel like you've been there yourself.

 

I have been in love with historical fiction ever since I was a child, and my mother gave me Esther Forbes' Johnny Tremain  or Elizabeth Goudge's The Little White Horse.  These books took me on trips to the birth of the American Revolution, and to a remote valley in 1830s England. The stars of these shows were always children, of course, because they were also children's literature.

 

Johnny Tremain - Esther Forbes The Little White Horse - Elizabeth Goudge

 

When I was a little older, she gave me YA novels like A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, E.L. Konigsburg's fictionalized biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Since YA mostly didn't exist then, she also gave me novels written for adults that she thought I might enjoy. These included, I remember, both Mary Renault's The King Must Die and Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels, which led to trips to ancient Greece and to the battle of Gettysburg.

 

A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver - E.L. Konigsburg The King Must Die - Mary Renault The Killer Angels - Michael Shaara

 

She also gave me novels by Georgette Heyer - my first regency romances - and introduced me to the "Williamsburg novels" of Elswyth Thane.  Heyer has never been out of print, but Thane's novels can be hard to find these days, as they are long out of print.

 

Yes, I have always loved historical fiction.

 

What historical novels might be a good place to start, if you've never read much of the genre before?

 

Well, if you love, for example, contemporary mysteries or romances, you might do well to pick a historical mystery or romance - there are plenty of both.  If you like science fiction, you might try a time travel story.  There are several types of story that are historical fiction mixed with another genre - if you like that other genre, you might want to start there.

 

Or perhaps you can pick a period and place that sounds interesting to you, and start there.  Some settings are more popular than others - if you want to read stories about ancient Rome or Tudor England, you're in great shape.  Other settings may be less popular, but can certainly supply great reads - 1600s Japan is not a common setting (in English, anyway), but is the setting for James Clavell's terrific Shogun.

 

But let me make a few more specific recommendations, of historical novels I adore.  Maybe you will love some of them, too.

 

Gary Corby's books about Nicolaos, the only private investigator in Pericles' Athens, and often featuring his annoying younger brother, Socrates, are a fun read.  They begin with The Pericles Commission.

 

Colleen McCullough's The Masters of Rome series, which starts with The First Man in Rome, tells the tale of the fall of the Roman Republic, from the conflict of Marius and Sulla, through Julius Caesar vs. Pompey, and the tale of Augustus, Mark Antony, and Cleopatra.  Note: McCullough adores Julius Caesar to the point of hero-worship.

 

Shogun: A Novel of Japan - James Clavell The Pericles Commission - Gary Corby The First Man in Rome - Colleen McCullough

 

Robert Graves' I, Claudius and Claudius the God are the purported autobiography of Rome's st-st-stuttering fourth emperor, the Emperor Claudius, who was found cowering behind a curtain after the murder of his nephew, Caligula.  But mostly it's a wonderful tale of murder and mayhem and madness in the imperial family, and most of all, of Augustus' poisonous (in more ways than one) wife, Livia.

 

I, Claudius - Robert Graves Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina - Robert Graves

 

Lindsay Davis' The Course of Honor is the tale of the Emperor Vespasian, and his long love affair with Caenis, a slave in the imperial household.

 

Ellis Peters wrote many tales of Brother Cadfael - I'm not so fond of the first, but the second, One Corpse Too Many, is a great introduction to the series, set in the 1100s in Shrewsbury, England.

 

Maurice Druon's Cursed Kings series, which starts with The Iron King, tells the tale of the fall of France's Capet kings, and the start of the Hundred Years War.

 

Connie Willis' Doomsday Book  is a pair of stories - one of a historian from 2060 Oxford's time machine project, set to research the 1300s, and the other of her colleagues in 2060, who realize that they've accidentally sent her to the wrong time and place - and they aren't sure they can get her back.

 

The Course of Honor - Lindsey Davis One Corpse Too Many (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael Book 2) - Ellis Peters The Iron King - Maurice Druon Doomsday Book - Connie Willis

 

Anya Seton's Katherine is a fictionalized biography of Katherine Swynford, Geoffrey Chaucer's sister-in-law, and third wife of John of Gaunt.  Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt are the ancestors of the modern British royal family.  A tale of romance, adultery, murder, plague, and rebellion.

 

Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies are the first two volumes of a trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's great minister. These cover the collapse of Henry's marriage to Katherine of Aragon, and the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn. These might be easier to follow if you know the general outline of what happened to the wives of Henry VIII.

 

C.J. Sansom's wonderful Shardlake novels are the best historical mysteries I have ever read.  Matthew Shardlake is a hunchbacked Tudor lawyer, and when we meet him in Dissolution, it's 1537 and he's working for Thomas Cromwell, dissolving monasteries. Cromwell sends him down to investigate a doomed (and frozen) monastery in Sussex.  The previous investigator was murdered there.

 

Katherine - Anya Seton Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel Bring Up the Bodies - Hilary Mantel Dissolution - C.J. Sansom

 

Judith Rock's The Rhetoric of Death  is the first of several fine historical mysteries about Jesuits and the ballet, in the Paris of Louis XIV.

 

Lisa See's Peony in Love is a strange tale from 1600s China, told by an Angry Ghost.

 

Daphne du Maurier's The Glass Blowers is the tale of her own family during the French Revolution.

 

Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell is a strange and lovely mixture of historical fiction about the Napoleonic wars, and fantasy about the return of magic to the land.  Take my advice and don't get involved with The Man With the Thistle-Down Hair, or his seelie court.

 

A.S. Byatt's Possession tells two stories - one of two Victorian poets, and another of the English professors who research them in the 1980s.  There is a great deal of faux Victorian poetry, as well as a fanatical American collector, and a spot of grave robbing.

 

Elswyth Thane's Yankee Stranger tells the story of the American Civil War, through the eyes of the members of two intermarried Virginia families, the Spragues and the Days, and those of Eden Day's fiance, a Yankee reporter.

 

The Rhetoric of Death - Judith Rock Peony in Love - Lisa See Yankee Stranger - Elswyth Thane Possession - A.S. Byatt

 

Geraldine Brooks tells a very different story of the Civil War in March - the story of the father of the sisters in Little Women.  He has a very different war from the accounts he sends home to his wife and daughters.

 

Amy Stewart's Girl Waits with Gun is the tale of New Jersey's first female sheriff's deputy, and how she got the job. 

 

Laurie R. King's The Beekeeper's Apprentice is the first of her dozen or so Mary Russell novels.  In 1915, the teen-aged Mary Russell, disguised as a boy, is wandering the Suffolk downs, and encounters a bad-tempered man hunting bees - his name is Sherlock Holmes.  This book is the story of her apprenticeship in detection, and of their first big case.  If you're picky about Sherlock Holmes, you might want to give this series a pass.

 

R.F. Delderfield's To Serve Them All My Days tells the tale of David Powlett-Jones, a Welsh miner's son, a shattered man invalided out of World War I, who goes to teach history at a Bamfylde, a remote boy's school.

 

March - Geraldine Brooks Girl Waits with Gun - Amy Stewart The Beekeeper's Apprentice - Laurie R. King To Serve Them All My Days - R.F. Delderfield

*

 

Watch out for more Book Love Stories on BookLikes blog this week! If you'd like to join, please do! Write your book love story on your blog and add the link in the comment section below. Make sure to add why I love tag to your post so we could find it and share it. 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?