Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ye Olde Historical Novel Meme...

I found this at my friend Sarah's blog. I know I did a similar one recently, but this has some neat twists, so I'm going to do it anyway.

Straight Historical, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Historical Romance, or Time Travel?
Straight historical and historical romance are pretty much tied for first - it just depends on my mood. Then time travel. I've read very little historical fantasy (The Mists of Avalon comes to mind, but that's about it).

Historical Figures as Main Characters or Purely Fictional Characters in Historical Settings as Main Characters?
For my HF, I love having historical figures as main characters. In HR, it's not so important - they're often better as secondary characters then. In TT, I prefer fictional characters, otherwise too much history can get changed.

Hardback, Trade Paperback, or Mass Market Paperback? I'll have to second Sarah on this one - "Trade paperback, hardback second, mass market third. I like the feel of trade paperbacks, plus they're cheaper than hardbacks, and not as heavy to cart around."

Philippa Gregory or Margaret George?
Well, as I've not read Gregory, I'll have to go with George, though I've only read Henry VIII and Mary, QoS&theIsles.

Amazon or Brick and Mortar?
Definitely brick and mortar. I LOATHE Amazon and the way it undercuts indies. I'll wait weeks for an S/O from my local indie before I'll order from Amazon.

Bernard Cornwell or Sharon Penman?SKP is one of my fave all time authors - Here Be Dragons still makes me cry. That said, I've not read Cornwell yet - he's on my very large TBR pile. Still, I don't see him ever dislodging SKP.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?Um, we don't have either in Canada, so I'll have to just say Not Applicable here.

First Historical Novel You Ever Remember Reading? Gone with the Wind for an adult book. YA, it would probably be Caddie Woodlawn or The Witch of Blackbird Pond, unless you count the Little House on the Prairie series. Or Anne of Green Gables.

Alphabetize by Author, Alphabetize by Title, or Random?
I shelve by time period, then author with the most number of books.

Keep, Throw Away, or Sell?
I keep as many as I can, though every year I do give some away. Well, last year I gave away more than ever, but that was because I knew we couldn't bring them all out West with us. As it was, I filled 39 boxes!

Jean Plaidy or Norah Lofts?
Tough call, I really like them both, though if push came to shove, I'd say Plaidy as she introduced me to the world of the Plantagenets.

Read with Dust Jacket or Remove It?
If it doesn't fit properly or gets annoying, I remove it. If possible, I leave them on to protect the covers.

Stop Reading When Tired or at Chapter Breaks?
I usually try to make it to the end of a chapter, but every once in a while I give in when I'm tired.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
Depends on my mood.

Buy or Borrow?
80/20. With new-to-me authors I will borrow first, then buy.

Posie Graeme-Evans or Pamela Kaufman?
Haven't read the former. Didn't mind Kaufman's first two. Haven't read her recent ones.

Buying Choice: Book Reviews, Recommendations, or Browsing?
A combination of all three.

Dorothy Dunnett or Anya Seton?
I'll parrot Sarah again here - "Seton, as I've read nearly all of hers. Dunnett seems to be an acquired taste I've yet to acquire." and add, I do HAVE The Lymond series (thanks to Katy) and one day will try once again to read it. Am hoping next time out might be the charm, as so many writers I know and respect LOVE these books.s

Tidy Ending or Cliffhanger?
All depends - is it obviously part of a series? Then yeah, a cliffhanger is great. Tidy endings are good most of the time, though.

Sticking Close to Known Historical Fact, or Using Historical Fact as Wallpaper?
I prefer more historically accurate novels, though if done well, wallpaper books are enjoyable too.

Morning Reading, Afternoon Reading or Nighttime Reading?
Late afternoon and evening. Wish I could figure out how to read and knit at the same time (without messing up my knitting) - THAT would be ideal :-)

Series or Standalone?
I don't really have a preferance here - a good story is a good story. Some I like seeing told over a series (like Sandra Gulland's Josephine trilogy) and others I like to see all in one book (pretty much anything by Elizabeth Chadwick following her initial series of connected books The Wild Hunt, The Running Vixen and The Leopard Unleashed).

Favorite Book of Which Nobody Else Has Heard?
The Measure of the World by Denis Guedj (Arthur Goldhammer, translator)

Tomorrow night I'll post again and tell you about what I accomplished at the library on Friday vis a vis my wip.

Thanks all for your concern for Sean - he's feeling somewhat better, but still waiting for the situation to be resolved. Not fun.


Currently Reading: Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
Also Currently Reading: Dark Angels by Karleen Koen
Link of the Day: BBC - History


Melissa Marsh said...

Hmm...I think the first historical novel I read (adult) was Tree of Gold by Rosalind Laker. And strangely enough, it remains my absolutel favorite book of all time.

Sarah said...

Cool that you did the meme! I too own all the Lymond series, and all of Niccolo... sigh, one day :)

I'll send some good thoughts Sean's way, too.