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RoseRed135

Biographies & Historical Fiction

47 posts in this topic

Lately, I'm very into reading biographies, especially about famous figures from long ago centuries, such as Elizabeth I, Thomas Jefferson, and Marie Antoinette, etc. In this way, I'm very much like DM who loved them also at this stage in life.

Also, I have long since enjoyed historical fiction. As I mentioned elsewhere, Mistress of the Sun,  by Sandra Gulland, about a prominent mistress of Louis XIV is a favorite of mine. I recently enjoyed, as well, Elizabeth Chadwick's Lady of the English.

How about you? Are you into either or both of these genres (I put them together b/c it seems to me that sometimes they overlap)? If so, what are some of your faves?

Edited by RoseRed135
typo

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I LOVE auto/biographies (and biopics)- People's lives are so fascinating! Every time I read one I love discovering each time that all people pull their clothes on the same way, that they suffer, experience joy, succeed and fail- Billy Crystal's Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? was the funniest I have read and Tina Fey's Bossy Pants second- Some of my favorites: All Over But the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg, The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls, The Orchard: A Memoir by Theresa Weir, Mama Makes Up Her Mind: And Other Dangers of Southern Living by Bailey White, Night by Elie Wisel, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and his biography about Typhoid Mary, The Pioneer Woman Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond, Into the Wild and Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, Cash by Johnny Cash .. and many others about musicians and bands one of my favorites Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk ..

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I'm just about to start Cloris Leachman's biography. @Komorebi I also loved Night. Another in the same vein is Daniel's Story by Carol Matas is a good read. It's aimed at middle schoolers so is a quick read, but very well done. Kentucky Traveler by bluegrass genius Ricky Skaggs is also very good.

@rosered135 I think we've talked before about author John Jakes, who for me is the king of historical fiction. If you haven't read the "The Kent Chronicles" series of 8 books, please do....his characters are so well developed I sometimes forgot who was fiction and who wasn't. Jakes also wrote the "North & South" trilogy.

 

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These sound good, ladies!

And thanks,, Mame - I'll look into "The Kent Chronicles" soon!

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I'm reading On My Own by Diane Rehm-

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Taking a break from serious stuff to read a book of short stories by Rosamund Pilcher. She wrote The Shellseekers which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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Re: historical fiction - Moloka'i by Alan Brennert  Never read Rosamund Pilcher, starting Winter Solstice tonight-

 

Edited by Komorebi

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Rosamund Pilcher was an English writer who specializes in "everyday" characters who live or holiday in coastal Cornwall. Her characters are well developed and believable. She had a real knack for description.

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On Wednesday, March 02, 2016 at 0:24 AM, Mame925 said:

Rosamund Pilcher was an English writer who specializes in "everyday" characters who live or holiday in coastal Cornwall. Her characters are well developed and believable. She had a real knack for description.

Sounds interesting, Mame!

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13 minutes ago, rosered123 said:

Sounds interesting, Mame!

If you decide to investigate Pilcher, start with The Shellseekers. This is the plot summary from WIKI:

Plot summary

Shifting in time, the novel tells the story of Penelope Keeling, the daughter of unconventional parents (an artist father and his much-younger French wife), examining her past and her relationships with her adult children. When the novel opens, Penelope is in her 60s and has just been discharged from the hospital after what was seemingly a heart attack. Penelope's life from young womanhood to the present is revealed in pieces, from her own point of view and those of her children. Much of the forward impetus of the novel involves the work of her father, including a painting called "The Shell Seekers," given to Penelope as a wedding present.

Pilcher's novel September includes the character of Noel Keeling, son of Penelope.

**what Wiki doesn't tell you here, is that Penelope's life covers all the history of WWII era in England and her involvement.

Edited by Mame925
adding additional info
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On 3/1/2016 at 0:24 AM, Mame925 said:

Rosamund Pilcher was an English writer who specializes in "everyday" characters who live or holiday in coastal Cornwall. Her characters are well developed and believable. She had a real knack for description.

Yes, very much enjoyed the book- I see many of her stories have been made into movies-

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I started Cloris Leachman's autobiography not long ago. I knew she was a tremendous talent, but have been a bit surprised at the depth. Its written totally in the first person, with the same flightiness she used when she played "Phyllis". 

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Just started Last Words by George Carlin - Prior to that read Eat, Pray, Love-

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Latest book is The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd; she also wrote The Secret Life of Bees. The main part of the story is set on one of the South Carolina coastal islands, an area I find fascinating.

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Have yet to read Mermaid Chair but really enjoyed Secret Life of Bees- Did read Traveling With Pomegranates, the dual memoir she wrote along with her daughter-

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Just put this on hold: The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession written by journalist Mark Obmascik

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The memoir High Road by former Alabama (band) drummer Mark Herndon showed up in my mailbox today. Curious to read his spin on the past 35+ years. It was apparently an acrimonious breakup yet he remains respectful as well as articulate.

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3 hours ago, Mame925 said:

The memoir High Road by former Alabama (band) drummer Mark Herndon showed up in my mailbox today. Curious to read his spin on the past 35+ years. It was apparently an acrimonious breakup yet he remains respectful as well as articulate.

An unexpected gift? Or do you belong to some sort of book club that mailed it to you?

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He's an old friend...advance copy. Mass market is tomorrow.

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Really enjoying this thread, ladies! And updating my "must read" list. :)

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Today I placed a hold on Crush: Writers Reflect on Love, Longing and the Power of Their First Crush by Cathy Alter

It's a new release, and sounds like a light, fun read- It's a collection of essays by writers and celebs about their first "crushes", from funny to embarrassing to obsessing, writing fan mail .. etc ..

Just about finished with Big Year, enjoyed it, also enjoyed the movie-

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I finished High Road. I enjoyed it very much. Some things I already knew, but much was new to me. Mark used to date a good friend of mine, so we briefly traveled in overlapping circles and a casual friendship has remained. He writes in a friendly, charmingly blunt and articulate manner.

Cloris Leachman's bio was full of small surprises. I do highly recommend it.

I am enjoying The Mermaid Chair all of the characters are connected now, it took awhile.

While cleaning around my night stand I found another small volume by Rosamund Pilcher....it will be my next bedtime reading.

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I haven't finished reading Crush: Writers Reflect on Love, Longing and the Power of Their First Crush by Cathy Alter, it's good but different than what I expected, my expectations were based on the blurb-

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem is up next-

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@Mame925 - Just finished The Shellseekers. Really enjoyed it! :)

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The Shellseekers would be hard to NOT like....

I just started a novella by Rosamund Pilcher called Another View.

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