Currently Reading

Death in Kashmir: A Mystery
M.M. Kaye, Shibani Ghosh
Thomas Cromwell: A Life
Diarmaid MacCulloch, David Rintoul
Skeletons: The Frame of Life
Jan Zalasiewicz, Mark Williams
Progress: 20/320 pages
Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea
Teffi, Irina Steinberg, Anne Marie Jackson, Robert Chandler, Elizabeth Chandler, Edythe C. Haber
Thomas Cromwell: A Life
Diarmaid MacCulloch
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
Thomas McNamee, Bob Reed
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
Thomas McNamee
Death In Kashmir
M.M. Kaye
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection
Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen Fry
The Woman In White
Wilkie Collins

Recently Added

Death in Kashmir: A Mystery - M.M. Kaye, Shibani Ghosh
Thomas Cromwell: A Life - Diarmaid MacCulloch, David Rintoul
Lone Survivor: The Incredible True Story of Navy SEALs Under Siege - Marcus Luttrell, Patrick Robinson
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." ― Mae West

"The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." ― Mark Twain

"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." ― Robert A. Heinlein

"Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else." ― Judy Garland
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BL-opoly: Master Tracking Post

Status Quo of Bank Account: $132

Novelty Cards I'm Currently Holding:

* The Race Car

* The Robot

* The Scottie Dog


Currently Reading for:

The Lake House, #20:

A book featuring a dog, with a dog on the cover, or set in an area known for its lakes or on a fictional lake.



M.M. Kaye: Death in Kashmir

Length:333 pages

=> + $3 upon completion




My marker is based (of course) on my little assistants and good luck charms, Sunny and Charlie, who are again helping me pick my books.



My Progress Spreadsheet



The Books and the Board

The Questions

Who?: Ellis Peters: Monk's Hood - finished July 2, 2019.


How?: Julia Alvarez: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents - finished May 26.

Douglas Adams: The HItchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - finished June 27, 2019.

Wendy Moore: Wedlock: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match - finished July 11, 2019.

When?: C.J. Sansom: Tombland - finished July 1, 2019.


The Railroads

The Silk Road:

The Patagonia Star:

The Cape-to-Cairo Railway: Kofi Annan: Interventions - finished May 30, 2019.

Aminatta Forna: The Memory of Love - finished June 16, 2019

The Nordic Express: 


School's Out For Summer

#1: Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility - finished June 3, 2019.

#3: Frank Froest: The Grell Mystery - finished June 5, 2019.



The Stay-Cation


#7: Miles Burton: The Secret of High Eldersham - finished May 21, 2019.

      J.K. Rowling: The Casual Vacancy - finished July 14, 2019.

#9: John Le Carré: A Murder of Quality - finished June 19, 2019.

      Chingiz Aitmatov: Jamilia - finished July 3, 2019.


Beach Week


#11: Julian Symons: The Belting Inheritance - finished June 6, 2019.



Mountain Cabin

#15: Louise Erdrich: The Plague of Doves - finished May 23, 2019.

        Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman: Good Omens - finished July 16, 2019.

#16: Ellen Wilkinson: The Division Bell Mystery - finished May 28, 2019.

        Georgette Heyer: A Blunt Instrument - finished June 8, 2019

        Ronald Knox: The Body in the Silo - finished June 21, 2019

#18: James D. Doss: The Night Visitor - finished July 5, 2019


The Lake House:

#19: Margaret Atwood: Hag-Seed - finished May 25, 2019.

#20: Winifred Holtby: South Riding - finished July 10, 2019.

        M.M. Kaye: Death in Kashmir

#22: Richard Hull: The Murder of My Aunt - finished June 24, 2019.


The Summer Blockbuster

#25: Witi Ihimaera: The Whale Rider - finished May 31, 2019.



The Summer Romance




European Vacation

#33: Ronald Knox: The Three Taps - finished May 31, 2019.

#35: Israel Zangwill: The Perfect Crime, aka The Big Bow Mystery - finished June 16, 2019.



The Novelty Cards

The Race Car: Picked up on May 24.

The Robot: Picked up on July 2.

The Cat:

The Dog: Picked up on July 2.


The Four Corners

GO: Collected $20 on May 20; and $5 each on:

May 24 - June 1 - June 9 - July 1 - July 2.



Free Parking:

Go to Jail:


BL-opoly: Dice Roll #17

Death in Kashmir: A Mystery - M.M. Kaye, Shibani Ghosh

It's past midnight CEST, so having finished my very satisfying return visit with Crowley, Aziraphael and the world of Good Omens, I am allowed to roll again.


This takes me to square 20: The Lake House -- read a book featuring a dog, with a dog on the cover, or set in an area known for its lakes or on a fictional lake.


Judging by its description (and the cover of my print edition), part of M.M. Kaye's Death in Kashmir is set on a lake, so that's what it will be.


Length: 333 pages

=> + $3 upon completion.





Crowdsourced History Reading -- TA's List No. 4: History of the British Isles

* Antonia Fraser (women's history, Tudors & Stuarts)
* Ian Mortimer (British history, particularly Middle Ages)
* Dan Jones (ditto)
* Stanley Wells (Shakespeare; everything from biography and history to criticism)
* Christopher Hitbbert (British and Italian history)
* John Julius Norwich (British and Mediterranean history)

-- for all of the above, cf. list no. 1, "Bulk Entries and Basics".


* Bede: The Ecclesiastical History of the English People
* Helen Castor: She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"

* Alison Weir: Eleanor of Aquitaine

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"

* James Reston Jr.: Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade

* Robin Whiteman: The Cadfael Companion: The World of Brother Cadfael


* Thomas Penn: Winter King

(Henry VII)

* Diarmid MacCulloch: Thomas Cromwell

* David Starkey: Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII / Elizabeth / Henry

-- for Six Wives and Elizabeth, cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"

* Elizabeth Tudor, Leah Marcus (ed.): Collected Works

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"
* Mary S. Lovell: Bess of Hardwick: First Lady of Chatsworth, 1527-1608

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"
* Liza Picard: Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London



* Samuel Pepys: Diary

-- cf. list no.3, "First Person Accounts"



* Samuel Johnson: Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, and James Boswell: The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson LL.D.

(Scotland -- cf. list no.3, "First Person Accounts")

* Wendy Moore: Wedlock: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"

* Mary Wollstonecraft: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"



* Claire Tomalin: Jane Austen: A Life

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"

* Elizabeth Gaskell: The Life of Charlotte Brontë

-- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History"

* Stephen Fry's Victorian Secrets

(Social history)
* Kate Summerscale: The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher

(True crime; early days of Scotland Yard.)



* Robert Fossier, Robyn Marsack (eds.): The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Middle Ages (3 vols.)

(Published in Britain, but covers all of Europe.)

* Carol Daugherty Rasnic: Northern Ireland: Can Sean and John Live in Peace?

(Chiefly Irish history up to Good Friday Agreement, but includes comments on the British policy for Ireland, and these days, darned near mandatory reading.)

* Rosemary Goring (ed.): Scotland: the Autobiography: 2,000 Years of Scottish History by Those Who Saw it Happen

(Scotland -- cf. list no.3, "First Person Accounts")


(Note: Last list for tonight.  More tomorrow, probably another 3 or 4 topics -- but again with a fair amount of overlap with tonight's lists.)

Crowdsourced History Reading -- TA's List No. 3: First Person Accounts

Memoirs / autobiographies, diaries, correspondence, and journalism.

Again, cross-references to my other topical lists are marked with the addition "cf."


* Plato: The Last Days of Socrates

(Classical Antiquity, Greece)
* Pliny the Younger: Letters

(Classical Antiquity, Rome / Italy)
* Pierre Abélard: Historia calamitatum (Histoire de mes malheurs / History of My Misfortunes), and Abélard & Heloise: Correspondence

(Middle Ages, France)
* Samuel Pepys: Diary

(Restoration, London)
* Samuel Johnson: Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, and James Boswell: The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson LL.D.

(18th Century, Scotland)
* Dieudonné Thiébault: Mes souvenirs de vingt ans de séjour à Berlin: Ou, Frédéric le Grand (translated as Original Anecdotes of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, and in German, Friedrich der Grosse und sein Hof: Erinnerungen an einen 20jährigen Aufenthalt in Berlin)

(18th Century, Germany)
* Voltaire: Über den König von Preußen: Memoiren

(Voltaire's memoirs of Frederic the Great's court -- I think German is the only language in which they've specifically been excerpted from the entirety of his memoirs  (The title translates as "On / About the King of Prussia: Memors.").  Together with Thiébault's account, above, probably the quintessential eyewitness account of life at Frederic's court.)

(18th Century, Germany)
* George Sand: Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life)

(19th Century -- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History")
* Teffi: Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea

(Russian Revolution -- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History")
* Ernest Hemingway: A Moveable Feast

(Early 20th century Paris)
* Alexandra David-Neel: Voyage d'une Parisienne à Lhassa (My Journey to Lhasa)

(Early 20th century, Tibet / Himalayas / exploration -- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History")
* Beryl Markham: West With the Night

(British Kenya, aviation -- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History")
* John Steinbeck: The Harvest Gypsies: On the Road to The Grapes of Wrath

(Great Depression)
* Patrick Leigh Fermor: A Time of Gifts

(Pre-WW II Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia)

* Anne Frank: Diary

(Nazi Germany, WWII -- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History")
* Solomon Perel: Ich war Hitlerjunge Salomon (Europa Europa)

(Nazi Germany, WWII)
* Astrid Lindgren: A World Gone Mad: Diaries, 1939-45

(WWII, Scandinavia)
* Hans Jürgen Massaquoi: Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany

(Nazi Germany, WWII)
* Library of America (anthology), Various Authors: Reporting World War II

(WWII, journalism)

* Jennifer Worth: Call the Midwife

(Post-WWII Britain -- cf. list no. 2, "Women's History")

* Nicolas Bouvier: The Way of the World

(Post-WWII Eastern Europe and Middle East)
* Thomas Mann: Über mich selbst: Autobiographische Schriften

(Contains the text translated as A Sketch of My Life and several other bits and pieces of autobiography.  I don't think there is an  exact English equivalent.)
* Mahatma Gandhi: The Story of My Experiments With Truth

(South Africa, India, British Raj)
* Carl Zuckmayr: A Part of Myself, Portrait of an Epoch (Als wäre's ein Stück von mir: Horen der Freundschaft)

(20th century Germany and Hollywood; theatre and movie industry)
* Library of America (anthology), Various Authors: Reporting Vietnam: American Journalism 1959-1975

(Vietnam War)
* Willy Brandt: Erinnerungen (My Life in Politics)

(Post-WWII / Cold War Germany)
* Marcel Reich-Ranicki: Mein Leben (The Author of Himself: The Life of Marcel Reich-Ranicki)

(WWII Poland, post-WWII Germany, literature)
* Rosemary Goring (ed.): Scotland: the Autobiography: 2,000 Years of Scottish History by Those Who Saw it Happen

* Irene & Alan Taylor (eds.), Various Authors: The Assassin's Cloak: An Anthology of the World's Greatest Diarists

(various countries and periods)

Crowdsourced History Reading -- TA's List No. 2: Women's History

.. including a selection of first person accounts and primary historical source texts.

Cross-references to my other topical lists are marked with the addition "cf."


* Antonia Fraser: all books

(women's history, Tudors & Stuarts -- cf. list no. 1, "Bulk Entries and Basics")

* Joyce A. Tyldesley: Daughters of Isis: Women of Ancient Egypt

(Ancient Egypt)

* Various Authors: Woman Defamed and Woman Defended: An Anthology of Medieval Texts

(Middle Ages)

* Barbara Beuys: Denn ich bin krank vor Liebe: Das Leben der Hildegard von Bingen  

(Biography of Hildegard of Bingen; to the best of my knowledge, not translated into English.)

(Middle Ages, Germany)

* Helen Castor: She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth

(Middle Ages, England -- cf. list no. 4, "History of the British Isles")
* Alison Weir: Eleanor of Aquitaine

(Middle Ages, France and England)

* Christine de Pizan: La cité des dames (The City of the Ladies), Le débat sur le roman de la rose (The Debate on the Romance of the Rose), and Le ditié de Jéhanne d'Arc (poetic tribute to Jeanne d'Arc)

(Middle Ages, France)
* Moderata Fonte: The Worth of Women

(Renaissance Italy)
* David Starkey: Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII, and Elizabeth

(Tudor Age -- cf. list no. 4, "History of the British Isles")
* Elizabeth Tudor, Leah Marcus (ed.): Collected Works

(Tudor Age -- cf. list no. 4, "History of the British Isles")

* Mary S. Lovell: Bess of Hardwick: First Lady of Chatsworth, 1527-1608

(Tudor Age -- cf. list no. 4, "History of the British Isles")
* Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: La Respuesta (The Answer)

(17th century Mexico)

* Robert K. Massie: Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

* Wendy Moore: Wedlock: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match

  -- cf. list no. 4, "History of the British Isles"

* Stefan Zweig: Marie Antoinette

(18th century France)

* George Sand: Histoire de ma vie (The Story of My Life), and André Maurois: Lélia, ou la vie de George Sand (Lelia: The Life of George Sand)

(19th century France -- for Sand's autobiography, cf. list no. 3, "First Person Accounts")
* Hannah Arendt: Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewish Woman, and Carola Stern: Der Text meines Herzens

(Two excellent biographies of Varnhagen.  English speakers will have to make do with Arendt's books, but I confess my first love is still Carola Stern's engaging version, which I read first (and whose title translates as "The text of my heart")).

(18th/19th century Germany)

* Mary Wollstonecraft: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

(18th century Britain -- cf. list no. 4, "History of the British Isles")

* Jane Austen: The History of England, and Claire Tomalin: Jane Austen: A Life

(Austen's own, just for the fun of it: Austen was 13 when she wrote this, and it says more about her 13 year old self than about the English kings she's portraying.)

(19th century Britain -- cf. list no. 4, "History of the British Isles")

* Elizabeth Gaskell: The Life of Charlotte Brontë

(19th century Britain -- cf. list no. 4, "History of the British Isles")

* Alexandra Lapierre: Fanny Stevenson: A Romance of Destiny

(19th / early 20th century U.S. and Britain)

* Teffi: Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea

(Russian revolution -- cf. list no. 3, "First Person Accounts")

* Alexandra David-Neel: Voyage d'une Parisienne à Lhassa (My Journey to Lhasa)

(early 20th century, Tibet / Himalayas / exploration -- cf. list no. 3, "First Person Accounts")

* Virginia Woolf: A Room of One's Own

(early 20th century Britain; literary history)

* Dorothy L. Sayers: Are Women Human?, and Barbara Reynolds: Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul

(20th century Britain)

* Beryl Markham: West With the Night

(20th century British Kenya; aviation -- cf. list no. 3, "First Person Accounts")

* Anne Frank: Diary

(WWII / Nazi Germany -- cf. list no. 3, "First Person Accounts")

* Erica Fischer: Aimée und Jaguar: Ein Liebesgeschichte, Berlin 1943 (Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943)

(WWII / Nazi Germany)

* Jennifer Worth: Call the Midwife

(Post-WWII Britain -- cf. list no. 3, "First Person Accounts")


@Chris: This is a bit more than 25 books, but there is a certain amount of overlap between my various topical lists, and I'd prefer to list books under all topics that seem relevant to me, so as to give you the option to list them as you think best fits in turn.

Crowdsourced History Reading -- TA's List No. 1: Bulk Entries and Basics

The Weaker Vessel: Woman's Lot in Seventeenth-Century England - Antonia Fraser The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation - Ian Mortimer Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty - Dan Jones Shakespeare: For All Time - Stanley Wells The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean - John Julius Norwich The Rise And Fall Of The House Of Medici - Christopher Hibbert Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies - Jared Diamond The Story of Civilization - Will Durant, Ariel Durant Encyclopedia of World History - Oxford University Press Putzger: Historischer Weltatlas - Ernst Bruckmüller, Walter Leisering, Friedrich Wilhelm Putzger, Michael Ackermann, Bruno Mègre, Rudolf Berg, Manfred Vasold, Peter Claus Hartmann, Jochen Grube, Martin Clauss, Bernd Isphording, Stephan Warnatsch, Christina Böttcher, Hans Weymar, René Betker, Ralf Kasper

I'm going to split up my submissions for the crowdsourced history reading list initiated by Chris into several topical lists (with cross references), beginning with the authors and book series I'm submitting in toto, as well as some basic reference material.  So:


* Antonia Fraser (women's history, Tudors & Stuarts)
* Ian Mortimer (British history, particularly Middle Ages)
* Dan Jones (ditto)
* Stanley Wells (Shakespeare -- everything from biographies and history to criticism)
* John Julius Norwich (British and Mediterranean history)

* Christopher Hibbert (ditto)
* Jared Diamond (intersection of (world) history, geography, and sociology)


* Will Durant, Ariel Durant: The Story of Civilization (11 volumes, Ancient Orient to Age of Napoleon)

* Various Authors: Fischer Weltgeschichte (published elsewhere as Weidenfeld & Nicolson Universal History / Siglo XXI Editores Historia Universal / Storia Universale Feltrinelli, and Bordas / Fayard Histoire Universelle, respectively) (36 vols., prehistory to present day)

* Oxford Encyclopedia of World History
* Putzger Atlas der Weltgeschichte (unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge not translated into English -- but for my money, one of the best historical cartographical works in existence)

BL-opoly: Dice Roll #16

Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Martin Jarvis

It's past midnight CEST, so having finished J,K. Rowling's Casual Vacancy, I am allowed to roll again



This takes me to square 15: Mountain Cabin -- read a book with a tree on the cover or featuring a character who is a father.


I decided to go for, um, the ultimate fatherhood tale, which I suddenly have a desire to revisit to fill the hole left by its screen adaptation (for however addictive that one might be, for all the right and wrong reasons).


Length: 413 pages

=> + $5 upon completion.




Bon 230e Anniversaire, la France. Happy Bastille Day!

Jean-Pierre Houël (1735-1813): La prise de la Bastille

BL-opoly: Dice Roll #15

The Casual Vacancy - Tom Hollander, J.K. Rowling

So, having finished my Independence Day extra roll books, I am (finally) allowed to roll again:



Starting from "GO", this takes me to square 7: The Stay-Cation -- read a book with a house on the cover or related to something unique about your community.


My audio edition of J.K. Rowling's Casual Vacancy has ... well, enough upper parts of houses on the cover to convey the idea of a house, so I'm going to run with that.


Length of equivalent print edition: 512 pages

=> + $5 upon completion.




Around the World in 80 Books Mostly by Female Authors: Master Update Post

[World map created with Mapchart.net]


The aim: To diversify my reading and read as many books as possible (not necessarily 80) set in, and by authors from, countries all over the world.  Female authors preferred.  If a book is set in a location other than that of the author's nationality, it can apply to either (but not both).


On the map I'm only tracking new reads, not also rereads.


The Books:



Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Purple Hibiscus (new)



Elizabeth Peters: Crocodile on the Sandbank (new)

Agatha Christie: Murder on the Nile (new) and Death on the Nile (revisited on audio)



Alexandra Fuller: Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight (new)



Laila Lalami: The Moor's Account (new)



Clea Koff: The Bone Woman (new)



Kofi Annan: Interventions: A Life in War and Peace (new)


Sierra Leone

Aminatta Forna: The Memory of Love (new)








Michelle Obama: Becoming (new)

Mary Roberts Rinehart: The Red Lamp (new)

Nevada Barr: Track of the Cat (new)

Louise Erdrich: The Plague of Doves (new)

James D. Doss: The Night Visitor (new)

* Puerto Rico

Rosario Ferré: The House on the Lagoon (new)



Stef Penney: The Tenderness of Wolves (new)

Margaret Atwood: Hag-Seed (new)



Clarice Lispector: The Hour of the Star (new)



John le Carré: The Night Manager (new)


Dominican Republic

Julia Alvarez: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (new)








Xinran: The Good Women of China (new)



Shizuko Natsuki: Murder at Mt. Fuji (new)


North Korea

Hyeonseo Lee: The Girl with Seven Names (new)


South Korea

Min Jin Lee: Pachinko (new)


Sri Lanka

Michael Ondaatje: Anil's Ghost (new)



Elif Shafak: Three Daughters of Eve (new)



Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: Sister of My Heart (new)



Chingiz Aitmatov: Jamilia (new)






Australia / Oceania


Joan Lindsay: Picnic at Hanging Rock (new)


New Zealand

Ngaio Marsh: Vintage Murder and Died in the Wool (both revisited on audio)

Witi Ihimaera: The Whale Rider (new)







United Kingdom

Lorna Nicholl Morgan: Another Little Murder (new)

Stephen Fry, John Woolf, Nick Baker: Stephen Fry's Victorian Secrets (new)

P.D. James: A Taste for Death (revisited on audio)

Agatha Christie: The Big Four, Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, The Unexpected Guest, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret Adversary (twice), Parker Pyne Investigates, and The Mysterious Mr. Quin (all revisited on audio; The Unexpected Guest also in print); The Lost Plays: Butter in a Lordly Dish / Personal Call / Murder in the Mews (new)

Elizabeth Ferrars: Murder Among Friends (new)

Barbara Pym: Excellent Women, Quartet in Autumn, and An Unsuitable Attachment (all new)

Terry Pratchett: Equal Rites (revisited on audio), Mort, and Sourcery (both new)

Georgette Heyer: Why Shoot a Butler?, They Found Him Dead, and A Blunt Instrument (all new)

Nicholas Blake: A Question of Proof (new)

Joy Ellis: The Murderer's Son and The Fourth Friend (both new)

Peter Grainger: An Accidental Death (new)

Elizabeth Gaskell: My Lady Ludlow (new)

Various Authors / Contributors: Agatha Christie Close Up: A Radio Investigation (new)

Virginia Woolf: The String Quartet (new)

John Buchan: The 39 Steps (revisited on audio)

Oscar Wilde: Lord Arthur Savile's Crime (new)

Ellis Peters: The Hermit of Eyton Forest, Dead Man's Ransom, The Leper of Saint Giles, St. Peter's Fair, The Virgin in the Ice, and Monk's Hood (all revisited on audio)

Patricia Wentworth: The Alington Inheritance, The Gazebo, The Benevent Treasure, Anna, Where are You?, The Key, The Ivory Dagger, Out of the Past, The Silent Pool, The Catherine Wheel, and The Fingerprint (all new)

Dorothy L. Sayers: Whose Body? (twice) and The Five Red Herrings (both revisited on audio)

Martin Fido: The World of Sherlock Holmes (new)

Ian Rankin: In a House of Lies (new)

John le Carré: Our Game and A Murder of Quality (both new)

Martin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher: Furry Logic (new)

The Detection Club: The Floating Admiral (reread)

Tony Medawar (ed.) & var. Golden Age mystery writers: Bodies from the Libary (new)

Peter Lovesey: The Last Detective (new)

Colin Dexter: Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories (new)

Miles Burton: The Secret of High Eldersham (new)

Ngaio Marsh: The Nursing Home Murder (revisited on audio)

Ellen Wilkinson: The Division Bell Mystery (new)

Ronald Knox: The Three Taps and The Body in the Silo (both new)

Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility (revisited on audio)

Frank Froest: The Grell Mystery (new)

Julian Symons: The Belting Inheritance (new)

Israel Zangwill: The Perfect Crime, aka The Big Bow Mystery (new)

Richard Hull: The Murder of My Aunt (new)

Elizabeth George: Deception on His Mind (revisited on audio)

Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (new)

C.J. Sansom: Tombland (new)

Winifred Holtby: South Riding (new)

Wendy Moore: Wedlock (new)

J.K. Rowling: The Casual Vacancy (new)

Ruth Rendell: A Sleeping Life and The Monster in the Box (both new)

Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman: Good Omens (revisited on audio)



Tana French: The Witch Elm (new)



Stephen Fry: Mythos (new)

Madeline Miller: Circe (new)



Astrid Lindgren: Die Menschheit hat den Verstand verloren: Tagebücher 1939-1945 (A World Gone Mad: Diaries, 1939-45) (new)



Emmuska Orczy: The Elusive Pimpernel (new)



Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express (revisited on audio)

(Note: Yugoslavia at the time of the writing -- but the action is set after the train has passed Vinkovci, aka "The Gateway to Croatia".)



Dolores Redondo: El guardián invisible / The Invisible Guardian (new)




The "Gender Wars" Stats:

Read to date, in 2019:

Books by female authors: 81

- new: 56

- rereads: 25


Books by male authors: 32

- new: 29

- rereads: 3


Books by F & M mixed teams / anthologies: 4

- new: 3

- rereads: 1




The Reading Lists:
















WOMEN WRITERS (global list):


More Favorite / Essential Historical Fiction: Towards the 200!

OK, so I did get to another full list after all.  Here goes, without any further ado:


Virginia Woolf: Orlando

I'm happy I'm getting another shot for this book alone -- could have kicked myself for leaving it off my first list.  I'm not a big fan of either time travel or main character sex changes, but here they both work for me, and you can't help but root for the MC.  (Well, of course not -- Woolf was in love with her, after all.)


Margaret Atwood: The Penelopiad / Alias Grace

I'd love Atwood for these two books (and The Blind Assassin, which is sort of semi-historical fiction), even if she hadn't written The Handmaid's Tale or any other book.  The Penelopiad is, strictly speaking, retold myth rather than historical fiction, but what the heck, I'm going to lump it in here anyway.  (Do yourselves a favor and get the audio performed -- "narrated" is definitely an understatement -- by Laural Merlington.)


Barry Unsworth: Morality Play

If I'd read more books by Unsworth, I'd probably be listing them all here, but as it is, I'm going to go with the one book I actually have read.  Set among a group of traveling medieval actors; short, to the point -- and the kind of tale that stays with you long after you've finished it.



Michael Ondaatje: The English Patient

The movie is great, but the book is even better.  It will also make you want to read up on Herodotus.





J.G. Farrell: Empire Trilogy

Farrell only published six books during his lifetime; two of them (Troubles and The Siege of Krishnapur: books 1 and 2 of the so-called Empire Trilogy) clinched a Booker Prize, the third installment of this "trilogy" -- which actually isn't one --, The Singapore Grip, is considered one of the top 10 essential books on Singapore.  Taken together, the three novels shine a spotlight on three different moments in the eventual breakup of the British Empire: Ireland after WWI, the Indian Rebellion, and the Japanese occupation of Southeast Asia.


Toni Morrison: Beloved

The classic novel on slavery and the Civil War and its aftermath.  'Nuff said.





John Jakes: North & South trilogy

Riveting enough to have helped me, decades ago, to get over the end of a relationship.  I swallowed the whole trilogy in a matter of days.


Victor Hugo: Notre Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Gargoyles -- of both flesh and stone.  Notably, Hugo wrote this as a piece of advocacy for the restoration of the cathedral.




Alexandre Dumas: La Reine Margot

The classic novelization of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre and its aftermath ... even if it's not entirely true to fact (or historical character, especially concerning Catherine de Médici).



C.S. Forester: Horatio Hornblower series

A series I love almost as much as Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey / Maturin novels.




Bernard Cornwell: Sharpe series

"One if by land, two if by sea" -- yes, I know, wrong war, wrong continent and wrong symbolism, but it kind of also works as a shorthand for my favorite HistFic series on the Napoleonic wars (Aubrey / Maturin, Hornblower, and Sharpe).  Though Sean Bean just might have had something to do with the latter -- Cornwell himself at times has a very, um, direct way of getting across that war is anything but glorious.


Rafael Sabatini: Scaramouche (and Captain Blood, and The Sea Hawk)

Errol Flynn probably only would have had half a career without Sabatini's Captain Blood and The Sea Hawk (both of which I first read as a teenager, after having been turned onto swashbucklers by -- who else -- Dumas's Muskeeers), but the one novel (and character) I have a particular fondness for is Scaramouche, he of the gift of laughter and the sense that the world was mad.  (Also, hattip to Stewart Granger, who portrayed him in the movie adaptation.)


Rose Tremain: Restoration

One of the rare cases where I actually prefer the movie adaptation; chiefly because I like the movie's Merrivel better than the character as written by Tremain.  Either way, though, a glorious tribute to the England of the late 17th century.



Jean Plaidy

Another one of my earliest historical fiction loves; particularly, her several series focusing on the Plantagenet, Tudor and Stuart queens.  They may not all have aged tremendously well, but they're backed up by vastly more solid historical research than the books of many a more recent bestseller writer (looking at you, Philippa Gregory), and at least as importantly, Plaidy actually empathized with her characters and cared for them, whereas others -- cough, Gregory, cough -- seem more interested in exploiting long-disputed historical clichés for the sake of sensation and a juicy tale.


Edith Pargeter: A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury

The story of the Hotspur rebellion, told from the POV of the three Henrys (IV (aka Bolinbgroke), V (aka Prince Hal), and Hotspur), as well as a fictional Shrewsbury lass.  If you've only come across this story via Shakespeare's plays, you certainly won't find the same characters here; particularly not the same Harry Hotspur, and personally I like Pargeter's Hotspur a good deal better; but then, of course I'm meant to. -- And one day I'll probably also read her Brothers of Gwynedd quartet (her take on the story underlying Sharon Kay Penman's Welsh Princes trilogy); if I already had, I totally wouldn't rule out that I'd want to add those books to this list as well.  N.B.: For those who don't know, Edith Pargeter was the real name of Ellis Peters, the creator of the Chronicles of Brother Cadfael (also set in Shrewsbury, though a few centuries earlier than this book).  Pargeter / Peters incidentally also published a gorgeously illustrated nonfiction book on Shropshire and the Welsh borderland, Strongholds and Sanctuaries., which I found extremely valuable as a guide in preparing a trip to the area two years ago.


Anne Perry

Of her Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, the first book -- The Cater Street Hangman -- still remains one of my favorites.  Both there and in her other series -- William Monk -- the main characters sometimes exhibit annoyingly modern attitudes, which are didactically set against the traditional / backward-looking / conservative / narrowminded attitudes of their antagonists.  This aside I can't fault her research, however, and her books have, at this point, become enough of a comfort reading go-to for them to warrant inclusion here.  This is particularly true for her Christmas novellas, in each of which she takes a supporting character from one of her two main series and makes him / her the protagonist of a story that is tangentially related to the main series (but not necessarily incorporated in it).  In fact, if I had to pick one favorite among these three "branches" of her output (Pitt, Monk, and Christmas novellas), I'd probably go for the Christmas novellas every time; never mind that Perry can't always resist preaching the spirit of the season.


James Ellroy: L.A. Confidential

Corruption and police brutality in 1950s Lalaland: The movie has great visuals, but Ellroy's prose has a clipped, sharp-edged style that fits the subject matter to a T.  (HistFict definition note: Ellroy was born in 1948, so technically this is only borderline historical fiction -- I'd still argue that his knowlege of early 1950s L.A. / Hollywood society and policing is not so much a matter of personal, first-hand insight but, rather, historical research performed at the time of writing this book, i.e. in his adulthood.)


Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell

This will never be one of my top ten (or so) favorite novels under any definition; chiefly because it drags interminably in the middle and is a good 200 pages (or more) too long.  But I love the concept, and where it works -- particularly at the beginning -- it works incredibly well.  It's also one of the few "alternative history" books that have held my attention long enough for me to actually finish it, even despite its sagging dreadfully in the middle.


Mary Stewart - Merlin trilogy

Full disclosure: I still have to complete book 3.  Even so, I'll say that as an alternative take on the Arthur saga this is working surprisingly well for me; particularly the first book -- The Crystal Cave --, the story of Merlin's youth and a "prequel" of sorts to the better-known subject matter dealing with King Arthur directly. 


T.H. White: The Sword in the Stone

Short of Thomas Malory (and Tennyson's Idylls of the King), the classic version of the Arthurian saga.  I've never had much use for the Lancelot and Guinevere romance; consequently, the later parts of White's Once and Future King are decidedly less my kind of thing -- but the first book is simply glorious.



Roger Lancelyn Green: King Arthur / Robin Hood

And, finally ... if you haven't first met King Arthur and Robin Hood (and plenty of other mythical kings and heroes, but let's just stick with these two, shall we?) courtesy of T.H. White or Howard Pyle, you've most likely met them in the books of Roger Lancelyn Green.  Timeless tales that can't help but draw you in.

My Historical Fiction Essentials

Reposting with cover images added.


Finally getting around to this -- as per Chris's invitation, here's my list (in no particular order, and with major reliance on Chris's dictum that it's "fine to list a whole author's work or series and have it count as one entry"):



Hillary Mantel's historical fiction

I've yet to try her contemporary writing, but both her Cromwell duology (Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies -- hopefully soon to be a trilogy) and A Place of Greater Safety (based on the real life story of Robespierre, Danton and Desmoulins) are absolutely magnificent.  I'd never have thought anybody could make me genuinely care about Thomas Cromwell, but Mantel managed to do just that, and she also brings a fresh perspective to a topic seemingly as worn out (in literary terms) as the French Revolution.



C.J. Sansom: Shardlake series

Ditto C.J. Sansom's Tudor mysteries.  I've just finished the most recent entry, and all I'll say is, I hope Sansom himself won't tire of Master Shardlake and his adventures any time soon. -- Also, if nonfiction isn't your kind of thing and you still want to learn about the Tudor Age, you can't possibly go wrong with Mantel and Sansom combined -- both their books are meticulously researched, with detailed historical notes (particularly Sansom's: the one concluding his most recent book, Tombland, alone makes for almost 1/10 of that 866-page monster's total length).



Sharon Kay Penman: Plantagenet series

Others have already mentioned her Welsh Princes trilogy and The Sunne in Splendour (her very first book), all of which I completely second; given my particular fondness for the Plantagenet power couple, Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their "devil's brood", though, I'm going to also have to add Penman's Plantagenet series to the lot (by which I don't just mean the first three books, which focus on Henry and Eleanor, but the whole series, including its current extension into the life and times of Richard the Lionheart).


Ellis Peters: The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael

My interest in Plantagenet England began with this series, and Brother Cadfael is still one of my all-time favorite characters (and detectives).  I can no longer even count the numbers of times I have read and reread these books.  Well-researched, written with a big heart, and somehow managing to condense the various stages of the tortured history of England's first Civil War in easy to digest 200-page installments, all seen from the perspective of the Welsh borderland.  And I really, really also love the TV adaptations starring Derek Jacobi.



Samantha Wilcoxson: Plantagenet Embers series, especially Faithful Traitor

A recent discovery, thanks to BookLikes!  The series focuses on a number of personalities who played important roles in the transition from the Plantagenet to the Tudor regime, but who are less well known today:  Elizabeth of York (daughter of the last York Plantagenet king Edward IV and wife of the first Tudor king Henry VII), Margaret Pole (Elizabeth of York's cousin, daughter of Edward IV's brother, the Duke of Clarence, and while in Henry VIII's good graces, governess to his daughter Mary, the future queen), Mary I, the queen herself; as well as Elizabeth of York's mother -- Elizabeth Woodville --, Henry VII's mother Margaret Beaufort, and Mary I's favorite cousin and Archbishop of Canterbury, Margaret Pole's son Richard Pole.  (The first three are novels, the last three novellas.)  By far my favorite entry in the series is the second novel, Faithful Traitor, the story of Margaret Pole -- what a woman.  My heart totally goes out to her.



Tony Riches - Tudor Trilogy

In a way, the complementary series to Samantha Wilcoxson's: the stories of the three men who laid the foundations for the Tudors' rise to power and their elevation from an impoverished minor Welsh line to becoming heirs of the Lancastrians and victors over the House of York): Owen Tudor (second husband of Henry V's widow, Queen Catherine of Valois), his and Catherine's son Jasper, and Owen's grandson / Jasper's nephew and ward Henry, the future king Henry VII. -- Both Samantha Wilcoxson's and Tony Riches's books are self-published, and proof positive that self-publishing has nothing whatsoever to do with (allegedly inferior) quality but, rather, everything with how much you care for (and want to retain full control over) your writing, your characters, your chosen topic, your research ... and everything else associated with your books.


Edward Rutherfurd: London

Rutherfurd has elevated the technique of telling the history of a place through the interwoven histories of representative families to a fine art, and if you only read one of his books, let that book be his history of London from before the Roman age to the present day.  (Though I confess that his first book, Sarum, is still on my TBR; I think it's entirely possible that I'd extend the recommendation to it, as well, if I had already read it at this point.)


Walter Scott: Ivanhoe

Scott, Stevenson and Dumas between the three of them pretty much created historical fiction as a genre, and while Scott could at times be either a bit long-winded or melodramatic, when he was good, he was very good, and nowhere more so than in Ivanhoe.  It may not be the most realistic of his tales, but never since the actual medieval legends and epics has chivalry been epitomized literarily the way it is in this one book.


Robert Louis Stevenson: Kidnapped

The teenage adventure to end all teenage adventures (also one of the first adventure novels I ever read).  Seriously, though, who wouldn't want to be David Balfour, meet, be mentored by and share the exploits of someone as cool as Alan Breck Stewart, and finish off by giving his just deserts to a mean, avaricous old uncle (named Ebenezer, to boot -- like Dickens's Scrooge)?


Alexandre Dumas (père): The Three Musketeers

Swashbuckling wisecracks were never again as cool, and intrigue never as poisonous as here. -- For clarification's sake: I love The Count of Monte Cristo just as much as The Three Musketeers, but from the POV of Dumas's life Monte Cristo was contemporary writing (beginning in the 1810s -- Dumas was born in 1802), whereas the adventures of D'Artagnan and his best buddies are set in the 17th century, roughly 200 years before Dumas's own lifetime.


Emmuska Orczy: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Sir Percy Blakeney and I had already met in various screen adaptations of this novel by the time I read the book for the very first time, and I have to admit my fondness for his assorted screen incarnations is a tiny bit more pronounced than that for the persona originally created by Baroness Orczy (and this is even more true for his wife Marguerite).  But let's face it -- without this book, none of the screen versions would ever have come into existence in the first place, and from the dual character with his interminable masquerades, the league, "that demmed Pimpernel" and of course Chauvelin's shenanigans, everything is already in existence in Orczy's book ... she came up with it all.


Patrick O'Brian: Aubrey / Maturin series

One of the iconic literary friendships, and you have to look long and hard to learn as much about early 19th century naval voyages and warfare as in this series of novels.  (Including the terminology -- I was thoroughly relieved when I found that there are not one but two companion guides; one giving background to the voyages and locations featured in the individual books, the other one explaining the terminology.)  At heart, though, these are simply ripping good yarns -- well-written and well-researched, and you can't help but root for the two main characters.


Iain Pears: Historical stand-alone novels, particularly The Dream of Scipio

Pears -- an art historian by training -- started out with a series of mysteries set in the world of, well, art history, which are nice for what they are, but they were clearly only the warm-up for the longer and much more intricate stand-alone novels to which he moved on with An Instance of the Fingerpost.  All set in different historical periods and locations (from 17th century Oxford in Fingerpost to, inter alia, 19th century Venice in Stone's Fall), with The Dream of Scipio my favorite of them all: Three interconnected storylines, all set in the Avignon area of the South of France; one in the waning days of the Roman empire, one during the medieval Avignon exile of the Papacy, and one during the Nazi occupation of France; all revolving around a mysterious manuscript, and all asking profound questions concerning life, tolerance, and the essence of humanity.


Lion Feuchtwanger: Historical novels, particularly Die Jüdin von Toledo (Raquel / The Jewess of Toledo / A Spanish Ballad)

Feuchtwanger was one of the preeminent German novelists of the first half of the 20th century; he was driven into emigration to the U.S. when the Nazis rose to power.  Though he bequeathed his literary estate to the University of Southern California, his final academic and literary home, he is all but forgotten in the U.S. -- not so in Germany, however, where he is still very much a household name.  He wrote both historical and -- for him -- contemporary fiction; of his historical novels, all of which are grounded in profound examinations of the human condition (some, but not all of them, from the perspective of his Jewish faith), two stand out to me in particular: Jud Süss, the biography of a [real life] 18th century Jewish merchant from southwestern Germany (which the Nazis infamously abused and twisted into one of their most vicious anti-Jewish propaganda pieces -- much to Feuchtwanger's fury, not least given that the actual essence of his novel is the precise opposite: an analysis of the pressure brought onto Jews to "assimilate" into the dominant culture surrounding them), and Die Jüdin von Toledo (variously translated as Raquel, The Jewess of Toledo, and A Spanish Ballad), also a story based on actual historical fact; set in medieval Reconquista Toledo and revolving around the romance between enlightened Christian king Alfonso XII and the beautiful, wise young daughter of one of his advisors (a Jew).


Frank Baer: Die Brücke von Alcántara

Another novel set in medieval Spain; translated (to the best of my knowledge) into Spanish but unfortunately not into English (the title translates as The Bridge of Alcántara).  A riveting doorstopper of a book following three protagonists -- a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew -- whose fates take them from Andalucía ("Moorish" Spain) to reconquered Christian Castile and back, until the peaceful coexistence of the three religions finally comes crashing down around them once and for all on a battlefield near the eponymous bridge.


Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose

Eco said he had started to write this book because he "felt like murdering a monk" -- well, I'd say he had his revenge and then some.  It helps to have a basic notion of medieval history and religion / philosophy, but at heart this is just a very intricate, historically knowledgeable mystery set in a small monastic community with all of its petty rivalries and antagonism, with a mindblowing finale, and with Eco obviously having a ball with his newly created playing field for the notion that (paraphrasing from memory) "if you can't use it to tell a lie, you can't use it to tell a story".


Robert Graves: Claudius duology (I, Claudius and Claudius, the God and His Wife Messalina)

One of the most insightful (and cheekiest) fictional diaries in all of historical fiction, and if you ever entertained any ideas about the particular nobility of the Romans or their imperial dynasties, these two books will cure you of that notion in absolutely no time.  Also not to be missed: the TV miniseries starring Derek Jacobi (yeah, him again) as Claudius.


Louis De Bernières: Birds Without Wings

This book totally devastated me.  Small-town Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century, Gallipoli, Muslim / Turkish vs. Christian Orthodox / Greek communities, diaspora, displacement, friendship, coming of age ... complete and utter heartbreak, beautifully written.



Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Half of a Yellow Sun

Another totally devastating book.  Xenophobia, racism, violence against women and, ultimately, war -- African against African, though the administrative and territorial mess left behind by the British at the end of their colonial rule very likely played a role.  Like Birds Without Wings, a book that everybody should read -- it's about so much more than "just" the Biafra war, though it really also does a great job analyzing how that war came about and what it did to those caught up in it.  (For the record: This is historical fiction within the meaning of the act; it's set in the 1960s, i.e., the decade prior to that of Adichie's birth.)


Shusaku Endo: Silence

Decades ago, when a Japanese pen friend poo-poo'ed James Clavell's Shogun as unrealistic and a typically Westernized view, I asked her which book she would recommend I read instead -- this was her answer.  It's stuck with me all these years ... though I confess I haven't been able to get myself to watch its recent movie adaptation yet (and I probably never will).  Still, I learned more about Japanese history (and attitutes) from this one novel than from many a newspaper report or nonfiction book.


Kazuo Ishiguro: The Remains of the Day

One of the most shattering literary exhibitions of wasted lives and missed chances -- as well as a superb exercise in Ishiguro's big topic, the unreliability of memory.  Don't get sidetracked by the WWII / "Nazis in England" background ... it's there for a reason, obviously, but it's merely the setting, not what Ishiguro is chiefly interested in.  This is all about one man's self-destruction, by denial, self-denial and self-deception; all of which ultimately brings down much more than himself.  Ishiguro deserved the Nobel Prize for this novel and Never Let Me Go alone.  (For anyone in doubt, Kazuo Ishiguro was born in 1954, so the core action of this novel is set several decades before his own lifetime.  And I'd argue that the 1956 road trip during which the MC reminisces on the events that form the novel's main action is so close to the author's birth that Ishiguro himself wouldn't have any active awareness of that particular period in history, even if he might have snippets of memory of his personal toddler's experience.)


Robert van Gulik: Judge Dee mysteries

A Dutch diplomat and sinologist / scholar's loving tribute to the exploits of a famous (real life) 7th century Chinese magistrate, begun after van Gulik had first translated a Chinese novel immortalizing the same man.  And he didn't only create the mysteries themselves -- typically, following the pattern set in the Chinese novel he had translated, consisting of several interwoven cases and frequently touching on issues of Chinese philosophy, as well as criminal law and social mores --; he also illustrated them in the authentic Chinese ink brush technique.  I've loved these little books (none of them is substantially longer than 200 pages) since practically forever and am thrilled to see them back in print in English (they've never gone out of print in Germany).


Thomas Mann: Buddenbrooks

Mann's first magnum opus; cited (justly) as one of the major reasons why he was awared the Nobel Prize in Literature (along with The Magic Mountain): chronicling the downfall of a Lübeck (northern German) merchant family over the course of a century.  I love it for both its characters and the intricacy of its setting -- if you know Lübeck, the city really does come alive for you in the book -- and it blows my mind to think that Mann was a mere 24 years old when the novel was first published. -- In terms of categorization as "historical fiction", this is a similar case as Ishiguro's Remains of the Day: The vast bulk of the book is set in the early and middle decades of the 19th century and thus long before Mann's own lifetime; only the final chapter (which deals with the aftermath of the company's dissolution and the sale of the Buddenbrooks' patrician home) is set some 2 years after Mann's own birth and thus falls technically into his own lifetime.  Here, too, I'd argue that this is not enough to take away the characterization as a historical novel, though.


Theodor Storm: Der Schimmelreiter (The Dykemaster / The Rider on the White Horse)

Also a novel from Northern Germany; even further north than Lübeck, from the islands on the North Sea coastline immediately bordering on Denmark (which coastline actually did belong to Denmark for part of its history); part ghost story, part local lore, and all of it a sombre pilloring of the folly of superstition and prejudice that has lost nothing of its urgency in the century (plus) since its first publication.  Again, a similar case as Ishiguro's and Thomas Mann's books: There is a tiny bit of a (from the authorial POV) contemporaneous introduction, but that only serves to set up the main tale, which is set in the 18th century and, thus, long before the author's own lifetime.


Margaret Mitchell: Gone With the Wind

I'd watched the movie before I first read the book, and I cannot (nor could I, ever) look at either of them without cringing at their blatant racism; but I'd still argue that it's a seminal piece of historical fiction writing and probably closer to the attitutes of the time in which it is set than many a historical novel written since.  It's also one of those seminal, sweeping romances that even without being much of a romance reader I can (almost) totally get lost in.


I'm running out of space and the following three entries require some (in part, considerable) fudging, so make of these last entries what you will:



The Medieval Murderers round robins AND the mystery series "feeding" them

The Medieval Murderers is a series of round robins authored by a group of British writers of historical fiction including, originally, Michael Jecks, Susanna Gregory, Philip Gooden, Bernard Knight and Ian Morson; with C.J. Sansom and Karen Maitland joining in for a couple of the later installments.  Each book in the series follows one distinct object (that was, or is believed to be cursed) from a certain point in time in the early or high Middle Ages over the course of the centuries, with the main sections of the action firmly set before our / the authors' lifetime, and with a brief concluding epilogue set in our time (and in one book, in a dystopian future).  Each member of the group contributes at least one chapter to each of the books, with each chapter forming a distinct episode within that particular book's entire narrative arc.  Initially, the members of the group chiefly relied on their individual main mystery series and made their contributions to this series of round robins shorter, but de-facto stand-alone episodes within those series.  Later some of them began using the Medieval Murderers series as a sort of testing ground for new characters and series concepts, and in some cases, the events from their contributions to this joint series also started to "carry over" into their own respective main series.  Anyway, long story short, I love both this series (Medieval Murderers) and some of the individual contributors' main series; in particular:

* Susanna Gregory's Matthew Bartholomew and Thomas Chaloner series (though only Matthew Bartholomew has, so far as I can see, made repeated appearances in the Medieval Murderers context to date);

* Michael Jecks's Knights Templar series;

* Ian Morson's William Falconer series;

* and Philip Gooden's Nick Revill series.


Wallace Stegner: Angle of Repose

It's debatable whether / to what extent this is really historical fiction, because it's a book that is genuinely set on two distinct narrative plains; one set in the past and one, from the author's POV at the time of the writing, in the present.  It is definitely one of the most gorgeous pieces of writing out there, though; nobody captured the West like Stegner and Steinbeck, and I love it to pieces.  If its historical contents were significant enough to make it qualify for inclusion within the definition of historical fiction I'd be thrilled, but again, far be it from me to want to force the issue here.


John Fowles: The French Lieutenant's Woman

"Technically" unquestionably historical fiction, as the main action is set a century before the author's own lifetime.  However, Fowles has a way of inserting himself into the narrative via some fairly intrusive comments (as well as by appearing, himself, in two of the three alternative endings), which effectively breaks the fourth wall -- and caused Harold Pinter, when writing the screenplay for the movie adaptation, to create an entirely new, additional present-day framework narrative so as to preserve that level of present-day authorial comment and " page / face time".  So, classification as historical fiction is again up for debate in my view -- but, either way, I love the book and do think it's one of the most important ones to have been published in the recent couple of decades.


P.S. Final comment: I was going to add book covers to this post, but it's already past bedtime for me, so I'm just going to leave this "as is" for the time being -- I may come back and add covers tomorrow.

Covers added.

Happy Independence Day -- and, my Freedom and Future Library


-- I can hardly believe it's been a year since I started this.


Books read are checked off, with the year of reading added in parentheses (and with everything read prior to 2018 just marked like that, since 2018 was the year when I came up with this project.)










Could there possibly be a better day on which to finally follow up on my Freedom and Future Library post?


Truth be told, I'd been hoping to compile this much faster, but RL threw a major spanner in the works pretty much all of last week and both of the past weekends.  But, anyway, here we are at last.


Thank you once more to everybody who contributed ideas and suggestions!  A special thank you to Knight of Angels, whom some on BookLikes may remember as Troy, and who instantly took up the baton and came up with a magnificent Freedom and Equality Library in the space of a single day, which I'm shamelessly including in mine in its entirety (as I am also including everybody else's reading recommendations, of course). -- This list contains plenty of books that are new to me, as well as a number of books (and shorter texts) that I've already read but am planning to revisit, or have been revisiting every so often already anyway.


So, here is the complete list in alphabetical order -- in the coming days, I'm planning to also break it down into topical reading lists, to make it somewhat easier to parse.  English titles of the books included in my library in another language are given in parentheses.



Edward Abby

     - Desert Solitaire


John Adams

     - Revolutionary Writings, 1755-1783 (2 volumes)


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

     - Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

     - Half of a Yellow Sun √ (2018)

     - We Should All Be Feminists


Madeleine Albright

     - Fascism: A Warning
     - Madam Secretary: A Memoir
     - The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on Faith, God and World Affairs

     - Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948


Svetlana Alexievich

     - Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets

     - The Unwomanly Face of War

     - Voices from Chernobyl


Ayaan Hirsi Ali

     - Heretic
     - Infidel
     - Nomad


Isabel Allende

     - De amor y de sombra (Of Love and Shadow) √ (prior to 2018)


Akhil Reed Amar / Les Adams

     - The Bill of Rights Primer: A Citizen’s Guidebook to the American Bill of Rights


Amnesty International, Neil Gaiman, Matt Haig, and Others

     - Here I Stand: Stories that Speak for Freedom


Maya Angelou

     - I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings


Kofi Annan

     - Interventions: A Life in War and Peace √ (2019)
     - We the Peoples: The 2001 Nobel Lecture √ (prior to 2018)


Jean Anouilh

     - Antigone √ (prior to 2018)


Louise Arbour

     - War Crimes and the Culture of Peace √ (prior to 2018)


Hannah Arendt

     - Crises of the Republic: Lying in Politics / Civil Disobedience / On Violence / Thoughts on Politics and Revolution
     - Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil √ (prior to 2018)

     - The Origins of Totalitarianism
     - The Portable Hannah Arendt

     - Thinking Without a Banister: Essays in Understanding, 1953-1975

Anthony Arnove, Colin Firth, David Horspool

     - The People Speak: Voices That Changed Britain

Thomas Asbridge

     - The Greatest Knight

Ed Asner / Ed. Weinberger

     - The Grouchy Historian



     - The Complete Plays, especially:

        - The Birds
        - Clouds

        - The Knights
        - Lysistrata √ (prior to 2018)



     - The Politics
     - The Nicomachean Ethics


Timothy Garton Ash

     - Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World


Assemblée constituante (France)

     - Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen (1789) (Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen) √ (prior to 2018)

Assemblée nationale (France)

     - Articles constitutionnels (1789) / Constitution de France (1791) (Constitutional Articles of 1989 and Constitution of 1791) √ (prior to 2018)


Margaret Atwood

     - Freedom

     - Hag Seed √ (2019)

     - The Handmaid's Tale √ (prior to 2018)


Akram Aylisli

     - Stone Dreams


Ruth Bader Ginsburg

     - My Own Words


Bernard Bailyn

     - The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution


James Baldwin

     - Collected Essays
     - Giovanni's Room

     - If Beale Street Could Talk


Edward Ball

     - Slaves in the Family


John Dudley Ball

     - In the Heat of the Night √ (prior to 2018)


Pat Barker

     - The Regeneration Trilogy (Regeneration / The Eye in the Door / The Ghost Road)


Violet Barungi, Felix Chami, and Ayeta Anne Wangusa (eds.), Various Authors

     - Tears of Hope: A Collection of Short Stories by Ugandan Rural Women


Violet Barungi and Hilda Twongyeirwe (eds.), Various Authors

     - Beyond the Dance: Voices of Women on Female Genital Mutilation


Violet Barungi, Hilda Twongyeirwe, and Rebecca Salonen (eds.), Various Authors

     - Taboo: Voices of Women in Uganda on Female Genital Mutilation


Gary Jonathan Bass

     - Stay the Hand of Vengeance: The Politics of War Crimes Tribunals


Mary Beard

     - Women & Power: A Manifesto


Simone de Beauvoir

     - Le deuxième sexe (The Second Sex)

     - Mémoires d'une jeune fille rangée (Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter)


Zdenka Becker

     - Samy


Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat

     - Peace in the Making: The Menachem Begin-Anwar Sadat Personal Correspondence


Louis de Bernières

     - Birds Without Wings √ (prior to 2018)

Preet Bharara

     - Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment and the Rule of Law


Benazir Bhutto

     - Daughter of Destiny: An Autobiography


Kai Bird / Martin J. Sherwin

     - American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer


Black Hawk

     - The Autobiography of Black Hawk


Ray Bradbury

     - Fahrenheit 451 √ (prior to 2018)


Taylor Branch

     - America in the King Years 1954-63: Parting the Waters

     - America in the King Years 1963-65: Pillar of Fire

     - America in the King Years 1965-68: At Canaan's Edge


Willy Brandt

     - Erinnerungen (My Life in Politics) √ (prior to 2018)


Bertolt Brecht

     - Antigone: In a Version by Bertolt Brecht

     - Der Aufhaltsame Aufstieg des Arturo Ui (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui ) √ (prior to 2018)

     - Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder (Mother Courage and Her Children) √ (prior to 2018)


Douglas Brinkley and Luke A. Nichter

     - The Nixon Tapes (2 volumes: 1971-72 & 1973)


Dee Brown

     - Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee


Susan Brownmiller

     - Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape


Siddhartha Gautama Buddha

     - Four Noble Truths


Thi Bui

     - Best We Could Do


Edmund Burke

     - Reflections on the Revolution in France


Pete Buttigieg

     - Shortest Way Home


Rachel Carson

     - Silent Spring


Aimé Césaire

     - Discours Sur Le Colonialisme


William H. Chafe, Raymond Gavins, Paul Ortiz, Robert Parris

     - Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South


Ruoxi Chen

     - The Execution of Mayor Yin and Other Stories from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution


Winston Churchill

     - Their Finest Hour


Marcus Tullius Cicero

     - An Attack on an Enemy of Freedom (Philippicae) √ (prior to 2018)
     - Selections from the Writings of Cicero


Clayborne Carson (ed.), Various Authors

     - Reporting Civil Rights


Christopher Clark

     - The Sleepwalkers


Ta-Nehisi Coates

     - Between the World and Me


Andrew Cockburn

     - Kill Chain


Sara Collins

     - The Confessions of Frannie Langton


James Comey

     - A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership


Maryse Condé

     - Moi, Tituba sorcière (I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem)


Richard Condon

     - The Manchurian Candidate √ (prior to 2018)


Members of the Constitutional Congress

     - The Constitution of the United States (1787) √ (prior to 2018)


Gordon Corera

     - Intercept


Rory Cormac

     - Disrupt and Deny: Spies, Special Forces, and the Secret Pursuit of British Foreign Policy


Charlie Craggs

     - To My Trans Sisters


Stephen Crane

     - The Red Badge of Courage

Juana Inés de la Cruz

     - La Respuesta (The Answer) √ (prior to 2018)


Euclides da Cunha

     - Rebellion in the Backlands


Dalai Lama XIV

     - Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World

     - Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama
     - The Power of Compassion: A Collection of Lectures √ (prior to 2018)


Edwidge Danticat

     - Breath, Eyes, Memory


Danny Danziger, John Gillingham

     - 1215: The Year of Magna Carta


Charles Darwin

     - The Origin of Species

     - The Voyage of the Beagle


Richard Dawkins

     - The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution


John W. Dean

     - The Nixon Defense

     - The Rehnquist Choice: The Untold Story of the Nixon Appointment That Redefined the Supreme Court


Michel Debré, Comité Consultatif Constitutionnel

     - Constitution de la 5e République française (1958) (Constitution of the Fifth French Republic)


Daniel C. Dennett

     - Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life


René Descartes

     - Discours de la méthode


Jared Diamond

     - Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed √ (prior to 2018)


Jared Diamond, James A. Robinson

     - Natural Experiments of History


Fyodor Dostoevsky

     - The Grand Inquisitor √ (prior to 2018)


Frederick Douglass

     - Autobiographies / Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave


Frederick Douglass, James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, Olaudah Equiano, Nat Turner, William W. Brown, Henry Bibb, Sojouner Truth, William Craft, Harriet Jacobs, and J.D.Green; William L. Andrews and Henry Louis Gates (eds.)

     - Slave Narratives


W.E.B. Du Bois

     - The Souls of Black Folk


George B. Dyson

     - Darwin Among The Machines: The Evolution Of Global Intelligence


Angela Eagle, Imran Ahmed

     - The New Serfdom


Wolfram Eilenberger

     - Zeit der Zauberer (The Time of the Magicians)


Albert Einstein

     - Essays in Humanism


T.S. Eliot

     - Murder in the Cathedral


Joseph J. Ellis

     - American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic
     - Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation √ (prior to 2018)


Ralph Ellison

     - Invisible Man


Mona Eltahawy

     - Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution


Ralph Waldo Emerson

     - Selected Essays √ (prior to 2018)


Ronan Farrow

     - War on Peace


Sebastian Faulks

     - Birdsong
     - War
     - A Week in December


Ann Fessler

     - The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Their Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade 


Joachim Fest

     - Hitler √ (prior to 2018)


Lion Feuchtwanger

     - Die Geschwister Oppermann (The Oppermanns)

     - Die Jüdin von Toledo (Raquel, the Jewess of Toledo / A Spanish Ballad) √ (prior to 2018)
     - Jud Süß
     - Narrenweisheit oder Tod und Verklärung des Jean-Jacques Rousseau ('Tis Folly to Be Wise, or, Death and Transfiguration of Jean-Jaques Rousseau)


John E. Finn

     - Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights


Helen Fitzgerald

     - Viral


Patrick Flanery

     - I Am No One


Moderata Fonte

     - The Worth of Women √ (prior to 2018)


Aminatta Forna

     - The Memory of Love  √ (2019)


John Foxe

     - Foxe’s Book of Martyrs


Pope Francis, Dominique Wolton

     - A Future of Faith: The Path of Change in Politics and Society


Anne Frank

     - The Diary of Anne Frank √ (prior to 2018)


Viktor E. Frankl

     - Man’s Search for Meaning


Benjamin Franklin

     - Writings


Betty Friedan

     - The Feminine Mystique


Thomas L. Friedman

     - The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization
     - The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century


Max Frisch

     - Biedermann und die Brandstifter (The Firebugs) √ (prior to 2018)


Francis Fukuyama

     - The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution


Alexandra Fuller

     - Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight √ (2019)


Richard Buckminster Fuller

     - Critical Path


Ernest J. Gaines

     - A Lesson Before Dying


John Kenneth Galbraith

     - The Great Crash, 1929


Joachim Gauck

     - Freiheit (Freedom) √ (prior to 2018)
     - Winter im Sommer -- Frühling im Herbst: Erinnerungen (Winter in Summer -- Spring in Fall: Memoirs)


Charles de Gaulle

     - Mémoires de guerre (War Memoirs)


William Gibson

     - Pattern Recognition


Richard J. Goldstone

     - For Humanity: Reflections Of A War Crimes Investigator √ (prior to 2018)


Mikhail Gorbachev

     - Memoirs
     - Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World


Al Gore

     - The Assault on Reason: How the Politics of Blind Faith Subvert Wise Decision-making
     - An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It


Stephen Jay Gould

     - Bully for Brontosaurus

     - Ever Since Darwin

     - The Panda's Thumb


Philip Gourevitch

     - We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda


David Graeber

     - Debt: The First 5,000 Years √ (prior to 2018)


Katharine Graham

     - Personal History


George Grant

     - The American Patriot’s Handbook: The Writings, History, and Spirit of a Free Nation


Ulysses S. Grant

     - Memoirs and Selected Letters


Lewis Grassic Gibbon

     - Spartacus


Toby Green

     - A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution


Allen C. Guelzo

     - The American Mind


Michihiko Hachiya

     - Hiroshima Diary: The Journal of a Japanese Physician, August 6-September 30, 1945


Sebastian Haffner (ed.), Various Authors

     - Versailles 1919: Aus der Sicht von Zeitzeugen (Versailles 1919: Seen Through the Eyes of Contemporary Witnesses)


Jonathan Haidt

     - The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion


Matt Haig

     - Notes on a Nervous Planet


Alex Haley

     - Roots: The Saga of an American Family √ (prior to 2018)


Alexander Hamilton

     - Writings


Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay

     - The Federalist Papers


Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and others, Bernard Bailyn (ed.)

     - The Debate on the Constitution: Federalist and Antifederalist Speeches, Articles, and Letters During the Struggle over Ratification: September 1787-August 1788 (2 volumes)


Yuval Noah Harari

     - Money


Nino Haratischwili

     - Die Katze und der General (The Cat and the General)


Kate Harding

     - Asking for It: Slut-shaming, Victim-blaming, and How We Can Change America's Rape Culture


Luke Harding

     - The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man


Stephen Hawking

     - A Brief History of Time


Michael V. Hayden

     - Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror


Seamus Heaney, Sophocles

     - The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles’ Antigone


Joseph Heller

     - Catch-22
     - Something Happened
     - Work


Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

     - Das Leben der anderen (The Lives of Others) √ (prior to 2018)


Alexander Herzen

     - My Past and Thoughts: The Memoirs of Alexander Herzen


Hermann Hesse

     - Narziß und Goldmund (Narcissus and Goldmund)
     - Siddhartha √ (prior to 2018)


Rolf Hochhuth

     - Juristen (Lawyers) √ (prior to 2018)
     - Der Stellvertreter (The Deputy) √ (prior to 2018)


Andrew Hodges

     - Alan Turing: The Enigma

David E. Hoffman

     - The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy


Tom Holland

     - Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic


Selina Hossain

     - River of My Blood


David Howarth

     - We Die Alone


Wilhelm von Humboldt

     - Ideen zu einem Versuch, die Grenzen der Wirksamkeit des Staats zu bestimmen (The Sphere and Duties of Government / The Limits of State Action)


David Hume

     - An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding
     - Essays: Moral, Political and Literary


John Hume

     - A New Ireland: Politics, Peace, and Reconciliation


Aldous Huxley

     - Brave New World √ (prior to 2018)


Samuel Hynes, Anne Matthews, Nancy Caldwell Sorel (eds.), Various Authors

     - Reporting World War II: American Journalism 1938-1946


International Committee of the Red Cross

     - Basic Rules of the Geneva Conventions and Their Additional Protocols


Peter H. Irons

     - Brennan Vs. Rehnquist: The Battle for the Constitution


Michael Isikoff, David Corn

     - Russian Roulette


Hamid Ismailov

      - The Devils' Dance


Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón

     - The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation


Thomas Jefferson

     - Writings


Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, Andrew Jackson, and others, John Grafton (ed.)

     - The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History 1775-1865 √ (prior to 2018)


Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Otis, John Dickinson, Samuel Adams, Joseph Galloway, Samuel Johnson, Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, Samuel Seabury, Thomas Hutchinson, and others, Gordon Wood (ed.)

     - The American Revolution: Writings from the Pamphlet Debate 1764-1776 (2 volumes)


Dan Jones

     - Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty


Reece Jones

     - Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move


Ernst Jünger

     - In Stahlgewittern (Storms of Steel)


André Kaminski

     - Nächstes Jahr in Jerusalem (Kith and Kin)


Hasnain Kazim

     - Post von Karlheinz


Patrick Radden Keefe

     - Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland


John Keegan

     - The Face of Battle


China Keitetsi

     - Child Soldier: Fighting for My Life


Sarah Kendzior

     - The View from Flyover Country


John F. Kennedy

     - Let the Word Go Forth: Speeches, Statements, and Writings 1947 to 1963

     - A Nation of Immigrants
     - Profiles in Courage


Robert F. Kennedy

     - Thirteen Days


Navid Kermani

     - Ausnahmezustand: Reisen in eine beunruhigte Welt (State of Emergency: Travels in a Troubled World)
     - Einbruch der Wirklichkeit: Auf dem Flüchtlingstreck durch Europa (Upheaval: The Refugee Trek through Europe)

     - Entlang den Gräben: Eine Reise durch das östliche Europa bis nach Isfahan (Along the Trenches: A Trip Through Eastern Europe to Isfahan)

    - Vergesst Deutschland!: Eine patriotische Rede (Forget Germany!: A Patriotic Speech)
     - Zwischen Koran und Kafka: West-östliche Erkundungen (Between Quran and Kafka: West-Eastern Affinities)


Ian Kershaw

     - Hitler: A Biography


John Maynard Keynes

     - The Economic Consequences of the Peace

     - The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

Martin Luther King Jr.

     - A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

     - Letter from the Birmingham Jail √ (prior to 2018)
     - Why We Can't Wait √ (prior to 2018)

Naomi Klein

     - No Is Not Enough


Helen J. Knowles

     - The Tie Goes to Freedom: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on Liberty


Arthur Koestler

     - Darkness at Noon


Clea Koff

     - The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo √ (prior to 2018)


Eugen Kogon

     - Der SS-Staat (The Theory and Practice of Hell) √ (prior to 2018)


Mark Kurlansky

     - 1968: The Year That Rocked the World


Tony Kushner

     - Angels in America


Aung San Suu Kyi

     - Freedom from Fear


John Le Carré

     - The Spy Who Came in from the Cold √ (prior to 2018)


Denis Leary

     - Why We Don’t Suck and How All of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little Bitches


Harper Lee

     - To Kill a Mockingbird √ (prior to 2018)


Hyeonseo Lee

     - The Girl with Seven Names √ (2019)


Ursula K. Le Guin

     - No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters


Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

     - Nathan the Wise, Minna von Barnhelm, and Other Plays and Writings √ (prior to 2018)


C.S. Lewis

     - The Screwtape Letters √ (prior to 2018)


Sinclair Lewis

     - It Can't Happen Here


Savyon Liebrecht

     - Die Banalität der Liebe (The Banality of Love) √ (prior to 2018)


Juliette Lichtenstein

     - Permanence du discours sur Israël


Michael Lienesch

     - In the Beginning: Fundamentalism, the Scopes Trial, and the Making of the Antievolution Movement


Mark Lilla

     - The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics


Abraham Lincoln

     - The Gettysburg Address √ (prior to 2018)
     - Selected Speeches and Writings


Astrid Lindgren

     - Die Menschheit hat den Verstand verloren: Tagebücher 1939-1945 (A World Gone Mad: The Diaries of Astrid Lindgren, 1939-45) √ (2019)


John Locke

     - Second Treatise of Government
     - Political Writings


Chris Lowney

     - A Vanished World: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain


Martin Luther

     - Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen (The Freedom of a Christian) √ (prior to 2018)
     - Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings


Margaret MacMillan

     - Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World


William MacAskill

     - Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference


Tony Macaulay

     - Paperboy: An Enchanting True Story of a Belfast Paperboy Coming to Terms with the Troubles


Niccolò Machiavelli

     - The Prince


Okky Madasari

     - The Years of Voiceless


James Madison

     - Writings


Mairead Corrigan Maguire

     - The Vision of Peace: Faith and Hope in Northern Ireland


Malcolm X

     - The Autobiography of Malcolm X


David Mamet

     - Glengarry Glen Ross √ (prior to 2018)


Peter C. Mancall

     - Origins and Ideologies of the American Revolution


Nelson Mandela

     - Long Walk to Freedom


Abby Mann

     - Judgment at Nuremberg


Heinrich Mann

     - Der Untertan (Man of Straw) √ (prior to 2018)


Klaus Mann

     - Mephisto √ (prior to 2018)


Thomas Mann

     - Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen (Reflections of an Unpolitical Man) √ (prior to 2018)
    - Deutsche Hörer! Radiosendungen nach Deutschland aus den Jahren 1940-1945 (Listen, Germany! -- Letters to German listeners broadcast on BBC in 1940-1945) √ (prior to 2018)


Marcus Aurelius

     - Meditations


Joyce Marlow (ed.), Various Authors

     - Votes for Women: The Virago Book of Suffragettes


Milton Sanford Mayer

     - They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45 √ (prior to 2018)


Sarah McBride

     - Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality


John McIlwain

     - Magna Carta In Salisbury


Bethany McLean, Joe Nocera

     - All The Devils Are Here: Unmasking the Men Who Bankrupted the World


Francesca Melandri

     - Alle, außer mir (original title: Sangue giusto -- "The Right [or Just] Blood")


Maria Rosa Menocal

     - The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain


Maria Rosa Menocal, Raymond P. Scheindlin, Michael Sells (eds.), Various Authors

     - The Literature of Al-Andalús


Fatima Mernissi

     - Beyond the Veil: Male-Female Dynamics in a Muslim Society


Jamie Frederic Metzl

     - Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity


Martin Middlebrook

     - The First Day on the Somme


John Stuart Mill

     - On Liberty

     - The Subjection of Women


Frank Millar

     - David Trimble: The Prince of Peace


John Milton

     - Areopagitica and Other Writings


Nadifa Mohamed

     - The Orchard of Lost Souls


Michel de Montaigne

     - Essays



     - De l'esprit des lois


Thomas More

     - Utopia √ (prior to 2018)


Toni Morrison

     - Beloved √ (prior to 2018)
     - The Song of Solomon
     - The Bluest Eye
     - Race
     - The Origin of Others


John Mortimer

     - The Anti-Social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole √ (prior to 2018)
     - The Fascist Beast √ (prior to 2018)


Scholastique Mukasonga

     - Notre-Dame du Nil (Our Lady of the Nile)


John Muir

     - Nature Writings: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth / My First Summer in the Sierra / The Mountains of California / Stickeen / Essays


Una Mullally (ed.), Emmet Kiran, Aisling Bea, Tara Flynn, Lisa McInerney, Louise O'Neill, Caitlin Moran, Anne Enright, and Sinéad Gleeson

     - Repeal The 8th


Herta Müller

     - Atemschaukel (The Hunger Angel)


Miyamoto Musashi

     - The Book of Five Rings


Azar Nafisi

     - Reading Lolita in Tehran


Taslima Nasrin

     - No Country for Women

     - Revenge

     - Shame


National Commission on Terrorist Attacks

     - The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States


Muna Ndulo

     - Security, Reconstruction, and Reconciliation: When the Wars End


Viet Thanh Nguyen (ed./contrib.), Various Authors

     - The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives


Anthony Nott

     - Investigating Organised Crime and War Crimes


Sara Novic

     - Girl at War


Bill Nye

     - Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World


Barack Obama

     - Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

     - The Audacity of Hope


Michelle Obama

     - Becoming √ (2019)


Lawrence O'Donnell

     - Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics


Iris Origo

     - War in Val d'Orcia: An Italian War Diary, 1943-1944


Anne-Marie-Louise d'Orléans Montpensier

     - Against Marriage: The Correspondence of La Grande Mademoiselle


George Orwell

     - Animal Farm √ (prior to 2018)

     - 1984 √ (prior to 2018)
     - The Orwell Reader: Fiction, Essays, and Reportage


Nicholas O'Shaughnessy

     - Marketing the Third Reich: Persuasion, Packaging and Propaganda


Carl von Ossietzky

     - Rechenschaft: Publizistik aus den Jahren 1913-1933 (roughly equivalent with the English language compilation The Stolen Republic: Selected Writings)



     - Gedichte aus der Verbannung (Tristia, Epistulae ex Ponto)


Thomas Paine

     - Collected Writings: Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets / Articles & Letters


Dexter Palmer

     - Version Control


Parlamentarischer Rat

     - Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland (1949) (German Constitution) √ (prior to 2018)


Blaise Pascal

     - Pensées


J.J. Patrick

     - Alternative War


Robert O. Paxton

     - The Anatomy of Fascism


Iain Pears

     - The Dream Of Scipio √ (prior to 2018)


Shimon Peres

     - Battling for Peace: A Memoir


Markéta Pilátová

     - Der Held von Madrid (The Hero of Madrid)


Christine de Pizan

     - Le Débat Sur Le Roman De La Rose (The Debate on the Romance of the Rose) √ (prior to 2018)
     - La Cité des Dames (The City of the Ladies) √ (prior to 2018)
     - Ditié de Jehanne d'Arc (The Ballad of Joan of Arc) √ (prior to 2018)


Valerie Plame Wilson

     - Fair Game √ (2018)



     - The Republic


Thomas Powers

     - Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb


Dith Pran and Kim DePaul (eds.), Various Authors

     - Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors


Helen Prejean

     - Dead Man Walking √ (prior to 2018)


Qiu Miaojin

     - Last Words from Montmartre


Claudia Rankine

     - Citizen: An American Lyric 


Christoph Ransmayr

     - Die letzte Welt (The Last World)


Dan Rather, Elliot Kirschner

     - What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism


Slavomir Rawicz

     - The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom


Christopher Reeve

     - Nothing is Impossible: Reflections on a New Life


Tom Reiss

     - The Black Count


Erich Maria Remarque

     - Im Westen nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Front) √ (prior to 2018)


T.R. Richmond

     - What She Left


Jon Ronson

     - The Elephant in the Room: A Journey into the Trump Campaign and the “Alt-Right”


Reginald Rose

     - Twelve Angry Men √ (prior to 2018)


Joseph Roth

     - Unter dem Bülowbogen: Prosa zur Zeit (roughly equivalent with the English language collection What I Saw: Reports from Berlin 1920-1933)


Philip Roth

     - The Plot Against America


Jean-Jacques Rousseau

     - Les Confessions
     - Du Contrat social

     - Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes (Discourse on the Origin of Inequality)

     - Émile, ou, de l'éducation

     - Les Reveries Du Promeneur Solitaire (Reveries of the Solitary Walker)


Salman Rushdie

     - East, West √ (prior to 2018)

     - Home
     - Shame √ (prior to 2018)
     - Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991
     - Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002

Joanna Russ

     - How to Suppress Women's Writing


Carl Sagan

     - Cosmos
     - Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

     - Le Petit Prince √ (prior to 2018)


Andrei Sakharov

     - Memoirs


Zainab Salbi

     - Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam


Carl Sandburg

     - Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years


Ben Sasse

     - Them: Why We Hate Each Other -- And How to Heal


Marjane Satrapi

     - Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood & The Story of a Return 


Dorothy L. Sayers

     - Are Women Human? √ (prior to 2018)

     - Gaudy Night √ (prior to 2018)


Sydney Schanberg

     - The Killing Fields


Barry Scheck, Jim Dwyer, Peter Neufeld

     - Actual Innocence √ (prior to 2018)


Friedrich von Schiller

     - Don Carlos √ (prior to 2018)


Bernhard Schlink

     - Der Vorleser (The Reader)


Helmut Schmidt

     - Sechs Reden (Six Speeches) √ (prior to 2018)


Inge Scholl

     - Die Weisse Rose (The White Rose)


Erwin Schrödinger

     - 'Nature and the Greeks' and 'Science and Humanism'


Tom Schulman

     - Dead Poets Society √ (prior to 2018)


A. Brad Schwartz

     - Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News


André Schwarz-Bart

     - Le dernier des Justes (The Last of the Just)



     - Letters from a Stoic


Julia Serano

     - Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity


William Shakespeare

     - Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power √ (prior to 2018)

     - Uneasy Lies The Head: William Shakespeare on Power √ (prior to 2018)

     - The Merchant of Venice √ (prior to 2018)
     ... but really: The Complete Works √ (prior to 2018)


Kamila Shamsie

     - Home Fire √ (2018)


George Bernard Shaw

     - Saint Joan


William L. Shirer

     - The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany


Anna Maria Sigmund

     - Die Frauen der Nazis (Women of the Third Reich)


Ignazio Silone

     - Bread and Wine


Peter Singer

     - Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter
     - The Life You Can Save: How to Play Your Part in Ending World Poverty

     - Practical Ethics


Adam Smith

     - An Inquiry into the Nature & Causes of the Wealth of Nations


Zadie Smith

     - Feel Free: Essays


Timothy Snyder

     - On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons form the Twentieth Century


Takuan Soho

     - The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman


Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

     - The Gulag Archipelago √ (prior to 2018)
     - The Solzhenitsyn Reader: New and Essential Writings, 1947-2005



     - Antigone √ (prior to 2018)


Vladimir Sorokin

     - Der Zuckerkreml (Sugar Kreml)


Art Spiegelman

     - The Complete Maus


Norman Spinrad

     - Bug Jack Barron


Ron Stallworth

    - Black Klansman


Saša Stanišić

     - Wie der Soldat das Grammofon repariert (How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone)


John Steinbeck

     - The Grapes of Wrath √ (prior to 2018)
     - The Harvest Gypsies: On the Road to The Grapes of Wrath √ (prior to 2018)


Gloria Steinem

     - Moving Beyond Words: Essays on Age, Rage, Sex, Power, Money, Muscles: Breaking the Boundaries of Gender


Joseph E. Stiglitz

     - Globalization and Its Discontents


Harriet Beecher Stowe

     - Uncle Tom’s Cabin √ (prior to 2018)


Barry Strauss

     - The Spartacus War


Susan Stryker

     - Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution


Rachel Swaby

     - Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World  


Emma Talbott, Meera Bowman-Johnson, Veronica Kugler, Phiroozeh Petigara, Blaire Topash-Caldwell, Nashormeh Lindo, Michelle "Mush" Lee, Jennifer De Leon, Lisa Jones, Natalie Baszile, Nayomi Munaweera, Massimo Mila, Belva Davis, America Ferrera, Porochista Khakpour, Miriam Ching Yoon Louie, Musimbi Kanyoro, Deborah Santana, Samina Ali, Marian Wright Edelman, and Lalita Tademy

     - All the Women in My Family Sing: Women Write the World: Essays on Equality, Justice, and Freedom (Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God)


Natasha Tarpley

     - I Love My Hair!


Max Tegmark

     - Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence


Janne Teller

     - Krieg: Stell dir vor, er wäre hier (War)


Sheri S. Tepper

     - Six Moon Dance


Reg Theriault

     - How to Tell When You're Tired: A Brief Examination of Work


Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

     - Petals of Blood


Angie Thomas

     - The Hate U Give


Mike Thomson

     - Syria's Secret Library: Reading and Redemption in a Town Under Siege


Henry David Thoreau

     - Civil Disobedience √ (prior to 2018)

     - Walden √ (prior to 2018)


Jacobo Timerman

     - Preso sin Nombre, Celda sin Numero (Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number)


Alexis de Tocqueville

     - Democracy in America


J.R.R. Tolkien

     - The Lord of the Rings √ (prior to 2018)


Robert Tressel

     - The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists


George W.S. Trow

     - Within the Context of No Context


Chogyam Trungpa

     - Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery


Sojourner Truth

     - The Narrative of Sojourner Truth


Barbara W. Tuchman

     - The Guns of August

     - The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam


Kurt Tucholsky

     - Das Tucholsky Lesebuch (The Tucholsky Reader)

     - Tucholsky in Berlin: Gesammelte Feuilletons 1912-1930 (Collected Feature Articles)


Patricia Justine Tumang and Jenesha de Rivera(eds.), Various Authors

     - Homelands: Women's Journeys Across Race, Place, and Time


Katy Tur

     - Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History


Desmond Tutu

     - No Future Without Forgiveness


Mark Twain

     - Mark Twain’s Helpful Hints for Good Living: A Handbook for the Damned Human Race


Hilda Twongyeirwe (ed.), Various Authors

     - I Dare to Say: African Women Share Their Stories of Hope and Survival

     - Nothing to See Here


Lao Tzu

     - Tao Te Ching


Sun Tzu

     - The Art of War √ (prior to 2018)


Morihei Ueshiba

     - The Art of Peace


United Nations

     - Charter of the United Nations √ (prior to 2018)

     - Statute of the International Court of Justice √ (prior to 2018)
     - Universal Declaration of Human Rights √ (prior to 2018)


Ayu Utami

     - Enrico's Love Story


Walter Van Tilburg Clark

     - The Ox-Bow Incident √ (prior to 2018)


Mario Vargas Llosa

     - Conversación en la Catedral

     - Death of Culture: Essays on Spectacle and Society

     - La fiesta del chivo

     - Making Waves


Vassillis Vassilikos

     - Z


Timur Vermes

     - Er ist wieder da (Look Who's Back)


Andrei Volos

     - Hurramabad



     - Candide √ (prior to 2018)


Michael Walzer

     - Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations


George Washington

     - Farewell Address √ (2018 and prior)

     - Writings


George Washington, John and Abigail Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Paul Revere, Benedict Arnold, and others, John H. Rhodehamel (ed.)

     - American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence


George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglas, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gregory Suriano (ed.)

     - Great American Speeches


George Washington, Patrick Henry, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Lee, Daniel Webster, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Chief Joseph, Grover Cleveland, Booker T. Washington, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, J. Robert Oppenheimer, John F. and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Betty Friedan, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, and others, Ted Widmer (ed.)

     - American Speeches: Political Oratory from Patrick Henry to Barack Obama (2 volumes)


George Washington, Queen Elizabeth I, Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon Bonaparte, Mahatma Gandhi, Clarence Darrow, Emmeline Pankhurst, Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, George S Patton, Stalin, Martin Luther King, John F Kennedy, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, George W. Bush, and others, Simon Sebag Montefiore (ed.)

     - Speeches That Changed the World


Edward J. Watts

     - Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny


Richard von Weizsäcker

     - Vier Zeiten: Erinnerungen
     - Im Gespräch mit Ulrich Wickert: In der Freiheit bestehen


Theodore H. White

     - Breach of Faith: The Fall of Richard Nixon

     - The Making of the President 1960

     - The Making of the President 1972


Colson Whitehead

     - The Underground Railroad


Elie Wiesel

     -  The Night Trilogy: Night / Dawn / The Accident (Day)


Oscar Wilde

     - The Decay of Lying: And other Essays √ (prior to 2018)


Paul R. Williams

     - Peace with Justice?: War Crimes and Accountability in the Former Yugoslavia


Garry Wills

     - Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America


Jay Winik

     - April 1865: The Month That Saved America


Michael Wolff

     - Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House


Mary Wollstonecraft

     - A Vindication of the Rights of Woman √ (prior to 2018)


Bob Woodward

     - Shadow

     - The Last of the President's Men


Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

     - All the President's Men


Virginia Woolf

     - Liberty

     - A Room of One's Own √ (prior to 2018)
     - Street Haunting and Other Essays
     - The Waves


Jonathan Wright

     - Gustav Stresemann: Weimar's Greatest Statesman


Richard Wright

     - Black Boy
     - Native Son
     - Injustice


Robert Wright

     - The Moral Animal


Muhammad Yunus

     - Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty


Fareed Zakaria

     - In Defense of a Liberal Education


Yevgeny Zamyatin

     - We


Gerhard Zeillinger

     - Überleben: Der Gürtel des Walter Fantl (Survival: Walter Fantl's Belt)


Howard Zinn

     - Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology

     - A History of the American Empire

     - A People's History of the United States
     - A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
     - The Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and Democracy


Émile Zola

     - J'accuse √ (prior to 2018)

Reblogged from Themis-Athena's Garden of Books

Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 320 pages (approximately).

Skeletons: The Frame of Life - Jan Zalasiewicz, Mark Williams

Page count is approximate because I don't have the book with me at the moment.


Anyway, I made a start and finished the first chapter.  A very different tone from the likes of Brusatte, Kean and, in their own way, also Liz Kalaugher and Matin Durrani (the authors of Furry Logic).  And a welcome change, to be honest -- "oh look!  Fireworks!  Sparklers!  MeMeMe!" (the latter, only in Brusatte's and Kean's case, of course) may all be well and good for a while, at least if not used as an outlet for the author's own oversized ego, but it's a relief to see that there are some authors out there who care about their topic enough to talk about it in a straightforward manner without feeling the need to overemphasize things all the time.  (Even when they're talking about a development as sensational in pure science terms as the Cambrian explosion.)  Which includes, incidentally, the one or two paragraphs' worth of bare-bones information (each) on some of the scientists whose research and field work helped advance our understanding of those developments.  I'd say we're off to a solid start.


Note: The authors of this book shy away from using scientific terms and Latin species names decidedly less than those of some of the other books we've read recently.  The terms and species names are (mostly) explained, and it's not something I take issue with personally -- much to the contrary, in fact.  But together with the decidedly less conversational and more matter of fact tone, in and of itself this makes for a somewhat more "true science writing" feel than most of our recent reads.  To some readers, this may come across as a bit dry.


BL-opoly: Independence Day Extra Rolls

Dshamilja - Ulrich Matthes, Chingiz Aitmatov The Night Visitor - James D. Doss, Romy Nordlinger South Riding - Winifred Holtby, Carole Boyd Wedlock: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match - Wendy Moore, Rachel Atkins

Hooo boy.   So, it turns out my  Independence Day extra rolls are sending me right around the board.  Doubles, novelty cards ... Anyway, here we go:


I just finished my current read, which was for square 2 ("Who?").



My first roll, starting from there, sends me to square 9: The Stay-Cation -- read a book that includes a visit to a museum, a concert, a library, or a park, or whose author's name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X.  My selection for this square is Chingiz Aitmatov's Jamilia.



My next roll are doubles, sending me to square 12: The Robot -- which I pocket ...



... and roll again twice; once for the doubles, once for having landed on a novelty card square.



The first of these rolls sends me to square 18: Mountain Cabin -- read a book set west of the Mississippi, written by an author from that region, or considered part of the Western genre.  What a great opportunity to catch up with one of my recently-discovered favorite mystery series: My pick for this square is James D. Doss's Charlie Moon mystery no. 5, The Night Visitor.



My next roll moves me on to square 20: The Lake House -- read a book featuring a dog, with a dog on the cover, or set in an area known for its lakes or on a fictional lake.  I'm going to bow to Moonlight Reader's greater wisdom here, since she read it earlier this year, but given that Winifred Holtby's South Riding is set in rural Britain in the first half of the 20th century, I am fairly hopeful that at least one dog is going to make an appearance in this book.



My final Independence Day roll turns out to be, once more, doubles, putting me on a square I know very well at this point, given that I am stopping by there for the third time in this game (and for the second time in a week): square 26: "How?" -- read a book that is science fiction or has the word "how" in the title.  Fortunately, I just downloaded a matching book, so I will be reading Wendy Moore's Wedlock: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match.



I roll again for the doubles ... which lands me on another novelty card square, the Scottie dog --



-- so I get a final roll for having landed on a novelty card square, which ultimately gets me to "GO" ... which, somehow, seems like a very fitting conclusion to this whole set of manoevers! 



Now just imagine I had decided to just get those extra rolls out of the way quickly before going to bed!  I am really glad that I didn't ... I'd have  been up until the wee small hours getting all of this sorted!


Anyway, here's how the whole thing plays out on the card:


BL-opoly: Dice Roll #13

Monk's Hood: The Third Chronicle of Brother Cadfael - Ellis Peters, Stephen R. Thorne

Having finally finished the books from my June 25 roll, I'm allowed to roll again today:



This sends me past GO", where I collect $5, to square 2: Who? -- Read a mystery or detective story or a book with the word "who" in the title ... thus continuing the mini-tour of "question" squares begun on June 25.


Feeling in sore need of a comfort read after C.J. Sansom's rather overwhelming Tombland -- but continuing with the area of historical fiction -- I'm going to plumb for a book from one of my favorite series, Ellis Peters's Chronicles of Brother Cadfael: MonK's Hood.


Length: 224 pages

=> + $3 upon completion.