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Apologies for the delay in getting out the recommendation lists. Everyone who signed up should have received one - you have until January 6th to read and post about one book on the list you received. Or, if you can't find any of those books, you can read another one of the books recommended for this round instead.

LOVE OVERCOMING OBSTACLES (OR NOT): Master ListCollapse )

Readers: lacewood, qem_chibati, shina_laris, shiorikazen, sub_divided, tarigwaemir, tryogeru, worldserpent
Recommenders: lacewood, qem_chibati, shina_laris, sub_divided, tarigwaemir, tryogeru

As always, you can still read for -- and participate in -- this round even if you didn't sign up.
We were partially defeated by NaNo last round, but bibliophages will rise from the ashes during Finals month! Yeah!

The theme for this round will be...

LOVE OVERCOMING OBSTACLES (OR NOT)


You'll, er, have to take my word for it. Sorry, when I created that free poll I didn't realize that no one else would be able to see the results.

Deadlines for this round will be as follows:

November 25 - December 1 (a Tuesday): Sign-up period
December 2 - January 6 (also a Tuesday): Reading and discussion period.

I hope the upcoming holidays will give everyone enough time to read and respond.

Sign Up InformationCollapse )

One final bit of news: we've been pushed off the top spot on Google's search results page for "bibliophages" by a French vlogger. Hmm.

Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar

I'm so sorry everyone! I fail at life deadlines bibliophages.

Like worldserpent, I couldn't really judge the historical aspect of the book, since I have only the vaguest knowledge of the Roman period. But taking the book just for itself, it's a very interesting novel that threatens to run into some problems but ultimately avoids them.

The WritingCollapse )

(the characters - placeholder fake cut)

Regeneration by Pat Barker

Sorry! I've been very very bad and didn't finish reading Regeneration, recommended by sub_divided. Actually, I'm not sure if it's too late to post this (so sorry!), but I while was trying to get as far into it as I could with the time I had left, I had some thoughts about the book I thought I might as well share and perhaps other people who have read it can tell me if I maybe I'm just stressing over medical school applications/acceptance too much because what I found most interesting doesn't seem to be what the novel is really famous for...?

I don't think any summary can really give this book justice, as with many books about the incredible events and changes and adaptations during WWI, Barker touches upon so many themes they just about ooze out my ear when I tilt my head. So just some not too terribly spoilerish comments instead.Collapse )

Weekend extension

Okay, since at least one person (inner_v0ice) has promised a post on "real people in historical fiction" by Sunday, the theme will be extended through the weekend. But that's it. On Monday the next theme goes up. Really. I mean it.

In the meantime, Tari wrote a really thoughtful discussion post for this theme, so go participate!

Since the poll to decide the next theme is currently tied, please vote for the theme you'd prefer:

Vote here.
For those of you who still haven't posted yet for this round of bibliophages, you have until Friday! Even if you haven't finished a book from the list you were assigned, you can always post your thoughts on what you've read so far.

In the meantime, some thoughts to kickstart a general discussion on this round's theme: real people in historical fiction.

Theme discussionCollapse )

Questions for discussion:
1. What historical eras do you like to read about? What historical eras would you like to see more novels for?
2. What sort of historical figures do you like to read about? Political leaders, scientists, artists, war heroes, etc.?
3. How accurate should a historical novel be?
4. Is it harder or easier to write about a famous person whose life story is well-known?

Other questions/topics related to the theme are welcome in the comments!

J. Gregory Keyes - Newton's Cannon

I had tarigwaemir's list and decided to read I, Claudius, but only brought Newton's Cannon with me to New York last weekend and ended up reading that instead. XD; It's a decent fantasy adventure novel; there were parts I liked and parts I didn't.

The general plot is: French alchemists are working on an "ultimate weapon" for use by Louis XIV against England; a young Benjamin Franklin inadvertently discovers and communicates the key; mysterious forces are at work behind the scenes. Despite some signs that the author is no slave to genre conventions -- or at least not to romance-novel sideplot conventions -- I was surprised by the ending. (Cliffhanger!!) This is the first book in a series and I've been warned (by people I trust) that after this the quality falls off, so obsessive completionists will probably want to stay away. However if you're like me and don't mind leaving things half done/series half read, you might like this one.

Hmmm and I don't really have a point to make, so I guess I'll just do a numbered list:

some spoilers, but not for the endingCollapse )

So in conclusion: fun book, decent writing, good characters, suffers heavily from This Was Obviously Not Plotted in Advance Syndrome in concert with Illuminati Syndrome (which is when everything that happens happens according to the will of some secret society). A deadly combination.

I am going to try to read (and post on!) I, Claudius tomorrow, so that I can join the Antiquity club that seems to have sprung up this round. XD

The Mask of Apollo

I received inner_v0ice's list and chose to read Mary Renault's The Mask of Apollo. I've read and enjoyed books by Renault before, so reading The Mask of Apollo felt very much like sinking back into a comfortable armchair: Renault's style and voice were both familiar to me. I have to say though that The Mask of Apollo now probably ranks as my favorite out of her books.

The Mask of ApolloCollapse )

Deadline imminent

This is a reminder that comments on books read for the "real people in historical fiction" theme are due by the end of the week. So start writing!

Also, if you haven't voted yet, now may be your last chance. I am talking about the poll to choose the next theme for this community, of course -- did you think I was talking about something else?

Finally, this week's big publishing news is the settlement with AAP which will allow Google to continue to scan in-copyright, out-of-print books for display on Google Book Search. Only now the rights holders are going to be paid, apparently! I wrote some pithy remarks about this here.

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