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  1. #881
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    I need some suggestions. I have a 74-year-old sister who is pretty much bed-ridden. She is now interested in reading again. She likes historical/political fiction. West Wing was her all time favorite TV series. She also liked the Dick Francis mysteries. I thought of Irving Stone or Taylor Caldwell, but they are a bit old-fashioned. I thought of Diana Gabaldon but I don't think she would like the time-travel aspect of them. I'm looking for some good main stream ideas. Big long books are great, but I'm also thinking of trying to find some lighter weight, thinner books, as her hands don't work very well and I don't think she has much strength. She also wants books, rather than reading on her tablet.

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    First thing I thought of was Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, set in the Tudor era. But both of those are big and long.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  3. #883
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.H.Black View Post
    I need some suggestions. I have a 74-year-old sister who is pretty much bed-ridden. She is now interested in reading again. She likes historical/political fiction. West Wing was her all time favorite TV series. She also liked the Dick Francis mysteries. I thought of Irving Stone or Taylor Caldwell, but they are a bit old-fashioned. I thought of Diana Gabaldon but I don't think she would like the time-travel aspect of them. I'm looking for some good main stream ideas. Big long books are great, but I'm also thinking of trying to find some lighter weight, thinner books, as her hands don't work very well and I don't think she has much strength. She also wants books, rather than reading on her tablet.
    Anne Perry might be just right for what you want. She has many books, all around 200-ish pages, historical/period mysteries. A couple of my booksellers really like her writing. Good luck!

  4. #884
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.H.Black View Post
    I need some suggestions. I have a 74-year-old sister who is pretty much bed-ridden. She is now interested in reading again. She likes historical/political fiction. West Wing was her all time favorite TV series. She also liked the Dick Francis mysteries. I thought of Irving Stone or Taylor Caldwell, but they are a bit old-fashioned. I thought of Diana Gabaldon but I don't think she would like the time-travel aspect of them. I'm looking for some good main stream ideas. Big long books are great, but I'm also thinking of trying to find some lighter weight, thinner books, as her hands don't work very well and I don't think she has much strength. She also wants books, rather than reading on her tablet.
    Richard North Patterson. Particularly the books featuring the character Kerry Kilcannon. Also Exile and The Race.

  5. #885
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    Thanks for the ideas. I am sending links to her of all these authors to see if anyone strikes her fancy. The only one I have read is Anne Perry. My sister might enjoy some of her books. Both Patterson and Perry are easy to find at my local thrift store for almost nothing. I don't recall seeing Hilary Mantel - probably too new and too popular to show up at the thrift store yet.

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    I'm back into medieval mysteries: tore through Jeri Westerson's "Troubled Bones" during the snowstorm on Saturday and am now deepinto her next one in the series, "Blood Lance." They're Nos. 4 and 5 in her Crispin Guest series, about a young nobleman who lost his knighthood, property and title after being caught up in a treasonous plot to oust King Richard from the throne. Only the interferance of the Duke of Lancaster saved his life, but, now penniless and outcast from court, Crispin has turned to solving crimes and finding stolen goods for a meagre living, with his former pickpocket - turned apprentice Jack as his Watson. "Troubled Bones" concerns a plot to steal the relics of St. Thomas a Becket from Canterbury Cathedral and introduces Geoffrey Chaucer as Crispin's old friend spying for Lancaster while collecting material for what will become his famous "Canterbury Tales." "Blood Lance" involves the death of an armorer who had found and repaired a miraculous lance that is reputed to make the bearer unfeatable in combat.

    I have Dick Button's book next in the pile.
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    ^^^
    Those sound like something I would enjoy!
    DB's book just arrived!

  8. #888
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.H.Black View Post
    I need some suggestions. I have a 74-year-old sister who is pretty much bed-ridden. She is now interested in reading again. She likes historical/political fiction. West Wing was her all time favorite TV series. She also liked the Dick Francis mysteries. I thought of Irving Stone or Taylor Caldwell, but they are a bit old-fashioned. I thought of Diana Gabaldon but I don't think she would like the time-travel aspect of them. I'm looking for some good main stream ideas. Big long books are great, but I'm also thinking of trying to find some lighter weight, thinner books, as her hands don't work very well and I don't think she has much strength. She also wants books, rather than reading on her tablet.
    Deborah Crombie might be good. She's like Dick Francis in that they're fast-paced mysteries and not too heavy, but also not fluffy or silly. They're a series and should be read in order if possible (the first one is A Share in Death).

  9. #889
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    Deborah Crombie might be good. She's like Dick Francis in that they're fast-paced mysteries and not too heavy, but also not fluffy or silly. They're a series and should be read in order if possible (the first one is A Share in Death).
    Thanks for the idea. My sister and her husband used to keep a flat in London so she might enjoy these.

  10. #890
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    Ooh, just spotted that there's another Flavia de Luce book coming out in February, The Dead in their Vaulted Arches. Unfortunately I wasn't quite quick enough though -- I'm #15 in the queue for 3 copies.

  11. #891
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.H.Black View Post
    I need some suggestions. I have a 74-year-old sister who is pretty much bed-ridden. She is now interested in reading again. She likes historical/political fiction. West Wing was her all time favorite TV series. She also liked the Dick Francis mysteries. I thought of Irving Stone or Taylor Caldwell, but they are a bit old-fashioned. I thought of Diana Gabaldon but I don't think she would like the time-travel aspect of them. I'm looking for some good main stream ideas. Big long books are great, but I'm also thinking of trying to find some lighter weight, thinner books, as her hands don't work very well and I don't think she has much strength. She also wants books, rather than reading on her tablet.
    If she likes Dick Francis, she might like Richard Pitman, John Francome or Lyndon Stacy--all horse-related mysteries.

    She might like The Tudor Conspiracy or for something more recent, Game Change, which is a remarkably entertaining read.

    zaphyre reads a lot of historical mysteries and usually has really good suggestions there.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  12. #892
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    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  13. #893

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    I've just started Ashley Gardner's fourth Capt. Lacey Regency mystery, "The Sudbury School Murders." That's a pretty good series that is still ongoing. And I've also just found the first volume in Charles Finch's Victorian mystery series "A Beuatiful Blue Death" that looks interesting.

    Most of what I read nowadays is historical mystery so if there's an era you're interested in, let me know and I can come up with suggestions.
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  14. #894

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    First thing I thought of was Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, set in the Tudor era. But both of those are big and long.
    I somehow could not get into 'Wolf Hall" and keep thinking I need to give it another try as it is so acclaimed and I love history, both non- fiction and fiction; and I do not need it to be fluffy. Just did not click for me. Did you like it?
    For historical mystery, I loved Iain Pears' "An Instance of the Fingerpost" ( a bit in the vein of Umberto Eco's "In the Name of the Rose" , except happening in England; and "The Dream of Scipio" ( a novel that switches times between Roman Empire, medieval and Second World War France, and basically is about personal choices within historical circumstances). I did not care for "Stone's Fall", his latest novel. He also writes "art mysteries" that my in- laws enjoy, I have not read them.
    Last edited by dinakt; 12-19-2013 at 07:49 PM.
    improving my ballad- like lines

  15. #895
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    Quote Originally Posted by dinakt View Post
    I somehow could not get into 'Wolf Hall" and keep thinking I need to give it another try as it is so acclaimed and I love history, both non- fiction and fiction; and I do not need it to be fluffy. Just did not click for me. Did you like it?
    For historical mystery, I loved Iain Pears' "An Instance of the Fingerpost" ( a bit in the vein of Umberto Eco's "In the Name of the Rose" , except happening in England; and "The Dream of Scipio" ( a novel that switches times between Roman Empire, medieval and Second World War France, and basically is about personal choices within historical circumstances). I did not care for "Stone's Fall", his latest novel. He also writes "art mysteries" that my in- laws enjoy, I have not read them.
    I couldn't get into Wolf Hall either. And I generally like historical fiction and all things British and find that period fascinating. I think I made it about halfway through and gave up.

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    Oh, man. Reading Gone Girl for book club. Read probably the first 50 pages and skipped around the rest, but I'll get back to reading the rest.

    Is there ANYTHING redeemable about the two main characters? Or are they both just awful, manipulative people who I'll be happy to have done with when the book ends?
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

  17. #897
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    I hated both of them but found Amy to be pretty fascinating by the end of it. But I still really like the book. My favorite Gillian Flynn book was Dark Places, though.

  18. #898
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilJen View Post
    Oh, man. Reading Gone Girl for book club. Read probably the first 50 pages and skipped around the rest, but I'll get back to reading the rest.

    Is there ANYTHING redeemable about the two main characters? Or are they both just awful, manipulative people who I'll be happy to have done with when the book ends?
    For me the best part was thinking that at least they're perfectly matched to each other -- and it's a good book for making you feel fantastic about your own relationships!

    I did enjoy it in a twisted kind of way, kinda like watching a horror movie (again, the "at least it's not me" feeling). And now I need to read it again because my book club just picked it too. It will be interesting to see how it reads when I already know exactly what happens.

  19. #899

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    I'm reading Jeri Westerson's newest Crispin Guest mystery, which she calls "medieval noir" - "The Shasow of the Alchemist." The plot seems more convoluted than in past volumes, with Crispin drinking too much as he stumbles between cases: the alchemist's apprentise is murdered and his wife kidnapped; 25 people have died suddenly around the parish and a mysterious priest is stirring up the people with preditions of doom and hellfire. My main problem with this volume is that one of the main characters is Nicolas Flamel - and every time I read his name, I think of Harry Potter.
    "You just can't underestimate the power of positive underwear." 2013 Fruit of the Loom ad

  20. #900
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    The curse of the library hold list strikes again. Within the past week 7 books have come in!

    I'm midway through The Good Lord Bird. Fascinating fictional look at a slave boy posing as a woman hanging out with John Brown's gang of slave reformers. After that Allegiant came in. 500+ pages. I may be skipping the parts where Tris gazes at Four's lips/arms/eyes. That'll cut at least 100 pages.

    Then The Husband's Secret arrived. And I told them to keep Hild (the story of some saint - it looked good).

    Working my way through the YA dystopian series Life As We Knew It and the other 3 books. This time, it's an asteroid hitting the moon and causing tsunamis, volcano eruptions, and other fun stuff. I'm hoping to read all weekend. Now watch the family have other plans.

    PS - I'm a Tudorphile and I couldn't get into Wolf Hall or Bring Up the Bodies.

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