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40 books in 2016 – several for research purposes, a number for reviews or articles, and a good number for pleasure – have to have some of those! Some were superb, others I did not finish.

four-novels-read-in-2016

I suspect I’m a ‘hard marker’. Here’s the rating system I used in 2014 and 2015: LR = light, enjoyable read; GR = good, several caveats; ER = excellent, few caveats; OR = outstanding; DNF = did not finish; NF=Non-Fiction; NMT = not my type.

The following are from January 2016 to May. I’ve included links to blog posts and reviews where appropriate. I’ll share the balance in a few days.

Jan Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins DNF Wanted to see what all the fuss was about; after 15% I no longer cared
The House I Loved Tatiana de Rosnay GR Not nearly as captivating as Sarah’s Key
Paris Reborn Stephane Kirkland ER Narrative non-fiction about the rebuilding of Paris; superbly written
Feb At the Existentialist Café Sara Blakewell GR The lives and ideas of famous philosophers like Sartre, de Beauvoir, Camus, Heidegger
Pillars of Light Jane Johnson GR The siege of Akka in the time of Richard Lionheart
The Lost Sisterhood Anne Fortier GR A young scholar risks her reputation to prove that the legendary women known as the Amazons existed
Call to Juno Elisabeth Storrs ER Last of her trilogy set during wars between Rome and the Etruscans
Diary of the Besieged Resident in Paris Henry Labouchere NF A journalist’s diary during the 1870 Prussian siege of Paris
Mar France Since 1870 Charles Sowerwine NF For research purposes
Courtesans Katie Hickman NF For research purposes
Accessories to Modernity Susan Hiner NF For research purposes
The Rosie Project Graeme Simsion LR Very funny; a man with Aspergers conducts a project to find a wife
The Lady of the Tower Elizabeth St. John ER Compelling story of Lucy St. John, wife of the Lieutenant of the Tower of London in 17th century
Apr Tobias Prue Batten NMT Set in the waning years of the Byzantium Empire
Runaway Peter May GR A crime novel set in 1965 and fifty years later
The Ladies Paradise Emile Zola DNF Read to get a feel for 19th century Paris
With Violets Elizabeth Robards GR Based on the premise that Berthe Morisot and Edouard Manet were lovers
May The Nightingale Kristin Hannah ER Two French sisters play their parts in WWII
Wulfsana E.S. Moxon DNF Set in AD433 Britain
The Sands of Kedar Diana Khalil DNF a strong-willed girl in the male-dominated society of pre-Islam Arabia
Oswald: Return of the King Edoardo Albert GR The second book in the author’s Northumbrian Thrones trilogy

Looking back it seems that I was heavily into research during the first few months of 2016 as well as being involved in reviews for the MM Bennetts historical fiction award.

A Year of Reading 2015 – Part 1 and Part 2

A Year of Reading 2014 – Part 1 and Part 2

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION follow A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union on August 16, 2016. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.