Following on from Tuesday’s post, here’s the second list of books read during 2016.
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.
|Jun||Windmill Point||Jim Stempel||ER||Highly recommended; tells the story of Cold Harbour and the final months of the American Civil War|
|Elihu Washburne||Michael Hill||NF||Research: Diary and letters of America’s Minister to France during 1870s siege and commune|
|My Adventures in the Commune||Ernest Alfred Vizetelly||NF||Research: Vizetelly was a journalist living in Paris during the 1871 Commune|
|Grace Note: In Hildegard’s Shadow||P.J. Parsons||ER||A novel based on the life of Hildegard of Bingen|
|Jul||A Most Extraordinary Pursuit||Juliana Gray (Beatriz Williams)||LR||Excellent; strong female character, witty dialogue, romance, and many twists and turns|
|Katherine||Anya Seton||ER||14th century story of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt; A favourite of so many readers, I decided to reread it.|
|The Private Lives of the Impressionists||Sue Roe||NF||More research on 19th century France|
|The Hotel on Place Vendome||Tilar Mazzeo||NF||A interesting look at the history of Hotel Ritz in Paris and its role during WWII|
|Aug||Belgravia||Julien Fellowes||GR||Julien Fellowes wrote Downton Abbey – need I say more?|
|The Mapmakers Children||Sarah McCoy||GR||Dual timeline mystery of the underground railway; one timeline is much better than the other|
|The Lake House||Kate Morton||ER||Another dual timeline mystery; excellent except for the ending|
|Clementine||Sonia Parnell||NF||Excellent account of the life of Clementine Churchill; reads like a story|
|Sept||The Other Daughter||Lauren Willig||LR||Very enjoyable; after her mother’s death a woman discovers that her father is still very much alive|
|In the Skin of a Lion||Michael Ondaatje||GR||Beautiful writing but a very unusual story|
|Oct||Under the Sugar Sun||Jennifer Hallock||LR||A schoolmarm, a sugar baron, a soldier – set in the Philippine-American war; predictable|
|The Shadow Queen||Rebecca Dean||NMT||The most disappointing aspect of this novel is that it ends just as the relationship between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII begins|
|Nov||Madame Presidentess||Nicole Evelina||NMT||The life of Victoria Woodhull; too much detail and melodrama for my taste|
|Dec||Christmas Bells||Jennifer Chiaverini||DNF||Dual timeline story based on Longfellow’s poem Christmas Bells; IMHO the story was slow and the present day timeline did not work|
|Alvar The Kingmaker||Annie Whitehead||GR||10th century England in the turmoil of changing kings; not quite finished|
You might be interested in previous lists from 2014 and 2015:
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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, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.