Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ye olde historical novel meme

I'm kind of late to the party, but it's a slowish Friday night here, and I've already seen The Mask of Zorro once this week.

Straight Historical, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Historical Romance, or Time Travel?
Slight overall preference for straight historical, and historical romance probably least, but I read any and all of the above.

Historical Figures as Main Characters or Purely Fictional Characters in Historical Settings as Main Characters?
Doesn't matter at all to me. Hmm, now I'm sounding wishy-washy.

Hardback, Trade Paperback, or Mass Market Paperback?
Trade paperback, hardback second, mass market third. I like the feel of trade paperbacks, plus they're cheaper than hardbacks, and not as heavy to cart around.

Philippa Gregory or Margaret George?
Gregory, though I enjoyed George's Helen of Troy. Her Mary, Called Magdalene was too slow-moving for my taste. However, I still need to read the copy of The Boleyn Inheritance I got from Costco last month.

Amazon or Brick and Mortar?
Amazon, overwhelmingly so. Before buying the Gregory (see previous question), the most recent book I'd bought at a brick and mortar bookstore was Robert Harris's Pompeii, which I think is from 2003. Excluding Half Price Books and other used/remainder stores. (I remember weird things like this; I still haven't read the Harris.) Having an Amazon credit card is a big influence.

Bernard Cornwell or Sharon Penman?
Penman, one of my favorite authors of all time, although I did like Cornwell's The Last Kingdom.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
Probably Borders, at least for browsing, though Champaign has both of them. The only reason we go to B&N more often than Borders is because Mark doesn't like Seattle's Best coffee.

First Historical Novel You Ever Remember Reading?
I think this was probably Anya Seton's Katherine, if we're talking adult-level fiction. If you count YA, Patricia Clapp's Jane-Emily could be the one.

Alphabetize by Author, Alphabetize by Title, or Random?
None of the above. They're shelved by date of acquisition - not deliberately so, but it's how the shelves get filled. The photo at top left shows most of my acquisitions from mid-2006 to present. Click to enlarge.

Keep, Throw Away, or Sell?
I keep nearly everything, except books I really can't stand. Those get sold or donated to the library sale. This is why I have a storage problem.

Jean Plaidy or Norah Lofts?
I enjoy them both, though neither as much as I did 10-15 years ago.

Read with Dust Jacket or Remove It?
Remove it, because my cats like books too much to leave them alone.

Stop Reading When Tired or at Chapter Breaks?
When tired or otherwise distracted. Doesn't matter if it's in the middle of a chapter.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
The former, although I will read some fairytale-like fantasy novels.

Buy or Borrow?
I'm a bad library patron - I buy almost everything, and the books I do borrow, I often return late. Good thing I work there.

Posie Graeme-Evans or Pamela Kaufman?
Neither one, really.

Buying Choice: Book Reviews, Recommendations, or Browsing?
A combination of all three.

Dorothy Dunnett or Anya Seton?
Seton, as I've read nearly all of hers. Dunnett seems to be an acquired taste I've yet to acquire.

Tidy Ending or Cliffhanger?
Tidy ending, although I will accept a little ambiguity now and then.

Sticking Close to Known Historical Fact, or Using Historical Fact as Wallpaper?
Close to historical fact, and I suspect most readers of this blog will agree.

Morning Reading, Afternoon Reading or Nighttime Reading?
Nighttime, unless it's the weekend, and then it's all of the above.

Series or Standalone?
Standalone, but I will glom onto some series. Like Margaret Frazer's Joliffe mysteries, Anne Perry's William Monk series, and more I can't think of now.

Favorite Book of Which Nobody Else Has Heard?
Alison McLeay's Sweet Exile, which I mentioned in my Top 5 list a while back. I'd also say Brian Wainwright's Within the Fetterlock, except that many readers of this blog have likely heard of it.


  1. Ooh, looking at that shelf gives me some serious book lust. (Good choice of books on that fourth shelf from the top, BTW. :))

  2. Yes, I spotted that one too :-)
    Sarah, how do you ever get time to read so many?

  3. Thought you might like that :)

    I don't have time to read them all. It's a problem. I've read about 25 novels from that shelf, and it doesn't include the immediate-TBR pile either - the ones I have to read in the next 30 days. Those are on a smaller shelf that's part of my desk.

  4. Looks like you need another bookshelf, with all those strays on the floor. :)

  5. Heh. One of the piles has books currently in line for summarizing for my WIP. The others were displayed face-out on the bookshelf, and I took them down so that the books behind them would be visible.

    But you're right, I do need another bookshelf. Maybe more than one. :)

  6. Great meme, Sarah! I'll post it some time over the next few days :-)