Monday, March 29, 2010

My 4th anniversary giveaway

I'm late in announcing the winner of Kaki Warner's Pieces of Sky following the author's enjoyable guest post on the 17th. My apologies! Between editing reviews and classes to teach at work, I've been buried. But without further ado, the winner is... Carol W. Congratulations, Carol, and I hope you enjoy the novel!

It's come to my attention, pretty obviously really, that my desk has become overcrowded with books. The shelves are full, and my scanner is... somewhere around here. I have books to send to reviewers, books I've bought, books sent by publishers that I need to read and review... and among them are many duplicate copies. Namely these:

So, as a way of celebrating Reading the Past's 4th blogiversary, I thought I'd host a giveaway to share the wealth with my fellow bloggers and blog readers. Most of these are ARCs, with the exception of the English and McMahon. All are brand new and unread.

To enter the contest, leave a comment on this post letting me know which book(s) you're interested in winning ("any of them" is an acceptable answer), as well as your response to one of the following questions:

(1) What's the best historical novel you've read over the past four years?


(2) What's been your favorite post on this blog over the past four years?

Include your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Deadline is this coming Sunday, April 4th. I'll draw the six winners' names on Monday the 5th. Good luck to all entrants!


  1. Happy anniversary! I am interested in The Creation of Eve. The best book I have read in the last four years would have to be Here Be Dragons by Penman. It's been more than 3 years since I've read it and nothing has topped it (although a few have come close).


  2. Wow! 4 years...congrats :)

    I would love to win Creation of Eve. Hmm...the best book over the past four years? That is a really hard question and I know once I post my answer I will remember a different book that was awesome lol. Well after a few books just duked it out in my head, I think The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick will have to be my choice. It is the one book that has made me cry to where I could not read the page, I loved every minute!

  3. Best HF Novel: Wolf Hall
    An unoriginal choice, but there it is.

    I would love to have The Postmistress.

  4. Happy anniversary! I would love either Heresy or The Postmistress.

    I think the best historical fiction novel I've read in the past four years is (I *think* it's been within the last four years) The Secret River, by Kate Grenville. It's about colonial Australia and it is so, so good!

    I will also cheat and say my favorite histfict clunker would be Hilary Mantel's A Place of Greater Safety

  5. I'd love to win the Creation of Eve or the Queen's Pawn. I think the best historical novel I've read has to be A Rose for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Happy 4th anniversary, and thanks for maintaining such an interesting and informative blog. I would love to win either The Queen's Pawn or The Postmistress. It is so hard to choose BEST - any book by Sharon Kay Penman or Elizabeth Chadwick always makes a 'favorites' list. Guess I will say A Place Beyond Courage. Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. Happy Anniversay!

    I am interested in The Mistress of Rome.

    My favourite historical novel in the past four years would have to be The House of Blue Mangoes.

    Thanks for the giveaway.


  8. Oops!!
    Happy Anniversary!!!


  9. Hi Sarah and happy anniversary! I would love to win "The Queen's Pawn."

    Best historical fiction I've read over the last 4 years?.....that is an EXTREMELY hard question for me to answer, as I've read hundreds of books and have many, many favorites, I really can't pin down one book, or even one author for that matter! So, my favorite post, in the short time I've been following you, has to be "E is for Eleanor" because I found a great book that will be read over and over again and has been added to my list of favorites!


  10. Four years! Many congrats! I would be pleased as punch with any of them, but I am most itching to read The Postmistress.

    Best in four years book-wise? Oh doesn't quite hold up as a historical novel as it was written in the 40s, but Irene Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise captured me, imagination and soul.

    Picking a favorite blog post is even harder, but I'd say it would have to be the kitty updates with the adorable pics...not to discount the great books, of course!

    hyalineblue079 at yahoo dot com

  11. Happy 4th Anniversary! Your blog is one of my first stops every time I log in to my Google Reader account.
    I would love to win a copy of any title, especially The Postmistress.

    I have 2 favorites that I've read in the past several years. Katherine, by Anya Seton, and Shadowbrook by Beverly Swerling.

    Thank you!

  12. Happy anniversary! I've been following your blog these past two years and it's been a wonderful ride (you're also responsible for many books in my TBR!).:)
    About the giveaway, any of the books would be great, except for The Rose of Sebastopol which is already in my TBR.
    My best hf book these past four years? It's a reread actually, The Far Pavilions by M.M.Kaye. I read it for the first time some years ago and finally decided to try it again this past year. It has everything I like: a good historical research, a grabbing story, unforgettable characters and... India. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

  13. Happy 4th Anniversary. I'm interested in The Mistress of Rome.

  14. Annette12:23 PM

    I just started reading your blog, and I love it. Sorry about the nudge for the Pieces of Sky giveaway - I never would have mentioned anything if not for my sister bugging me. :)

    My favorite historical novel read over the past four years is either Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, or Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Hmmm - tough one. Must it be just one? If so, I'll go with Outlander.

    I love HF in the ancient world, so I'd prefer Mistress of Rome.


  15. Valerie L.12:50 PM

    Such hard choices. If I won I'd love either Mistress of Rome or Heresy.

    My favorite historical novel of the past 4 years would have to be Sharon Kay Penman's Devil's Brood, and not only because it is dedicated to me (and my husband). it's a well written book with an always engaging family as its protagonists. You can't beat the Angevins for family dysfunction.

    Thank you for providing this fascinating blog and these wonderful contests.

  16. Happy 4th Blogoversary!

    I would love Heresy or The Rose of Sebastopol.

    Hmmm, I know it's kind of a mixture of genres, but I adored Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.


  17. I've read so much good HF in the past four years, and particularly in the last two years, that I can't pick fewer than four! They are: When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman, which I've just finished; The Time of Singing by Elizabeth Chadwick; The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner and The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory. Oh, and Penmarric by Susan Howatch. Sorry! They're all so good I can't narrow it down to just one!

    If the giveaway is open internationally, I'd love to win The Queen's Pawn.

  18. No need to enter me in the giveaway; I just wanted to say congrats on your 4-year anniversary!

    I'm looking forward to meeting you in NYC!

  19. Wow 4 years! Congrats. I haven't even made it to my 1st anniversary yet! I would love to win Mistress of Rome or Postmistress. I have been having my eye on these for a while. I think my favorite book over the last 4 years is Nefertiti by Michelle Moran. I love Egyptian history and it was great to read such a wonderful novel about my favorite time period. Hope the next 4 years are just as great!


  20. Congrats on 4 years! No need to enter me.

  21. Happy Anniversary, Sarah. I came across your blog a while ago and love reading it.
    Having studied literature and trained as a journalist, I am now on a sabbatical, awaiting the birth of my baby. Your blog allows me to indulge in my passion for historical novels laced with sparkling insight and perspective.
    Thanks a ton!
    My favourite historical novel over the last four years is Helen of Troy by Margaret George. Yet another favourite is Jude Morgan's Passion.
    I would be grateful if you could enter me into the contest and leave the choice of book to you.


  22. Happy anniversary! I would love any of them. I'm relatively new to HF and haven't had the time to read too many books (babies). I would have to say Outlander since that's the book that started the whole HF thing for me. =)

  23. Happy 4th!

    My favorite blog posts are probably the ones about the cheesy/amusing historical cover art, as that's how I discovered this blog in the first place.

    Favorite historical novel of the last four years is much harder...I'll go with Black Ships by Jo Graham, a dark, epic, beautiful story.

    I'd love to win any of those books, but Mistress of Rome especially.

    elianranel at

  24. Carol4:22 PM

    Happy anniversary to you!

    It's impossible for me to choose the very best, but one book I enjoyed was DISSOLUTION by C.J. Sansom.

    I would enjoy any of your giveaway books


  25. the postmistress or the queens pawn thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dto net

  26. I'd love to read The Postmistress!

    I think my favorite historical has been the book Roses.


  27. I am interested in Heresy and The Queen's Pawn.

    One of the best HF books I have read in the last few years would be Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. That kind of dark Victorian period is something I really haven't delved into much, and I loved the twists and turns.

    nellista at yahoo dot com dot au

  28. I am interested in either Heresy or The Creation of Eve.

    The best historical fiction novels over the last few years would probably be Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Swan Maiden by Jules Watson or The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley! My favourite posts here at the blog are definitely the season previews. I can't tell you how many books I have added to my TBR list from those posts!

    Happy Blogiversary!

  29. Congrats on your blog's milestone! I read every week. I had a hard time choosing a book that I've loved the most, but I actually have to say "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Philippa Gregory. Not because it's the best or most accurate historical novel, but because, prior to reading it, I hated everything to do with British history and royals. Gregory opened up a whole past world to me, and I've learned so much since.

    I'd love to win "Mistress of Rome;" it sounds so exciting!

  30. Happy Anniversary, I would love to read the Mistress of Rome. My best historical fiction would be Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen. Although, I'm currently reading A Young Girl's Wooing by Edward P. Roe which I can't put down. I love it.

    nancysoffice at gmail dot com

  31. Congratulations on your blogoversary!

    I have read excellent reviews of all of the books you have in the pile excepting Heresy - that is a new title to me. I would honestly be happy with any of them. I just plain love to read.

    My favorite book over the last four years - well, I read The Count of MOnte Cristo as least once a year as it is my favorite book of all time so that would probably be it but I also read Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser and truly enjoyed that.
    thank you
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

  32. I would love to be entered in the contest for "any of them". I don't have any of those titles!

    I've read a lot of histfic in the last four years but the one that holds a special place for me is Anne Easter Smith's "A ROSE FOR THE CROWN". I've always loved history but this book really got me reading again -- and made me fall a little (okay, a lot) in love with Richard III, which has continued to this day. Other favorites are Susan Higginbotham's THE TRAITOR'S WIFE, Brian Wainwright's WITHIN THE FETTERLOCK and Elizabeth Chadwick's THE GREATEST KNIGHT. And, of course, the OUTLANDER series (Gabaldon) and also the INTO THE WILDERNESS series (Sara Donati).

  33. Happy anniversary!

    Best book either The Sunne In Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman or Yhe Last Queen by C.W. Gortner.Can't choose!

    If the giveaway is open internationally, I'd love to win The Queen's Pawn.


  34. Hi, I am most interested in Mistress of Rome. I think the best historical fiction book I have read in the past four years was the Book of Ruth.

  35. I would love to be entered for any of the books, they all sound great!

    I've read so many great Historical novels but some of my favorites are all of Michelle Moran's books.


  36. Michelle7:51 AM

    Many congratulations on your acheivement to be proud of! I would be happy to win any these books, they all look great. I have read so many wonderful books over the last few years, and so many of them historical. If I had to pick a favourite it would be "Devil's Brood" by Sharon Penman, closely followed by Hilary Mantel's "Wolf Hall''.

  37. I would love to win Mistress of Rome or the Creation of Eve-thanks for this option-

    readinglives (at)gmail (dot) com

  38. Happy anniversary!
    I would to read the Postmistress.
    My favorite historical fiction from the last 4 years would be Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.