Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Random things

I wish Blogger didn't oblige me to title these posts made up of semi-random thoughts, because giving them formal titles makes me feel I should be saying something profound.

Over the past couple days I've added many new HF-related blogs to my sidebar. When I first started blogging for real - three years ago tomorrow (gulp, I have an anniversary coming up!) - there were only five or six other historical fiction blogs out there. It's exciting to see so many new bloggers coming on board!

I've noticed that some bloggers have little widgets set up telling blog visitors where other recent visitors are arriving from. Oddly, these widgets seem to think I'm in Casey, Illinois, which is a small town (pop. 3000) half an hour away. It's just off I-70 and has a couple decent restaurants, but neither I nor my ISP lives there.

My three-month-long reading slump is over, after having finished two real page-turners I've just reviewed for May's Historical Novels Review... Rebecca Dean's Palace Circle and DeVa Gantt's Decision and Destiny. I'm also having an enjoyable time reading Eilis Dillon's Wild Geese, about an Irish Catholic brother and sister sent to Paris in the late 18th century to live with other expatriate relatives. I hope to review it here in due course. It's fun to discover unexpected cross-references between it and past reads. For example, Arthur Dillon, father of Henriette-Lucy Dillon from Sheila Kohler's Bluebird, or the Invention of Happiness, is a secondary character, and I'm curious if the author (a noted Irish novelist) is herself a distant relation. About 120 pages in, there's a slowish episode in which the male lead makes his way to the American colonies aboard ship, but once he and I both escape these doldrums, I expect the pacing to pick up again.

I'm still pretty busy with conference planning, writing up peer evaluations, and teaching large groups of high school students how to use the library, but I've also finalized plans to attend BEA in New York City the last weekend in May. I'll be there for four nights. Anyone else attending? It would be great to meet up!


  1. Very interesting blog and a little overwhelmed here as I am a new convert to historical fiction thru Penmans's Eleanor of Aquitained trilogy.

  2. Hi, troutbirder and welcome. Penman's trilogy is one of my favorites; you picked an excellent set of books to start with. It is easy to get overwhelmed, admittedly, with so many historical fiction titles being published, but let us know if you're looking for recommendations in any particular area. There are many readers here who'll be happy to help out!

  3. Wow I just noticed I'm on your link list. AWESOME. But what I was going to say, even before I saw the link, was that isn't it awesome about the HF Blogs?! Now I really know MONTHS in advance what books I want to read. I used to just watch Amazon and hope to find something interesting. And now with these blogs, we know what we are going to get, and if we are going to like it.. I love it.
    Thanks for the linkage!!

  4. The widget that tells where we are from can't make up its mind about me! Sometimes I am from the capital, while other times I am from a very small town at the other end of the province! The funny thing is that the small town is the one that I was born in!

  5. Marie, I really like all the notice we're getting about books, too. (Like Secret Alchemy, for instance...) Although sometimes it makes me look at Mt. TBR and sigh, because new books mean that older purchases may not get read for a while.

    Kailana, that's funny... I guess the widget has a way of knowing things!

  6. It must have been exciting to see the growth from the beginning...I only wished I had found it sooner! Once I was hooked, there was no looking back!