Charting Great Works

June 13, 2010 at 11:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Check out this amazing map, which charts the evolution of four great works through the ages and across the globe. If you’re curious but still don’t want to click, it features Oedipus, Pygmalion, Faust, and Leviathan. But where is Megashark vs. Giant Octopus? Not to mention Tentacoli and Orca?


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the Walter Scott shortlist & my TBR

June 8, 2010 at 12:06 am (Current Events) (, )

I bookmarked this article to share back on April first, but was still too despondent over Kitty Girl to be a good and dutiful little blogger and actually post it. So APRIL FOOLS! HA HA HA! I know, that wasn’t funny in the slightest.

Basically, three (count ’em, THREE!) of the novels shortlisted for the Booker Prize have also been shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize (coming on up on June 18th), which is for historical fiction, of course. (I feel so bad that I haven’t finished Waverly, because it was really getting to be rather funny when I put it down. And it’s such a good, literary babyname–not for me, though, not right now; my sister’s having one soon.)

Historical fiction, according to Moffat, is enjoying an unprecedented boom. “Historical fiction may have become more popular because at a time when the future seems terrifying to us, we need to refer back to and understand the past more fully,” he said.

I’m not sure I necessarily agree with Mr Moffat, however. Historical fiction, more than anything else, reflects the present and its attitudes and perspectives. By using the past as a vehicle, historical fiction brings greater understanding of our own times. We don’t study history simply to understand the past, but also to understand ourselves. You think?

Regardless, most of the books sound pretty interesting (and I did just read and enjoy Wolf Hall), so I may just have to add them to my TBR.

The shortlist
Hodd by Adam Thorpe
Lustrum by Robert Harris
Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant
Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears
The Glass Room by Simon Mawer
The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

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An Echo in the Bone

June 7, 2010 at 11:29 pm (Adventure, Fantasy, Historical fiction, Romance) (, )

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
Delacorte Press, 4th printing, 2009
820 pages
Genre: Historical fiction, romance

Jacket copy: Diana Gabaldon’s brilliant storytelling has captivated millions of readers in her bestselling and award-winning Outlander saga. Now, in An Echo in the Bone, the enormously anticipated seventh volume, Gabaldon continues the extraordinary story of the eighteenth-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his twentieth-century time-traveling wife, Claire Randall.
Jamie Fraser, former Jacobite and reluctant rebel, is already certain of three things about the American rebellion: The Americans will win, fighting on the side of victory is no guarantee of survival, and he’d rather die than have to face his illegitimate son–a young lieutenant in the British army–across the barrel of a gun.
Claire Randall knows that the Americans will win, too, but not what the ultimate price may be. That price won’t include Jamie’s life or his happiness, though–not if she has anything to say about it.
Meanwhile, in the relative safety of the twentieth century, Jamie and Claire’s daughter, Brianna, and her husband, Roger MacKenzie, have resettled in a historic Scottish home where, across a chasm of two centuries, the unfolding drama of Brianna’s parents’ story comes to life through Claire’s letters. The fragile pages reveal Claire’s love for battle-scarred Jamie Fraser and their flight from North Carolina to the high seas, where they encounter privateers and ocean battles–as Brianna and Roger search for clues not only to Claire’s fate but to their own. Because the future of the MacKenzie family in the Highlands is mysteriously, irrevocably, and intimately entwined with life and death in war-torn colonial America.
With stunning cameos of historical characters from Benedict Arnold to Benjamin Franklin, An Echo in the Bone is a soaring masterpiece of imagination, insight, character, and adventure–a novel that echoes in the mind long after the last page is turned.

Book Report: Upon reading the last page of this latest installment in the Outlander series, the adventures of a WWII nurse in the eighteenth century, my first response was “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!” For whatever reason–I have no idea why–I was convinced that this would be the seventh and FINAL installment.–and it isn’t. Bugger that for a lark. Read the rest of this entry »

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