On my travels through Blogger this week, I've been seeing a Women's Fiction Meme popping up on a number of sites. (It seems to have started here.) As it was geared mainly toward readers of romance novels, I've adapted it for historical fiction. Join in, all and sundry!
Straight Historical, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Historical Romance, or Time Travel?
Straight. I’ll occasionally venture into a historical mystery or a historical romance if it’s set in a time I’m particularly interested in, though.
Historical Figures as Main Characters or Purely Fictional Characters in Historical Settings as Main Characters?
Overwhelmingly, I prefer historical figures.
Hardback, Trade Paperback, or Mass Market Paperback?
I’ll buy a new book in hardback if it’s one I’ve really been looking forward to; otherwise, I’ll wait for the paperback (usually a trade). With used books, I’ll buy whatever’s available.
Philippa Gregory or Margaret George?
Hard to say. I really enjoyed Gregory’s last novel, and I really enjoyed George’s Henry VIII and Mary, Queen of Scots novels.
Amazon or Brick and Mortar?
Amazon, since most of the books I buy are either used or hard to find in brick-and-mortar bookstores.
Bernard Cornwell or Sharon Penman?
Sharon Penman. I haven’t read Bernard Cornwell’s books yet, though; one of these days.
Barnes & Noble or Borders?
Barnes and Noble, although since a Borders opened near my house, I’ve been spending more time there than I used to.
First Historical Novel You Ever Remember Reading?
As a good Southern girl, I naturally have to say Gone With the Wind.
Alphabetize by Author, Alphabetize by Title, or Random?
I don’t alphabetize, but when I rearranged my bookshelves this summer, I made a conscious effort to categorize my books by author, which is a vast improvement over the haphazard system I had before.
Keep, Throw Away, or Sell?
If I like a book, I’ll keep it. If I don’t, I’ll donate it to the library or to a thrift store. The only books I've thrown away are those that are falling apart.
Jean Plaidy or Norah Lofts?
I’ve enjoyed Norah Lofts’ books, but on the whole I’ll take Plaidy.
Read with Dust Jacket or Remove It?
Remove it if I’m toting it around a lot; keep it on if it’s not traveling off my end table.
Stop Reading When Tired or at Chapter Breaks?
Chapter breaks or section breaks, or whenever I get interrupted.
“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
”It was a dark and stormy night,” I guess. Nothing like hopping into the middle of the action.
Buy or Borrow?
Buy, unless it’s popular enough to be at my library and I’m not sure it’ll be a keeper. If I end up liking it, I’ll probably buy it.
Posie Graeme-Evans or Pamela Kaufman?
Based on skimming and on reviews by others with similar tastes, neither, I’m afraid.
Buying Choice: Book Reviews, Recommendations, or Browsing?
Browsing, mostly, but I pay attention to reviews and recommendations also. If it’s a subject I’m really interested in (e.g., Edward II), I may buy it without any of the above.
Dorothy Dunnett or Anya Seton?
Well, I’ve read one book by Anya Seton (the ubiquitous Katherine), which is more than I can say for Dorothy Dunnett. I suspect on the whole that I might prefer Dunnett if I ever got the long stretches of time to read her books properly.
Tidy Ending or Cliffhanger?
Tidy ending, tied up in a big bow.
Sticking Close to Known Historical Fact, or Using Historical Fact as Wallpaper?
Sticking close to known facts. The only place I like wallpaper is on walls.
Morning Reading, Afternoon Reading or Nighttime Reading?
Mostly afternoon, because I do most of my reading at lunch and while waiting for my kids.
Series or Standalone?
Favorite Book of Which Nobody Else Has Heard?
I thought Mary Ellen Johnson’s The Lion and the Leopard (about a fictional bastard brother of Edward II) was very well written. It seems to have been that author’s only novel, unless she’s written under other names.