History Hoydens


Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

03 August 2007

Shelfari, Anyone?

Shelfari, Anyone?

Shelfari is a new blog site (www.shelfari.com) started by historical romance writer Michelle Styles (The Roman’s Virgin Mistress) as a book-focused social network site for interested readers and writers.

To start off, you select book titles for “your bookshelf” so others can
see what you’re reading. [Conversely, you can see what other writers
are reading, and this is where my main interest lies.] Here is my bookshelf, so far:

The Roman’s Virgin Mistress (Michelle Styles). Unlikely sounding title, but
surprisingly good with a captivating story about the seashore playground of
Roman high society (Baiae, near Naples) and the goings-on during a live-it-up summer. Hero made my heart go pitty-pat. And I did NOT pick this novel because Michelle is the creator of Shelfari! It was already starred on my list.

Water for Elephants (Sara Gruen). Captivating story about a young man who
joins a circus traveling by train during the Great Depression. Fascinating
background detail, heart-wrenching story, happily shocking ending.

Silk Dreams (Diana Groe). I’m a sucker for exotic settings, and this one made me salivate: 10th century Constantinople, yummm! The story centers around
hero Erik and heroine Valdis, both from the Viking north, and a fascinating and
eerily attractive Roman eunuch who controls their lives. Sort of.

Twenty Master Plots and How To Build Them (nonfiction; Ronald Tobias).
Most interesting reading and it sure shaped up my handling of scenes.
Well, duh!

Lady of Sin (Madeline Hunter). Best historical romance I’ve read in a good
while! Regency period. To-die-for hero–strong, witty, smart, and sexy. Heroine
clever and interesting and admirable.

In the Company of the Courtesan (Sara Dunant). Superbly written and
researched story of a courtesan in Renaissance Venice and her dwarf
companion. Highly recommended.

The Novice Bride (Carol Townend). I didn’t expect to like this, but I
loved it! Wonderful character-building; appealing hero (Norman) is
engaged by brave and beautiful heroine (Saxon).

The Sultan’s Seal (Jenny White). Again, the call of the exotic setting.
This time Istanbul and a murder mystery with love story...nice! Nice!!

The Ruby in Her Navel (Barry Unsworth). I raved about this in an earlier Hoyden blog some months back. Story is set in Sicily during the 12th century reign of Roger I (Norman) over a land of Greek writers and scholars, Muslim artisans, Norman political figures, Jewish scholars, and Latin churchmen. The captivating heroine is a belly-dancing gypsy...

The Snow Leopard (nonfiction; Peter Matthiesen). A travelogue of sorts by a naturalist trekking the Himalayas with Sherpas and porters... searching for the elusive snow leopard and other, even more elusive, spiritual truths. Fascinating and moving.

Route 66 A.D. (nonfiction; Tony Perrottet). A modern traveler and his wife follow the old Roman road to Greece, Turkey, and Egypt. Lots of delicious history along the way, plus commentaries from the Greek traveler/writer Pausanias on how things actually looked/sounded/smelled then. One fascinating eyewitness view of the Olympics, in Olympia, Greece.



Blogger Unknown said...

I played around with Shelfari a bit, and decided to use it to keep track of my research books (it's always good to have some kind of record of what you own, LOL!). I do wish that it wasn't only paired with Amazon.com though. I've got 50+ books that it can't find, some of which are NEW! They're on Amazon.uk, but not .com. *grumble* I’ve also got some antique/vintage books it can’t handle. But overall it was fun to put together (and I threw in some favorite fiction reads just for fun. If anyone wants to see just what’s in my library (or what I read for fun) my page is here

9:17 AM  
Blogger Pam Rosenthal said...

Wow, I wouldn't know where to begin. I'm a terrible archivist. But I definitely want to read the Unsworth book, the Tobias sounds like it couldn't hurt (understatement of the year), and I think I might have to rush out and buy the Route 66 book right now.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm a terrible archivist

Me too! LOL!!! But it was pretty easy to make a list of my books (mostly by ISBN) and then plug them all in. Now I have a (nearly) comprehensive list. I just did it while I watched a movie.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Susanna Fraser said...

I've already got my entire collection on LibraryThing, which I love. Has anyone tried both to compare? Does Shelfari have enough different features that it'd be worth double-cataloging my collection?

1:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm not sure, but Shelfari does say you can import from Library Thing, so it wouldn't be much work to have both.

1:24 PM  

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