History Hoydens


Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

01 May 2009

What Are You Reading Now?

This will be a short post for me. Today is the first day of our Silicon Valley RWA Chapter's annual conference. This year, we are doing an "All-Writers-All-Weekend" themed conference. I'll be the emcee and have the honor of introducing great writers like Catherine Coulter, Barbara Freethy, Candice Hern, Karin Tabke, motivational speaker Eric Maisel and others! We will of course, have agents on hand for hungry and aspiring writers to pitch to. So, I'll be pretty busy for the next 48 hours.

But speaking of Catherine Coulter---an author I've enjoyed reading for years now....I decided to step back and read more of the old historicals, those on Catherine's backlist and others. I wanted to study the books that helped to launch great careers---and I just wanted to take a break from everything. With the downturn of the economy (one reason why our RWA local chapter did not fly editors in from New York for our conference) and the flu outbreak...what do you read for pure escapism?
I'm reading a Signet Regency Romance called Red Rose, written by the great Mary Balogh. Yep, it was published in 1986 and this copy is so old it's the color of parchment. I love it. Rich characters,with lots of period detail.

Reading this now I can see how Ms. Balogh's star has risen so high. She is wonderful. Kind of makes me think "I knew her when." ;-)

What (or who) are you reading now? Who is your favorite "backlist" author?

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Blogger Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Right now I'm reading Public Enemies by Bryan Burrough about John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, the rise of the modern FBI. I have a huge pile of biographies of women to read for my blog Scandalous Women. As for fiction, I'm reading John Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga. I love Mary Balogh's books and I've read most of her backlist, but not so many of her current books, I don't have time. I have read some of Eloisa James backlist and enjoyed them, as well as Susan Elizabeth Philips, and Caro Peacock.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

I too love Mary Balogh and continue to go back to her backlist when I want sheer escapism and fun. Then again I also go back to read Georgette Heyer for the same reason. Love an early Teresa Medeiros CHARMING THE PRINCE. I read it when I want to have a good laugh and a good sigh.

7:29 PM  
Blogger Tracy Grant said...

I'm reading "The Language of Bees," Laurie King's latest Russell & Holmes book. It's off to a fabulous start. King's backlist is one I dip into for comfort reads because the characters feel like old friends. Also Georgette Heyer books, Dorothy Sayers' Peter & Harriet books, and some Mary Stewart books. All, with the exception of the Laurie King books, books I've loved since I was a teenager.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Owens said...

I've just finished reading Some Like It Wild, by Teresa Medeiros, always a favorite. ANd anything by Mary Jo Putney - can't wait for her newest at the end of June. Right now I'm reading Tipperary, by Frank Delaney. I highly recommend him for anyone who loves Ireland as much as I do.

5:58 AM  
Blogger Evangeline Holland said...

I'm reading a lot of 90's non-Western, American-set historicals (funny how I can find plenty of them published prior to 2000 or so), and nonfiction on Gilded Age America and its tycoons.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Mary Blayney said...

Good timing, Kathrynn. I've just finished a couple of big writing projects and am catching up on some reading. All the following finished in the last ten days.

Susan Donovan's THE GIRL MOST LIKELY... I met Susan at a signing and this is the first of her books I have read (and enjoyed). Nora Robert's VISIONS IN WHITE was a nice change of pace for her and me-- a classic relationship novel without a single paranormal element. There are three more in the series and I can't wait. I listened to JD Robb PROMISES IN DEATH and SALVATION IN DEATH -- yes, I've been doing a lot of driving lately. Also Jayne Krentz's WHITE LIES, one of her Arcane Society novels and Deanna Raybourn's SILENT ON THE MOOR which I really hope is not the last of the series.

You will note that there is not one Regency on the list -- taking a break from the field for a couple of weeks. But I do have THE DIAMONDS OF WELLBOURNE MANOR (an anthology) and Sophia Nash's A PASSIONATE ENDEAVOR (how did I miss that RITA winner?) when I want to get back into Prinny's world. My reading world is not all fiction. I am also working my way through an encyclopedic book on Aztec and Mayan culture.

For the next week I am reading/judging a final RITA round which is always a treat.

For comfort reads: Bujold and Heyer top the list.

Thanks for asking.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Pam Rosenthal said...

POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE, by Carrie Fisher (I had no idea this woman was so witty; if -- via time-travel -- she had Oscar Wilde for Gay Best Friend, he'd really have to haul ass to keep up.)


HISTORICAL ROMANCE FICTION, by Lisa Fletcher (a remarkable book of academic lit crit, that's telling me lots I never quite understood about what I do)

THE NOVEL AND THE POLICE, by D.A. Miller (obnoxiously mannered academic lit crit that seems nonetheless indispensable)

Next up: THE RAVEN PRINCE by Elizabeth Hoyt and THESE OLD SHADES by Georgette Heyer

7:58 PM  
Anonymous kathrynn dennis said...

Wow, you guys are so well-read! What I like too, is that so many of us are reading more than one book at once. I only recently took up that habit...in the last couple of years or so. Not sure why...maybe because my TBR pile was getting higher and higher and I just started delving in...maybe because I've started reading according to my mood...comical, serious, romantic...

Whatever the reason, I find I can read a lot more books faster. More fun!

3:59 PM  
Blogger Amanda Elyot said...

My fiction TBR pile just keeps growing and growing. I'm still reading THE TEA ROSE, which was a gift when it was published in hardcover sometime around 2002, and which I didn't get around to reading until February 2008!

I've been so busy with NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES, reading about 60 biographies in the past 11 months or so, researching, writing, and revising, that I've scarcely had time to read anything for pleasure.

Because I'm so overwhelmed with researching current wips, the only time I get to read for pleasure is on mass transit to and from the gym! So I'm finally getting to President Obama's THE AUDACITY OF HOPE -- and what a pleasure it is to read such articulate sentences and clarity of thought... (y'all know where I'm going with this).

Also on my desk is a stack of books on medieval life for a current historical fiction wip. Behind me is a tote bag of various Passover Haggadahs for another project.

4:14 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Postcards from the Edge is a great read! I read it years ago (found it on my godmother's shelves one spring break).

I just finished Balogh's and Beverley's latest releases and now I'm a couple of chapters into the first book in Bella Andre's new contemp series about Hotshots (wildfire fighters). Loving it.

I'm also re-reading White Mugals and working my way through a couple of books about Craftsman Bungalows (right now I'm reading one about kitchens; yeah, I'm trying to buy a house and I'm in full *dream* mode).

7:45 AM  

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