Saturday, December 27, 2008

Marg's Best of 2008

It's that time of year when we start to reflect on the year that was, and that inevitably leads to thinking of the best of reads, so when Ana suggested that we do a post focussing on our favourite HF reads for the year we all jumped at the opportunity!

I have read a lot of really, really good HF this year, and luckily there are still loads of books out there that I still need to get to. I don't normally give many books the top grade of 5/5, and this year was no exception. This year there were only 3 books that I read that achieved that distinction, two of which were HF books, so I am going to talk a little about those two books, and then give honourable mentions some of those that I really loved but didn't quite make the top grade. It should be said that my grading system is not very scientific. It is very much a gut feeling grade, so there really isn't that much difference between the two highest grades really!

The first book that I want to write about is Master of Verona by David Blixt. Set in Verona during the early 1300's this book is a clever mix of history, great characters, a retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, suspense, action and an all round great read! I will finally have my review of this book up here in the next few days, and I highly recommend fans of historical fiction give this fantastic book a chance! I can't wait for the next book to come out.

In a complete change of pace, the second book is The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Maryann Shaffer. Told through a series of letters and notes, this book is about a woman who is drawn to the Channel island of Guernsey shortly after the end of World War II, and finds out about the occupation that took place there (one of the few places in the UK where there was German occupation during WWII). There is a plethora of quirky and fun characters with a good storyline as well. You can read both my review, and Kailana's thoughts here.

Whilst I have seen multiple positive reviews of the latter, I have seen very few for Master of Verona, which is a shame because it is a great read!

Now onto the honourable mentions with links to reviews where I have written them. You will notice that there are a few with no links but we won't think about that just now!

Angelique and Angelique and the King by Sergeanne Golon
My Lady of Cleves by Margaret Campbell Barnes
The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
The Time of Singing by Elizabeth Chadwick
Mudbound by Hilary Jordan
East of the Sun by Julia Gregson

The Ape Who Guards the Balance and The Falcon at the Portal by Elizabeth Peters
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
The Wild Hunt by Elizabeth Chadwick
The Birth House by Ami McKay

I am looking forward to reading a lot more great HF next year!


  1. I was just looking at The Master of Verona at the library this afternoon. It looks wonderful!


  2. I loved it Lezlie! The other thing I should have said is that I think it is a book that both girls and guys will love!

  3. Marg,

    Thanks for the kind words - I'm so glad you enjoyed the novel. I look forward to reading your review. And whenever SMP ends up publishing the sequel, I'll see what I can do about letting you have a sneak peek.


  4. Boy Marg,

    I haven't read any of the books on your list yet. Lots of great books for me to look forward to!

  5. David, thanks for stopping by and for an awesome book! A sneak peak would be awesome if it's possible!

    Teddy, lots of good books indeed! Looking forward to seeing your list!

  6. I think I will buy the David Blixt book when I use more of my gift card. I had it in the back of my mind when I ordered the other day, but I had been concentrating on pre-orders, which I ended up not getting anyway!

    A few on your list will be on mine too.

  7. Marg, I totally agree about Guernsey, it was my favorite book this year.

    I can't believe I have never heard of Master of Verona! I would love to read it, I'm always thrilled to find a great new HF author!


  8. Carey, I hope you enjoy it if you get to read it!

    Kelly, you should buy it!

  9. As always, thanks for the recommendations, Marg! I'll be tracking down Master of Verona when I get back home.