Monday, February 1, 2016

TOP TEN TUESDAY | If I Could Turn Back Time....

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme for bloggers who like books and lists. It's awesome and is graciously hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Today, with the help of Cher and the ladies at The Broke and The Bookish, I am thinking about what time periods I like to travel to in books.  The specific topic description is:
Top Ten Historical Settings You Love/ Ten Historical Settings You'd Love To See or Top Futuristic Books You Love/Ten Futuristic Societies I'd Love To Read in Books --- basically this week is all about the past or the future....spin it however you choose!
I love historical settings whether it be in straight up historical fiction or a romance or mystery.  When I was young and foolish I used to wistfully protest that I was born 200 years too late.  My older self is jaded and cynical and realizes this is absurd, the reality of most women two centuries ago was likely horrendous, but I still like to visit the past in books.

As I made the list I realized my era preferences are often matched up with a location/event as well so I also included that.


 1) Regency Era Britain
1811-1820 in reality but I really think of this 1790-1830

The love for Jane Austen's work gave birth to a whole sub-sub genre of Romance: Historical- Regency Era Britain.  It was the golden-age of the aristocracy and landed gentry in England and all the elaborate social rules are just designed for a perfect slow burn type romance.  Some of my favorite authors in romance are Georgette Heyer, Sarah MacLean, Lisa Kleypas.  I've also enjoyed a couple of mysteries set in this time period my favorite of which is Kate Ross' Julian Kestrel Series.  Finally I'm a huge fan of nautical books from this time period - The Aubrey Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian or Horatio Hornblower by C.S. Forester.

2) Turn of 20th Century 

I especially like mysteries set during this time period, particularly in New York.  Law enforcement was kind of at an interesting juncture, becoming more structured with many advances in technology.  Some of my favorite mysteries set in this time period are: The Alienist by Caleb Carr and Stefanie Pinthoff's Simon Ziele series.  Outside of mysteries, the books that come to mind are the Anne of Green Gables series. This is also the Victorian period in Britain, which is another favorite time period of mine for romances.

3) The American Western Frontier Period

I really love stories set in this time period, from traditional Westerns to "weird Westerns" that have a fantastical bent.  Recent favorites have been Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry and The Son by Philipp Meyer.

4) American Civil War

Some of my favorite time periods are centered around big events, usually wars.  The first is the American Civil War with a favorite being Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and also The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. 

5) The World Wars
1914-1918 and 1939 - 1945

There's something about novels that take place around wars.  I include in this the aftermath from these wars.  I have a few mystery series I really like: Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear, Inspector Ian Rutledge by Charles Todd, and the Flavia DeLuce series by Alan Bradley.  A very recent favorite Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart which takes place in the nineteen-teens.

6) Ancient Greece/Rome
Around the 5th Century B.C. to 600 A.D.

I actually haven't read a ton of books set in this time period but I love Greek and Roman Mythology and should seek out more.  

7) The Tudor Period in England
The 1500s

I really enjoy books set during the Tudor period, particularly Elizabeth I's reign.  The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett is probably my most obsessive favorite set in this era.

8) The Late Medieval Period
10th to 12th century

Books set in this time period are a little hit or miss for me but I am always drawn to them.  I have a favorite mystery series set during this time period, The Cadfael series by Ellis Peters.  I am also a big fan of Arthurian Legend inspired tales though they are generally set a little earlier.

9) The "Past" in Asia

This is really vague but I like books set in East Asia in the past but don't have a really particular time period I'm attracted to.  I love Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden which is set in 1930s-1950s Japan, The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck set in the 1920s, The Tales of the Otori by Lian Hearn which is a slightly fantastical story set in Feudal Japan, and Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See set in 19th century China.  I definitely have a lot more exploring to do and perhaps that will help narrow things down a bit.

10) Colonial Era U.S.A.
17th and 18th centuries 

My definition of this era is quite broad and actually includes the time period following U.S. independence (1776).  I have a favorite mystery /thriller series set in the late 17th century; the Matthew Corbett series by Robert McCammon.  I also recently somewhat enjoyed Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati which takes place in upstate New York just a few years post revolutionary war.  

What are some of your favorite time periods to read about?  This list has made clear that mine are very euro-centric.  I bet I would also like stories set in colonial Australia and India and there are likely many interesting stories set in historical Africa and South America.  Any recommendations?

Thankfully I don't get too terribly hung up on historical accuracy, probably because I don't remember much of history from school.  How about you?  Does it drive you crazy when an author gets something wrong? 

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