Friday, December 28, 2007

Looking Back

We are just days away from a bright new year! At this time I always look over the list of books I have read --Which were my favorites? How does the overall list look? I'm happy with my choices for 2007, although there are many still stacked in my office that I have not finished or even started that will have to go on next year's list. In 2007 I read two books in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series and I loved them both! I also read a bunch to review for the Historical Novel Society. I enjoyed those books, especially World's Afire by Paul Janeczko. Those review books offer me a chance to read books I might not pick up otherwise.
A couple of other historical fiction books that rose to the top of the 2007 list: The Red Queen's Daughter by Jacqueline Kolosov and Hush by Donna Jo Napoli.

Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab's Wife and Abundance said in an interview that "fiction can make history seem more alive and thus more kin to life as we know it." In the same interview she said that "while films picture appearances, novels augment those visual impressions by transporting us inside the character: we can look out through the eyes of another person and also know that person's secret thoughts and feelings, which are beyond the reach of the camera."

Looking back over my list I can see that for a bit I was transported to so many places and times - as a time-travelling nurse to the West Indies, a kidnapped Irish princess, the daughter of Katherine Parr, a widowed child bride in India, and a bowery girl in turn-of-the-century New York city.

Where were you transported in 2007?


Anonymous said...

I found Hush especially interesting because I'd just reread Laxdæla Saga this summer (and during a trip to Iceland drove by Höskuld's home, which is still a working farm bearing his name!)--telling Melkolla's tale was a fascinating premise for a story, and seeing where the story intersected with the saga was fascinating, too.

I guess where I've been transported to has been saga-era Iceland, both through our travels and through my reading and rereading of the sagas. Njál's Saga (the other saga in which Höskuld appears) in particular becomes more compelling to me every time I read it.

NanC said...

I actually thought of you when I was reading HUSH. Donna Jo Napoli did a get job with this time period. Of course, she is so thorough I knew she would. I bet the sagas were fun to read. What a great perspective you have on it all!

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