Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rambling On About England

So I haven't been reading much. This will likely make Kristie frothing mad since I'm currently neglecting Dreaming Of You by Lisa Kleypas - for which I can only say, it's not the book, it's me. I just can't seem to get into a groove. That said, I'm half in love with a secondary character, Lily, who is the heroine from the companion book, Then Came You. Anyone, anyone? The only thing I've heard about it from a couple of sources is "I liked it, but not as much as DOY." So is this bad boy worth tracking down? Opinions welcome, cause seriously I have a major girl-crush on Lily.

(There I go again, gushing about the heroine and ignoring the hunky hero beefcake. Typical)

I just need to sit my butt down and read. It's that simple, but my mind seems to be distracted by things like work, household drudgery and baseball. I need to find my inner-Jedi and clear my mind of all distractions.

I think I might have mentioned on the blog a time or two (or three) that I'm a little (OK, a lot) burnt out on English historicals. For a while I suspected it was overkill left over from my college days (where I earned a dusty degree in British history) - but now I think it's more likely that I'm sick of rich white people. I just have a hard time believing that only Dukes and Earls were capable of falling in love. That, and when it comes to Upstairs, Downstairs, I've always been more of a downstairs sort of girl. Even when I was "wasting my time" on that liberal arts degree that got me into library school. I was much more interested in learning about the working class than, say, the movers and shakers among the titled and politicos.

It's probably the ugly American in me. It probably also explains why I like westerns so darn much.

So needless to say I'm always on the lookout for English historicals that feature "the little people." Which means I've collected a ton of Lisa Kleypas books over the years. Frankly, she's the only one who consistently seems to explore the "lower" classes, which means the reader gets to see a bit of the English societal underbelly. And so far it's one of the main things I'm really enjoying about Dreaming Of You.

Yes Kristie, I'll keep reading.


Kerry said...

You know, I was just thinking something similar the other day on the train--that I was beginning to hate the Regency period all those damn aristocrats and it would be nice to read something involving the middle classes. One of my favorite historical mystery series was 3 books by Karen Rose Cercone set in 1905 Pittsburgh, featuring an Armenian former steelworker turned cop who wasn't precisely lying and posing as an Irishman, and his antagonist/love, an Italian-Irish middle class socialist reporter. Awesome series, and fairly unusual in the grasp of both social and cultural issues prevalent at the time.

Holly said...

I'm not a huge fan of Dreaming of You. While I liked both the hero and heroine, I'm not over the moon about it. Then Came You, OTOH, is awesome. Loved it!

You should def. track it down. Or you can borrow my copy if you can't. :)

I haven't been in the mood for a historical in..well...I honestly can't remember the last time. I think I burnt myself out on them about 2 years ago.

ReneeW said...

Oh, yes, Then Came You was wonderful too. Lily is an unusual heroine and I think I have a crush on her too :)

Mailyn said...

' but now I think it's more likely that I'm sick of rich white people.'

LMAO! I loved DOF and don't care for TCY and yeah, I've seen that people seem to prefer one or the other. Never both. Very odd. So far I only know of Hollt and Dance Chica that weren't head-over-heels in love with DOY. I can't say I've met anyone else who isn't crazy about it.

I like historical more than anything else but I don't just mean romances. I prefer historical mysteries, fiction, etc.

Try reading a historical mystery? Maybe that will do the trick.

Rosario said...

I liked DOY, but I *loved* TCY. Lily is wonderful, and so was the hero. I thought at first he was going to be the typical arrogant, cruel aristocrat, but he ended up being something quite different.

Rosie said...

Okay, I'm a little nervous. I checked DOY on keeper shelf. I don't see a copy of THEN CAME YOU anywhere. Which means I must not have read it? Can that be right? Now I have to look for it because I have no recollection.

I guess this doesn't help you at all does it?

Kristie (J) said...

There are a number of people who prefer TCY - which is fine :) I thought it really good too and just as Derek is unusual for a historical in that he's not a peer, so Lily is quite unusual for a heroine in that she isn't a shy demure young virgin. She actually had a child out of wedlock - quite daring! Of course these were published in the golden days of Avon, when that kind of thing was allowed.
Long story short - they are both good - but DOY is better for me.
Now - as I said to Tara - back to cataloguing

Tara Marie said...

TCY is a good read. I think the draw for DOY is Derek completely different hero for the period and class has much to do with it.

This may sacreligous but I actually prefer Suddenly You, Worth Any Price and Lady Sophia's Lover.

One of my favorite historical mystery series was 3 books by Karen Rose Cercone set in 1905 Pittsburgh... Hmmm, I may have to head to the UBS to look for them :)

Sherry Thomas said...

How about Laura Kinsale's THE SHADOW AND THE STAR? Neither h/h is aristocratic (okay he is rich, but don't hold that against him)and part of the story takes place in Hawaii. 1887.

Or any of Judith Ivory's French-set post-turn-of-century book? Bliss in particular has an American working woman who's slept around a bit and a French sculptor who's an ether-drinker. I don't read westerns, so BLISS is as far from the usual regency fare as I can think of.

Wendy said...

Tara Marie: I liked Suddenly You, although it wasn't a keeper (very few books are for me though - it's just the way I'm wired). I have Lady Sophia's Lover and Worth Any Price in the TBR.

Sherry: I'm such a philistine, but Kinsale's writing style just doesn't work for me. It's too "literary" for lack of a better description. And yes, I flog myself every night before I go to bed.

I might have to check out Bliss. The ether-addict thing sounds terribly intriguing.

Sherry Thomas said...

I'm a card-carrying member of the Laura Kinsale fan club, but of her 12 or so books, I only adore 3--but those are among some of my absolute favorites and I go around telling everyone about those books.

For me, when I'm really involved in a Kinsale book, I'm hugely involved. But when I'm not, the books are just too long--so count me in as a fellow philistine too.

My goal in life is to be the impatient reader's Laura Kinsale--90% the intensity at about 60% the length, and never a complaint over the accessibility of my language, hopefully.

Definitely read Bliss--it's hard to find but you are a librarian. :-) Nardi is one of the most unusual heroes around.