One of the reading challenges I signed up to for 2018 was this one hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It involves reading a book predominantly set in each of twelve time periods.
I’m very happy with my progress so far as I’ve read books that fit into eight of the twelve time periods, although it does help that I read a lot of historical fiction. You can see my list below, followed by details of the books I’ve read so far with links to my reviews. Clicking on the title of those I’ve still to read will take you to the book’s entry on Goodreads.
It’s not too late to join in – just leave a comment on Sam’s post here with a link to your blog or your challenge post on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, you could always create a shelf on Goodreads for the challenge.
Pre 1500 1066: What Fates Impose by G. K. Holloway READ
1500-1599 The Assassin of Verona by Benet Brandreth
1600-1699 Traitor by David Hingley READ
1700-1799 The Optickal Illusion by Rachel Halliburton READ
1800-1899 Death Comes For The Archbishop by Willa Cather READ
1900-1919 The Power House by John Buchan READ
1920-1939 A Madras Miasma by Brian Stoddart
1940-1959 Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce READ
1960-1979 All The Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth Church READ
1980-1999 Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski
2000-Present Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon READ
The Future The Last Man by Mary Shelley
1066: What Fates Impose by G. K Holloway
England is in crisis. King Edward has no heir and promises never to produce one. There are no obvious successors available to replace him, but quite a few claimants are eager to take the crown. While power struggles break out between the various factions at court, enemies abroad plot to make England their own. There are raids across the borders with Wales and Scotland. Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, is seen by many as the one man who can bring stability to the kingdom. He has powerful friends and two women who love him, but he has enemies who will stop at nothing to gain power. As 1066 begins, England heads for an uncertain future. It seems even the heavens are against Harold. Intelligent and courageous, can Harold forge his own destiny – or does he have to bow to what fates impose?
Traitor (Mercia Blakewood #3) by David Hingley
May 1665. With winter passed, Mercia Blakewood is at last headed back to England from America, hoping to leave behind the shadow cast by death and heartache. She expects a welcome from the King considering her earlier mission at his behalf, but the reception she receives after her long voyage home could hardly be called warm.
With the country now at war with the Dutch, the Crown has decided that Mercia is an asset to be used once again. More manipulation lies ahead as Mercia must accept a clandestine role at the heart of the glittering and debauched royal court to unmask a spy and traitor.
The Optickal Illusion by Rachel Halliburton
It is 1797 and in Georgian London, nothing is certain anymore: the future of the monarchy is in question, the city is aflame with conspiracies, and the French could invade any day. Amidst this feverish atmosphere, the American painter Benjamin West is visited by a dubious duo comprised of a blundering father and vibrant daughter, the Provises, who claim they have a secret that has obsessed painters for centuries: the Venetian techniques of master painter Titian.
West was once the most celebrated painter in London, but he hasn’t produced anything of note in years, so against his better judgment he agrees to let the intriguing Ann Jemima Provis visit his studio and demonstrate the techniques from the document. What unravels reveals more than West has ever understood—about himself, the treachery of the art world, and the seductive promise of greatness. Rich in period detail of a meticulously crafted Georgian society, The Optickal Illusion demonstrates the lengths women must go to make their mark on a society that seeks to underplay their abilities.
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
In 1851 Father Jean Marie Latour comes as the Apostolic Vicar to New Mexico. What he finds is a vast territory of red hills and tortuous arroyos, American by law but Mexican and Indian in custom and belief. In the almost forty years that follow, Latour spreads his faith in the only way he knows—gently, although he must contend with an unforgiving landscape, derelict and sometimes openly rebellious priests, and his own loneliness.
The novel is based on the life of Jean-Baptiste Lamy (1814-1888), and partially chronicles the construction of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
The Power-House by John Buchan
When his friend Charles Pitt-Heron vanishes mysteriously, Sir Edward Leithen is at first only mildly concerned. But a series of strange events that follow Pitt-Heron’s disappearance convinces Leithen that he is dealing with a sinister secret society. Their codename is ‘The Power-House’. The authorities are unable to act without evidence. As he gets deeper involved with the underworld, Leithen finds himself facing the enemy alone and in terrible danger.
Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce
London, 1940. Emmeline Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent suddenly seem achievable. But the job turns out to be working as a typist for the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.
Mrs. Bird is very clear: letters containing any Unpleasantness must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant notes from women who may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men, or who can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write back to the readers who have poured out their troubles.
All the Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth J. Church
It was unimaginable. When she was eight years old, Lily Decker somehow survived the auto accident that killed her parents and sister, but neither her emotionally distant aunt nor her all-too-attentive uncle could ease her grief. Dancing proves to be Lily’s only solace, and eventually, she receives a “scholarship” to a local dance academy – courtesy of a mysterious benefactor.
Grown and ready to leave home for good, Lily changes her name to Ruby Wilde and heads to Las Vegas to be a troupe dancer, but her sensual beauty and voluptuous figure land her work instead as a showgirl performing everywhere from Les Folies Bergere at the Tropicana to the Stardust’s Lido de Paris. Wearing costumes dripping with feathers and rhinestones, five-inch heels, and sky-high headdresses, Ruby may have all the looks of a Sin City success story, but she still must learn to navigate the world of men – and figure out what real love looks like.
Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon
There are three things you should know about Elsie. The first thing is that she’s my best friend. The second is that she always knows what to say to make me feel better. And the third thing… might take a little bit more explaining.
84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light; and, if the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly a man who died sixty years ago?