The Time Mistress Series
The Time Mistress series weaves twenty first century time travel into a Victorian -esque world. These books are stocked full of Jane Austen England, Cival War era and the Renaissance in Italy with time hopping scientist Cassandra Reilly.
I live in New York City, with my artist husband and musician son. Though originally from the Southwest of the U.S., we love the atmosphere of this bustling city. We love to travel, and when I can't travel in body, I travel in my mind to the times and places that my heroine, Dr. Cassandra Reilly, visits in my series, The Time Mistress. In the first book, The Time Baroness, she time-travels to Jane Austen's England. In the second, The Time Heiress, she travels to pre-Civil War NYC. In both she encounters romance and danger!
While visiting with Georgina I thought it would be fun to find out what books she read last year left a lasting impression. Here's what she said....
I don’t read the same kinds of books I write. I write romantic, time-travel fiction, but I usually read literary fiction - classic and modern. If I read any genre fiction, it tends to be SciFi, and if I read Romance, it’s usually something along the lines of Jane Austen. But when I want to escape, I write – and travel to all the wondrous places I can imagine with my heroine, Dr. Cassandra Reilly. But this post isn’t about what I write; it’s about the books I liked best over the past year. You may read very different kinds of books than I do, but I hope you’ll try some of my suggestions. Just like I branched out from my usual types of reads over the last twelve months, I hope my list will help you do the same.
The first book I really flipped over last year was Queen of America, by Alberto Luis Urrea. This is the sequel to the astonishing, historical/humorous/spiritual journey of The Hummingbird’s Daughter. If you haven’t discovered Urrea, it’s time you do. Some put him in the category of Latino fiction, but to do so is extremely limiting, because he writes about a world that’s fascinating for everyone to visit. Hey, I’m not Latina, yet Urrea has become one of my favorite writers of all time. As a matter of fact, if you want to start with something lighter from him, try Into The Beautiful North. The author jokingly refers to it as a “beach read.” Maybe so, but it’s also a touching, joyous odyssey of a young Mexican girl’s search for her father in the U.S. that will have you laughing, even while you marvel at Urrea’s incredible skill with language.
From there, I took a 180 degree turn and picked up The Hunger Games trilogy. Now, you might say these are genre novels in the realm of Young Adult, and they are, but they are also quite seriously Science Fiction. I hardly need to speak about these three books, because by now everyone’s read them, but if you’re a person who, like me, hesitates to pick up popular or genre fiction, run, do not walk to acquire this series. Don’t just see the movie, read the books – they are fantastic on every level – you will not be able to put them down.
After that series, I was in the mood for something more high-brow, and so I borrowed The People of The Book by Geraldine Brooks, from a friend. I’m not sure when this book was written, but I think it’s fairly recent, taking place more or less in present day and then throughout history. It’s the story of a book conservator who is trying to solve the mystery to a series of clues she finds hidden in a priceless, Jewish prayer book. It takes us through the stories of the people and families who once possessed the book, an intense, but beautifully written saga.
After that I succumbed to all the hype and picked up Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This woman can write – I was caught up in the story, heart and soul…until the very last page. Sorry, but though overall I loved this book, I thought it ended badly – maybe it’s just me.
For a while I slogged through a couple of books that were just OK; but it wasn’t until I stumbled across the delicious find of Barbara Kingsolver’s recently released Flight Behavior in a used bookstore that I was back in the game. I put Kingsolver on the same level as the aforementioned Urrea, and even in the category of greats like Austen, Eliot and Niffenegger, though what she writes is totally different from all four. Her greatest accomplishment, in my opinion, was probably The Poisonwood Bible, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize – again, if you haven’t read it, do so now. But Flight Behavior is a gentler read, reminiscent, in my mind, of a previous book of hers called Prodigal Summer, which I also highly recommend. Flight Behavior is the story of the metamorphosis of a simple, yet sassy young mom, caught in the doldrums of life on a Tennessee sheep farm. When millions of monarch butterflies choose her mountaintop to live on, attracting scientists and tourists from all over, her world is opened up in a way she’d never imagined it could be. It’s a sweet story, a vital story, and one that leaves you thinking for weeks to come.
Hopefully, those suggestions are enough to keep you busy for awhile. And please take a look at my series too: The Time Baroness, set in Jane Austen’s England, The Time Heiress, which takes place in pre- Civil War New York City, and The Time Contessa, a journey to Renaissance, Italy. Happy reading!
I completely agree with Georgina, I think everyone should read The Hunger Games. If you've only seen the movie you are missing a lot. I also just finished listening to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn via audible, I agree with Georgina for the most part, when I first finished I was a little dissapointed in the ending as well. After relishing in the aftermath I "get" the ending, still slightly dissapointed, but overall it is another must read! I hope you'll all go grab Georgina's books, and drop her a line via her website or blog, she loves to hear from her fans.
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