I am a former stay-at-home mom who has given up her hopes and dreams of becoming a professional reader. I now spend my days showing small children how to play games on computers. Right now I'm living vicariously through my 9 year-old who is reading everything she can get her hands on.
Someone posted this article link in a group I moderate for over on GRs:
My first thought was- Nope. Just nope.
Other thoughts were:
1.) It's a pretty Euro-centric list. I understand that part of the problem lies in translation. There just isn't a market for translating Asian or African historical fiction into English. Granted I could learn another language but honestly, I struggle enough with English most days. That aside, that doesn't mean there isn't non-European historical fiction available in English. James Clavell's Shogun is just one example off the top of my head.
2.) The Other Boleyn Girl is essential reading?!?! Sorry, I can't take you seriously any more. I won't deny the impact the book has had on the genre. I would be ignorant to deny it. Essential? Not so much. I can probably list 20 books about the same time period that are better reading than TOBG. While they may not be any more accurate, Brief Gaudy Hour by Margaret Campbell Brown, The Concubine by Norah Lofts, and The Lady in the Tower are all significantly better stories about the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn.
3.) This list reads more like a best seller list than an essential list. Quite a few of these novels aren't even ten years old. The creator of this list left of works by Uris, Penman, Shaara, Dunnett, Renault, you get the point for books published in the last three years? I get that there is a lot of historical fiction out there but come on? Where did you look for suggestions? Literary review magazines and the bestseller list on the back page of the newspaper?
Those are my thoughts. I'd love to know what other readers think.