~These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
This last week I purchased 43 Georgette Heyer ebooks for my Kindle, this means I have spent the last week delved into the world of Historical England, renewing my acquaintance with old friends (and dealing with the shock my bank account went into with the individual purchases, it caused fraud alert to listed and basically broke my debit card). I am a huge Georgette Heyer fan having spent most of my teen years devouring her novels. While it has been years since I have read some the titles I just purchased (reviews will be forthcoming on some) I know that anything I pick up from her I will enjoy and I usually read 2 or 3 a year anyways. This started me thinking about what is it that makes one novel or author a definite reread every year and what makes others a one time deal. Not that I am saying that every book has to fall into the favorite category because I do enjoy most of the books I read, but it is that special something that means it will be devoured again and again that I have been thinking about.
For me there are certain authors that it is a given I will be reading some of their books each year, Georgette Heyer, David Eddings, Kerryln Sparks, Lynn Kurland, Julia Quinn, Terry Pratchett, and, of course, Jane Austen are just a few on the list. For those of you wondering about the amount I read (which even I admit can be ridiculous) I only review about one in five books that I read, Novel Reaction.com is supposed be about the joy of reading and I decided that if I reviewed every book I read I would come to dread the task (it would feel more like homework than the fun sharing I want it to be). That being said, I reread a lot that doesn’t get posted on here in addition to other fun reading (and not so fun homework reading) that I do. But really, what is it that draws me in time and time again? For me, it is all about the characters. Obviously I already know what is going to happen with the story line but if a character is witty, if the author can make me laugh, then there is a good chance I am going to wear out my copy of the book. So what is it that creates a favorite book for you? Who is it that you go back to again and again? Or am I the only one who rereads (which I have had people tell me that they dont’ reread before)?
August 16th is would have been Georgette Heyer’s 109th birthday. Georgette Heyer is one of my favorite authors of all time. She is credited with starting the historical romance genre. Two years ago (wow, I have been blogging for awhile) I did an author spotlight on Georgette Heyer where I discussed her background and links to some great sites, you can read it here. In celebration of her birthday Sourcebooks is making 47 of her titles available in ebook format for $1.99 each for one week only, from August 15th-August 21st. I know I will be purchasing all the titles I don’t currently have in ebook format. Some of my paperback copies are literally falling apart because they are so old and have been read so many times.
You can find the complete listing of the books available here. I am hoping they will be priced at the low price directly through Amazon (so it is easier to load on my Kindle). If they are I will let you know.
Ask any romance author or reader who their favorite author is and Georgette Heyer’s name will be mentioned. Credited with inventing the Regency England genre of novels, Heyer is still being published today. I have to admit I own all of her romance books and most of her mysteries. Georgette Heyer (August 16, 1902-July 4 1974) wrote her first novel, The Black Moth, at the age of 21 as a story for her brother.
Heyer was a very private person and spent most of her life refusing interviews. Most of Heyer’s novels take place during the same time period as Jane Austen’s but Jane Austen was writing contemporary fiction and Heyer was writing historical novels. Heyer was incredibly prolific and wrote numerous historical and mystery novels.
Heyer also wrote several novels about famous historical figures including An Infamous Army about Duke Wellington and The Conqueror about William the Conqueror. Heyer carefully researched and collected facts about the time periods she wrote about, even claiming that she only wrote what Duke Wellington wrote or said.
While I have yet to read a Heyer novel that I don’t love my two favorite are Sylvestor, or the Wicked Uncle and The Grand Sophy. There are numerous websites and discussion groups out there but I have listed a few here: