Tag: historical fiction

Review: Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham

If you’re like me, the first time you knew anything about the 1921 Tulsa race riots – or race massacre – was this summer, when Trump scheduled a rally in Tulsa on June 19 (Juneteenth). Before that I was mostly unaware of this history. What… Continue Reading “Review: Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham”

Review: Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

I couldn’t be happier that Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet won this year’s Women’s Prize.  I love O’Farrell but I worried that this book couldn’t live up to my expectations, after all the rave reviews.  It absolutely did. Hamnet is about William Shakespeare, though he’s never… Continue Reading “Review: Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell”

Review: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but I ended up finding it both fascinating and moving. I knew it was about a true-life group of people in the Appalachians with blue skin, and it was also about the historic Packhorse Librarians,… Continue Reading “Review: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson”

Review: The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

If you’re trying to avoid thinking about the pandemic, this will NOT be the book for you. Otherwise, it’s another fantastic novel from Emma Donoghue, author of Room and The Wonder. This is a historical novel set in Dublin in 1918 during World War I and… Continue Reading “Review: The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue”

Mystery Series Mini-Reviews: the Kopp Sisters, Jackson Brodie and Maisie Dobbs

I don’t often write about books in series, but I read a few recently and thought it might be helpful to discuss them together.  For those who haven’t read these series, or aren’t caught up, I’ve avoided spoilers and focused more on the series… Continue Reading “Mystery Series Mini-Reviews: the Kopp Sisters, Jackson Brodie and Maisie Dobbs”

Review: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

I always appreciate historical fiction that covers an event that I should be aware of.  Salt to the Sea is about the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German transport ship carrying 10,000 German military and refugees from Germany and surrounding countries.  Over 9,000… Continue Reading “Review: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys”

Why do we read books that scare us?

As Halloween approached, I’ve been thinking about scary books and why we read them.  With all the horror in the news, my work colleagues have been increasingly asking for “lighter” book recommendations (I’ve been recommending Less). I’ve written several posts with recommendations of good… Continue Reading “Why do we read books that scare us?”

Review of Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

I read Pachinko for a book club and also for my Reading All Around the World challenge.  This book was also listed frequently as one of the best of 2016.  It’s about a Korean family who move to Japan during World War II.  While… Continue Reading “Review of Pachinko by Min Jin Lee”

Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore

This is my first novel by Helen Dunmore, a well-known British author of historical fiction.  This was, in fact, her final book, as she died this summer of cancer at the age of 64.  Her obituary in The Guardian notes that: She knew she… Continue Reading “Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore”

The Good People by Hannah Kent

This is Hannah Kent’s second book, after her superb Burial Rites, which was about an 1829 true crime in Iceland.  Like Burial Rites, this one is based on a true story occurring in Ireland in the late 1800s.  And in the broader sense, it’s… Continue Reading “The Good People by Hannah Kent”

Best Books of Summer Part Two: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

This was a powerful book about the impacts of slavery, and for me it was another book of summer that completely lived up to the hype.  Gyasi writes of two sisters, living in two different African villages.  One marries a white slaver and remains… Continue Reading “Best Books of Summer Part Two: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi”

Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart

I love this series, which is about a real-life woman in the 1910’s who was one of the first female deputy sheriffs.  Amy Stewart builds the novels in this series around actual people and events and she ends each one with a description of… Continue Reading “Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart”

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