Tag: historical fiction

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Reading Diversely: Around the World Reads

This year, I’m focusing on reading more diverse books, which includes reading books about other countries.  And so far this year I’ve made a good effort.  Of the 30 books I’ve read this year, 8 are by authors of color.  That may not sound like…

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

Kostova’s new novel is reminiscent of The Historian, in that it’s a big, sweeping tale that will take the reader all over modern-day Eastern Europe.  It’s quite different, however, in that there are no vampires.  But there’s still horror. The weakest part of this…

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

I loved everything about this book, from its understated tone to its slowly developing relationship between a retired Civil War Captain and a young girl who was stolen by the Kiowa at age four and given back again six years later. News of the…

The Bishop’s Girl by Rebecca Burns

I loved Burns’ two books of short stories, Catching the Barramundi and The Settling Earth so I was happy to receive a copy of her first novel, The Bishop’s Girl.  It’s a story about a team of archivists who are trying to solve a…

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