Tag: historical fiction

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 actually named in the book. It’s 1596, and 11 year old Hamnet…

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, women who delivered library books on horseback to families in the…

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 the devastating influenza pandemic. Julia Power is a 30-year old nurse in…

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 horror reading recommendations of good horror reading, but in this post…

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 in what is today Ghana, and the other is captured at…

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 her research.  If you haven’t read the series, but like historical…