Category Archives: Historical Fiction

Fools Crow

Fools Crow is a deeply engaging historical novel by James Welch, following the lives of the Pikuni (Blackfeet) in the early 1870s in Montana. The main character is a young man named White Man’s Dog, but after a few brave and … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 10 Comments

Old Mortality

I’ve read a reasonable amount of 19th-century British literature, but somehow up until this point, I’ve never read anything by one of the most important and influential 19th-century British authors around: Walter Scott. I don’t know how I missed such … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction | 18 Comments

The Observations

If you’ve read much in the way of Victorian pastiche, you’ll know it’s a tricky business. It can be as marvelous as Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith or Michael Cox’s The Meaning of Night, or it can be as annoying as Michael … Continue reading

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East of Eden

When Leslie, Christy, and I decided to read East of Eden together, I thought, “No big deal. Steinbeck’s books aren’t that long, and they read quickly. I’ll polish it off in a couple of days.” If you’ve seen this chunkster, you know … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction | 10 Comments

The Coroner’s Lunch

Dr. Siri Paiboun shouldn’t really be a coroner. He’s served most of his life as a doctor for the Laotian people, and now, at the age of 72, he thought he’d be able to take a peaceful, if not ideal, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mysteries | 6 Comments

Tipping the Velvet

Although I’ve read and enjoyed all of Sarah Waters’s other books and consider her one of my favorite authors, I went into Tipping the Velvet with low-ish expectations. Not many people seem to list this as their favorite Waters novel, and I figured … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 16 Comments

The Sisters Brothers

It’s a little difficult to pin down Patrick DeWitt’s novel The Sisters Brothers. It’s definitely got elements of the picaresque. It’s a Western, certainly, but not of the Zane Grey variety (nor of the Cormac McCarthy variety, if that’s not … Continue reading

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The Reverse of the Medal

I confess. I enjoy the Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin books more when they’re set on land than when they’re at sea. Does that make me a bad fan? After 11 books, I’ve gotten used to the nautical lingo and am far less … Continue reading

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All the Light We Cannot See

So, I don’t know if you’ve had this experience, but almost every single person I know recommended this book to me. It’s about France! It’s about books! It’s a prize-winner! No-brainer that Jenny is going to love it! Colleagues, friends, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 25 Comments

The Moor’s Account

My third book for the (Wo)Man Booker Shadow Panel is a solidly entertaining, straight-down-the-line work of historical fiction by Laila Lalami. I was unimpressed by Lalami’s first novel, so I was not enthusiastic about reading this, but it’s a much … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | Tagged | 5 Comments