Category Archives: Historical Fiction

The Underground Railroad

For an embarrassingly long time, I thought the Underground Railroad was an actual railroad, at least partly underground. A secret train to freedom is an image than can easily catch a child’s imagination—especially when that child hasn’t been around trains … Continue reading

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His Bloody Project

I love a good historical thriller, so I was delighted to see this book by Graeme Macrae Burnet on the Booker longlist. It was, after all, the Booker longlist that finally got me to read Sarah Waters. Might Burnet be … Continue reading

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Do Not Say We Have Nothing

If you’ve been following my Man Booker reading this year, you’ll know that I’ve not been particularly happy about many of the books on the longlist. I’ve only thoroughly loved one of them (The North Water), and I’ve found two of them … Continue reading

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The North Water

Finally! Finally! A book on this year’s Booker longlist that I’m excited about. I liked Work Like Any Other just fine, but none of the others I’ve read did much for me. I’m hoping this is a turnaround point. I have a weakness … Continue reading

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Work Like Any Other (and the WoMan Booker Shadow Panel)

The (Wo)Man Booker Shadow Panel, made up of me, Meredith, Nicole, Rebecca, and Frances, is back again for another round with the Man Booker longlist. I have to confess that when I saw this year’s longlist, I might have let … Continue reading

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Doc

Mary Doria Russell’s novel about Doc Holliday is far from a rip-roarin’ shoot-em-up western. There are shootings, and drinking and gambling and many prostitutes, but the overall tone of the novel is contemplative. John Henry Holliday is a gambler and … Continue reading

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Life and Fate

I recently spent three weeks in France with students (it was wonderful, thank you!) Normally when I go on this trip, I bring a large variety of books on my Kindle, so I’ll have something to read for any occasion. … Continue reading

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The Letter of Marque

The 12th book in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series opens with Jack not being quite himself, having been dismissed from the Royal Navy on false charges. On many counts, he’s lucky. In The Reverse of the Medal, his friends made sure he … Continue reading

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The Murder of Mary Russell

How’s that for a title to make long-time fans of a series nervous? The fourteenth book in Laurie R. King’s Russell/Holmes series begins with Russell facing down an unexpected visitor in her and Holmes’s Sussex home. The intruder appears to be … Continue reading

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Dreaming Spies

I’m not sure how I managed to miss this, the thirteenth novel in Laurie King’s series of Mary Russell/ Sherlock Holmes novels, when it came out in 2015. I’ve been reading them since the very beginning, and normally I leap … Continue reading

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