By November 13, 2009 0 Comments Read More →

Historical Fiction: Bound for Repeat Readings

historical-fiction-iiI’ve been browsing my way through Sarah Johnson’s Historical Fiction II: A Guide to the Genre, one of the latest entries in the Genreflecting Advisory series from Libraries Unlimited. These big books are a browser’s paradise and ought to become familiar reference tools for in-the-know book group leaders as they seek out good group selections.

Historical fiction is almost always a good choice for groups. Strong settings and characters make these titles easy to discuss. Comparison of the book with the actual events of history never fails to draw out opinions and interesting stories.

Johnson’s book makes selection of historical fiction easy, as it highlights hundreds of great books published since 2004 (her first volume, still available, covers earlier titles). I particularly like that Johnson doesn’t limit herself to books marketed as historical fiction. She understands that historical fiction blends with almost every other genre: mysteries, romances, time travel science fiction, westerns, inspirational fiction, alternate world fantasy, and many “literary” novels as well. All of those genres get attention in her coverage.

I’ve added dozens of books to my to-read list while browsing Historical Fiction II. I’m sure your book group can find plenty to keep it busy here as well.

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About the Author:

Neil Hollands is an Adult Services Librarian at Williamsburg Regional Library in Virginia, where he specializes in readers’ advisory and collection development. He is the author of Read On . . . Fantasy Fiction (2007) and Fellowship in a Ring: a Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups (2009).

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