Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang

Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang

1908 Shanghai As the last Chinese dynasty collapses, a young mixed race girl awaits the return of her mother, hiding in the Western Residence of the house on Dragon Springs Road. Using Chinese magical realism and gritty historical detail, author Janie Chang tells the coming of age story of young Jialing, from that time awaiting […]


The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

“Ester, do not rue your lack of freedom.” Ester, however, burns to be free, to reason freely, to write. Helen, approaching forced retirement from her English university History Department, discovers a cache of 350 year old letters hidden under the stair of a 17th century house. In deciphering them, she is thrilled to realize that […]


The Afterlife of Stars by Joseph Kertes

The Afterlife of Stars by Joseph Kertes

Robert is 9.8 years old. He’s just learned decimals in school but along with his family must flee Hungary from the pressing Russians. He and his adored older brother Attila, 13.5 and much more sophisticated than his younger brother, head by train to Paris with their parents, grandmother and one sack each. During the journey, […]


Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

This “dual time historical fiction” romance (who knew that was a ‘thing?’) shares the story of a museum curator working to create a museum on Long Island in the home of a revolutionary war hero. She is researching the war hero’s sister’s romance during the last year of the French and Indian War. We also […]


Varina by Charles Frazier

Varina by Charles Frazier

Charles Frazier’s beautifully written novel follows the life of Varina Davis, the wife of the President of the Confederacy, from her teen years through the Civil War all the way to her death in October, 1906. The “frame” of the book involves Varina’s black adoptee finding her in 1905. James and Varina   haven’t see each […]



Jane and Dorothy A True Tale of Sense and Sensibility by Marian Veevers

Jane and Dorothy A True Tale of Sense and Sensibility by Marian Veevers

Have you ever wondered how Jane Austin’s private life influenced her novels? Have you marveled at how constrained her heroines seem to be?  A beautifully written and easily readable dual biography illuminates Jane’s life in the context of another literary woman who had a great influence on the inception the romantic poetry, Dorothy Wordsworth. The […]


Pale Rider by Laura Spinney

Pale Rider by Laura Spinney

Admittedly, I am fond of nonfiction books dealing with some fairly gruesome topics. The flu pandemic of 1918, commonly referred to then and still today as the Spanish flu*, is indeed gruesome. It is also a fascinating historical event and author Spinney explores it comprehensively. Her writing is clear, the events presented in gripping detail, […]


Gods of Howl Mountain by Taylor Brown

Gods of Howl Mountain by Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown’s terrific Gods of Howl Mountain is Southern literary fiction full of action, brooding power and grace. Brown has been compared to Cormac McCarthy, Annie Proulx, and Charles Frazier. Rory is a young disabled Korean War veteran, who works for a mountain bootlegger transporting liquor illegally to bars and flop houses. He lives with […]


Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell

Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell

Cornwell is the author of many historical books including the bestselling Saxon Tales which serve as the basis for the hit television series, The Last Kingdom. He’s very good with tales of the sword and the sea,  but can we trust him with Shakespeare? Yes! This is a fast paced, well written, gorgeously researched book […]