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Blog Posts by Subject: Historical Fiction

Great Historical Fiction for Teens, Just in Time for Autumn!

I don't know what it is about autumn but it puts me in the mood for history. Inspired by Octavian Nothing, here is a list of other historical fiction for teens.Read More ›

Ten Books That Have Stayed With Me....

You may have been tagged in a social media chain making the rounds in which you are supposed to list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. The goal is not to overthink it; simply take a few minutes and answer.Read More ›

YA Microtrends: Russian Historical Fiction

Earlier this year I read a young adult novel called The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford. Then more recently I read Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick and Sekret by Lindsay Smith, and I started thinking … hang on … is Russian historical fiction a “thing” now? Read More ›

The Value of Historical Fiction

My romanticized view of history was crushed in college when my history professor explained that historians in writing history sometimes create fictional narratives around the facts to make it coherent and more interesting to read. I much prefer reading that George Washington cut down the cherry tree or that Nero fiddled while Rome burned.Read More ›

The Little Stranger, Part 2

Post-WWII Britain. Rural Warwickshire. Doctor Faraday is called to Hundreds Hall to treat Betty, the fourteen-year-old maid, for stomach cramps. He is horrified at the changes to the once grand estate and home of the Ayres family,  where his mother was once a nursery maid. He is also quick to spot Betty's nervousness and anxiety. The reader meets the characters who will play significant parts in the story as the setting and context are laid out.

What is the significance of Doctor's Faraday's memory of prising the plaster acorn? The conversation between ... Read More ›

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Happy 2014 and welcome to the first book discussion of the year! This month we read and discuss The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, who primarily writes Victorian and Suspense fiction. Her books are rich in period detail and painstakingly researched to bring alive an era that is complex and contradictory to say the least. From Tipping the Velvet, to

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December Reader's Den: An Introduction to Caleb Carr's The Alienist

"An ungodly pummeling on the door of my grandmother's house at 19 Washington Square North brought first the maid and then my grandmother herself to the doorways of their bedrooms at two o'clock on the morning of March 3, 1896."

The gruesome case at the heart of Caleb Carr's The Alienist begins at this ungodly hour in an ungodly time of New York City's history, the turn of the 20th century, that brutal period when Teddy Roosevelt served as New York City Police Commissioner. This 

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Inspired by Jack Finney's Time and Again: A Gilded Age Reading List from 1882 New York

"The great demand is for fiction!"

"Among all classes of people, do you think?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then you mean to say," persisted the reporter, "that the principal portion of the reading public of New York is composed of novel readers."

"That is it exactly, so far as library patrons are concerned," replied the librarian.

—The New York Times, January 22, 1882

Welcome back to the Reader's Den. I hope you enjoyed reading

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Shark Week! Fact and Fiction

June in the Reader's Den: Time and Again by Jack Finney - Part 2, Discussion Questions

"It had become habit, leaving the Dakota, to walk out and back into the winter of 1882."

Welcome back to the Reader's Den! I hope you enjoyed taking a trip to the New York of 1882 along with Si Morley, the protagonist in Jack Finney's classic 1970 novel, Time and Again. If you've been reading the book, why not share your thoughts with us through the comments form at the end of the post? There are some discussion questions (which include a few spoilers!) that can be used as a starting 

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Book Discussion at Epiphany: "The Dovekeepers" by Alice Hoffman

Continuing with a theme of reading historical fiction the book group read The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. This novel is a sprawling tale based on another event in history. It was our largest book to date at 500 pages but almost every member managed to finish it in time for our meeting. Perhaps this is a testament to Hoffman's 

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June in the Reader's Den: Time and Again by Jack Finney - Part 1

"So all in all there wasn't anything really wrong with my life. Except that, like most everyone else's I knew about, it had a big gaping hole in it, an enormous emptiness, and I didn't know how to fill it or even know what belonged there."

What would you do to fill a similar existential hole? How does a spot of clandestine, government-sponsored time travel sound? Welcome to June in the Reader's Den! This month we're reading the classic time travel tale and novel of New York, Time and 

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Hot Historical Fiction: Girl Spies, Resistance and Nazis

Readers who think historical fiction is blah or boring STOP RIGHT THERE! This list of books, set in Nazi Occupied France, is filled with fast paced adventure, high stakes thrills, nail biting tension, whirlwind romance and daredevil girls who are cool under pressure.

A 2013 Michael L. Printz Honor Book, Code Name Verity (2012) is hands down one the most thrilling historical fiction novels I've read in years. Set in France and England in 

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