BOOK REVIEW: The Poison Thread

The Poison Thread by Laura Purcell (Victorian Gothic Novel, 2018). First published in the UK, Laura Purcell’s 2nd novel is a compelling and subtle, ultimately satisfying Gothic tale of early Victorian England. Purcell opens the book with a telling excerpt from “The Song of the Shirt,” a poem from that era that recounts the poverty and […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Peach Clobbered

Peach Clobbered by Anna Gerard (Cozy Mystery Novel, July 2019). This is the first in a new cozy mystery series, set in a small touristy town in Georgia. Although the author has published no less than ten previous novels, Peach Clobbered is the first to appear under this name. The earlier books, comprising three separate mystery series […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Tubman Command

The Tubman Command by Elizabeth Cobbs (Historical Novel, 2019). Elizabeth Cobbs, the best-selling author of both historical fiction and straight history blends the two flawlessly in her latest book. She takes an important, if lesser known, military action from America’s Civil War and adds fictional inventions to produce an impressive based-on-fact historical novel. The war was […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Sun Also Rises

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (Classic Novel, 1926). How many of us sit down to read older books that have been long been proclaimed ‘classics’? Like many avid readers, I tend to read more recent titles for the most part. And it is a painful truth that not all books that critics acclaim will […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Cherokee America

Cherokee America by Margaret Verble (Historical Novel, 2019). Maud’s Line, Margaret Verble’s debut novel, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. I haven’t read that one, but I gather it was, like Cherokee America, a historical novel inspired in part by the novelist’s family history. As Verble explains in a 3-page Author’s Note after the book, Cherokee America‘s plot is entirely […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Island of Sea Women

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See (Historical Novel, 2019). An award-winning author of both Asia-focused history and best-selling fiction, Lisa See explores the once interconnected then diverging lives of a pair of free-diving women from the Korean island of Jeju. In the process, we experience the island’s unique culture and often painful histories, both […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Life in War, Law, and Ideas by Stephen Budiansky (Historical Biography, 2019). This extensive and fair-minded biography of perhaps history’s single most influential Associate Justice of the American Supreme Court is something special, indeed. It gives us a great, nuanced portrait of a true intellectual, a man of convictions and courage. Yet […]

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