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 […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Cherokee America"
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 […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: The Island of Sea Women"
The Falcon of Sparta by Conn Iggulden (Historical Fiction Novel, 2019). Conn Iggulden, one of the more popular historical novelists working today, based this novel on the memoir by the warrior Xenophon, published in English translation as The Persian Expedition. This ancient literary classic details his experiences from 401 B.C., also known as the March of the Ten-Thousand. […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: The Falcon of Sparta"
Arrival (Theatrical Science Fiction Movie, 2016). This film, based on a story by Ted Chang, one of the very best of the younger generation of SF authors, earned a fistful of Academy Award nominations. It won in one technical category (sound) and could’ve easily earned more. If it wasn’t that year’s actual Best Picture, it was […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Arrival"
War of the Wolf by Bernard Cornwell (Historical Novel, 2018). By my count this is the eleventh novel in Cornwell’s sprawling Saxon Tales series. As usual, the main character, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, narrates the book with a keen eye and ever-growing self-awareness. And yet, as ever, he remains dedicated to the cultural imperative central to his […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: War of the Wolf"
A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo. (Mystery/Crime Novel, 2018). About two weeks ago I took a welcome break from some of the harsher and more violent books I’ve been reading for a gentler, even heartwarming older novel. That one presented a highly idealized, not to say whitewashed, vision of life among the Amish. Now, in […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: A Gathering of Secrets"
An Amish Christmas by Cynthia Keller (Contemporary Novel, 2010). I decided I needed a break in reading the batch of zombie novels I’m reviewing for another author’s website (check out dmdraper.com/reviews, if that interests you), I picked up a copy of this at my local library. it was a welcome, maybe even a necessary change of […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: An Amish Christmas"