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Books

Pride Books: The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov by Paul Russell

When I read the description for The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov, I was intrigued – how does the younger, gay brother of a literary icon conduct his life? How dark is that shadow? The minutiae, the great secrets, and of course, loves of a person’s life are endlessly interesting to me, so I hoped […]

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Books

Bookshelf Revisited: Molly Murphy Mysteries #3, “For the Love of Mike” by Rhys Bowen

Molly Murphy is trying to get her career as an investigator off the ground in a world that thinks women should stick to needlepoint.

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Books

Bookshelf Revisited: Molly Murphy Mysteries #2, “Death of Riley” by Rhys Bowen

In Molly Murphy’s world, women don’t become detectives. They marry and stay home, or they take one of a handful of respectable jobs until they find someone to marry.

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Books

Bookshelf Revisited: Molly Murphy Mysteries #1, “Murphy’s Law” by Rhys Bowen

Molly Murphy is a feisty Irish immigrant living in early-1900s New York City, where she solves mysteries and often deals with misogynistic blowhards.

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Books

Book Review: The Abortionist’s Daughter by Elisa DeCarlo

Recently, the mister noted that I’ve become somewhat preoccupied with early 1900s “upper-crusty British people,” as he put it. Taking a look at my Netflix viewing and some of my reading, he’s not wrong. Though set in New York, Elisa DeCarlo’s The Abortionist’s Daughter fits snugly within a genre rife with burgeoning feminism and class […]

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Books

Historical [Fiction] Trauma

This essay is part of a year long series following one fed-up reader’s white literature “detox.” Read more here, and follow her book list here.

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Books

The Year of Reading Women: Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel makes for a good literary celebrity around here: She’s won the Booker Prize twice, and the stage adaptations of her winning books are doing well. She’s progressed so far in the celebrity circus that her views are now “controversial” (the media love bringing up her words about the Duchess of Cambridge, although nobody […]

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Books

Book Review: Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre

Brand new and amazingly weird and wonderful, Viper Wine was an unexpected present that gave me a lot of entertainment. I’ve only recently started reading historical novels, which means I haven’t had the time to delve further into the subject, so any advance praise for Hermione Eyre and her first novel had passed me by. […]

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Books

Book Review: Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson

Set during World War I and promising an aristocratic feminist awakening, I wanted to like Somewhere in France a lot more than I did. Jennifer Robson’s story of Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford and Doctor Robert Fraser goes on too long for what is at stake, but it still has its redeeming qualities.

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Writing

Before You Start Writing that Historical Novel…

When I snagged an advanced review copy of a novel someone had written about one of my favorite historical people, I was really excited. Then I read a review made by someone I know who is very knowledgeable about this person’s life and the historical era she lived in, and I was surprised to discover […]

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Books

Book Review: Why Aren’t You Sweet Like Me?

Carrie Nyman’s debut novel Why Aren’t You Sweet Like Me? is historical fiction based on letters her grandmother, Honey, received from her husband, Don Shepard, prior to and during World War II. I enjoy historical fiction, especially that surrounding WWII, and I downloaded a copy of Nyman’s first novel over Memorial Day weekend in 2012. Her […]

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Books

Legends of Royalty

What do you think of when you hear the word “history”? Memorizing lists of Roman emperors, trying to keep Henry VIII’s wives straight, or just the sheer number of North American battles named after otherwise inconspicuous geographic landmarks? You’re not alone, but you’re also missing out.