Women’s History Through Novels: Michelle Moran

Nefertiti

Michelle Moran writes riveting novels about history from a woman's point of view. These novels are both extensively researched and richly imagined, leading to deeply atmospheric tales. The physical description is also a treat. While there is no question that Moran's heroines operate in a man's world, they more than measure up to those who would destroy […]

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Crimes in Israel

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Liad Shoham's latest book has been translated into English, for which the lovers of noir may be grateful. Asylum City could also be considered a mystery and a delightful one. A passionate volunteer for African refugees in Israel is murdered, and the pressure is on young Inspector Anat Nachmias to wrap it up quickly. Problem is, […]

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Saxon Ladies: What to Read While Waiting for “The Empty Throne”

Viking Sword

Bernard Cornwell has done it again: the eighth book in his Saxon Tales series, The Empty Throne, features not only Uhtred, the wily warrior protagonist of the seven previous books, but Aethelfleadh, the widow of the late king of Mercia in tenth-century England. The couple are united in their dream of a united Britain, shoving out […]

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African American Noir

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Many know Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins series (and if you don't, you should), but what do you do when you've finished Rose Gold and are looking for more? Walter Mosley writes highly atmospheric novels set on the gritty streets of LA in the latter half of the 20th century. His character Rawlins doesn't have a badge, he […]

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Some Modern Chinese History in Novels

CP China

China is in the midst of an economic miracle. Being China, it was a long time coming and has lasted a while. The reinvention of the world's second-largest economy and at the same time that of the Communist Party has had a massive effect on its population. These books bear witness to that. Frog by Mo Yan takes […]

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Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement

Nina Simone 1

If you're looking for heroes of the civil rights movement, there are the usual suspects, the names that everyone knows: King, Shuttlesworth, Abernathy, etc. But how about the people who were heroes a little more indirectly? Those who were heroes for other reasons, but lent their fame to the cause? I speak of the entertainers. Lena Horne, Nina […]

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Travels for Armchair Detectives

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What with the recent blizzard and subsequent cold snap, most people prefer to be indoors this time of year. If you like mysteries and are fantasizing about being somewhere warm and exotic, never fear: the Scandinavians haven't cornered the market on mysteries in foreign lands. Tarquin Hall writes a charming series set in New Delhi, India. Vish (sounds like […]

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Hooray for the Bookmobile!

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Bookmobiles (or mobile libraries, as they are known in England) serve a vital need in both city and country. Chicago has used them when a branch is shut down for remodeling or rebuilding. However, I am going to be showcasing mobile libraries used in a more rural setting. Two take place in Great Britain, and one in America. […]

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Boston Girl Readalikes

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For those of you waiting for The Boston Girl, I have a few suggestions while you wait. First, let me tell you are in for a treat in Anita Diamant's latest, about a young woman who works her way from tenement child to a social worker. Addie Baum is as old as the century when her granddaughter […]

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