Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters

fingersmithTitle: Fingersmith

Author: Waters, Sarah (Author’s Website)

Genre:  Historical fiction, crime fiction, LGBTQ fiction

Bibliographic: Riverhead Books, 582 pages, Paperback List Price $17.00, Audiobook List Price $28.04, ISBNs 9781573222037, 9781573229722, 9781860498831, 9781101057025

Publication Date: October 1, 2002

Rating: ★★★☆☆/♥♥♥♥♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Books to TV, first person, Gothic, literary fiction, multiple perspectives, character-driven, intricately plotted, atmospheric, suspenseful, descriptive

Why I picked it up: A close friend told me it was one of her favorite books and I needed to read it ASAP.

S.I.A.S.: Susan Trinder is going to pull a con on Maud Lilly, but there’s too much information she doesn’t know.

Continue reading

The Owl Killers, by Karen Maitland

theowlkillersTitle: The Owl Killers

Author: Maitland, Karen (Author’s Website)

Genre: Historical fiction

Bibliographic: Penguin, 640 pages, Paperback List Price $15.00, Audiobook List Price $53.41, ISBNs 9780385341707, 9780440244431, 9780141031897, 9780718153205, 9780440338888

Publication Date: March 26, 2009

Rating: ★★★☆☆/♥♥♥♡♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Multiple perspectives, fast-paced, atmospheric, creepy, suspenseful, richly detailed

Why I picked it up: It was assigned for my readers’ advisory class. I would never have read it otherwise.

S.I.A.S.: A group of beguines struggles to survive in Medieval England, while a shadow group called the Owl Masters opposes them.

Continue reading

The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane, by Elizabeth Boyle

tvwldtlTitle: The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane

Author: Boyle, Elizabeth (Author’s Website)

Genre: Romance, historical romance

Bibliographic: Avon, 384 pages, Mass Market Paperback List Price $7.99, Audiobook List Price $23.61, Audiobook CD List Price $39.99, ISBNs 9780062283818, 9781410489234, 9780062283825

Publication Date: October 28, 2014

Rating: ★★★☆☆/♥♥♡♡♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Regency romance, fast-faced, engaging, steamy, amusing

Why I picked it up: I’ve had a copy lying around for quite awhile, and I don’t really remember how I got it. I figured it was time to read it and get it out of my apartment.

S.I.A.S.: Louisa was only following her cat into Viscount Wakefield’s home, but she can’t seem to leave.

Continue reading

The Memory Weaver, by Jane Kirkpatrick

memoryweaverTitle: The Memory Weaver

Author: Kirkpatrick, Jane (Author’s Website)

Genre: Christian Fiction, Western, Historical Fiction

Bibliographic: Revell, 352 pages, Paperback List Price $14.99, Audiobook List Price $27.99, ISBNs 9780800722326, 9781628997576, 9781441228208

Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Rating: ★★★☆☆/♥♥♥♡♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Multiple perspectives, Pacific Northwest fiction, atmospheric, homespun, descriptive, engaging

Why I picked it up:  Westerns and Christian fiction are my least favorite genres, so I thought I’d try to hit both boxes at once and get it over with.

S.I.A.S.: As a child, Eliza Spalding Warren survived a horrific event; her husband wants to return.

Continue reading

News of the World, by Paulette Jiles

newsoftheworldTitle: News of the World

Author: Jiles, Paulette (Author’s Website)

Genre: Western, historical fiction

Bibliographic: William Morrow, 224 pages, Hardcover List Price $22.99, Audiobook List Price $17.95, ISBNs

Publication Date: October 4, 2016

Rating: ★★★★★/♥♥♥♡♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Complex characters, flawed characters, character-driven, compelling, descriptive

Why I picked it up: I read Standing in the Light over and over as a child, and this looked like it might have a similar vibe (but for grownups).

S.I.A.S.: Johanna was kidnapped by the Kiowa when she was very small, and Captain Kidd has to return her to her family.

Continue reading

The Heretic’s Daughter, by Kathleen Kent

hereticsdaughterTitle: The Heretic’s Daughter

Author: Kent, Kathleen (Author’s Website)

Genre: Historical fiction

Bibliographic: Back Bay Books, 332 pages, Paperback List Price $15.00, Audiobook List Price $27.93, ISBNs 9780316024488, 9780316024495, 9780316037532, 9781448732999, 9780230704435, 9780316144698, 9780330456302

Publication Date: September 3, 2008

Rating: ★★★★★/♥♥♥♥♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Leisurely paced, atmospheric, bleak, moving, compelling, lyrical

Why I picked it up: It was assigned reading for my readers’ advisory class.

S.I.A.S.: In the midst of the Salem Witch Trials, Sarah must decide wither to condemn her mother to save herself.

Continue reading

Saints, by Gene Luen Yang

saintsTitle: Saints

Author: Yang, Gene Luen (Author’s Website)

Genre:  Graphic novels, historical comics, historical fantasy

Bibliographic: First Second, 176 pages,Paperback List Price $15.99, Box Set (with Boxers) List Price $34.99, ISBNs

Publication Date: September 10, 2013

Rating: ★★★★☆/♥♥♥♡♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Sympathetic, character-driven, moving, serious, bold illustration, cartoony, muted colors

Why I picked it up: It was assigned for discussion in my readers’ advisory class, along with Boxers.

S.I.A.S.: Vibiana has found a home in Catholicism, but many in China don’t understand or approve.

Continue reading

Boxers, by Gene Luen Yang

boxersTitle: Boxers

Author: Yang, Gene Luen (Author’s Website)

Genre:  Graphic novels, historical comics, historical fantasy

Bibliographic: First Second, 328 pages, Paperback List Price $18.99, Box Set (with Saints) List Price $34.99, ISBNs 9781596433595, 9781480615113, 9780606323048, 9781466843806

Publication Date: September 10, 2013

Rating: ★★★★☆/♥♥♥♡♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors:  Sympathetic, character-driven, moving, serious, bold illustration, cartoony, muted colors

Why I picked it up: It was assigned for discussion in my readers’ advisory class (which was very exciting, since I really liked American Born Chinese).

S.I.A.S.: Bao is fed up with Christians taking over China, so he raises an army of Boxers.

Continue reading

The Girl with Ghost Eyes, by M.H. Boroson

ghosteyes

Title: The Girl with Ghost Eyes

Author: Boroson, M.H. (Author’s Website)

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Mythological Fiction

Bibliographic: Talos, 288 pages, Hardcover List Price $24.99, Paperback List Price $7.99, Audiobook List Price 19.95, ISBNs 9781940456362, 9781940456669

Publication Date: November 3, 2015

Rating: ★★★☆☆/♥♥♡♡♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: strong female, action-packed, atmospheric, compelling, lush, richly detailed

Why I picked it up: A few months ago, I read Ken Liu’s The Paper Menagerie and absolutely loved it, and this book keeps getting recommended as a read-alike.

S.I.A.S.: Li-lin, a Daoist priest with the ability to see ghosts, has to use all her skills and cunning to try to defeat her father’s old enemy.

Continue reading

A Rogue by Any Other Name, by Sarah MacLean

maclean

Title: A Rogue by Any Other Name: The First Rule of Scoundrels

Author: MacLean, Sarah (Author’s Website)

Genre: Romance, Regency Romance, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

Bibliographic: Avon Romance, 400 pages, Hardcover/Large Print $30.99 List Price, Mass Market Paperback $7.99 List Price, Ebook $7.99 List Price, Audiobook $24.99 List Price, ISBNs 9780062065384, 9781410449474 , 9780062068521

Publication Date: February 28, 2012

Rating: ★★★☆☆/♥♥♥♡♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Steamy, engaging

Why I picked it up: I used to belong to a surprise book subscription box, and this came in a shipment whose theme was reading outside of your comfort zone. It was my first romance novel, and it got me absolutely hooked.

S.I.A.S.:  Is the love of his childhood friend enough to save the tortured Maruqess of Bourne?

Continue reading