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Lee, one of our readers, wrote to us that “a friend of mine is going into the hospital next week for some testing that may lead to heart surgery. Yesterday, when I saw her at our monthly Book Club meeting, she asked me if I could gather a list of great historical fiction titles, which is her favorite genre.” Our readers weighed in with their own suggestions, all of which you can see in our special blog post. We hope Lee's friend finds at least a few titles here that appeals to her!
February 12, 2018

“Happy Book” Suggestions from Our Readers

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Joy, one of our readers, recently asked for a “happy book” suggestion for her book group. As she said, "From the mud in Mississippi, to war-time Europe, trekking through the Amazonian jungle, to President Lincoln mourning his son, these were pretty depressing. I need a happy book to suggest for our book club. Any ideas?” We let our readers know about Joy's question, and they came up with MANY ideas, all of which you can see in our special blog post. Happy Reading!
Ed Ifkovic is the author of the Edna Ferber series, meticulously researched historical mysteries based on the life of the titular “largely forgotten American writer.” In an essay written exclusively for Bookreporter.com, Ifkovic gets into why he found Ferber so endlessly fascinating in the first place, as well as what drives his research and how it helps shape the series. Understanding his thought process and his enthusiasm will make reading his latest Edna Ferber mystery, MOOD INDIGO, all the more enjoyable.
Jeffrey Siger is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-nominated Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis series, the ninth installment of which, AN AEGEAN APRIL, is now available. In an essay written exclusively for Bookreporter.com, Jeffrey offers some background on the Greek island of Lesvos, which is where his latest book takes place, and “the still extant refugee crisis that spurred me to write a book putting a human face to the moneymakers, human smugglers, fearful families, NGO activists, local islanders, politicians, press and cops caught up in this epic catastrophe.”
We wrap up this year’s Holiday Author Blog series with A. J. Finn, whose debut novel, THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, is a psychological thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house. A. J. recalls one Christmas Eve when he spotted a present under the tree that came from his sister, Hope. He knew it was a book, but had to spend a long, restless night pondering just what that hardback was that he held in his hands earlier that day and desperately wanted to unwrap. Read on to discover the package’s surprising contents.
Chloe Benjamin is the author of THE ANATOMY OF DREAMS, which received the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award. Her second novel, THE IMMORTALISTS, releases on January 9th and poses an intriguing question: If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? As a child, Chloe knew she wanted to live her life as a writer. Her mom’s domestic partner, Molly, served as an early writing teacher, and the lessons she taught her helped her become a more economical writer who strives for “elegance over excessiveness and rhythm over length.” Chloe and Molly have kept up a years-long tradition of giving each other books for the holidays, as she explains in her Holiday Blog post.
Nick Petrie is the author of the Peter Ash thriller series, which thus far includes THE DRIFTER (winner of both the ITW Thriller Award and the Barry Award for Best First Novel), BURNING BRIGHT, and the forthcoming LIGHT IT UP (releasing January 16th). In his Holiday Blog post, Nick recalls the Christmas when he was 10 years old and became the proud (and excited) recipient of over 40 used paperback books featuring the adventures of Doc Savage (aka “The Man of Bronze”). As a writer, Nick tries to give his readers exactly what he experienced as a fan of this pulp fiction series: “a captivating story and vivid characters that take you some place new and keep you up late at night, reading with a flashlight under the covers.”
Beatriz Williams is the bestselling author of A HUNDRED SUMMERS, THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT, ALONG THE INFINITE SEA and several other works of historical fiction. In her Holiday Blog post, Beatriz explains how two nonfiction books she received from her father-in-law for Christmas helped serve as the inspiration for her Jazz Age novels, A CERTAIN AGE and COCOA BEACH, and her new Wicked City Prohibition series --- the first installment of which, THE WICKED CITY, will be available in paperback on December 26th.
Lauren Willig is the bestselling author of the Pink Carnation series and several stand-alone works of historical fiction, the latest of which is THE ENGLISH WIFE, which releases on January 9th. In her Holiday Blog post, Lauren recalls a trip to Tucson that she and her then-boyfriend took between Christmas and New Year’s in 2011, during which he presented her with an odd gift: a biography of Charles II with the pages glued together. Why was this book that no one could read the most memorable gift Lauren has ever received? Read on to find out the heartwarming answer.
Sarah Vaughan is a former journalist who spent 11 years at the Guardian as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent. Her latest novel, ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL, which releases on January 23rd, is a thriller about a scandal among Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake. In her Holiday Blog post, Sarah explains the personal significance of Christmas 1999, when her then-boyfriend of three months gifted her with two books that she treasures to this very day: the first in the Harry Potter series and Nigella Lawson’s HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking.