A Powerful Story of a Young Woman and an Unspeakable Crime

The greatest gift of historical fiction is that it provides us with a window into a world diametrically different from our own. Good historical fiction brings us back in time and allows us to imagine, on both an emotional and sensory level, what it would be like to live in a different place and time. Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites does just that, sweeping us off to Iceland in the early nineteenth century.

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Intrigue, War, Betrayal: Two Queens Loved and Scorned

You can officially call yourself obsessed with all things Tudor when you buy a book about the six wives of Henry VIII in middle school. Since then, I’ve read many more books on the subject (both fiction and nonfiction), but have enjoyed none so much as those by Philippa Gregory. A noted English historian, Gregory has the magical ability to dress the facts with fictional color and educate while entertaining. It is that special talent that keeps me coming back to her stories again and again.

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A Sublime Novel of Sisterhood and Destiny

Although I had thought that every scene from Shirley Hazzard’s The Transit of Venus was an indelibly stored piece of memory, I’d actually forgotten, over the years, the excruciating brilliance of her writing. I remembered the fact of it but not its haunting reality. Rereading it, I got tears in my eyes on page one—brought on at first by the language itself but then by the way that language brings to life the passions that her characters grapple with, the love they seek in their different ways, the varying degrees of honesty with which they view one another and themselves, the overarching gravity—and horror—of the world they enter on the heels of World War II.

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11 Authors Whose Legacies Live On

Like most devoted readers, I tend to get very attached to characters in a series or to certain authors and any of their works. It’s always a great loss when an author passes before completing the stories we’ve grown to love. But in some cases, an author’s work has been continued even after their death. Here, we’ve collected a list of authors whose legacies have continued beyond these most-loved books.

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Straight Off the Shelf: 11 Hands-Down Favorites from a Bestselling Mystery Writer

Maybe it’s being a writer or working with books, but I’m always being asked for my “must-read” recommendations. Every time I struggle to pin it down to just one or two titles, the more so because I’ve always been an eclectic reader. So it’s a huge pleasure to be invited to pick not just one, two, or even three top reads, but a whole list of favorites for Off the Shelf.

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A Knockout Story of an Unlikely Heroine

You don’t often come across novels about professional wrestling. And novels about women’s wrestling, in particular, are few and far between. So Angelina Mirabella’s debut novel, The Sweetheart, is an instant standout. This story takes place long before men with muscles as big as their egos competed in steel- cage matches.

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