Tag Archives: thriller

Shelf Examination: Historic Fiction

Ready to do the time-warp again?  Part three of this ongoing series whisks you around the world, by way of the wayback machine.

The Book: The Religion, Tim Willocks.

The Setting:  Malta, 1565

Check this out if you like:  Rogues, ruffians, and adventurers; extensive descriptions of bloody battles, religious or political intrigue, occasional touches of earthy eroticism, or subplots fueled by secrets and scandal.

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 The Book: The Sister, Paola Kauffman.

The Setting:  19th-century America.

Check this out if you like:  Domestic fiction, sisterly love, Emily Dickinson’s poetry, tales of quiet sacrifice, family secrets, courtroom drama, a restrained tone, or a heavy reliance on historical documents for background information.

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The Book:  Saturnalia, Lindsey Davis.

The Setting:  Rome, 76 A.D.

Check this out if you like:  Hard-boiled mysteries, women on the lam, dry wit, races against time, competition between arch-rivals, or descriptions of ancient festivals and customs.

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The Book: China Star, Bartle Bull.

The Setting:  Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the 1920s.

Check this out if you like:  Transcontinental chases, scandalous love affairs, spies seeking revenge, reckless aristocrats with crisp manners, exotic locales, culture clashes, or detailed descriptions of lavish clothing and parties.

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 Can’t get enough of bygone eras?  See our extensive array of additional booklists.

And with that, this entry is history! As ever, happy reading.

–Leigh Anne

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Shelf Examination: Sci-fi and Fantasy

First in a series of posts designed to help you make friends with a novel you might not otherwise have met.   Designed for folks who love to read, but hate hopping back and forth on one foot in front of the shelf, hoping the parking meter won’t expire before they’ve made a decision.

The Book: Freedom and Necessity, Emma Bull and Steven Brust.

Check this out if you like:  epistolary storytelling, 19th-century politcial intrigue, sophisticated vocabulary/diction, romantic subplots, magic, philosophy, or historical fantasy in the style of Susanna Clarke.

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The book:  Soon I Will Be Invincible, Austin Grossman.

Check this out if you like:  hipster snark in the style of Dave Eggers, graphic novels/comics (especially The X-Men),  mad scientists who try to take over the world, or climactic showdowns in secret lairs.

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The book:  The Execution Channel, Ken MacLeod.

Check this out if you like:  stories about dystopian futures, spy novels, blogging and other online intrigue, conspiracy theories, or fast-paced political thrillers.

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The book:  The Serpent and the Rose, Kathleen Bryan.

Check this out if you like:  Epic fantasy, strong female protagonists, unlikely heroes, chivalric romances, intricate mythologies, or classic tales of Good versus Evil.

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The book: The Da-Da-De-Da-Da Code, Robert Rankin.

Check this out if you like:  Surreal humor, parody, bad puns, music history and folklore, secret cabals that rule the world, and imaginary friends named Mr. Giggles the Monkey Boy.

Bonus:  The hardback version of this book contains a CD with songs mentioned in the text, including “Dance of the Sugar Plum Technofairy.”

 Intrigued?  Amused?  Perplexed?  My work here is done.  Happy reading!

–Leigh Anne

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