251: Diving Into History with Historical Fiction Book Recs for 2023
Are you looking for historical fiction books to add to your TBR list? In today's episode, Jen and Ashley are revisiting this popular topic with our latest recommendations for historical fiction books based on our recent reads. If you're looking for more historical fiction recommendations, listen in to episode 230 where we shared some recs, and check out Jen's Bookish Fave sharing 7+ Middle Grade Historical Fiction Recs.
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Ashley - Kevin Wilson’s Now Is Not the Time to Panic (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)
Jen - Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning (Bookshop.org)
Our Historical Fiction Recs
Ashley - Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s Woman of Light (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)
Jen - Marie Benedict’s The Other Einstein (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)
Flashback: Five Years Ago This Month
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Ashley was reading...
Kevin Wilson’s Now Is Not the Time to Panic (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)
From the Publisher: "Sixteen-year-old Frankie Budge—aspiring writer, indifferent student, offbeat loner—is determined to make it through yet another summer in Coalfield, Tennessee, when she meets Zeke, a talented artist who has just moved into his grandmother’s house and who is as awkward as Frankie is. Romantic and creative sparks begin to fly, and when the two jointly make an unsigned poster, shot through with an enigmatic phrase, it becomes unforgettable to anyone who sees it. The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with hunger for us.
"The posters begin appearing everywhere, and people wonder who is behind them and start to panic. Satanists, kidnappers—the rumors won’t stop, and soon the mystery has dangerous repercussions that spread far beyond the town.
"Twenty years later, Frances Eleanor Budge gets a call that threatens to upend her carefully built life: a journalist named Mazzy Brower is writing a story about the Coalfield Panic of 1996. Might Frances know something about that?
"A bold coming-of-age story, written with Kevin Wilson’s trademark wit and blazing prose, Now Is Not the Time to Panic is a nuanced exploration of young love, identity, and the power of art. It’s also about the secrets that haunt us—and, ultimately, what the truth will set free."
Jen was reading...
Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning (Bookshop.org)
From the Publisher: "While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters—and it is up to one young woman to unravel the mysteries of the past before they destroy the future.
"Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.
"Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unraveling clues from ancient legends, trading favors with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.
"As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive.
"Welcome to the Sixth World."
Our Historical Fiction Recs
Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s Woman of Light (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)
From the Publisher: "There is one every generation, a seer who keeps the stories.
"Luz 'Little Light' Lopez, a tea leaf reader and laundress, is left to fend for herself after her older brother, Diego, a snake charmer and factory worker, is run out of town by a violent white mob. As Luz navigates 1930s Denver, she begins to have visions that transport her to her Indigenous homeland in the nearby Lost Territory. Luz recollects her ancestors’ origins, how her family flourished, and how they were threatened. She bears witness to the sinister forces that have devastated her people and their homelands for generations. In the end, it is up to Luz to save her family stories from disappearing into oblivion.
"Written in Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s singular voice, the wildly entertaining and complex lives of the Lopez family fill the pages of this multigenerational western saga. Woman of Light is a transfixing novel about survival, family secrets, and love—filled with an unforgettable cast of characters, all of whom are just as special, memorable, and complicated as our beloved heroine, Luz."
Marie Benedict’s The Other Einstein (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)
From the Publisher:
"In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. This is the story of Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.
"Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage."
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