Sarah Johnson

About me

Librarian, HNS book review editor, readers’ advisor, author of Historical Fiction: A Guide to the Genre and Historical Fiction II. I first joined the HNS in 1998 after seeing Richard Lee’s post about the Society on a Usenet group. Shortly thereafter I signed on as a US-based reviews editor and got the word out about the magazine to American readers and publishers. Now, over a dozen years later, I serve as the overall book review editor for the Historical Novels Review. I’ve been reading and collecting historical novels for many years and also review for Booklist, Choice, and Canada’s Globe & Mail. For my full-time job, I work as a reference and electronic resources librarian at Eastern Illinois University, which means I answer research questions, teach workshops, and do a lot of work with electronic journals and e-books. My husband and I share our home in rural Illinois with too many cats and about 10,000 books.

From my website

A creepy country house gothic with a creepy hero

The Winter Folly, one of the choices in my recent gallery of new country house novels, is a massive, juicy gothic saga.  A splashy beach read, but with chills – an intriguing combination.  I barely noticed its 500-page length and gobbled it up in just over a day.  Unfortunately, the…

E. B. Moore's An Unseemly Wife: A different look at the American westward migration

In 1867, two visitors to Aaron Holtz's central Pennsylvania farm stop by to tell him enticing tales of free land out west.  With four young children and another on the way, he can't resist the opportunity to provide a prosperous future for his family – even though he and his…

Mañana Means Heaven, the story of the "Mexican girl" from Jack Kerouac's On the Road

Legendary Beat writer Jack Kerouac passed away in the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, October 21st, forty-five years ago.  His autobiographical novel On the Road, chronicling his restlessness and search for identity on a cross-country trip he took in the late '40s, is perhaps his best-known work today;…

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