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, 15 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 and Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. I’ve also written for Bookmarks Magazine 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 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

Looking at the 2015 Walter Scott Prize longlist

As has been reported in other sources, the longlist for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been revealed – for the first time ever.  In past years, readers have gotten to see only the shortlist and the eventual winner.  Per the BBC:  "Judges said this reflected the 40%…

Tony Hays, Historical Mystery Writer: A Remembrance

I've occasionally noted the passing of other historical novelists on this site, but this post is different because it's a more personal remembrance – and thus both easier to write (because there's so much that could be said) and much harder.Historical mystery writer Tony Hays passed away suddenly a month…

Book review: The Siege Winter, by Ariana Franklin and Samantha Norman

Franklin’s final novel, skillfully completed by her daughter after her death, recounts two young women’s courage during a dark, chaotic era.As civil war devastates mid–twelfth century England, Maud, the 16-year-old chatelaine of Kenniford, weds a boorish older man to save her people. Raped and discarded, Em, a peasant girl from…

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