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

My summer and fall historical fiction picks, part 1

A heads-up that this will be a very self-centered post!  Here are ten books, published between now and this fall, that are on my personal wishlist.  I had a hard time limiting this down, so I'll be posting a second set of ten later on.  While nearly all of them…

Grist by Linda Little, a story of women's resilence in rural Nova Scotia

Even sensible girls can be taken in by unexpected attention. Linda Little's resilient heroine, a schoolteacher in rural Nova Scotia in 1875, discovers this to her regret when her landlord’s taciturn, socially awkward brother begins paying court to her. Describing herself up front as a “large, square-jawed girl – graceless…

Book review: The Orenda, by Joseph Boyden

A noteworthy literary achievement, Boyden’s mesmerizing third novel sits at the confluence of three civilizations in 17th-century Ontario. The narration alternates among Bird, a Wendat (Huron) warrior; Snow Falls, the young Iroquois captive he adopts after killing her family to avenge his wife and daughters; and Père Christophe, a thoughtfully…

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