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

Historical novels seen at English historical sites

Although it may not have been apparent from this blog, I just got back from two weeks' vacation in England – Mark's and my first extended trip in some time.  We flew into Heathrow, rented a car, and drove north, stopping at York, Durham, Alnwick, then Berwick upon Tweed, England's…

Book review: The Secret Life of Violet Grant, by Beatriz Williams

This smashing summer read introduces two ambitious career women living fifty years apart: Violet Schuyler Grant, an American atomic physicist in WWI-era Oxford and Berlin; and her great-niece, Vivian Schuyler, who defies her posh family to work at a magazine in 1960s Manhattan. While Violet’s courage, drive, and vulnerability make…

Metifs, Meameloucs, Railway Cars, and The Cottoncrest Curse: An essay by Michael H. Rubin

Lawyer, professor, musician, speaker, and now debut novelist Michael H. Rubin is here with an original essay about the implications of the Plessy v. Ferguson decision by the U.S. Supreme Court and the role it plays in his new The Cottoncrest Curse, a legal thriller that intertwines fictional and historical…

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