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

Two new and substantial historical novel reissues: Zemindar and Csardas

Reissues can bring new life and many new readers to older, classic novels.  Both Valerie Fitzgerald's Zemindar (1981) and Diane Pearson's Csardas (1975) were bestsellers in their day: massive, sweeping epics set during volatile historical eras.  Both have been compared to Gone with the Wind in terms of their scope…

An interview with Gary Inbinder, author of The Devil in Montmartre

Today I'm hosting an interview with novelist Gary Inbinder.  His third novel The Devil in Montmartre,  released last month, brings readers into the bustling fine art scene and dark underworld of Paris in 1889.  As the city is flooded with tourists during the Universal Exposition, Inspector Achille Lefebvre, a young…

Greer Macallister's The Magician's Lie, an involving tale of deception, female agency, and fin-de-siècle magic

A while back, in the comments I made following my review of Timothy Schaffert’s The Swan Gondola, I confessed that I don’t usually go for novels about circuses and fairs and things of that nature. Although I loved that particular book. Then I read and reviewed Rosie Thomas’ The Illusionists,…

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