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

Book review, with notes: David Vann's Bright Air Black, a retelling of Medea

Any reimagining of the Greek myth of Medea, she who helped Jason acquire the Golden Fleece from her royal father and killed her children in revenge after Jason betrayed her, will never be a cozy read, yet Vann’s version is darker, edgier, and more discomfiting than most. It’s made up…

New and upcoming historical novels for Small Press Month and Women's History Month

In the United States, March has been officially designated as National Women's History Month, with many bookstores, libraries, websites, and blogs offering celebrations of women's contributions to history. Also, up until 2013, when funding for the project unfortunately ran out, Small Press Month was observed nationally during March.  This focus…

Mary Miley's Renting Silence, a mystery of old Hollywood and vaudeville

Miley’s third Roaring '20s mystery delivers more zippy entertainment that taps into the spirit of the time when Hollywood’s silent film stars had audiences swooning and vaudeville acts traversed the country via rail.Fresh from her previous investigation, Jessie Beckett, assistant script girl at Pickford-Fairbanks Studios, gets asked to solve another…

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