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: The Confessions of Young Nero, by Margaret George

Does he fiddle while Rome burns? No, although he loves performing music. What about the extravagances, dissipation, and political murders? Let’s just say there are extenuating circumstances.  Once again demonstrating mastery of the epic fictional autobiography, George chronicles the rise of Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, Emperor Caligula’s nephew, from sensitive boy…

The Johnstown Girls by Kathleen George, fiction about the 1889 Johnstown Flood, women's lives, and family secrets

“Is a hundred years long enough to keep a secret?”A novel that mingles past reminiscences with a contemporary storyline, The Johnstown Girls centers on the traumatic flood that devastated the village of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 1889, killing over 2200 people. One of the fortunate survivors of the disaster, Ellen Emerson…

Writing the Past: The Family Story Behind One Good Mama Bone, a guest post by Bren McClain

Author Bren McClain is here today with the moving family story that inspired her debut novel, as well as details on the research she conducted to make her novel's world feel authentic to the place, period, and characters.~Writing the Past:The Family Story Behind One Good Mama BoneBren McClainUnderstand this first…

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