Some of the best historical fiction is set in Britain's Victorian Era, and for good reason--the social mores of the time coupled with the increasingly prominent role the country played on the global stage provide much fodder for great literature. Upheavals at home were spurred on by the Industrial Revolution which stoked the Empire's grand ambitions. The landscape is an arresting canvas for compelling stories, not least the story of Queen Victoria herself who ascended the throne aged 18 after an extremely sheltered, arguably abusive childhood, and reigned for 63 years.
Inspired by the new PBS Masterpiece series, Victoria, and the book of the same name (both created by Daisy Goodwin), here are seven fine books set in this period. We are also discussing Victoria in our Book Club, please do join us!
It's the most wonderful time of the year. No, we're not talking holiday parties and sugar cookies although those are fun too. It's time to start planning your book club lineup for 2017. Wading through recommendations from friends and family alike is not for the faint of heart so we've culled a select dozen novels that we suggest should be at the top of your "to consider" pile. With the exception of one, all are already released in paperback or soon to be so (and all are also in hardcover and ebook.) We have included an additional three titles for the young adult set.
Don't forget: you can also always participate in BookBrowse's online book club 24-7. Cookies and wine optional!
File under the category of "can't live with them, can't live without them." Families can be a wonderful source of solace but also strain at our sense of self as extended ties impose impossible demands while stirring a whole host of emotions--both high and low.
No matter how happy or complicated--or fun or messy--your family is, you will find a lot to relate to in the novels we have picked here. The universality of themes relating to family make them especially malleable to great fiction as you will find with these recommendations. You might even agree with Leo Tolstoy: "All happy families are alike. Each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Pick a couple to read with your book club. Maybe even share them with your family!
History, as they say, repeats itself. At times like this when the news around the world looks pretty grim, it can be enlightening, perhaps even reassuring, to revisit historical events that have unfolded across the centuries to remind ourselves that we've been through similar struggles before -- and, on the whole, emerged stronger after many trials by fire.
Historical fiction offers book lovers special joys: travel to a different time and place and the liberties novels can take to create compelling characters and stories while still maintaining the broad scaffolding and accuracy of the event and period.
With the US presidential elections weighing on many of our minds, these book club recommendations provide snapshots into seven different times in America's history. There are stories to enjoy, lessons to be learned, and plenty to discuss in each. All books are available in multiple formats including paperback and ebook and have a discussion guide available on BookBrowse. And for a limited time you can also read our reviews and "beyond the book" articles in full.
A few months ago we published part one of our Best 2016 Book Club Books. Here is part two. All ten novels received 5-star reviews from our reviewers and have reading guides; and all are recently or soon to publish in paperback (and are also available in hardcover and ebook.) And, for a limited time, all the related reviews and beyond the book articles are available for free.
It's almost summertime which means more time spent outdoors, rooted in the natural world. If you're lucky enough to own a gardening patch, you know how therapeutic an exercise it can be to smell the lavender and work the soil to get the tomatoes going. These book club selections borrow on the botanical delights of the season and deliver much to enjoy with the turn of every leaf. We hope you dig them as much as we do!