Thursday, September 12, 2019

WooReads: Adult Patron Book Reviews on History & Historical Fiction

Welcome, WooReaders, to our Adult Reading Challenge: Beyond Summer! We've already gotten lots of great book reviews from you, and this week's selection features historical fiction and history titles.  Are you interested in family secrets, biographical fiction, rare manuscripts, antislavery politics, or aristocratic Russians? If so, read on.

And don't forget that, like the last WooReads Adult Reading Challenge, we're offering a Kindle Paperwhite to 2 lucky Grand Prize winners. May 2020 might feel a long ways off, but every book you log counts!

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders
By Julianna Baggott
This novel was an interesting tale about love under difficult circumstances, and about the bonds that keep families together, even when they've drifted apart. It's romantic, but also harsh, and told from the alternating points of view of four different characters (mother, two daughters, and deceased grandmother). It's not really a page turner, but I found that after a few chapters, I would have to pause and digest what I read, and I found myself engrossed in the characters' individual narratives. The historical and psychological elements were also interesting. Definitely worth reading if you're looking for a love story with jagged edges.

~Carrie B.

The Only Woman in the Room
By Marie Benedict
A small fictional bio of Hedy Lamarr the screen star. Not only beautiful but smart. Goes thru her start as a Jewish actress and her marriage to an arms dealer. Escapes to the USA. Tries to help us win the war. Very interesting person!

~Karen S.

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts
By Christopher De Hamel
This book was a fascinating in depth look at the history, travels and artistry of some of the most famous manuscripts, including the Book of Kells, the Hours of Jeanne of Navarre and the Spinola Hours. Far from dry and boring, the author tracks down lost manuscripts, figures out connections between manuscripts and solves a few mysteries. Easy to read, the art and writing of the manuscripts are shown close up in beautiful photographs. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

~Mary R.

The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics
By James Oakes
This book is about two of America's master politicians, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. They both made history in which American politics worked in the Civil War era. It explains how radicalism and party politics came together to overthrow American slavery. At times the worlds of the radical abolitionist Frederick Douglass and of the Republican politician Abraham Lincoln seemed almost as far apart as black and white, but these two giants of the Civil War era found themselves on a converging course that was led by political alliance and personal friendship. Very insightful with sensitivity on the part of the author. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 😉

~Valdajean J.

A Gentleman in Moscow
By Amor Towles
This is an engaging and charming story that follows an aristocrat (a "former Person") through the aftermath of the Russian revolution. The characters are very personable and relatable and the story brings the history of that time to life. Don't be put off if you don't like historical fiction; there is much more story than historical detail here. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story.👍

~Michele F.

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