Book Blog – Likely Stories, from Booklist Online » Blog Archive » More Historical Fiction Hotness and Notness
Booklist Online

Booklist Online: More than 130,000 book reviews for librarians, book groups, and book lovers - from the trusted experts at the American Library Association

| | | | | | | | | | |
Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online

Likely Stories

A Booklist Blog
Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

« »

Monday, April 13, 2009 10:12 am
More Historical Fiction Hotness and Notness
Posted by: Keir Graff

I received a couple more responses to my historical fiction query over the weekend–and found a few in my junk mail folder from last week. Is “histfic” (just kidding) still hot?

Karleen Mauldin writes:

You bet it is! My children and I love historical fiction! Home educators, most of whom probably do not subscribe to the Booklist, love to use GOOD historical fiction to flesh out their history curriculum, or use as most of their history, church history, and even science, curriculum.  Many of the books we like are by G. A. Henty, Allen French, Joanne Williamson, James Daugherty, and others. So, just because historical fiction is not heard of in “your world” definitely does not mean it’s ‘history!’

Claudette Brown, an elementary school librarian writes:

Historical fiction IS a genre. My favorite! However, I can’t sell it to my kids. Richard Peck? Collecting dust on my shelves. Graham Salisbury? Ditto. It pains me, but series, series, series are hot, particularly fantasy. The girls are consumed with “chic lit” and contemporary fiction beginning in third grade. And that’s my reality.

Marcia Stiller writes:

I’m way into historical fiction and very grateful that historical fiction is being showcased, the market does seem to be shrinking, I find it harder and harder to find good historical fiction. That said, I have very little clue if it is hot in my library or not, (I work at the reference desk in an academic library.) But, I do have friends who are into historical fiction almost as much as I am, so please keep the reccomendations coming!

Dean Thompson:

My fiction reading is almost entirely in the area of historical fiction, primarily European before the modern era, though I also read other areas and periods — especially Chinese — if the subject/era interests me.  However, I tend to avoid most of the more popular authors — Philippa Gregory, Robert Harris, Nicholas Nicastro, Jeanne Kalogridis, Conn Iggulden, Robyn Young, Sam Barone, etc — as well as romance and bodice-rippers, as the quality of writing is not on par with what I am seeking.

Nancy Schleifer:

My observation, though I have no stastistical sample to buttress my opinion, is that book groups tend to love two types of novels. The first is literary historical fiction. The second group focuses on books which explore foreign cultures. I attended the Key West literary seminar recently on Historical novels, and the discussion often focused upon that single element which helps to create a great book. Historical novels take us to a place we cannot visit or experience. Books like Pillars of the Earth, or The Red Tent, or any of the Anya Seyton novels, classics like The Hunchback of Notre Dame or Tale of Two Cities, sweep us away from the present and give us a new sense of time and place. Doctorow’s The March, Geraldine Brooks People of the Book, and Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain do add literary dimensions to the historical tale which further the development of the novel.



Leave a Reply

© 2014 Booklist Online. Powered by WordPress.
Quoted material should be attributed to:
Keir Graff, Likely Stories (Booklist Online).

American Library Association