Sarah Johnson is a librarian and editor. She works at the Eastern Illinois University, and is also the editor for Historical Novels Review, the book review magazine for the Historical Novel Society. Her blog READING THE PAST is where she reviews and discusses historical fiction.
It is easy to see that this website is the work of a professional. From the charming picture that headlines the blog, to the easy-to-use nav-bar and sidebar, this website is enjoyable and easy to use, with no distracting swirls of imagery, or popping hearts (I am not joking) that are too frequently seen on other sites.
Sarah publishes reviews of new and backlisted titles, offers occasional interviews and guest posts, and talks about the changing trends in historical fiction cover art. At this time, she is not accepting e-books for review, a policy that I know many of us hope she will change. She is also the author of two guides to historical fiction, HISTORICAL FICTION and HISTORICAL FICTION II.
When I rummaged around the internet recently, looking for interesting blogs, I came upon three.
History and Women is a quirky blog full of odd tidbits about women’s history with wonderful photographs used as illustration. It is run by Mirella Patzer, Nan Hawthorne and Greta Marlow. I do not know Greta Marlow, but Mirella Patzer and Nan Hawthorne are regular contributors to discussion on the Historical Novel Society’s listserv.
Historical Romance UK is full of news about new historical novels, including one that features Margaret Dashwood, the youngest sister in Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility. The only problem with this blog is that you have to do a lot of scrolling, as the “excerpts” are really extremely long…. I mean thousands of words long. Good for a cold winter night when you have nothing better to do and there is only rubbish to watch on the telly.
Reading the Past offers pithy book reviews (one paragraph long) of various historical novels that are on Sarah Johnson’s bookshelf. To judge from the quantity of her reviews, Sarah is a voracious reader, and her website is a treat for those of us who like to find not-so-well-known gems of historical novels.