Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

Audiobook Recommendations

Narrators either make or break an audiobook. If you’ve only ever had bad luck with audio, try some of these readers to get you out of that rut:

Robin Miles
Listening to Miles is like listening to a full cast recording – every character has a different accent, a different tone of voice. Her reading is so rich that it can be hard to turn her audiobooks off.

Some of the books she narrates:

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Will Patton
Not every guy can read female characters in a way that sounds realistic, but Patton can definitely pull it off, even for characters singing nonsense songs. He’s got a surprisingly varied catalog of works, too, so there’s something for anyone trying to get into the genre.

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Jim Dale
The man best known for bringing the Harry Potter books to audio, Jim Dale is one of the titans of YA audiobooks. While he might not be as versitile as the above readers, he has a lovely voice, and his style feels very much like story hour at your local library or school If you’re a YA addict, or are just looking for some lighter, more action-packed books to add to your day, give his work a try.

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All of the books listed are available through the Green Mountain Library Consortium. Each book cover above is linked to its download page.  Just sign in under the Russell Memorial Library with your FULL card number to borrow the audiobooks, (if they haven’t already been checked out by someone else):

Russell Library Number: XXX
FULL Library Card Number (for use online): 2v6td000000XXX

For more details on why you have two different library card numbers, see our Audio and E-Books tab.

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Genre Feature: Verse Novels

Did you know that there are entire novels written in poetic verse? Like so many poems, they tend read quick but carry quite the emotional punch.

Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton

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“So, I have to know,” he says, “what are you?”
But just because he has to know doesn’t mean I have to tell him anything.

It’s 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. And even though teachers and neighbors balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimi’s dreams of becoming an astronaut never fade—no matter how many times she’s told no.

Written by a Middlebury College Alumn!

 

 

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

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And I know now that all the time I was trying to get
out of the dust,
the fact is,
what I am,
I am because of the dust.
And what I am is good enough.
Even for me.

Billie Jo is just a fourteen year old farm girl trying to survive unspeakable loss while living in the dust bowl during the Great Depression.

Hesse currently lives in Vermont!

 

 

 

brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

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Even the silence 
has a story to tell you. 
Just listen. Listen.

Growing up both in her Grandparents’ South Carolina and her mother’s New York City, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. This is the true story of how she grew up in limbo between the two places, and how she discovered she wanted to be a writer no matter how hard it was for her to read.

 

 

 

 

Love that Dog / Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech

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Sometimes
when you are trying 
not to think about something
it keeps popping back in your head
you can’t help it
you think about it
and 
think about it
and 
think about it
until your brain
feels like
a squashed pea.

Jack hates poetry. Only girls write it and every time he tries to, his brain feels empty. But his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, won’t stop giving her class poetry assignments — and Jack can’t avoid them. But then something amazing happens. The more he writes, the more he learns he does have something to say.

Especially about the dog he loves that isn’t with him anymore. And that stupid cat his parents got him afterwards.

Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff

movie.jpgYou ever laughed so hard
nobody in the world could hurt you for a minute,
no matter what they tried to do to you? 

Fourteen-year-old LaVaughn is determined to go to college–she just needs the money to get there.

When she answers a babysitting ad, LaVaughn meets Jolly, a seventeen-year-old single mother with two kids by different fathers. As she helps Jolly make lemonade out of the lemons her life has given her, LaVaughn learns some lessons outside the classroom.

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New Books In!

Ladies and gents, new books have arrived!

c5d19c013a5014e5cdac3d127b4d9c29.jpgDesperation Road by Michael Farris Smith

For eleven years the clock has been ticking for Russell Gaines as he sits in Parchman penitentiary. His sentence now up, Russell believes his debt has been paid. But when he returns home, he discovers that revenge lives and breathes all around him.

This is what the internet has to say about it:

Smith writes shapely prose and sharp dialogue and everywhere displays an acute sense of the moments and pain that can define lives in a small town.

 

 

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The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

As England enters World War II’s dark early days, spirited music professor Primrose Trent, recently arrived to the village of Chilbury, emboldens the women of the town to defy the Vicar’s stuffy edict to shutter the church’s choir in the absence of men and instead ‘carry on singing’. Resurrecting themselves as “The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir”, the women of this small village soon use their joint song to lift up themselves, and the community, as the war tears through their lives. 

Despite its pastoral title, Jennifer Ryan’s compelling and exquisitely wrought World War II-era novel is far removed from the stereotypical cozy British village story. 

If you like the story, there’s even a ready-made book club kit full of fun facts, discussion questions, and even a recipe inspired by the story.

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The Force by Don Winslow

All Denny Malone wants is to be a good cop.

He is “the King of Manhattan North,” a highly decorated NYPD detective sergeant and the real leader of “Da Force.” Malone and his crew are the smartest, the toughest, the quickest, the bravest, and the baddest elite special unit there is.

What only a few know is that Denny Malone is dirty. Now Malone is caught in a trap and being squeezed by the Feds, and he must walk the thin line between betraying his brothers and partners, the Job, his family, and the woman he loves, all while trying to survive, as his city teeters on the brink of a racial conflagration that could destroy them all.

Don Winslow’s summer blockbuster, ‘The Force,’ is ready-made for Hollywood

 

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New Historical Fiction Books!

Check out these new acquisitions based in previous time periods:

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Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister

For the first female Pinkerton detective, respect is hard to come by. Danger, however, is not.

In the tumultuous years of the Civil War, the streets of Chicago offer a woman mostly danger and ruin-unless that woman is Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective and a desperate widow with a knack for manipulation.

Inspired by the real story of Kate Warne, this spirited novel follows the detective’s rise during one of the nation’s greatest times of crisis, bringing to life a fiercely independent woman whose forgotten triumphs helped sway the fate of the country.

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Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.

 

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Mississippi Blood by Greg Isles

Tom Cage’s murder trial sets a terrible clock in motion, and unless Penn can pierce the veil of the past and exonerate his father, his family will be destroyed.

The endgame is at hand for Penn Cage, his family, and the enemies bent on destroying them in this revelatory volume in the epic trilogy set in modern-day Natchez, Mississippi—Greg Iles’s epic tale of love and honor, hatred and revenge that explores how the sins of the past continue to haunt the present.

Any of these sound good? Read any of these and want to recommend them to all the RML patrons out there? Leave a comment below.

 

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Page to Screen 3

M.L. Steadman’s The Light Between Oceans

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Tom Sherbourne takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Michael Punke’s The Revenant 

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A thrilling tale of betrayal and revenge set against the nineteenth-century American frontier, the astonishing story of real-life trapper and frontiersman Hugh Glass.

Louis Sachar’s Holes

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Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.

It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake?

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Page to Screen 2

Laine Moriarty’s Big Little Lies

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Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

Dennis Lehane’s Live by Night

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Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbringing. Now having graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city’s most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the spoils, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw.

But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. In a time when ruthless men of ambition, armed with cash, illegal booze, and guns, battle for control, no one–neither family nor friend, enemy nor lover–can be trusted. Beyond money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems most likely for men like Joe: an early death. But until that day, he and his friends are determined to live life to the hilt.

Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove

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A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

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Page to Screen

Looking for a new book to try? Consider these items from the collection that have recently been made into movies and TV series.

Lee Child’s Jack Reacher Series

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After leaving the US Army as a major in its military police at age 36, Reacher roams the United States taking odd jobs and investigating suspicious and frequently dangerous situations.

Daisy Goodwin’s Victoria 

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In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone.

Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

 

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