[bksvol-discuss] Fw: Historical Fiction October 2009

  • From: "Amber Wallenstein" <amber.wallens@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 26 Oct 2009 07:05:36 -0400

New and Recently Released!

Homer and Langley: A Novel - by E.L. Doctorow
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 09/01/2009
ISBN-13: 9781400064946
ISBN-10: 1400064945
In this latest novel by E.L. Doctorow, two brothers born into privilege live 
out their lives in squalor--and witness some of the major events of the 20th
century. Following the deaths of their parents, blind Homer Collyer and his 
brother Langley, a shell-shocked WWI veteran, decide to remain in their family's
decaying New York City mansion. Reclusive and eccentric, the brothers become 
compulsive hoarders. As Langley stockpiles old newspapers in an attempt to
create a definitive document of all the knowledge in the world, Homer works on 
a smaller scale, laboriously typing out a memoir of their life together.
Booklist calls Homer and Langley an "ingenious, haunting odyssey."
First Chapter

A Separate Country - by Robert Hicks
Publisher: Grand Central
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 09/23/2009
ISBN-13: 9780446581646
ISBN-10: 044658164X
After the Civil War ends, disgraced Confederate General John Bell Hood 
relocates to New Orleans. Disabled and emotionally scarred by his experiences, 
sees a chance for redemption when he marries Creole society beauty Anna Marie 
Hennen and becomes a father of 11. He also pens a secret memoir which he
wants to publish--even as a yellow fever epidemic threatens his life. 
Meanwhile, Anna Marie has written her own account of their life together. Civil 
buffs in particular will enjoy this novel of Reconstruction-era Louisiana by 
the author of The Widow of the South.

The Coral Thief: A Novel - by Rebecca Stott
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 09/15/2009
ISBN-13: 9780385531467
ISBN-10: 038553146X
Not long after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, medical student Daniel Connor is 
en route to a prestigious research fellowship in Paris when he encounters
the beautiful Lucienne Bernard. Upon reaching his destination, he discovers 
that she's stolen his papers as well as some valuable coral specimens. Daniel's
pursuit of Lucienne leads him to a den of "philosopher-thieves," and he's soon 
involved in their secret plans. But it takes a thief to catch a thief--and
the gang is already being targeted by one of the best: 
criminal-turned-policeman Henri Jagot. This novel by the author of Ghostwalk 
features "an intriguing
love story, complex scientific concepts, and a beautifully realized historical 
setting" (Booklist).

The Lieutenant - by Kate Grenville
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 09/08/2009
ISBN-13: 9780802119162
ISBN-10: 0802119166
Eighteenth-century English lieutenant Daniel Rooke is gifted at astronomy and 
mathematics, but hopeless when it comes to interacting with people. The one
exception is his surprising friendship with Tagaran, a young Aboriginal girl 
whom Daniel meets when his ship, the HMS Resolution, arrives in New South
Wales, Australia. While his intent is to build an observatory to search for an 
elusive comet, Daniel soon becomes fascinated by the life and language of
Tagaran's people--to the dismay of both of their cultures. Kate Grenville's 
novel of Australian history serves as a companion book to her previous novel,
the Commonwealth Writer's Prize-winning The Secret River.

The Wet Nurse's Tale - by Erica Eisdorfer
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 08/06/2009
ISBN-13: 9780399155765
ISBN-10: 0399155767
In Victorian England, job opportunities for unmarried pregnant women are 
decidedly limited. That's what scullery maid Susan Rose discovers when a tryst
with her employer's son, Freddie Bonney, leaves her with more than just 
memories. Susan, following in her mother's footsteps, soon finds work as a 
breastfeeding for wealthy women who can't or won't nurse their own infants. But 
when Susan's alcoholic father tries to blackmail the Bonneys over her son's
paternity, the Bonneys give the child to relatives in London--prompting Susan 
to seek employment with her baby's new family while concocting a scheme to
get him back.

The Elephant Keeper - by Christopher Nicholson
Publisher: William Morrow
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 08/01/2009
ISBN-13: 9780061651601
ISBN-10: 0061651605
In 1766, a wealthy English merchant buys a pair of Indian elephants and puts 
Tom Page, the 12-year-old son of his head groom, in charge of their welfare.
Delighted, Tom names the animals Jenny and Timothy and trains them...until 
Timothy's raging hormones lead to his sale to another owner. The loss of Timothy
causes a devastated Tom to grow even closer to Jenny--and to accompany her when 
she's sold to a succession of owners, each worse than the last. But despite
their almost telepathic bond, Tom and Jenny are eventually separated. Will they 
find each other again? For more books about human-elephant friendships,
try Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants or Hannah's Dream by Diane Hammond.
Focus on: Australia

The True History of the Kelly Gang - by Peter Carey
Publisher: Vintage International
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 12/01/2001
ISBN-13: 9780375724671
ISBN-10: 0375724672
While there are no commas in this Booker Prize-winning biographical novel of 
legendary 19th-century Australian outlaw and folk-hero Ned Kelly, there's plenty
of excitement. Ned, the son of an Irish convict, becomes the apprentice of 
infamous bushranger Harry Power, setting him on the path to a life of crime.
Along with his brother Dan and their friends, Ned forms a gang of his own and 
before long these latter-day Robin Hoods are robbing banks and giving the
money to the poor. But with the law closing in on them, how long does the Kelly 
Gang have left? For another novel based on the life of an Australian outlaw,
try Thomas Keneally's The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, whose indigenous 
protagonist is modeled after bushranger Jimmy Governor.
First Chapter

Gould's Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish - by Richard Flanagan
Publisher: Grove Press
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 01/01/2003
ISBN-13: 9780802139597
ISBN-10: 0802139590
Transported to a penal colony in 1830s Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania), gifted 
forger William Buelow Gould becomes more than just another inmate when eccentric
prison surgeon Tobias Achilles Lempriere recruits him to paint pictures of 
fish. The paintings are intended for Lempriere's taxonomy of the island's marine
life, which he's writing in a desperate bid for admission into the Royal 
Academy of Science. To stave off his own despair, the equally desperate Gould
scribbles his life story using anything he can get his hands on: each chapter 
is printed in a different color, to represent the various "inks" he uses,
including blood, cuttlefish ink, and even his own excrement. For another novel 
with a Tasmanian setting, Matthew Kneale's English Passengers involves a
voyage to the island, where the characters hope they'll find the Garden of Eden.
First Chapter
Morgan's run - McCullough, Colleen
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 08/01/2000
ISBN-13: 9780684853291
ISBN-10: 0684853299
Sexy, educated, and a convicted felon, Englishman Richard Morgan finds romance 
and adventure on a harsh, untamed continent in this historical saga of 
first settlers.
First Chapter

Office of Innocence - by Thomas Keneally
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 06/01/2004
ISBN-13: 9781400030958
ISBN-10: 1400030951
During WWII, Father Frank Darragh, a young Catholic priest in Sydney, struggles 
to bring comfort to grieving widows and traumatized soldiers. He's also
tempted by beautiful Kate Heggerty, a woman who's considering cheating on her 
P.O.W. husband. But the biggest test to Father Frank's faith occurs when
Kate is murdered and he becomes a suspect. As the Japanese invasion looms, 
Father Frank tries to reconcile the theoretical knowledge he's learned in 
with the murky moral issues he encounters in real life. Author Thomas Keneally, 
who trained for the priesthood, brings both the experiences of a young
clergyman and wartime Australia to life in this engaging book full of complex 
First Chapter

Remembering Babylon - by David Malouf
Publisher: Vintage Books
Check Library Catalog
Pub Date: 10/01/1994
ISBN-13: 9780679749516
ISBN-10: 0679749519
In the mid-19th century, savvy London street urchin Gemmy Fairly becomes a 
cabin boy, only to be shipwrecked soon after off the coast of Australia. Taken
in by the area's indigenous inhabitants, Gemmy spends the next 16 years living 
among them, until a fateful encounter with the McIvor family brings him
back into contact with European society. Because of Gemmy's experiences, the 
other settlers shun him for not being "white" enough, yet he's not aboriginal
either. Can Gemmy, torn between two different worlds, find his place in the 
land both peoples share? For a recent novel about a contemporary culture clash
by an indigenous Australian author, try Alexis Wright's Carpentaria, which won 
the Miles Franklin Award in 2007.
First Chapter

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