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Laura is a keen reader of historical fiction and mysteries with faraway and interesting settings, especially escapist stories with a touch (or more) of magic, and quirky nonfiction. Laura recommends...
Islands of Abandonment by
Beautifully written, thought-provoking, and unique, this is a captivating combination of nature writing and science writing. Flyn immerses readers in landscapes that have been forever altered by humans, for better or for worse, and leaves us thinking about what the world could look like if we let nature do what it does best.
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by
The charming opener of the new Monk & Robot series by Becky Chambers. Unexpectedly comforting and hopeful, Chambers has treated readers to a slice of life in a dystopian world where humans have actually adapted to live in harmony with nature. A tea monk travelling through the villages of Panga is looking for a sense of fulfillment, and the last thing they expect is the appearance of a long-rumored extinct robot. My only complaint is this novella was too short! I want to read more about this world and duo and can't wait for the next in the series.
How the Word Is Passed by
A stunning and eye-opening tour of famous American historical sites with a legacy rooted in slavery and how they acknowledge and educate visitors about their history (or don't). Both accessible and beautifully written, this read will make you rethink the museums and famous landmarks you've visited, and propel you to add even more to your must-visit list. Narrated by the author himself, this is excellent as an audiobook.
The Unkindness of Ravens by
A solid new mystery series starring a woman starting over as a small town librarian, eager to leave behind her murky past. As bodies start turning up in the library, Greer's history makes her the prime suspect, and she decides to go after the truth, no matter how much danger that puts her in. A good read for fans of traditional mysteries with slight gothic vibes.
The Conductors by
Fantasy meets mystery in this clever story of former conductors on the Underground Railroad who use their magic to solve the crimes neglected by the police. With a cast of complex characters and creative magical world-building, this new series has plenty of promise.
The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry by
Perfect for ending a reading slump, this was a fun and creative historical fantasy about an unconventional group of female bodyguards, with a love story thrown in. Waggoner has created a magical version of England that will leave you wanting more (there's another book set in this universe, so you're all set!).
Laura's Historical Mystery Picks