Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Weekly Geeks: Historical Fiction

This week's assignment is to discuss historical fiction. Find more here.

Is there a particular era that you love reading about? Tell us about it--give us a book list, if you'd like. Include pictures or some fun facts from that time period, maybe link to a website that focuses on that time. Educate us.

I prefer recent history say the last hundred years or so. I’ve mentioned before that I love multicultural literature and historical fiction provides one of the best ways to learn about another culture and its history. Favorite books of this type include:

In The Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. This is about the Mirabel sisters in the Dominican Republic during the Trujillo dictatorship.

The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat. This is the same country, but told from the point of view of Haitian migrant workers. It looks at the relationship between the ruling class and the sugar cane and other Haitian laborers.

A Wish After Midnight
by Zetta Elliott. 15-year-old Genna is transported to 1863 Brooklyn during the Civil War and specifically the New York Draft riots.

Those Bones Are Not My Child
by Toni Cade Bambara. This is a fictional account of a mother whose child goes missing in Atlanta during the rash of real kidnappings during the 1979-81. The book is chock full of other recent history like the Vietnam War.

The Rock and The River
by Kekla Magoon. This coming-of-age story is about two brothers who make life-changing decisions during the height of Civil Rights Movement.

A member of your book group, Ashley, mentions that she almost never reads Historical Fiction because it can be so boring. It's your turn to pick the book for next month and you feel it's your duty to prove her wrong. What book do you pick?

I’d share links to all of the books above and suggest she choose.

If you're in agreement with Ashley on this one (or even if you're not): Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to browse through this week's WG posts, and by the end of the week, pick a book from one of the posts to read. Report on which book you picked, linking to the Weekly Geeks post where you found it.

I’ll post my choice once I get through all of the posts or one really stands out first.


farmlanebooks said...

I haven't heard of any of these books, so I'm off to find out about them - thank you for drawing them to my attention!

susan said...

Each is linked. Sorry if that wasn't clear. Thanks for coming by.

Claudia said...

Wow, I'm amazed at all these great sites with creative posting prompts. It's enough to keep you busy every day! I really like the idea of Weekly Geeks, although I'm going to give T.O.P. a try this week. Susan, you should start one of these of your own!

Andromeda Jazmon said...

I like your list! I am going to look for some of these. Also I read you like Octavia Butler (in your next post). Somehow I don't think I've read any of hers. I know - where have I been? I am going to have to take care of that right away. I keep hearing how great she is...

Zetta Elliott said...

How can anyone NOT love historical fiction?! I'm reading a book set in the future, and it's working my nerves...Thanks for putting me in such esteemed company, Susan!

susan said...

Remember, I'm manic. lol This week started out with memes I'm interested in.

Zetta, sista don't blow sunshine so now you're there because you rock!

Cloudscome, a girlfriend turned me on to Butler two years ago I think and I felt like you: where have I been? She is always challenging the reader and her imagination blows me away. And Butler always has strong, female leads. I really can't stand female characters that need rescuing or live to get the guy. In Butler's books, the women may be flawed but always strong.

susan said...

Little Lov'n Monday is my meme here and I host Friday Fish Fry and New Crayons at Color Online. I also have the discussion forum at Color Online. My plate is full. I don't participate in all the memes I enjoy every week. It's easy to burn out. Next month I'm participating in NaPoWriMo which is write 30 poems in 30 days. I bailed last year. I'm going to give it another shot this year. I doubt I post all 30 but I will be writing them. You'll like TOP.

Anonymous said...

I love historical fiction! When I used to teach US History, I would tell my students to get a nice piece of fiction if they wanted to better understand a particular period. Well written and thoroughly research historical novels (like the ones u mentioned above), a nice cup of coffee and a chocolate chip cookie...I'm set for the evening!
I just picked up Aleutian Sparrow by Karen Hesse. It's told in the voice of a young girl and is the story of the Japanese invasion of the Aleutian islands during WWII.

susan said...

I didn't realize how much I enjoyed the genre until recently. Aleutian sounds interesting and you know how I feel about girl leads. Thanks.