Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

#BookFaceFriday “The Second Mrs. Astor” by Shana Abé

Come sail away with #BookFaceFriday!

Grab your life jackets, this week’s #BookFace is about to hit rough waters!

The Second Mrs. Astor: a Novel of the Titanic” by Shana Abé (Kensington Books, 2021) is the story of the scandalous marriage of one of America’s wealthiest businessmen and his decades-younger bride. After a lovely honeymoon abroad, they head for home on a brand-new ship… and you probably can guess how that chapter ends! This historical fiction title is available as an ebook and audiobook in Nebraska OverDrive Libraries, and is one of many titles that are always available; their publishers allow for for simultaneous use (SU), so you can skip the wait and find a great read now!

“Abé is an exquisite storyteller. Rich in detail and deeply moving.” 

—Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace

This week’s model is our brand-new Talking Book & Braille Service (TBBS) Reader Services Advisor, Jo Mezger. Jo comes to us by way of Lincoln City Libraries, and their favorite genre to read is magical realism (but they could while away hours with the hip-hop books at LCL’s Polley Music Library as well!) Welcome aboard Jo!

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive! Libraries participating in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Group currently have access to a shared and growing collection of digital downloadable audiobooks and eBooks. 194 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 26,174 audiobooks, 36,611 ebooks, and 5,210 magazines. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Friday Reads: The Indigo Girl

The Indigo Girl, by Natasha Boyd, is an exceptional example of historical fiction, one of my favorite genres. In this incredible story of ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice, an extraordinary sixteen-year-old girl in Colonial South Carolina defies all expectations to achieve her dream.

“The year is 1739. Eliza Lucas is sixteen years old when her father leaves her in charge of their family’s three plantations in rural South Carolina and then proceeds to bleed the estates dry in pursuit of his military ambitions. Tensions with the British, and with the Spanish in Florida, just a short way down the coast, are rising, and slaves are starting to become restless. Her mother wants nothing more than for their South Carolina endeavor to fail so they can go back to England. Soon her family is in danger of losing everything.

Upon hearing how much the French pay for indigo dye, Eliza believes it’s the key to their salvation. But everyone tells her it’s impossible, and no one will share the secret to making it. Thwarted at nearly every turn, even by her own family, Eliza finds that her only allies are an aging horticulturalist, an older and married gentleman lawyer, and a slave with whom she strikes a dangerous deal: teach her the intricate thousand-year-old secret process of making indigo dye and in return—against the laws of the day—she will teach the slaves to read.

So begins an incredible story of love, dangerous and hidden friendships, ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.

Based on historical documents, including Eliza’s letters, this is a historical fiction account of how a teenage girl produced indigo dye, which became one of the largest exports out of South Carolina, an export that laid the foundation for the incredible wealth of several Southern families who still live on today. Although largely overlooked by historians, the accomplishments of Eliza Lucas influenced the course of US history. When she passed away in 1793, President George Washington served as a pallbearer at her funeral.” [Audible]

This book is set between 1739 and 1744, and Natasha Boyd has done extensive research and masterful writing to form the story of a remarkable young woman whose actions were before her time. I listened to the Audible version, narrated by Saskia Maarleveld, and highly recommend this story about a little known piece of American history: the story of The Indigo Girl.

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#BookFaceFriday “The Forgotten Home Child” by Genevieve Graham

Who could forget #BookFaceFriday?

This week’s #BookFaceFriday is the unforgettable “The Forgotten Home Child” by Genevieve Graham (Simon & Schuster, 2020). Based on the true story of the British Home Children, this historical novel will surely leave your book club group with much to discuss. Didn’t remember to put in your request before this popular title was reserved by another group? Check out these similar titles on our read-alike suggestion page. We’ve taken the work out of finding other books to tide you over until your first choice is available, or just to help you find that next great selection. All titles on this page are in the Book Club Kit collection and suggestions were compiled with the help of the NoveList database from NebraskAccess.

You can find this title and all of the historical fiction available on our Book Club Kits page; just look in the Search Options section and select the Historical Fiction in the Genre drop-down list.

The Forgotten Home Child is a poignant, edgy, and skillfully written portrayal of a Home Child’s experience that typified so many. The absence of any sugar coating makes this story come to life and brings a level of reality that is often lacking—an emotional journey well worth reading.”

LORI OSCHEFSKI, CEO of the British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!


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Book Club Spotlight – The Ghost Bride

For our last spotlight of Asian American & Pacific Islander month, I thought I’d bring a brand new addition to our Book Club Collection; The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo. Choo is a fourth-generation Malaysian of Chinese descent currently living in California, and her most recent novel, The Night Tiger, is a NYT bestseller and a Reese’s Book Club pick.

The Ghost Bride takes place in 1890s Malaya (now Malaysia), where people of all backgrounds intermingled under British rule. The Chinese population work to hold onto their ancient traditions, especially those involving death. According to these traditions, unpleased spirits, or those who had no death rites performed, linger in our world and can cause trouble for the living. When their son dies, the wealthy and powerful Lim family look to Lin Lan to placate his soul by asking her to be Lim Tian’s bride in a rare ghost marriage. Unfortunately for Li Lan, ghosts are real, and she must travel through the Chinese afterlife to rid herself of her specter and this marriage. 

“It seemed to me that in this confluence of cultures we had acquired one another’s superstitions without necessarily any of their comforts”

Yangsze Choo

Perfect for a YA or an adult book club, the Ghost Bride is a coming-of-age novel that melds a murder mystery, historical fiction, fantasy, and a bit of supernatural romance. Throughout the story, readers learn about ancient Chinese traditions, how influences of the West changed their society, and the never ending bureaucracy of the afterlife. With the aid of the Notes section, readers can learn even more about the history of ghost marriages, Chinese notions of the afterlife, and other historical notes of life in Chinese in Southeast Asia. It was also recently adapted into a Malaysian-language Netflix series which looks incredible, and I will absolutely have to binge the it this weekend.

If you’re interested in requesting this book for your book club, you can find the Book Club Kit Request Form here.

To see more of our Asian American/ Pacific Islander Book Club Kits, visit the link here.

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#BookFaceFriday “The Light in Hidden Places” by Sharon Cameron

Hello, is it a #BookFace you’re looking for?

Feeling a little bit trapped lately? A little panicked as your TBR pile grows smaller and smaller? Don’t worry, you will never run out of books to read with Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. New titles are added almost daily, like this week’s #BookFaceFriday! “The Light in Hidden Places” by Sharon Cameron (Scholastic Press, 2020) is available to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries in both eBook and Audiobook format. 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 16,670 audiobooks and 28,473 eBooks. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use.

If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

“Both a politically charged adventure and culture study, this thought-provoking dystopia stands firmly on its own.” — Booklist, starred review

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is Mary Sauers, our Government Information Services Librarian!

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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