Historical Fiction II
A Guide to the Genre, 2nd Edition
by Sarah L. Johnson
March 2009, 738pp, 7x10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Hardcover: 978-1-59158-624-1
$95, £74, 83€, A131

A complete guide to one of today’s hottest genres, organizing more than 2700 titles according to popular reading preferences.

Historical fiction has surged in popularity in recent years, with new subgenres emerging (e.g. Viking romance, religious thrillers) and reader interest showing no signs of slowing down. This follow-up to Johnson’s critically acclaimed guide published in 2005 covers new territory by focusing on English-language historical novels for adults published between mid-2004 and mid-2008, in particular those commonly found in American public library collections. The author’s unique approach involves classifying titles by subgenres, rather than strictly by geography and chronology; thereby grouping read-alikes together. It gives users a deeper understanding of the genre, an update on new titles, and an easy way to identify read-alikes and book club selections for library patrons. More than 2700 historical fiction titles, about 2,000 new to this volume, are organized and described.


"In addition to book lists, Johnson includes perceptive commentary about the history of historical fiction and the nature of its many styles and subgenres and their appeal to various types of readers. Every library which serves readers of historical fiction needs a copy of this book. Authors and aspiring authors of historical fiction (as well as their agents) who wish to understand the genre more deeply will find it useful. And if you're simply a devoted reader of historical fiction you may well want your own copy. . ."—historicalnovels.info, June 24, 2009

"Johnson (reference librarian and library science, Eastern Illinois U., Charleston) offers fellow librarians and other professionals who work with readers information about the general characteristics of the ever more popular genre, its appeal to readers, benchmark and representative titles, and publishing trends. Most of her attention is devoted to reviewing particular works in the many sub-genres, among them traditional historical novels, multiperiod epics, romances, sagas, western US, historical mysteries, adventures in history, thrillers, literary historical novels, Christian fiction, time-slip novels, alternate history, and historical fantasy. Many of the sections consider short stories as well as novels. A final section identifies resources for librarians and readers."—Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2009

"Johnson has updated her outstanding Historical Fiction: A Guide to the Genre (2005) by covering historical fiction from 2004 through mid-2008 and adding such new features as ISBNs for each book and keyword descriptors after each annotation. Chapter introductions have been updated to reflect changes, and a section on historical-fiction blogs has been added to the chapter on resources. This volume continues rather than replaces the earlier work, adding more than 2,700 new titles. . . . Historical Fiction was an essential purchase for public and school libraries, and Historical Fiction II will also be a must purchase since it covers the latest books in this very popular genre."—Booklist, August 1, 2009

"Like the previous volume, this is an excellent reference for readers' advisory or collection building, or for faculty developing courses on the genre. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers."—Choice, November 1, 2009

"Besides librarians who will obviously find the Guide of great value, other readers mentioned by Sarah L. Johnson are advisors in libraries and bookstores, and readers 'looking for what books to read next'. This is a book likely to be widely consulted; handsome, strongly bound and attractively printed in large clear type it is not unduly expensive for what it has to offer. In short, it will be an asset in a general or humanities library."—Reference Reviews, February 1, 2010

"The Genreflecting series is a popular library tool in aiding both patrons and librarians in finding and selecting genre-specific books, and Historical Fiction II is a welcome addition to this series. . . . This is an essential item for public libraries or those that cater to historical fiction fans."—ARBA, May 1, 2009
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