To celebrate Jewish Book Week, here’s four novels you might enjoy from 70AD to current times. This literary festival takes place in London, and is a nine day festival to celebrate Jewish literature, ideas and culture. For more information www.jewishbookweek.com
The dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman –Rated 5* by three readers. The lives of four sensuous, bold and remarkable women intersect in the year 70AD, in the desperate days of the siege of Masada, when supplies are dwindling and the Romans are drawing near. All are dovekeepers, and all are keepers of secrets – about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love
The Boston girl by Anita Diamant –Told against the backdrop of World War I, and written with the same immense emotional impact that has made Diamant’s previous novels bestsellers, ‘The Boston Girl’ is a moving portrait of one woman’s complicated life in the early 20th century, and a window into the lives of all women seeking to understand the world around them
The emperor of lies by Steve Sem-Sandberg –From one of Scandinavia’s most critically acclaimed and bestselling authors, ‘The Emperor of Lies’ chronicles the tale of Rumkowski’s monarchical rule over a quarter of a million Jews. 5*
A replacement life by Boris Fishman –A failing young Russian American journalist’s life is unexpectedly transformed when he forges Holocaust restitution claims for his rogue grandfather and his friends.
If you are a history lover then Harrogate History Festival’s have just the thing for you. They are the organisers of the hugely successful Theakston’s Crime Writing Festival and they are branching out again this year after last years inaugural festival with a weekend devoted to historical books and their writers. The second Harrogate History Festival takes part this weekend from Thu 23rd Oct – Sun 26th. As with the Crime Writing Festival all the events take place in the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate making it easy to either go along to several events or just book the ones that interest you. You could really immerse yourself and go along for the whole weekend.
Highlights of the festival will include events with Bernard Cornwell (the creator of Sharpe – remember Sean Bean?), Alison Weir and Elizabeth Chadwick on Friday night. If that isn’t good enough there are countless other events to whet your appetite with Sandi Toksvig, Peter Snow, Sarah Dunant and many more.
Historical fiction is a great way to find out more about a particular period as well as immersing yourself in a great story. Want to go back and be a part of the Roman Empire? Then Conn Iggulden’s Emperor series is a good place to start. What about travelling back to fifteenth century Italy and the Borgias? Sarah Dunant covers this period in her novel Blood and Beauty.
There really should be something for everyone at the festival so if you are looking for a good way to get out of the Autumn weather then have a look at the programme.