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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

B is for Books

My list continues, here are my favorite books that start with B

Nonfiction: Balkan Ghosts by Robert Kaplan; Kaplan’s book was published in 1993, at the height of the war in the Balkans and provides an essential understanding of the region and what led to not just the unrest in the 1990s but why the murder in Sarajevo in 1914 set off the First World War. Kaplan’s writing is lyrical and he brings a journalist's perspective. It is a book that has stayed with me for over twenty years. 


Fiction: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent; this book, I love this book. You can not beat the atmosphere that Kent created in this book. Like Alias Grace, this is a fictional retelling of a young woman accused of murder, this time in Iceland in the 1820s. It provides insight into a time and place I knew nothing about but the story is all too familiar: when women dare to step outside the prescribed norms, things don’t go well for them. 


Mystery: The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie King; What if, after he retired to Suffolk, Sherlock Holmes befriends an orphan girl and decides to make her a detective in his own image? What if said girl embraced that role and grew up helping Holmes and Watson solve a few more mysteries? The very first in the series about Mary Russell and the sleuthing she does with the world’s most famous detective. I love these books, such great stories with an astounding heroine who can hold her own with just about anyone. 


Romance: Beach Read by Emily Henry; This was my first Emily Henry and it will remain my favorite. Henry is a master of giving us the romance novel we all love but adding emotional depth that isn’t always associated with the genre. Reading it felt like I was discovering a whole new way to feel about my favorite category of books. 

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