Historical & the Best of Brit Lit (According to Andrew Miller & Peter Stothard)

In the mood to travel back in time this summer? Andrew Miller has compiled a list of his top ten historical novels for The Guardian:

“The books listed here share the essential virtues of all good fiction: the renewal of our sense of the world, of ourselves, of language, the extension of ourselves across time and space. And how odd it would be, how dull, if novelists and readers confined themselves, in the name of some dubious notion of relevance, to the events and style of one particular period.”

Miller’s first pick is Rosemary Sutcliff’s Eagle of the Ninth, of which he says:

“As a boy, Rosemary Sutcliff was my favourite author and this, the story of a young Roman centurion caught up in the search for the lost eagle of the Ninth Legion, my favourite of her novels. I had not heard of her or of the novel in many years, but Eagle of the Ninth has just been made into a film. It would be nice to think that a new generation of young readers will discover the pleasures of Sutcliff’s writing. Librarians of the nation (those who are still left) stand by your desks!”

Get the rest of the list here.

Or how does a trip across the pond sound? Peter Stothard picks recent Brit favorites for Newsweek’s Book Beast:

“From Yeats to Occupied Paris to a state of England novel, the editor of the TLS, Peter Stothard, picks his favorite reads from the week.”

See the full list here.

Also at the Book Beast: Jonathan Franzen talks about “America’s Strangest Novel“; Lars Kepler – the next Steig Larsson?; and Casey Schwartz interviews Molly Birnbaum, author of Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way (Birnbaum will be speaking at the library on October 12th).


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