Past Tense

Mouthwatering Foodie Historical Fiction

Hi historical fiction friends!

I had a wonderfully bookish weekend between helping a friend get signed up for a new library card and going to the grand opening party for a local bookstore. If only every weekend could be so book-centric!

Bookish Goods

Arthur Library Card from Etsy:

Arthur Library Card Sticker

Having fun isn’t hard when you have this Arthur-inspired library card sticker! $3

New Releases

The Forty Elephants Book Cover

The Forty Elephants by Erin Bledsoe

Inspired by the first all-female gang in London, The Forty Elephants tells the story of Alice Diamond and 1920s London, where gang violence and pickpockets run rampant. When she’s recruited by a notorious group of female thieves, she finally finds success and a desire for more — no matter the cost.

The Ghetto Within Book Cover

The Ghetto Within by Santiago H. Amigorena

The English translation of this French sensation follows a Polish exile living in Argentina who struggles with guilt and identity, wondering what caused him to flee when so many others — including his own mother — remained. Inspired by the author’s grandfather, this novel is part biography and part fiction as Amigorena confronts the toll of trauma and silence.

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Make sure not to read these books on an empty stomach.

The Rib King Book Cover

The Rib King by Ladee Hubbard

A stolen recipe plants the seeds of rage for a groundskeeper after a caricatured likeness of him is used to market a rib sauce stolen from a white family’s talented Black cook. Humiliated and increasingly distraught, August Sitwell’s rage grows into an explosion that will wreak tragedy for everyone around.

The Book of Salt Book Cover

The Book of Salt by Monique Truong

After fleeing Saigon in 1929, a Vietnamese cook serves first as a galley at sea and then as a live-in cook for the eccentric hosts of a literary salon in Paris. It’s a story of food, identity, belonging, and what it means to call a place home.

That’s it for now, folx! Stay subscribed for more stories of yesteryear.

If you want to talk books (historical or otherwise), you can find me @rachelsbrittain on Instagram, Goodreads, Litsy, and occasionally Twitter.

Right now I’m reading Another Appalachia by Neema Avashia. What about you?