Epoch Booklist: Recommended Reading for April 5–11

Epoch Booklist: Recommended Reading for April 5–11
Dustin Bass
Jeff Minick
Barbara Danza
This week, we feature the coming-of-age story of the man behind a classic teen mystery series and the history of England’s real-life “Game of Thrones” as shown through art.


By Leslie McFarlane

In this rollicking reminiscence, we meet the man, who, under the pseudonym of Franklin W. Dixon, wrote those classics of adolescence, the Hardy Boys series. Here, we learn of his coming of age in a Canadian frontier town, his days as a reporter, and how he joined the firm that first mass-marketed children’s books in America. McFarlane’s vivid and often droll descriptions of people and events bring lots of laughter along with valuable insights into the culture and customs of the early 20th century.

David R. Godine, 2022, 304 pages


By Brendan Hodge

Jen Nilsson has it all: a great condo in California, a fast-track job in a Silicon Valley start-up, and a seemingly limitless future. Then, sister Katie, 10 years younger, just out of college and lacking funds to return to Chicago, shows up asking to move in. Jen has to say yes. The sisters are opposites. Jen is focused and deliberate, an introvert. Katie is impulsive and spontaneous, an extrovert. When Jen’s job disappears, the subsequent misadventures show the sisters they need each other.

Ignatius Press, 2020, 285 pages


By Graham Turner

The Wars of the Roses was fought in England between two branches of the House of Plantagenet. It led to the demise of both competing Lancaster and York factions and their replacement by the House of Tudor. It felt profoundly medieval, with castles and armored knights. Mr. Turner, a professional artist, became fascinated with that era and painted it. This book is the end result of that interest. It combines 30 years of his Wars of the Roses art in a history of the conflict. The result is spectacular.

Osprey Publishing, 2024, 288 pages


By Andrew Lycett

Readers who love mysteries undoubtedly love Sherlock Holmes. Holmes, the creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the greatest fictional detective, and is one of literature’s greatest characters. Mr. Lycett, who has written the standard biography of Doyle, has written a brilliant and memorable biography of Doyle’s hero. Mr. Lycett explains the late Victorian Era in which Doyle and his creation lived, and how the trends and views of the day influenced the author and helped create Holmes.

Frances Lincoln, 2023, 208 pages


By G.K. Chesterton

Taken from writings done for the Daily News, this collection of essays is a favorite among Chesterton fans for its focus on mundane objects and situations: a piece of chalk, objects found in his pocket, his stint on a jury, even lying in bed. In the ordinary, he discovers the extraordinary, unmasking these things, revealing to readers their deeper significance, and demonstrating their wonders. Brilliance, grace, and humor, all the distinctive marks of Chesterton’s writing, are abundant here.

Pantianos Classics, 2016, 94 pages 

For Kids

By Tomie dePaola

In this charming retelling of an Irish folktale, a good-hearted Fin M’Coul lives atop the windy Knockmany Hill. Soon, he learns that another giant, Cucullin of Scotland, seeks him out for a fight. Humorous and whimsical, this tale is a great read written in the Irish tradition. It even features border illustrations of ancient Irish metal work.

Holiday House, 1981, 32 pages
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Dustin Bass is an author and co-host of The Sons of History podcast. He also writes two weekly series for The Epoch Times: Profiles in History and This Week in History.