Personal experiences and opinions will always shape readers’ interpretations, making a book rich in possibilities.

The following list includes personal favorites in recent years, along with a few old-time winners. Listed by genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Non-Fiction and Simple Pleasure Reading.

I update and add newer 4.5 / 5-star picks on a quarterly basis. My page, Book Recommendations, also provides other lists with bookish gift ideas, selections for Women in History, book club choices, and book series developed from polls I’ve run through Facebook to obtain wider opinions.

Each review page links the title to Amazon for ease of reading other reviews or to purchase. I’d love to share my picks with you, too. Let me know if you’d like me to pass one along. I can mail out hardcovers, email links to Audible versions and “loan” my Kindle e-books. Just send me a note through my Contact page.

Janis Robinson Daly’s Picks For…

Historical Fiction

  • Answer Creek by Ashley Sweeney (Oregon Trail saga, HF account of the Donner Party)

  • The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline (late 1800s England / Australia)
  • Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts (Biographical HF: Maude Gage Baum, wife of L. Frank)
  • Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell (England, 1580s)
  • Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly (World War II Germany)

Jump to: Literary Fiction | Mystery/Thriller | Non-Fiction | Simple Pleasure Reading

Literary Fiction

  • American Dirt by Jeannine Cummins (Also file under Mexican Cultural Fiction)

Jump to: Historical Fiction | Mystery/Thriller | Non-Fiction | Simple Pleasure Reading

Mystery / Thrillers

Jump to: Historical Fiction | Literary Fiction | Non-Fiction | Simple Pleasure Reading


  • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson (Sociology / Race)

Jump to: Historical Fiction | Literary Fiction | Mystery/Thriller | Simple Pleasure Reading

Other – Simple Pleasure Reading

Jump to: Historical Fiction | Literary Fiction | Mystery/Thriller | Non-Fiction

I invite you to follow my blog for further updates on my journey toward writing and publishing my first historical fiction which releases August 25, 2022. More information about my debut novel is available on my About page. You can sign up to follow from this page with the pop-up, or send me a note through the CONTACT page and I’ll email you an invitation.

I also post book recommendations and tips and ideas for book clubs. I’m on social media, too. On my Facebook page, I post deals I find on Kindle specials ($1.99, $2.99, etc.) for books I recommend. A great way to add to your e-library with minimal costs.

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