Historical fiction, one of my favorite genres, makes an era of history comes to life as you read about the characters and the events that shape their lives. Geraldine Brooks amazes me with the scope of her research and the variety of settings she incorporates in her writing. Biographies provide another window to the past. The beautiful language in Beryl Markham’s West with the Night makes her story of life in the 1920’s and 30’s in Africa compelling. I read some women’s fiction (not to be confused with Chick Lit); stories about mature women whose life experiences teach them about friendship, love and their own inner strength.