History and historical fiction book reviews by Picking Books a book critic in Pittsburgh.

“The only effect I ardently long to produce by my writings, is that those who read them should be better able to imagine and feel the pains and the joys of those who differ from themselves in everything but the broad fact of being struggling, erring human creatures.”

- George Eliot

I’m Laura, and Picking Books is my mind baby. Located on the corner of cultured and kooky, Picking Books is your go-to resource for thought-provoking, historical book reviews. Picking Books exists not only to help you decide what books to spend your precious reading hours on but also to show you how to get more out of the books you read. 

Picking books promotes appreciation of books, history, and culture through cross-disciplinary book reviews and articles that help you make sense of both the books you read and the world we live in. Through book reviews and essays, Picking Books aims to cultivate empathy, or sympathy, as Eliot would call it, and remind us that we are all struggling, erring human creatures.

Finally, I occasionally discuss contemporary issues, but I don’t want political affiliation, race, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexual orientation, economic status, nationality, or any other demographic to come between us. I’m not here to paint history, literature, culture, society, or current events a certain way; I’m only supplying you with the brush. I encourage civil, thoughtful comments and discussion. I will not tolerate personal attacks, hate speech, or any other inflammatory language.

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