H is for Historical Fiction #AtoZChallenge

A-Z Challenge, H – I love historical fiction and have been neglecting that genre a bit lately, I got distracted by YA and paranormal stuff but am trying to sneak one in every once in a while.  Why you ask? My absolute favorite thing about reading is that I learn something about a time, place and people I have a hard time imagining on my own through a dry and dusty history book.  I want people to relate to, who struggle, who eat the food, who stink the stink…luckily books can talk about that, but not let you really smell it!  So, my top 5 historical fiction books I can think of during this exercise (I am sure I am missing many).

book thief

1. The Book Thief – by Markus Zusak – a YA story, narrated by death, this book is set in France during the WWII holocaust is amazing and everyone should read it.

2. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly – About the French Revolution, this YA novel has an involving storyline and the main protagonist goes back in time to live for a bit during another super scary, horrible time in history.

3. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks – about a real village that closed its contact with the outside world when the black plague settled in for an extended visit.  I read this a long time ago, but remember loving it.

paris wife4. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain – finally, no horrors except for the insanity the American ex-pats and literati involved themselves in during the hazy golden days in Paris.

5. The Alienist – by Caleb Carr – I LOVED this and the second one about a psychologist (called an alienist back then) who solves murders in 1880s New York.  The story is dark and scary and the city came alive, I still think about the ships in port where no ships now go, the slaughterhouses where high rises now exist and the kids who we now consider babies had to start working to survive, as I walk through those streets.

Tell me, what is one of your favorite historical fiction books?


About ocdreader

I love to read! I always have a book or four going, I have more books in my to-be-read pile than I can read in a year and yet I continue to haunt the bookstores. I have a problem, but I somehow soldier on. I enjoy talking books, so pass on your recommendations and thoughts - I would love to hear them.
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge 2013, Historical Fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to H is for Historical Fiction #AtoZChallenge

  1. cleemckenzie says:

    I have to go with you on The Book Thief. It was a great read.

  2. It’s not a genre I read much but I do like the look of The Book Thief. I might check that out.

  3. Sisyphus47 says:

    On the long 20th century: William Boyd’s “Any Human Heart” 🙂

  4. Cathy i says:

    Very curious about “any human heart”, will have to get it.
    As I look over my overflowing bookshelves, thinking that I read a lot of historical fiction, nothing really jumps out to me….except the first four of James Clavell’s The Asian Saga, “Shogun, Gai-Jin, King Rat….
    Also enjoyed “Girl with the pearl Earring”, then saw an exhibition of the Dutch master paintings in San Francisco, made them much more interesting to me!

  5. Georgie Lee says:

    I enjoyed Year of Wonders. I will have to check out the rest. One of my favorite historicals is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows. Excellent book on WWII

  6. I loved The Book Thief too! Haven’t read any of the others but they all sound interesting, especially The Alienist. However these days I’m not reading! Can hardly believe it myself but its true! NaPoWriMo is keeping me busy and I’ve decided to just go with the flow 😛

    • ocdreader says:

      You will get back to it. 🙂 I am reading less right now too because I needed a little break, and this challenge is pretty darn time consuming!
      I am loving your poetry!!!

  7. This is the second time in a week that I’ve seen The Book Thief recommended; I’ll definitely put it on my to-read list. -Belinda [A – Z participant]

  8. I do love historicals on occasion but I haven’t read any of these. I always wanted to read the Book Thief.

  9. Claire says:

    ‘The Book Thief’ was brilliant. And I’ve just started ‘The Paris Wife’. Thanks for the recommendations!


  10. Pete Denton says:

    I’ve not really read much historical fiction. Brideshead revisited and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch are two books I really enjoyed, if they count 🙂

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