Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Fiction

A weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This weeks topic is incredibly vague and open-ended so it took me a little while to decide what genre to decide. I just finished a Historical Mystery and really liked it and thought I would do that but that sort of backs me into a corner so instead I decided to just do Historical Fiction. I keep seeing a lot of bloggers say that they just warmed up to Historical Fiction so I thought I would recommend a few of my favorites.

Middle Grade 
Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes
This book was my jam when I was ten. I loved the story, the characters, the use of real historic events. This is the book that made me love Historical Fiction.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
If you ask me Lois Lowry is flawless! Everything she writes is brilliant. Number the Star is an incredibly well-written, well-reasearched, and heartbreaking story set during the Holocaust. I loved it as a child and I love it as an adult

Young Adult

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
This book is Historical Fantasy but it does a great job of setting the tone of the historical period and uses the magical side of the book to demonstrate that the fact young woman at the time often felt like they were trapped between two worlds. It's also a great series!

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller (my review)
A new addition to the list but this book is a great piece of classic Historical Fiction. It weaves actual historical events around made up characters and is incredibly well-researched. You feel emmersed in the era but it's effortless and enjoyable. If you want to try Historical Fiction this is the book to start with.

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen (my review of the series)
I know, I know, put the stick down the horse is dead. I have been spreading my love of this series a lot lately but I think it is a fantastic Historical Fiction novel and incredibly engaging. It's Gilded Age Gossip Girl after all!

Historical Mysteries

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Another one that should not be a surprise to older followers of my blog. I talk about this book a lot. It's an interesting and trilling ride through history as the characters explore the truth about Dracula. I had to include on this list.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (my review)
This is a book that I expected to be a lot like all the other Historical Mysteries I have read but things took a very different turn and I became emotionally invested in the story. It is about an obscure and sad event during World War II and the Holocaust that is told masterfully.

Adult Favorites

The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory
Gregory is the master of stories from Tudor England. She does a great job at fictionalizing real people and their lives. The stories are so interesting and everything is so well-researched that it's hard to know what is real and what isn't. 

Atonement by Ian McEwan
Set during in Europe during the 1930's it is a book about love, war, and growing up in a challenging time. The best part about this book however is the unreliable narrator who makes you question what exactly is really happening. McEwan's writing is gorgeous and this book has a woderfully tortured love story.

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
This book gutted me! It so hauntingly sad and beautiful. Set during the 1950's it is a story of a couple that seems to have it all together but just below the surface is so much angst and unhappiness. It really shows a darker side of the hopeful post-War America.

Those are my Top Ten Favorite Historical Fiction novels. What are your favorites? Have you read these books? What did you think? Leave me a comment and of course HAPPY READING!


  1. Ohh I love me some historical fiction. A Mad, Wicked Folly has been one of my absolute favorites this year.

    I should really get on the Luxe train. You've inspired me to get on board!

    1. YEAH! Join The Luxe train, I'm pretty sure I'm either driving this train or one of the conductors shouting "ALL ABOARD!" I'm just a huge fan.

  2. I haven't read any of these! Sadly, I'm such a bad reader when it comes to historical fiction - because I can't seem to start reading them! I should though! Thanks for sharing :)

    Our TTT

    1. You should definitely give it a try. I suggest A Mad, Wicked Folly. It reads more like a traditional contemporary novel and a lot of people who are not fans of HF like this book.

  3. Oh my goodness - I definitely must check these out! I love LOVE historical fiction. I am going to be checking out A Great and Terrible Beauty and a Mad, Wicked Folly ASAP!

    My absolute top HF recommendation is Sharon Kay Penman. Her writing is gorgeous and SO well researched, but it reads like a novel. Her first novel is a standalone (The Sunne in Splendour) and is just so excellent. I also love her trilogy that starts with Here Be Dragons, but you just can't go wrong with her stuff. Definitely check it out!

    1. I have never heard of Sharon Kay Penman but you had me at dragons! I'll add her stuff to my TBR pile! Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. Oh nice! I vaguely recall reading Johnny Tremain at some point in school. So can't remember anything else about it! And ooh The Historian!! Read that one! During my struggles for finding Paranormal YA books, I did venture out occasionally and eventually even began reading the "adult" basically 18+ up books when I was about 17! Found The Historian and ended up really liking it! Got a bit overwhelmed with all the history chunks but still loved it!

    Here's my Tuesday post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

    1. Haha, Johnny Tremain was one of the rare books I loved reading. And I'm glad you enjoyed The Historian despite all the history aspects. It's got a lot going on and can definitely attract different audiences.

  5. Great list! I love that you broke it up by age group. I've had Luxe, The Other Boleyn Girl and The Historian of my TBR list for ages and now I have a few more to add to it!

  6. I almost made a list of Historical Fiction that I WANT to read instead of favorite books. And A Mad, Wicked Folly would have been on there! I read Johnny Tremain in 8th grade and it freaked me out. I just kept picturing what his hand looked like and giving myself nightmares LOL. It is a good book though!!

    Thanks for stopping by My TTT

    1. Yeah, that was definitely a traumatic scene! I almost included some popular HF that I want to read like Water for Elephants and The Book Thief. You should definitely read A <ad, Wicked Folly, it's a great book!