Tuesday, July 17, 2012

ttt: historical fiction books

This week's Top Ten Tuesday on the Broke and the Bookish is basically recommendations. The official topic is "Top Ten Books for People Who Like X Book" (pick a book and then recommend 10 read-a-likes). But rather than pick one book and work off of it (because that seemed too complicated for the sort of books I like), I thought I would just pick a genre and then choose my top ten. So I give you . . .


Top Ten Books for People Who Like Historical Fiction

* To keep the process simple, I'm only picking books that take place entirely within the past and are set at least fifty years ago.

1. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. One of my all-time favorites and not just for historical fiction. This is one of those books that made me want to write. The story revolves around a plan by Victorian-era London thieves to steal a young heiress's fortune.

2. Affinity by Sarah Waters. Another great book by Sarah Waters. This one's about a lady who volunteers at a women's prison in Victorian London. One of the inmates is a mysterious young spiritualist.

3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Classic. Everyone knows the story (I hope?). Rhett and Scarlett. Both stubborn, beautiful, and proud. Amazing, epic, Civil War love story.

4. The Spiritualist by Megan Chance. Another book about spiritualists. Also a romance. The husband of an upperclass New York woman is found murdered. So with her lawyer, the woman (who is now a suspect) must explore seances and the occult to figure out what really happened.

5. The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander. If you're interested in the Romanov family, definitely check out Robert Alexander. This book was short, but very interesting, and looks at the family's confinement and deaths.

6. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. Of course. Everyone knows about this one. It really was good. Gregory is another of those authors that I need to read more of. 

7. An Inconvenient Wife by Megan Chance. A wonderful book set in 1880s New York, when women were not appreciated and their sexuality was not understood. Focuses on a woman who is believed to have "hysteria" and her subsequent treatment.

8. The Bastard by John Jakes. The first book in a huge set of paperbacks about American history. It's quick and cheap, but definitely entertaining. This first book takes place during the years preceding the Revolutionary War.

9. Through a Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen. HUGE book, but it moves quickly. It's set around 1720 in Paris and London, looking at a number of characters from both the upper and lower class. But despite the length and number of characters, it's always easy to follow and very entertaining.

10. The Vanishing Point by Mary Sharratt. Dark and mysterious. A girl moves from Europe to the woods of colonial America, where her sister settled down earlier with a woodsman in an arranged marriage. But when she arrives, her sister is already dead. She must figure out what happened to her.

(Couldn't help it, I'm going for eleven.)

11. The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. Another Sarah Waters, this one set in WWII London. We follow a number of different characters through their lives and romances. Most importantly though, we move backward. The story begins at the end and each subsequent section sets us back a year or two. Makes for a refreshing, innovative way to tell a story.


  1. I switched up the topic a bit this week too. The only book on your list I've read is Gone with the Wind. I read it a couple years ago and I really enjoyed it.

  2. Ooh, great list! The Inconvenient Wife and The Vanishing Point are both going to have to go on my TBR list!

    And yeah, I found the prompt hard this week, so I had to make it more general too. :/

  3. Great list! Basically bookmarked them all on Amazon. I've only read The Other Boelyn Girl. Not even Gone with the Wind!

  4. Love the list! I haven't read much historical fiction, but I've enjoyed very much the ones I have read. Added a couple of these to my TBR list! :)


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