Historical Fiction

06/17/2015 - 1:53am
The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

Eduardo and Ciro watched their beautiful, bereft mother leave them behind, not looking back once. Surely, they were now orphans. Abandoned to be raised at a nunnery in the Italian Alps, they would grow into good if very different young men with only one hope—to see their mother again.

06/09/2015 - 9:18am
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Brooklyn is a tough place to grow up in the early part of the 20th century.  It’s made of immigrant families struggling to get by. Young Francie Nolan, half German and half Irish, adores her handsome father, the sometime singing waiter, and her more hard-minded mother who scrubs floors and does much to give her kids a better life. But, uneducated as her parents are, they have few choices and huge problems that a bright girl like Francie can certainly see.

06/04/2015 - 1:27pm
Before Versailles by Karleen Koen

Karleen Koen’s Before Versailles is a splendidly rich story of romantic intrigue set in the early days of the Sun King’s rule. Louis XIV is a very young and handsome king. Newly-married to a virtuous if plain Spanish princess, he is determined to be true to his vows, but the ladies at court have other ideas—particularly his brother’s wife.

04/07/2015 - 8:50pm
Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick

Young in years but not so much in worldly cares, Rose Meadows is set adrift when her wayward father abandons her permanently and her handsome, caretaking distant cousin takes up with the local Bolshevik crowd. But, in Cynthia Ozick’s historical novel Heir to the Glimmering World, Rose doesn’t give up. She takes matters into her own hands and answers an advertisement for a research assistant in a town miles away.

03/11/2015 - 10:16am
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I’m not sure I’ve read a book as simultaneously uplifting and horrifying as The Book Thief. Perhaps this is not too surprising as it’s narrated by Death himself.

02/27/2015 - 8:20am
If you like Drop City by T. Coraghessan Boyle


This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

Drop City by T. Coraghessan Boyle: "Countercultural clash: a Seventies commune tries out Alaska, where it encounters hostile homesteaders." (catalog description) The library has print and audio versions. 

If you like Drop City, you may also find these stories of folks living outside of society are appealing:  
 

Arcadia by Lauren Groff
Follows the fortunes of Bit and the commune his parents helped to create. A group of like-minded folks comes together to create a utopia in Arcadia. Despite everyone’s best intentions, the commune falls apart under the strain of privation and a self-serving leader who can’t live up to his own ideals. Bit is ill-prepared for the real world, but manages to make his way until a flu pandemic threatens the human race.
 

Flower Children by Maxine Swann
A woman and her siblings share an unstructured childhood on a Pennsylvania farm in the 70’s and each of them faces difficulties adjusting to adulthood and life off the farm.

 

03/27/2015 - 8:56am
I Am a World War I Fiction Junkie

Even before World War I became such a popular topic for books, movies, and articles, I was reading and watching anything on the subject I could get my hands on. World War I has always fascinated me since it set many of the events of the 20th century in motion. It was known as The Great War or The War to End All Wars because it had been so horrifying.

02/25/2015 - 9:10pm
The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith

With The Last American Vampire, author Seth Grahame-Smith has finally divulged the afterlife and unpredictable fate of Lincoln’s undead friend, vampire Henry Sturges, first encountered in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

02/20/2015 - 11:02am
If you like  The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

 The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd: "The story follows Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. 'The Invention of Wings' follows the next thirty-five years of their lives. Inspired in part by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke (a feminist, suffragist and, importantly, an abolitionist), Kidd allows herself to go beyond the record to flesh out the inner lives of all the characters, both real and imagined." (Book Description)

If you enjoyed  The Invention of Wings, you may also like these titles:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
A young woman from Nigeria leaves behind her home and her first love to start a new life in America, only to find her dreams are not all she expected (catalog description)

 

Belle Cora by Phillip Margulies
A sweeping historical tale based on the life and times of the daughter of a New York merchant finds the orphaned Belle suffering at the hands of a rival cousin before working as a prostitute and transforming herself repeatedly to win the love and life she desires. (catalog description)
 

02/11/2015 - 2:32am
Bright’s Passage by Josh Ritter

There are all kinds of angels. There are the sort that make grand pronouncements from God—bright, shining beings that are meant to be obeyed. They usually say their piece, and then they’re gone, leaving humans to make the best they can of the situation. That wasn’t the kind of angel that followed Henry Bright home from the Great War. No. This was the kind of angel who hung around and made suggestions, pretty much constantly.

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