Historical Fiction

10/05/2016 - 10:59am
If you like The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
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 other book matches here.
 
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Abandoned as a tiny girl on a ship headed for Australia, Nell Andrews sets out on a journey to England to try to trace her story, to find her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell's death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. (catalog summary)
 
If you like The Forgotten Garden, you may also like these titles:
 


The Alphabet Sisters
by Monica McInerney
As girls growing up in Clare Valley, Australia, Anna, Bett, and Carrie Quinlan were childhood singing stars known as The Alphabet Sisters. The unbridled enthusiasm of their flamboyant grandmother Lola was the glue that held them together. As adults, though, the women haven't spoken in years-ever since Bett's fiancé deserted her to marry the younger Carrie. Now Lola is turning eighty and she is determined to reunite the girls for a blowout bash. And no one ever says no to Lola. (catalog summary)
 


 


Five Quarters of the Orange
by Joanne Harris
When Framboise Simon returns to a small village on the banks of the Loire, the locals do not recognize her as the daughter of the infamous woman they hold responsible for a tragedy during the German occupation years ago. But the past and present are inextricably entwined, particularly in a scrapbook of recipes and memories that Framboise has inherited from her mother. And soon Framboise will realize that the journal also contains the key to the tragedy that indelibly marked that summer of her ninth year...(catalog summary)
 
 
09/28/2016 - 11:47am
One by Sarah Crossan

Looking for some reading recommendations for your book club? Why not mix things up with a Young Adult (YA) title!

09/14/2016 - 12:18am
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs. Perhaps it’s not a fascinating name, but it –is- the name of a fascinating woman. Born to a poor but loving family, thirteen-year-old Maisie goes into service in a grand London house. How very fortunate for her that it is the home of a clever and bored lady bountiful.

09/06/2016 - 12:04pm
If You Like Drop City by T.C. 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.C. Boyle
It is 1970, and a down-at-the-heels California commune has decided to relocate to the last frontier--the unforgiving landscape of interior Alaska--in the ultimate expression of going back to the land. The novel opposes two groups of characters: Sess Harder, his wife Pamela, and other young Alaskans who are already homesteading in the wilderness and the brothers and sisters of Drop City, who, despite their devotion to peace, free love, and the simple life, find their commune riven by tensions. As these two communities collide, their alliances shift and unexpected friendships and dangerous enmities are born as everyone struggles with the bare essentials of life: love, nourishment, and a roof over one's head. (catalog summary)

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. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

Boonville by Robert Mailer Anderson
Surrounded by misfits, rednecks, and counterculture burnouts, John Gibson--the reluctant heir of an alcoholic grandmother--and Sarah McKay--a commune-reared "hippie-by-association"--search for self and community in the hole-of-a-town Boonville. As they try to assemble from the late-twentieth-century jumble of life the facts of sexuality, love, and death, and face the possibility of an existence without God, John and Sarah learn what happens when they dare to try to make art from their lives. (catalog summary)

 

 

09/06/2016 - 12:12pm
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

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 other book matches here.

 

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
A very contemporary cynic, physically beautiful and sexually adept, crashes his car into a ravine and suffers horrible burns over much of his body. As he recovers in a burn ward, undergoing the tortures of the damned, he awaits the day when he can leave the hospital and commit carefully planned suicide--for he is now a monster in appearance as well as in soul. Then a beautiful and compelling, but clearly unhinged, sculptress of gargoyles by the name of Marianne Engel appears at the foot of his bed and tells him that they were once lovers in medieval Germany. (catalog summary)
 

If you liked The Gargoyle, you may also like these titles:


The Dante Club
by Matthew Pearl
In 1865 Boston, the literary geniuses of the Dante Club--poets and Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, along with publisher J. T. Fields--are finishing America's first translation of The Divine Comedy and preparing to unveil Dante's remarkable visions to the New World. The powerful Boston Brahmins at Harvard College are fighting to keep Dante in obscurity, believing that the infiltration of foreign superstitions into American minds will prove as corrupting as the immigrants arriving at Boston Harbor. The members of the Dante Club fight to keep a sacred literary cause alive, but their plans fall apart when a series of murders erupts through Boston and Cambridge. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

Dante's Numbers by David Hewson
It was a warm, golden evening in Rome--a night filled with anticipation. A legendary director was premiering his new film version of Dante's Inferno. From around the world, celebrities gathered at the Villa Borghese as the paparazzi thronged among them. But within moments the event was in chaos. A man was dead. The film's star was missing--and a priceless relic had vanished. In David Hewson's masterful new novel of suspense, Detective Nic Costa, numb from the recent death of his wife, finds himself and his fellow detectives drawn into a strange and terrifying limbo--the first of Dante's nine circles of Hell. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/31/2016 - 1:54pm
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. (catalog summary)

 

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


 

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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 summary)

 

 

 


 

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 summary)

 

 

08/30/2016 - 12:33pm
If you like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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.
 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice—but the weight of history will only tolerate so much. (catalog summary)

One of the best-loved classics of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has earned many distinctions since its original publication in 1960. It has won the Pulitzer Prize, been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie. Most recent, librarians across the country gave the book the highest of honors by voting it the best novel of the century (Library Journal).

Sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird: Go Set a Watchman

 

If you like To Kill a Mockingbird, you may also like the following titles:


 

The Catcher and the Rye by J.D. Salinger
In an effort to escape the hypocrisies of life at his boarding school, sixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield seeks refuge in New York City. (catalog summary)

 

 



Freshwater Road
by Denise Nicholas
When University of Michigan sophomore Celeste Tyree travels to Mississippi to volunteer her efforts in Freedom Summer, she's assigned to help register voters in the small town of Pineyville, a place best known for a notorious lynching that occurred only a few years earlier. As the long, hot summer unfolds, Celeste befriends several members of the community, but there are also those who are threatened by her and the change that her presence in the South represents. (catalog summary)


 

08/29/2016 - 10:27am
If You Like Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

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.

 

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The "memoirs" of one of Japan's most celebrated geishas describes how, as a little girl in 1929, she is sold into slavery; her efforts to learn the arts of the geisha; the impact of World War II; and her struggle to reinvent herself to win the man she loves. (catalog summary)

If you like Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, you may likese these selections: 

 



Across the Nightingale Floor
by Lian Hearn
Set in an imaginary, ancient Japanese society dominated by warring clans, Across the Nightingale Floor is a story of a boy who is suddenly plucked from his life in a remote and peaceful village to find himself a pawn in a political scheme, filled with treacherous warlords, rivalry-and the intensity of first love. In a culture ruled by codes of honor and formal rituals, Takeo must look inside himself to discover the powers that will enable him to fulfill his destiny.  (catalog summary)

 

 


 

The Binding Chair, or A Visit From the Foot Emancipation Society by Kathryn Harrison
In poised and elegant prose, Kathryn Harrison weaves a stunning story of women, travel, and flight; of love, revenge, and fear; of the search for home and the need to escape it. Set in alluring Shanghai at the turn of the century, The Binding Chair intertwines the destinies of a Chinese woman determined to forget her past and a Western girl focused on the promises of the future. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/25/2016 - 2:58pm
If you like A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

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 other book matches here.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul--they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival. (catalog summary)

If you like A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, you may also like these selections (includes books pre-1900 & post-1900, per customer's request):

 


The Awakening
by Kat Chopin (pre-1900; women)
Edna Pontellier is trapped. By her marriage, by her responsibilities to two young sons, by the expectations of Creole society. When she falls in love with the charming and flirtatious Robert Lebrun during a summer on the Louisiana coast, Edna awakens to a new sense of herself, and to the possibility of true independence. Mademoiselle Reisz, a locally renowned musician, offers one example of the self-sufficient, artistic existence Edna might lead. An affair with the notorious womanizer Alcée Arobin warns of the passion and danger inherent in living outside the boundaries of convention. Torn between the life that was handed to her and the one she wants to live, Edna makes a shocking decision. (catalog summary)


 



Birds Without Wings
by Louis De Bernières
The setting is a small village in southwestern Anatolia in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire. Everyone there speaks Turkish, though they write it in Greek letters. It's a place that has room for a professional blasphemer; where a brokenhearted aga finds solace in the arms of a Circassian courtesan who isn't Circassian at all; where a beautiful Christian girl named Philothei is engaged to a Muslim boy named Ibrahim. But all of this will change when Turkey enters the modern world. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/23/2016 - 12:03am
Cover to Land of Herrings and Persimmons: People and Places of Upper Stafford County, Virginia

Every year brings a lot of newcomers to the northern Stafford area. At first glance, they may see its many stores, wide roads, and convenient subdivisions. That’s modern Stafford, bedroom community to D.C. and Quantico Marine Corps Base. But Stafford County has a significant place in history, too.

Well-known local historian Jerrilynn Eby’s Land of Herrings and Persimmons is a tremendous volume that chronicles the county’s farming and industrial past, place by place, including Stafford County communities that were enveloped and lost when Quantico was established.

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