Historical Fiction

08/22/2016 - 12:39pm
Cover to Grey Mask by Patricia Wentworth

The Miss Silver mystery series, by Patricia Wentworth, was written in the 1930s and 1940s. Like Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Miss Silver is genteel, a spinster, and an avid knitter. However, the similarities end there. Miss Silver is a professional investigator who is more similar to Sherlock Holmes than Miss Marple.   

08/19/2016 - 9:21am
If you like The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

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 Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Meeting through mutual friends in Chicago, Hadley is intrigued by brash "beautiful boy" Ernest Hemingway, and after a brief courtship and small wedding, they take off for Paris, where Hadley makes a convincing transformation from an overprotected child to a game and brave young woman who puts up with impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband's career. (catalog summary)

 

If you like the biographical fiction of The Paris Wife, you should check out these titles as well:

 

 

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold she has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure. (catalog summary)
 


 

 

 

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Twin brothers born from a secret love affair between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Addis Ababa, Marion and Shiva Stone come of age in Ethiopia, where their love for the same woman drives them apart. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/18/2016 - 11:03am
If you like Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

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.

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, Inman, a Confederate soldier, decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains and to Ada, the woman he loved there years before. His trek across the disintegrating South brings him into intimate and sometimes lethal converse with slaves and marauders, bounty hunters and witches, both helpful and malign. At the same time, Ada is trying to revive her father's derelict farm and learn to survive in a world where the old certainties have been swept away. As it interweaves their stories,Cold Mountainasserts itself as an authentic AmericanOdyssey--hugely powerful, majestically lovely, and keenly moving. (catalog summary)
 

If you like Cold Mountain, you might like these titles:



All the Pretty Horses
by Cormac McCarthy
This is the tale of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen finds himself at the end of a long line of Texas ranchers, cut off from the only life he has ever imagined for himself. With two companions, he sets off for Mexico on a sometimes idyllic, sometimes comic journey to a place where dreams are paid for in blood. Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction. (catalog summary)

 

 

Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall
Amid the mayhem of the American Civil War, a Virginia plantation wife is put on trial by her slaveholder husband. Iris Dunleavy is convicted of madness by a Virginia judge; it is the only reasonable explanation the court can see for her willful behavior, so she is sent to Sanibel Asylum to be restored to a good compliant wife. But Iris knows her husband is the true criminal; she is no lunatic, only guilty of disagreeing with him on Southern notions of justice, cruelty, and property. The asylum calls itself modern, but Iris is skeptical of its methods, particularly the dreaded "water treatment." In this isolated place, she finds love with Ambrose. But can she take him with her if she escapes? Will there be anything for them to make a life from, back home? This novel is the story of a spirited woman, a wounded soldier, their impossible love, and the call of freedom. (catalog summary)

 

08/17/2016 - 2:59am
Cover to Mr. Churchill's Secretary

The old house Maggie inherited from her English grandmother was a testament to bygone days of glory. Maggie only meant to come to London to sell it, but with the housing market down and war raging in Europe—and most definitely threatening England—Maggie decided to keep it and fill it with her twentysomething friends.

Sarah is a dancer. “Chuck” is that tough yet tender rarity for the 1940s—a woman doctor. Paige is an old classmate from Wellesley, a Southern belle. Then there are the boy-crazy twins who live for the theatre.

08/12/2016 - 9:19am
If you like Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

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.

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
Caring for her family on their mid-20th-century tobacco farm after the loss of her parents, 15-year-old Ivy connects with Grace County social worker Jane, who strains her personal and professional relationships with her advocacy of Ivy's family, whose dark secrets test Jane's resolve against racial tensions and state-mandated sterilizations. (catalog summary)

If you like the historical drama, diversity, and transition of Necessary Lies, then check out these titles:

 

 

Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni 
A novel in stories, built around crucial moments in the lives of 3 generations of women in an Indian/Indian-American Family. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

 

The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman
Through an heirloom charm bracelet three women will rediscover the importance of family, love, faith, friends, fun and a passion for living as the magic of each charm changes their lives. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/10/2016 - 1:52pm
If you like Historical Fiction & Mysteries

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.

Are you looking for a mystery--but not set in the present day? A mystery that was solved long ago? A rogue hero or heroine that fears nothing from the past? Look no further. Here are a few fresh--all published in 2016--historical mysteries for you to dive into.

As Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber
July 1831. In the midst of their idyllic honeymoon in England's Lake District, Kiera and Gage's seclusion is interrupted by a missive from Kiera's new father-in-law. A deadly incident involving a distant relative of the Duke of Wellington has taken place at an abbey south of Dublin, Ireland, and he insists that she and Gage look into the matter. Intent on discovering what kind of monster could murder a woman of the cloth, the couple travels to Rathfarnham Abbey school. (catalog summary)
 


Better Dead by Max Allan Collins
It's the early 1950's. Joe McCarthy is campaigning to rid America of the Red Menace. Nate Heller is doing legwork for the senator, though the Chicago detective is disheartened by McCarthy's witch-hunting tactics. He's made friends with a young staffer, Bobby Kennedy, while trading barbs with a potential enemy, the attorney Roy Cohn, who rubs Heller the wrong way. Not the least of which for successfully prosecuting the so-called Atomic Bomb spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. When famous mystery writer Dashiell Hammett comes to Heller representing a group of showbiz and literary leftists who are engaged in a last minute attempt to save the Rosenbergs, Heller decides to take on the case. (catalog summary)

 

The Butcher Bird by S.D. Skyes 
Oswald de Lacey is growing up fast in his new position as Lord of Somershill Manor. The Black Death changed many things, and just as it took away his father and elder brothers, leaving Oswald to be recalled from the monastery where he expected to spend his life, so it has taken many of his villagers and servants. However, there is still the same amount of work to be done in the farms and fields, and the few people left to do it think they should be paid more - something the King himself has forbidden. Just as anger begins to spread, the story of the Butcher Bird takes flight. People claim to have witnessed a huge creature in the skies. A new-born baby is found impaled on a thorn bush. And then more children disappear. Convinced the bird is just a superstitious rumor, Oswald must discover what is really happening. (catalog summary)

 

08/09/2016 - 2:06am
Cover to The Mangle Street Murders

M.R.C. Kasasian’s The Mangle Street Murders begins a murder-by-gaslight series which may appeal to fans of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, or Carole Nelson Douglas’ Irene Adler.

“It’s a pity you’re not prettier,” or words to that effect seem to follow March Middleton everywhere she goes. She is alone in the world after her surgeon-father’s death, her mother having died at her birth. With no marriage prospects and frankly no desire for wedlock, apparently penniless March accepts an old family friend’s invitation to be his ward. After all, London must be more interesting than the placid English countryside.

08/08/2016 - 1:05pm
If you like The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

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 Historian by Elizabeth Kostova 
Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor," and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of-a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known-and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. (catalog summary)

If you enjoyed this book's mixture of history, mystery, and suspense, here are some other titles you may enjoy:

 

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. (catalog summary)


 

 

 

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
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. Only this small group of scholars realizes that the gruesome killings are modeled on the descriptions of Hell's punishments from Dante's Inferno. With the lives of the Boston elite and Dante's literary future in America at stake, the Dante Club members must find the killer before the authorities discover their secret. (catalog summay)

 

 

08/02/2016 - 2:14pm
If you like A Tradition of Victory by Alexander Kent

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 Tradition of Victory by Alexander Kent
Called upon to lead his ships into a reckless but essential attack on Napoleon's fleet, Rear Admiral Richard Bolitho is torn between duty and his desire to return to the woman he loves. (catalog summary)

 

If you like Alexander Kent, here are a few more titles involving the Napoleonic Period on the High Seas:

 

The Fortune of War by Patrick O'Brian
Jack Aubrey, commander of the best-armed frigate in the Royal Navy, leaves the Dutch East Indies to return to England in a dispatch vessel, but the outbreak of the War of 1812 delays his journey and draws him into bloody battle. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

 

Guernseyman by C. Northcote Parkinson
Richard Delancey, inadvertently embroiled in Liverpool labor riots, sidesteps punishment by "volunteering" for the Navy. Ranked as a midshipman, he is no sooner aboard than his ship sails for the port of New York. But when the events of the American Revolution and the ongoing hostilities between England and France send him back across the sea, Delancey finds himself instrumental in defending the Isle of Jersey and, later, the Rock of Gibraltar. (catalog summary)

 

 

07/28/2016 - 11:10am
If you like World War II and Audiobooks

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.

If you like history and listening to it, here are a few highly recommended audiobooks set in World War II:

All Clear by Connie Willis
After three Oxford historians travel back in time to the year 1940, historical records indicate that at least one of them affected the past and changed the outcome of World War II. (catalog summary)



All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris and is blind by age six. Her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, so she can memorize it and navigate the real streets. When the Germans occupy Paris, they flee to Saint-Malo on the coast. In Germany, Werner grows up enchanted by a crude radio he finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, which wins him a place with the Hitler Youth. Werner travels throughout Europe, and finally to Saint-Malo, where his meets Marie Laure. Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Literature. (catalog summary)

 


Atonement by Ian McEwan
In the summer of 1935, 13-year-old Briony Tallis wildly misinterprets the relationship between her sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner, childhood friends home from Cambridge. So when her young cousin is assaulted, Briony gives in to her hyperactive imagination and blames the atrocity on Robbie. It is a terrible decision that alters lives and fills Briony with an everlasting sense of guilt. (catalog summary)
 

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