Historical Fiction

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.

08/22/2016 - 2:14pm
If you like And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

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.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
First there were ten-a curious assortment of strangers summoned to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to any of them, is nowhere to be found. The ten guests have precious little in common except that each has a deadly secret buried deep in their own past. And, unknown to them, each has been marked for murder. Alone on the island and trapped by foul weather, one by one the guests begin to fall prey to the hidden murderer among them. With themselves as the only suspects, only the dead are above suspicion. (catalog summary)

 

If you like the suspense and mystery of And Then There Were None, check out these titles:


A Bed of Scorpions by Judith Flanders
Summer in London-the sun is finally shining, the flowers are in bloom, and life is humming merrily along for book editor Samantha Clair, off to lunch with her old friend, art-dealer Aidan Merriam. Humming merrily until she learns that his partner has just been found dead in their gallery, slumped over his desk with a gun in his hand. Could anything be worse? Oh yes, the police investigation is being led by Inspector Jake Field, who just happens to be Sam's new boyfriend. And Aidan, who just happens to be Sam's ex-boyfriend, wants Sam's help. Finding herself drawn into another investigation, Sam does the only sensible thing and calls her mother. Before long, Sam finds her loyalties stretched to the limit as she herself is threatened. (catalog summary)

 

 


The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
A young, blond woman is found dead on the floor of Colonel and Mrs. Bantry's library. Nobody seems to know who the woman is, let alone how she wound up murdered in the Bantry's home. Jane Marple is called in and the chase is on. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

08/22/2016 - 10:01am
If you like Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

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.

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
A rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s. A radical young Irish monk struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gathers in a Park Avenue apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. A 38-year-old grandmother turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth. (catalog summary)

If you enjoyed Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann for the writing, the family story and the setting, you may enjoy these titles:


 

American Rust by Philipp Meyer
Left alone to care for his aging father after his mother commits suicide and his sister escapes to Yale, Isaac English longs for a life beyond his hometown. But when he finally sets out to leave for good, accompanied by his temperamental best friend, former high school football star Billy Poe, they are caught up in a terrible act of violence that changes their lives forever. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America, she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind. Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future. (catalog summary)


 

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)

 

 

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