Historical Fiction

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)

 

 

08/02/2017 - 3:19pm
If you liked The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

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 Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown 
While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. While working to solve the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci—clues visible for all to see—yet ingeniously disguised by the painter. Langdon joins forces with a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and learns the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion—an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others. In a breathless race through Paris, London, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu match wits with a faceless powerbroker who seems to anticipate their every move. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle in time, the Priory's ancient secret—and an explosive historical truth—will be lost forever. (catalog summary)

If you liked The Da Vinci Code read the other Robert Langdon novels:

Angels and Demons, Book 2The Lost Symbol, Book 3 Inferno, Book 4

If you enjoyed the Robert Langdon series, you may also like these titles:

The Codex by Douglas Preston

The Codex
by Douglas Preston

"Greetings from the dead," declares Maxwell Broadbent on the videotape he left behind after his mysterious disappearance. A notorious treasure hunter and tomb robber, Broadbent accumulated over a half a billion dollars' worth of priceless art, gems, and artifacts before vanishing--along with his entire collection--from his mansion in New Mexico. At first, robbery is suspected, but the truth proves far stranger: as a final challenge to his three sons, Broadbent has buried himself and his treasure somewhere in the world, hidden away like an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. If the sons wish to claim their fabulous inheritance, they must find their father's carefully concealed tomb. (from the publisher)

 

05/24/2016 - 1:18am
Plague Land by S.D. Sykes

Two years after the infamous and hideous Black Plague swept the continent of Europe, 18-year-old Oswald de Lacy finds himself the Lord of Somershill.

Although he does not wish to claim the title, he has no other choice since the Sickness took his father and two older brothers, leaving him to deal with a crumbling estate; an overbearing, paranoid mother; an unmarried, spoiled sister; and extremely fearful peasants.

04/05/2016 - 3:45am
My Brilliant Friend: Childhood, Adolescence by Elena Ferrante

I started listing adjectives to describe My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante: visceral; violent; passionate. This is the first in a series of four Neapolitan Novels by an elusive Italian author who writes under a pseudonym. Elena and Lila’s friendship is full of envy and love as they claw their way out childhood into adolescence in a poverty-stricken quarter of Naples in the 1950s.

03/30/2016 - 7:46am
Nightwoods by Charles Frazier

Her sister’s young twins came to Luce after a hard patch. Which is to say, having their mother meet her end most violently at the hands of their stepfather. They were odd children, quiet to the point of not speaking and not looking people in the eye. Ever. They had some disturbing habits, too, which spoke of far more having been done to their small selves than they would fess to. Not that they were fessing to anything, encased as they were in their eerie, shared silence. In Charles Frazier’s Nightwoods, their eccentric Aunt Luce and the North Carolina mountain she calls home promise nothing to them, yet they do provide a haven—for a while.

02/26/2016 - 3:40pm
If you like All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: "Shifting among multiple viewpoints but focusing mostly on blind French teenager Marie-Laure and Werner, a brilliant German soldier just a few years older than she, this novel has the physical and emotional heft of a masterpiece. The main protagonists are brave, sensitive, and intellectually curious, and in another time they might have been a couple. But they are on opposite sides of the horrors of World War II, and their fates ultimately collide in connection with the radio-a means of resistance for the Allies and just one more avenue of annihilation for the Nazis. Set mostly in the final year of the war but moving back to the 1930s and forward to the present, the novel presents two characters so interesting and sympathetic that readers will keep turning the pages hoping for an impossibly happy ending." (Library Journal)

If you enjoyed All the Light We Cannot See, you may also like these titles:

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
"In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must do to survive while keeping secret all that she can." (Book Description)

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
"Set in the ethnic neighborhoods of Seattle during World War II and Japanese American internment camps of the era, this debut novel tells the heartwarming story of widower Henry Lee, his father, and his first love Keiko Okabe." (Book Description)

02/17/2016 - 2:13am
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Tom Rob Smith’s debut novel, Child 44, kicks off an addicting trilogy that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

01/22/2016 - 10:52am
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

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.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson: "Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet life in the village of St. Mary, England, until his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But will their relationship survive in a society that considers Ali a foreigner?" (Book summary)


If you liked Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, you may also like these titles for the wit, beauty of the language, and the great characters:

An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer
A sixty-ish widower misses the companionship of a wife, but has absolutely no desire for dating.

Cutting For Stone by A. Verghese
An Indian nun has an affair with a British surgeon.  Their twin sons grow up in Ethiopia, and fall in love with the same woman.

01/05/2016 - 3:08am
All Men Fear Me by Donis Casey

Boynton, Oklahoma: 1917. A stranger comes to town. A nondescript, little man in a bowler hat. Says his name is Nick. Old Nick. He seems drawn to the flaring tempers and anti-foreigner rants that are bubbling up as the United States enters WWI. He can smell the murderous rages and incendiary fear wafting off some of the citizens. For the scared and the angry, he might sidle up behind them and whisper in their ears, "Tell me. Tell me what you want."  And then, somehow, their ugly thoughts . . . become reality.

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