Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Top Ten Historical Fiction Books That Jamie Loved


Check out how Top Ten Tuesday works & the future schedule of topics HERE.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is a freebie...meaning YOU pick whatever topic your heart desires! Did you miss a topic you wanted to participate in or have a really specific topic that will probably never be a general Top Ten Tuesday topic? This week is for YOU!

I decided to go with a list of the best adult historical fiction books or young adult historical fiction books that paint the picture of an era so well that I really want to visit it or read everything (fiction and non-fiction) that I can about it.

1. Vixen/Ingenue by Jillian Larkin: I've always had this obsession with flappers and the 1920's in general and this one is so great. I can picture the smokey lounges, hear the jazz playing, fear the pinstriped, gun toting pimps and envy the beautiful flappers and their amazing outfits. If you like Young Adult historical fiction and the 1920s, give this series a try!

2. Between Shades Of Gray by Ruta Septys: If I could only recommend one historical fiction books, it'd be this one. No matter what your reading preferences are, I think you'll find this book haunting and will open your eyes to one of history's most horrible injustices during Stalin's reign. I have recommended this book to so many of my friends and have found even my friends who are non-YA readers like it!

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusack: Oh my goodness. Talk about a book making you sob all through the night. THIS ONE. It's set during WW2 in Germany and is heartbreaking and so powerful. And it's narrated by DEATH...which is one of the most memorable POVS I've EVER come across. This book is on my top five favorite books ever list.

4.  Memoirs of A Geisha by Arthur Golden: I had been so wary about this one when I read it a few years ago. It was one of those books that I saw everybody and their MOM reading in airports or parks or in line at the grocery store. It was so hyped. But for good reason! I found myself easily immersed into the world of the geishas in Japan. The scenes were vivid, the story was interesting and I couldn't put it down. I even bought a non-fiction book about geishas! YAY learning.

5. Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum: Clearly I have a fascination with books set in WW2 but I really did love this book so much! I loved the mother-daughter storyline and the writing was wonderful! My heart broke for Anna in this book and it portrayed perfectly what a mother's love would allow her to do for her child.

6. A Long, Long Time Ago And Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka: Oh surprise surprise. This book is also set during WW2 in Poland. This book was a GEM! I had accepted a pitch on a whim and ended up LOVING it. Beautiful writing & complex characters. Definitely recommend if you like adult historical fiction set in WW2.

7. Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson: I don't typically read much Middle grade fiction but I love Laurie Halse Anderson and I really love the American Revolution. It fascinated me in school, I always read books set during that time as a child/tween and I geek out when my history buff stepdad takes to trips to battlefields. (He actually reenacts Washington's Crossing on the Delaware river here in PA on Christmas morning). This book will undoubtedly be a classic middle grade novel and I can see children really loving this in schools. The characters are relatable and the story is perfectly paced.

8. Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen: I LOVED this book. LOVED. It was so gritty and interesting and during and era that I find fascinating. And plus...a huge part of the setting is the circus! I thought the movie was pretty good but GO READ THE BOOK.

9. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara: I read this one for school and I really recall liking it. I've always loved learning about the Civil War era and this was one required reading assignment I didn't mind.

10. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer: I always see it labeled as Historical Fiction but it's an epistolary novel that has correspondences from the present but also the past as the main character is learning about this island of Guernsey during WW2. The title threw me off on this one and never really intrigued me but I saw a few rave reviews and HAD to read it! So glad I did!


Tell me some of your favorite historical fiction books!!


71 comments :

  1. I'm excited that Those Who Save Us made your list, I really loved that one too! Great characters.

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  2. Ooo, I like this one! I've been wanting to read more historical fiction!

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  3. Great list!! I LOVED Water for Elephants too! I bought the Book Thief but haven't read it yet.. is it adult or YA?

    Anyway, looking forward to checking out the other ones at some point too!

    Michele | Top 10

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  4. I loved Guernsey! Many of these titles are on my TBR pile! Another great WWII is Herman Wouk's 'Winds of War' series! I chose to feature Hilarious Titles.

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  5. Great list! Guernsey also made it on my list this week =) I chose to feature Rainy/Snowy/Blah day xD

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  6. Between Shades of Gray and Water for Elephants are some of my favorite historicals! You should check out Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, it's kind of similar to BSoG, but more adult:)

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  7. Oh great list! You have convinced me to try that YA series by Jillian Larkin.. In terms of YA historical fiction, I have to say that I really enjoyed The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen. I haven't enjoyed her Bright Young Things series as much, though. Still good, but not as engrossing as The Luxe.

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  8. Awesome list! I've read some of these but not all. Definitely plan on checking them out. And until your quick blurb of praise on The Book Thief, I was dragging my feet on reading it for a book club. Now I am excited!

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  9. Basically an AWESOME list!!! I have no idea what I am going to do as my freebie!!!

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  10. Grea picks. I've loved most of those, and am dying to read the rest.

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  11. Non-fiction about geishas would be interesting. I'm gonna check out between Shades of Gray, Those Who Save Us and Water for Elephants. Love this list as I'm a fan of historical fiction.

    Hello, I'm joining Top Ten today for the fist time. I look forward to exploring book/bookish lists, meeting great people here and having good reading fun.

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  12. And, (sorry I forgot) yes, this is where I'm going to find books and click on them.

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  13. Love doing Top Ten Tuesday. I originally found out about it through Anna at annareads. I've been doing my own for a while and my friends/family love reading it. So, I thought I'd make it official and add my name to the list. :) Thanks for hosting such a fun weekly post! I'm a relatively a new blogger so I love the variety of topics that make me stretch my reading comfort zone. :)

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  14. Woot! I love that this week was a free-for-all! It will be SO much fun to see what everyone blogs about. I rarely read historical fiction, so I could definitely add a lot of your picks to my list! I decided to write about the ten books I'm most excited to have received from ALA this weekend! :)

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  15. Thank you so much for creating TTT! This was my first time participation and I absolutely loved it!!! :)

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  16. Top Ten Tuesday is such a fun meme. Thanks for making it a Blogger's Choice week. Can't wait to read everyone's posts.

    Callie Kingston

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  17. agreed agreed agreed on Water for Elephants. I LOVED it as well :) :)

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  18. Oh, I enjoy historical SO much! The Book Thief is on my TOP Favorites of all time. AH-MAZING. Have you read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas? Holy shocking book batman. Set in the same time period WW2. Whoa. I gasped for air at the thrilling end. No No No. That could not have been the end?!

    My other favorite historical's are These is My Words by Nancy Turner and The Gable Faces East by Anita Stansfield. Both adult, but WHOA! EXCELLENT! Period. Moved me in ways no other books has. Ever.

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  19. I'm sorry, y'all, I posed the wrong link above (#74). I tried posting using my phone, but I accidentally posted one from several weeks ago.

    This historical fiction list is great! I'm in a historical fiction mood lately, and I want to read some adult books for a change, so I'm going to look in to some of them. I loved Between Shades of Gray and Chains, and The Book Thief is slowly climbing to the top of my TBR pile because it's sort of a must-read. I also have a fascination with WWII books, so I'm thinking your list is a good starting point!

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  20. Great list! I have been meaning to read Between Shades of Gray for a long time.

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  21. Here is the best historical fiction book I have ever read: The World is Not Enough by Zoe Oldenbourg. It's translated from French and it's from the fifties, I think, but it is fabulous.

    Here is my It's Top Ten Travel Narratives. I hope you will stop by!

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  22. I am joining in for the first time and making a mental note for linking up in the future! I had a post written with my current bookstack, Truly I am a slow reader, unlike so many of those hear linking up! But I am looking for books to read, and trying to read more Fiction this year. So be patient with me, lol! Thanks Jamie, and look forward to seeing what you and all your readers are reading! Thanks for the hosting. It would take me a year to read ten fiction books I think! That slow.

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  23. After the Book Thief I'm scared to read more historical fiction. They make me feel too much.

    I decided to do the Top Ten Fictional Crushes, but because it's a freebie week I didn't limit myself to literary crushes. Dammit just realized Darcy didn't make the cut and he so should have. Oh well.

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  24. This is a great idea for a list! I love historical fiction though I always tend to go toward the same time period when Henry VIII and Elizabeth reigned. I also loved Water for Elephants! I think I will add a few of these books to my TBR pile!

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  25. I enjoyed reading Water for Elephants last year and The Book Thief has been on my TBR for a very long time. :)

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  26. Great list! If I were making it, I would add What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell. I'm not a huge fan of Historical Fiction, but I liked this book, and it painted the era beautifully. Very Mad Men.

    Check out my Top Ten Books I Think Should Be Read in EVERY High School.

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  27. I LOVED Between Shades of Gray and I hear that Ruta Sepetys has another novel coming out that's World War 2 based (I think!) Great List! :)

    -Meredith

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  28. I just added Between Shades of Gray to my library hold list. It sounds so good!

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  29. JAMIE!!!!

    I've always been so shy of historical fiction, but most of the titles that you've included I wouldn't have considered that genre! You've kinda made me excited and not-so-scared of an ENTIRE GENRE of literature today. DO YOU REALIZE WHAT YOU'VE DONE? DO YOU???????

    I now have hope for historical fiction. And that is so, so huge.

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  30. Hi Jamie, The Book Thief is one of my all-time favorites as well. Such fantastic characters and emotion, it's a hard one to beat. I've had people tell me they couldn't get into it, but it's a book you have to stick with and you won't be sorry.

    Great list!

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  31. So glad we got to do freebies! I went back and did the "books that were out of my comfort zone" prompt.

    ALSO. I just started "Guernsey" and it took me about ten pages to notice that there was an extra word in the title - it's Potato Peel PIE Society, and my brain never registered the word "pie" even though the book was on the shelf for months, and I wrote about my plans to read it multiple times! My mind was blown.

    I also loved "Water for Elephants" even though it was one of those book-club everyone-and-their-mom-is-reading-it books.

    WWII is also one of my primary eras for historical fiction (the other one is Tudor stuff). My favorite author is Alan Furst, who writes beautifully atmospheric thrillers about ordinary people who get caught up in espionage.

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  32. I really enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society; The Book Thief is on one of my challenge lists for this year; I recently picked up Water for Elephants for a quarter in a thrift store, so I'll hopefully get it read soon. This is a great list and I'd like to check out some of the other books at some time, too. I'm off to work on my top 10 now!

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  33. Thanks for the freebie! I just started Top 10 Tuesdays and am looking forward to more. So great to link in with other readers and get some good recommendations. :)

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    1. Oops, I messed up the link in my name. Here's my do-over. Sorry--too early, need coffee.

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  34. I am going to be saving this list. I have wanted to read Vixen and Ingenue for a while. Also Memoirs of a Geisha and Water for Elephants.

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  35. This is a great list, especially The Book Thief. I loved that book so much. Another good choice not on your list is Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson.

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  36. I'm really excited about checking these books out as someone who is majoring in history in university right now and a fellow bookworm! I've only heard really good things about Between Shades of Gray and I want to read it badly!

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  37. Great list! Have you read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet? I've heard great things. It's flips between 1986 and the 194s. Since you liked Water for Elephants and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society I think it may something you'd enjoy :)

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  38. Great topic! I love historical fiction and am always on the lookout for new-to-me books. I am especially intrigued by "Between Shades of Grey." My personal favorite is either Lois Lowry's "Number the Stars" or Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander."

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  39. I enjoy historical fiction too--and I so agree on "The Book Thief". kaye—the road goes ever ever on

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  40. My sister loves The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society so it's unofficially on my to-read list =)

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  41. I'm back this week! I went with my Top 10 Surprises (5 books I expected to hate, but loved & 5 books I expected to love, but didn't).

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    1. Adam! I love that topic...can we use that for a future TTT?!

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  42. I'm taking notes from your list! Shades of Gray I really really want to read, and you make me want to give The Book Thief another try (I tried to read it once and surprisingly couldn't get into it, but that was years ago!)
    I loved Geisha, too.

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  43. I have so many of those on my shelf right now to read ... The Book Thief, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, Water for Elephants ... The only one I've read was Memoirs of a Geisha and I remember loving it so much that I refused to see the movie!

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  44. Love this list Jamie! I've always LOVED historical fiction. I want to read that Flapper series.

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  45. i keep hearing amazing things about shades of gray. i really need to pick it up sometime soon. great list!

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  46. I'm getting more and more into historical fiction. I really enjoyed The Luxe series and of course, Little House on the Prairie is an old standby.

    Great list!

    Here's My Top Ten

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  47. It's funny - it took me longer to come up with a list on a topic of my choosing! - lol

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  48. Very exciting to find a great blogging meme to link up with! I'm excited to begin writing and explore everyone's lists.

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  49. I loved The Book Thief, and Between Shades of Gray is on my tbr pile. Most of the historical fiction I've read deals with war, so I'm definitely going to pick up some of the books in your list asap! :)

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  50. I've been wanting to get my hands on a copy of Between Shades of Gray! I did my list on Things I Would Tell My Younger Self :)

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  51. Great list! I love historical fiction, I been wanting to read Water for Elephants, so many books to read!

    Happy reading,
    Kayla

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  52. We have some similar choices, but here is my list:

    1. Memoirs of a Geisha
    2. Between Shades of Gray
    3. And Ladies of the Club
    4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
    5. The Help
    6. Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
    7. The Alienist by Caleb Carr (historical mystery)
    8. The Book Thief
    9. The Weight of All Things by Sandra Benitez
    10. Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

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  53. I read Memoirs of a Geisha, it was amazing. I thought the movie did it justice too, though.
    Watched Water for Elephants, but have not yet read it.
    And strangely, I couldn't get hooked on the Book Thief, but I will try again!

    Here's my TTT.

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  54. Memoirs of a geisha is on my TBR list for this year. Saw the movie. I liked it. My husband read the book and said it was good, so that sold me on reading it.

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  55. I don't have time to write a regular post for this meme, but my favorite historical fiction for 2011 was Madame Tussaud, by Michelle. See my review, it will explain to you why this book is so so good: http://wordsandpeace.com/2011/03/01/madame-tussaud-a-novel-of-the-french-revolution/
    Parris' books, Heresy, and Prophecy, are also excellent: http://wordsandpeace.com/2012/01/12/review-96-97-heresy-prophecy/
    And many more in my historical novels category: http://wordsandpeace.com/category/historical-novels/

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  56. Water for Elephants is amazing! You should read Ape House, it is very different but also very good.

    I choose Books Everyone But Me Has Read for my topic. I feel ashamed. Very ashamed.

    http://deadtreesandsilverscreens.blogspot.com/2012/01/ten-books-everyone-but-me-has-read.html

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  57. Water for Elephants is also one of my favorite books. Memoirs of a Geisha is probably my favorite historical book though! That, and Gone with the Wind. Great list!!

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  58. Great list! I haven't actually read many of them, but definitely agree with the Book Thief - an incredible book. I chose top ten heroines this week - check it out at YA Yeah Yeah if you'd like to.

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  59. If you like historical fiction, you should try Timothy Findley's The Wars. It was a great novel about World War One.

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  60. I love this list, and this meme! I plan to join every Tuesday. I chose top ten fictional couples.

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  61. Water for Elephants, Between Shades of Grey, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Vixen are all on my to-read list! The Book Thief is great, I also suggest the Outlander series and Haunting Violet for historical fiction :)
    New follower!

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  62. I usually don't read historical fiction, but I'll add some of them to my TBR.

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  63. Hey! I've nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award. For more info, go to http://thespotts.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/kreativ-blogger-award/.

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  64. This is Jayleigh Cape from the blog "Till the Land Runs Out". I would like to award you the Versatile Blogger Award for your wonderful contributions to the writing world. Details are on my blog at http://jayleigh-cape.blogspot.com/2012/01/versatile-blogger-award.html Congratulations!

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  65. I choose HF, too! And I put in my list The Book Thief (the only one I read from you list, a very extraordinary book! :)

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  66. I love history (I am a history major) and so after reading your list I went off to Goodreads to add to my never ending to read list! Have you ever read The True Story of Hansel and Gretel? It's a re-telling (without the fairy tale aspects) of the story in WWII Poland. One of the best historical fiction books I have ever read. I cried so hard during parts. And the ending is so memorable. I really really suggest it, especially since WWII interests you.

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  67. This is fun!
    www.beautyandthearmagddon.blogspot.com

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