Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Monthly Recommendations: Historical Fiction

Historical fiction is by far one of my favorite genres to read.  What better way is there to learn about history than through a book of fiction.  Many non-fiction books on history can be on the dry side and full of dates and facts that often go in one ear and out the other, but I find in historical fiction, you learn about history in a much more interesting context.  My love for historical fiction, probably started with the Little House books, although I don't believe I read all of them.  One of these days, I must go back  and read the series in its entirety.

Each month the group Monthly Recommendations, which was created by booktubers Kayla (from Kayla Rayne) and Trina (from Between Chapters), has a new topic for everyone to use to recommend books. There is no set number of books, no set genre, just a general topic that's mostly up to your interpretation.

So let's get into my recommendations.

Lilac Girls

This was one of my favorites of last year.  It takes place during and after WWII related stories are told: one by a young woman who was sent to Ravensbroucke Concentration Camp, one who was the only female doctor at Ravensbroucke, and one who was a NYC debutante and was involved in the war effort on the home front and helped some of the victims of Add to dictionary after the war.


Another favorite from the first part  of last year following the life of a young girl into old age who was one of the exiles to the leper colony on Moloka'i.  I had not expected to enjoy this as much as I did, but the story was actually very fascinating and engrossing.

Yellow Crocus

I read this back in 2011 or 2012, I think and it also follows a young girl as she grows up and realizes the freedoms she enjoys in the antebellum south are not the same as the slaves on her family's plantation.

Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls #1)

This was the first book that I read by Lisa See back in 2011 and my favorite book of that year.  Pearl and May have lived a pretty good life in Shanghai, then their father goes into debt and has to "sell" his daughters into arranged marriages in America.  My first real introduction to Chinese-American lives during the late 30's and 40s.

China Dolls

Another book by Lisa See that was one of my favorites that I read in 2014.  This one also revolves around the same years as Shanghai girls but is solely in the U.S..  Three young women from different backgrounds meet and become friends through the "Chop Suey Circuit". 

I usually don't re-read books, but this and Shanghai Girls are 2 that I may very likely re-read or listen to as an audiobook.  I have am ARC of Lisa See's newest book, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane that I will be reading next month or later this month that I am quite anxious to get to.

Thunder on the Plains (Casablanca Classics)

Roseanne Bittner is one of my very favorite authors.  I've been reading and loving her historical romances since the early 90s.  It encompasses about 12 years and sees the characters through a wagon train trip out west to see if the dream of a transcontinental railroad is possible, the Civil War, the actual construction of the Union Pacific Railroad and the meeting of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific, as well as many adventures within the years.

Honorable Mentions

The Midwife of Hope River: A Novel of an American Midwife

This is the first book in a series by Patricia Harman and I believe she is a midwife, herself.  The story centers on Patience Murphy, an Appalachian midwife, West Virginia.  Right near the beginning, her boyfriend or fiancé is traveling by train  in Illinois and my hometown is actually mentioned.  I really need to read the second book in the series, since I believe a third book is coming out soon.

The Help

Another very enjoyable book that I read in 2012.  Most if not all of you have heard of, if not read this book and/or seen the movie about the lives in the early 60s in Mississippi between the black maids and their white employers.

Sorry this post is late .  January was actually the month for historical fiction recommendations, but better late than never.

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