Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Historical Reads

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new top ten topic is posted for followers to write about. This week we are asked to list our Top Ten Historical Fiction Novels. As we all know, I love mysteries--so quite a few (but not all) are going to be historical mysteries.

1. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. All time favorite. Inspector Grant "solves" the murder of the princes in the tower while recovering in the hospital. (5 star book)
2. India Black & the Widow of Windsor by Carol K Carr. Outstanding Victorian espionage/thriller/mystery series--this is the second. (5 star book)
3. What Alice Knew by Paula Cohen Marantz. A fictional revisiting of the Jack the Ripper murders. (5 star book)
4. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Outstanding historical mystery--with a library to die for...or to kill for depending on your point of view. (5 star book)
5. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. Fictional account of the Battle of Gettysburg. One of my all-time favorite Civil War era books. (5 star book)
6. Briar Rose by Jane Yolen. A blending of fairy tale and the horrors of the Nazi camps. Sounds weird...but a book that has stuck with me for 20 years or so. (5 star book)
7. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. Another book about WWII that I love. (4 star book)
8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I do love those WWII books. (4 star book)
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Account of a true-life mass murderer in Chicago at the 1893 World's Fair. A thriller and psychotic killer story that had me riveted. (4 star book) [As pointed out in comments below--this is actually straight-up non-fiction. But I'm keeping it here because it reads better than any fictional serial killer novel I've ever read.]
10. The Nonesuch OR Arabella by Georgette Heyer. Regency Romance at its best. (both are 4 star books)

Honorable Mention:

Katherine by Anya Seton. One of the few medieval-era books I really liked.


sawcat said...

Devil in the White City is an excellent book, but its straight up non-fiction.

I mean to pick up What Alice Knew. It sounds like an interesting mix of the James family, and Jack the Ripper

Bev Hankins said...

Oh...Yes. You're right. But it reads better than most fictional serial killer novels.

Yvette said...

Great list, Bev! I've actually read several of them and concur with you. I meant to write up my own list but got side-tracked yesterday. You know how it is.

I'm sorry you're having computer blues. Part of the game, I'm afraid. :)

Ryan said...

I came so close to starting The Devil in the White City last night. Instead I picked up a Raymond Chandler colleciton of short stories, and I'm wishing I would have gone with my first choice.

Bev Hankins said...

Ryan: Yes, you should have.