Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these. I’m actually back at home now, travel bans in South Africa due to the coronavirus meant a last minute change of plans, so I had to cut my trip short to make sure I got home. It’s not great, especially since I was really looking forward to my family coming out and getting to show them all my favourite places in Cape Town but safety comes first and I’m glad to be back at home and safe with my family, even if I won’t be able to leave my house much for the foreseeable future. My introvert self should probably be happier about social distancing, but coming back from almost three months without seeing my friends from home, it’s not exactly the kind of situation I wanted to come home to!
Anyway, I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is a Genre Freebie, and since I always talk about fantasies when I do this type of topic, I thought I’d change things up a bit and go with a different genre this time, so instead I’ll be talking about my Top Ten Favourite Historical Fiction books, as I love history (otherwise four years doing a history degree would have been a big mistake!) and I feel like I don’t talk about it as much as I should. So here we go, my Favourite Historical Fiction:
- The Book Thief-Markus Zusak
I know I’ve talked about how much I love this one before, because it’s one of my absolute favourite books. WWII Historical Fiction can feel a bit overdone, because it does tend to be the era that a lot of authors go for but The Book Thief feels quite different to anything else I’ve ever read in that vein. It’s such a brilliantly written, beautiful, emotional book and if you love historical fiction, you should definitely read it.
2. Cross My Heart-Carmen Reid
Another WWII era one, but this one covers the Belgian Resistance, which was something I never really learned about at school, so this was a really welcome surprise for me. I wish more people knew about this book, it had such a great plot, was brilliantly written and I really loved Nicole.
3. Between Shades of Gray-Ruta Sepetys
Yes, this is another WWII one, but again, it focused on a part of WWII that I was less familiar with, Stalin’s deportations in Eastern Europe. It’s such a beautiful, emotional read, and one of few that have made me actually cry. Lina is a brilliant heroine, and I like that her strength is more emotional that physical because I definitely think showing different types of strength in women is really important.
4. Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein
I’m not sure I’ve flailed about how much I loved this book recently, but I LOVED THIS BOOK. It has one of my favourite female friendships of all time, between Maddie and “Verity” and I love how it highlights women kicking butt in the war, Maddie and Julie are a pilot and a spy in a time when those were very unusual professions for women to have.
5. The Timekeeper Trilogy-Tara Sim
I love that historical fantasies have become a bigger thing over the past few years and one of my favourites is this one by Tara Sim. It’s wonderfully diverse, with POC and LGBTQA+ and disabled characters, it’s a really inventive alternative Victorian steampunk world where time is controlled by clock spirits and the main romance between Danny and Colton is so cute!
6. Enchantee-Gita Trelease
One of my favourite books from this year, it’s another historical fantasy but this time set just before the French Revolution, where magician Camille has to disguise herself as a noble in order to earn money for herself and her sister by magically changing cards. I love books that have sister relationships at their heart, and this is a great one.
7. Rose Under Fire-Elizabeth Wein
Another of Elizabeth Wein’s books, I didn’t love this one quite as much as Code Name Verity, but I did really enjoy it. It’s another really emotional one, again one of the few books I’ve cried at, Rose experiences some truly horrific things and knowing that real women went through similar and so much worse definitely had an impact.
8. The Diviners Series-Libba Bray
I read the first three books in this series last year and the final one earlier this year and it’s such a brilliant series. It’s definitely one of the most unique historical set books I’ve ever read, it’s part historical, part paranormal, part fantastical, and it’s just brilliant the way Libba Bray combines all these things with a really diverse cast of characters in 1920s New York.
9. Fawkes-Nadine Brandes
This is an alternative take on the Gunpowder Plot, which follows Guy Fawkes’ fictionalised son, Thomas, in a London where everyone is able to use different colour powers depending on the mask they wear and you are only supposed to be able to use one power. The conflict comes between the Keepers, who want to keep the masks the way they are, and the Igniters, who want to be able to use all the different colour powers, they take on the roles of the Catholics and the Protestants in this story.
10. The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue-Mackenzi Lee
Another of the books I read last year, and it was such a fun one, it follows Monty and Percy as they travel Europe on their “Grand Tour” which was a really thing that noblemen actually did in the 18th Century!
So there we go, those are my favourite historical fiction books. Do you like historical fiction? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments!
I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, we’re going to be talking Signs You’re A Book Lover, which should be a fun one for me to do!