Top Ten Tuesday #256


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:

  1. 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!


44 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #256

  1. evelynreads1 24/03/2020 / 11:13 am

    Great list! I really love The diviners and The gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue!

    My post!

  2. lydiaschoch 24/03/2020 / 2:07 pm

    Yes, The Book Thief is a very emotional read for sure!

    My TTT .

  3. Davida Chazan 24/03/2020 / 2:35 pm

    If I had chosen historical fiction, my list would be a Top Two Hundred Tuesday post!

    • iloveheartlandx 25/03/2020 / 2:53 pm

      It’s a brilliant book, I hope you enjoy it if you do try it πŸ™‚

  4. Dedra @ A Book Wanderer 24/03/2020 / 3:50 pm

    I love historical fiction, too, and I almost chose it as my topic this week. I have Code Name Verity on my shelf, and I’ve been wanting to pick it up. Happy to see you enjoyed it! I’ve read the first book in The Diviners series, and loved it, but I haven’t picked up any of the others. I know I would have to reread the first one because it’s been so long. Hopefully I can do that someday! Great post!

    • iloveheartlandx 25/03/2020 / 2:52 pm

      It’s such a brilliant book, you definitely should give it a try. I love Elizabeth Wein’s historical fiction, she’s definitely a go-to for me in that genre. I would definitely recommend-if you have the option, I would try the audiobooks, I read all of them that way and the narration is just brilliant. Thank you πŸ™‚

      • Dedra @ A Book Wanderer 27/03/2020 / 1:23 pm

        Oh yay!! I’m gonna move it up the TBR list. 😊

      • iloveheartlandx 29/03/2020 / 8:50 pm

        Let me know how you like it πŸ™‚

  5. Carol 24/03/2020 / 4:46 pm

    You’re speaking my love language! I adore histfic and could talk about it for days! This week’s prompt was a toss up between histfic and books about books…and since I talk (blog) so much about histfic, I chose the later. I’m happy to see that we share a love for Book Thief! It’s on my lifetime favs list!

    Social isolation has interrupted so many plans! Stay safe at home! We’re on total lockdown in California. I worry about all the small business owners and how they will ever recover.

    • iloveheartlandx 25/03/2020 / 2:44 pm

      Ha ha me too, my degree is in History and Journalism so naturally history is something I love to read about. It’s one of my lifetime faves as well, such a beautiful book. Yes it has. Yeah we’re pretty much the same here and I’m definitely worried about how everything is going to survive once all this is over.

      • Carol 25/03/2020 / 5:47 pm

        My husband has an undergrad degree in history so he enjoys an occasional histfic as well! I’m always asking him History related questions when I’m reading and then he disappears down a google rabbit hole!

      • iloveheartlandx 29/03/2020 / 8:53 pm

        Ha ha have definitely been there! Usually when I’m watching TV or films to check historical accuracy (it’s normally rubbish!).

  6. evelynb98 24/03/2020 / 5:14 pm

    Hope you’re okay and I’m sorry your trip was cut short! This is a really good list, and I’ve known seen Fawkes and The Diviners recommended twice today so I think I might have to read them!

    • iloveheartlandx 25/03/2020 / 2:41 pm

      Thank you! I’m fine, and whilst it sucks that I had to come home early, at least I’m not locked down somewhere unfamiliar. You definitely should, they’re great books πŸ™‚

  7. anovelglimpse 24/03/2020 / 5:57 pm

    I love a good historical fiction book. I think my most recent favorite is probably Salt to the Sea. I still need to read Between Shades of Gray, though.

    • iloveheartlandx 25/03/2020 / 2:38 pm

      Me too! I enjoyed Salt To The Sea, but I liked Between Shades of Gray just a little bit more.

  8. Time for tales and tea 24/03/2020 / 7:29 pm

    Great list, I also love historical fiction! The Book Thief and Between Shades of Gray are both great stories! I also enjoyed Timekeeper, but I haven’t read the other books in the trilogy yet.

    • iloveheartlandx 25/03/2020 / 2:38 pm

      Thank you! Yes, historical fiction is great, and those two are two of my favourites. You definitely should, that series just got better and better with each book.

  9. Louise 24/03/2020 / 7:35 pm

    Glad you made it home safely! Hope you and your family are well!

    • iloveheartlandx 25/03/2020 / 2:37 pm

      Thank you! We are, just adjusting to the new normal πŸ™‚

  10. Leslie 24/03/2020 / 7:51 pm

    Loved, The Book Thief, Between Shades of Grey & Vice & Virtues! Such great books. I just bought the first two books in the Diviners series!

    My TTT!

    • iloveheartlandx 25/03/2020 / 2:37 pm

      They are! Ooh I hope you enjoy them. Let me know how you find them πŸ™‚

      • Leslie 26/03/2020 / 12:00 am

        Thank you!! Will do 😊

  11. Brooke Lorren (@Brookelorren) 24/03/2020 / 10:59 pm

    J’adored EnchantΓ©e! I love history too, although my degree was in computer science. I’m always learning new things about history though! Right now I’m reading a book on Japanese history and listening to an audio history class while I’m going for walks.

    • iloveheartlandx 25/03/2020 / 1:55 pm

      Yes, it was such a great book! Ah my best friend’s degree was in Computer Science also. That’s awesome, I never understand people who think history is boring, there’s so much fascinating stuff out there to discover πŸ™‚

  12. Jocelyn 25/03/2020 / 9:48 am

    I’m on a waiting list for the latest Diviners book and I absolutely can’t wait! The only other book I’ve read on this list is The Book Thief and years later I still tear up when I think of it. So I better change the subject before I get tears all over your blog πŸ˜›

    • iloveheartlandx 25/03/2020 / 1:01 pm

      I’m listening to it at the moment and really enjoying it! I get that, it’s such a heartbreaking story. Still one of my favourites though πŸ™‚

  13. Jess @ Jessticulates 25/03/2020 / 10:14 am

    Great list! I love The Book Thief, The Diviners and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. One of these days I need to give Code Name Verity a try!

    Sorry to hear your trip was cut short, but glad to hear you’ve arrived home safely.

    • iloveheartlandx 25/03/2020 / 12:52 pm

      Thank you! Yeah it wasn’t ideal, but I’d rather be stuck on lockdown at home than abroad, especially as healthcare in South Africa is not great. Oh you definitely should, Code Name Verity is brilliant πŸ™‚

  14. thebookishlibra 27/03/2020 / 12:58 am

    I love historical fiction but have actually only read two of these so far. Taking notes on the rest of your list to add to my TBR. πŸ™‚

    • iloveheartlandx 29/03/2020 / 8:52 pm

      Ooh yay, glad to have helped you find some new books πŸ™‚

  15. Louise β˜† 27/03/2020 / 11:28 am

    I liked Between Shades of Gray too because I also wasn’t familiar with that part of WWII history. And I have The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue on my Kindle so I’m hoping to get to read it in the summer πŸ™‚

    • iloveheartlandx 29/03/2020 / 8:52 pm

      I hope you enjoy Gentleman’s Guide. Yes, we focus so much on the German history of WWII that the other countries tend to fall by the wayside.

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