Historical fiction wound up being the genre that got me back into reading at the end of my self-isolation during this pandemic and I have a feeling it’s what I’m going to want to be reading for most of the summer – to escape a different time in the past where things were, if not better, at least different, than what we’re all dealing with right now. Here are just a few new favorites, and some from pre-quarantine as well. The images are links to the full reviews!
The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
Post-World War II England: The most recent book I finished (and most recent regular book blog post) is The Jane Austen Society which is out TODAY and I wish it a very happy book birthday! Set in the immediate aftermath of WWII in the UK, it is the story of a bunch of very different people mostly from the small town of Chawton who band together to save the legacy of Jane Austen as she begins to see a resurgence in popularity in the post-war years. It’s beautifully written and Natalie Jenner is definitely going to be one of my new favorite authors!
Lovely War by Julie Berry
Mostly World War I, mostly France: Another very recent read, I read Lovely War so that I can join in on the next virtual meeting of my book store’s YA book club, YA for All. The premise is quite unique: the Greek Gods are listening to Aphrodite tell the story of two young couples during WWI while they are in the middle of WWII. It’s a beautifully written story, one that will stay with you for quite some time.
The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
Late 18th century Vienna: I love a good book with music in it – through in lesser known female musicians and composers, along with a fantastical element, AND if it’s by one of my favorite authors, well then I’m sure to love it. I reread it recently to write my blog post for it since I first read it back at the beginning of last summer when I first got the advance copy.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
World War II, mostly France: Verity is one of my favorite World War II books and since it doesn’t make much sense to include Elizabeth Wein’s latest, The Enigma Game, which I finished reading but has now been pushed back until November, I figured I’d share the first in the loosely related series that first got me hooked! It’s a mesmerizing work of WWII literature and Verity is one of my all time favorite characters in WWII and YA literature.
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Feudal Japan: Renee Ahdieh is one of my favorite YA authors and Flame in the Mist is my favorite of all her books – Mariko is a fierce and awesome heroine, and the backdrop of feudal Japan was not one that I was overly familiar with, so I enjoyed learning more about a time and place I didn’t really know about before!
The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell
Viking Age (9th century) Britain, mostly Wessex: I broke my own rule of not watching before reading, but I started watching The Last Kingdom when I was waiting for the next season of Vikings and afterwards I just had to read the books – there really aren’t many books written during the time and as my own work in progress is about vikings, I figure best to do as much research as I can!
The Lost Queen by Signe Pike
Arthurian Britain, mostly Scotland: I feature this book on a lot of Bookish Tuesday lists, but it’s so near and dear to me that I just can’t help it. It’s a wonderful story of a little known time period during the dark ages, a time from when little written record exists and most of what we “know” comes from legend. As a fan of Arthurian legends and Scotland, this book was right up my alley and I’ll be diving into the sequel very shortly!