Historical Fiction books out there. If you would like to read something not on the list, please ask



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Silence Over Dunkerque

Tunis

The Germans unleashed their powerful army through Luxembourg and Belgium and in a few short weeks, Belgium and France were defeated and the British forces on the continent retreated to the port of Dunkerque. In an incredible feat of daring and luck, the British were able to extract most of the troops in their army, along with small numbers of French and Belgians. In history classes, this is considered a victory for the British, when in fact it was a complete defeat. Had the Germans not been so swift in their victory, they would have ground the British army into nothing.
This is the story of the retreat and evacuation as it was. It is a combination of bravery, humiliation, death, defeat, fear, stoic carrying on and often an every man for himself situation.


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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Anonymous

Brian Stone (Translator)



A New Year’s feast at King Arthur’s court is interrupted by the appearance of a gigantic Green Knight, resplendent on horseback. He challenges any one of Arthur’s men to behead him, provided that if he survives he can return the blow a year later. Sir Gawain accepts the challenge and decapitates the knight – but the mysterious warrior cheats death and vanishes, bearing his head with him. The following winter Gawain sets out to find the Knight in the wild Northern lands and to keep his side of the bargain.


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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

See, Lisa

In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, an “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s written a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on the fan and compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together they endure the agony of footbinding and reflect upon their arranged marriages, their loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood.


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Snow Treasure

McSwigan, Marie

In the bleak winter of 19 0, Nazi troops parachuted into Peter Lindstrom's tiny Norwegian village and held it captive. Nobody thought the Nazis could be defeated—until Uncle Victor told Peter how the children could fool the enemy. It was a dangerous plan. They had to slip past Nazi guards with nine million dollars in gold hidden on their sleds. It meant risking their country's treasure—and their lives. This classic story of how a group of children outwitted the Nazis and sent the treasure to America has captivated generations of readers.

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The Source: A Novel

Michener, James

Michener vividly re-creates life in and around an ancient city during critical periods of its existence, and traces the profound history of the Jews, including that of the early Hebrews and their persecution, the impact of Christianity on the Jewish world, the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition. This is an epic tale of love, strength, and faith that finally arrives at the founding of Israel and the modern conflict in the Middle East. A compelling history of the Holy Land and its people & a richly written saga encompassing the development of Western civilization.


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The Tale of Genji

Shikibu, Murasaki

Written in the eleventh century, this exquisite portrait of courtly life in medieval Japan is widely celebrated as the world’s first novel. Genji, the Shining Prince, is the son of an emperor. He is a passionate character whose tempestuous nature, family circumstances, love affairs, alliances, and shifting political fortunes form the core of this magnificent epic. Royall Tyler’s superior translation is detailed, poetic, and superbly true to the Japanese original while allowing the modern reader to appreciate it as a contemporary treasure.

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Tale of Two Cities

Dickens, Charles

Against the backdrop of the French Revolution, Dickens unfolds a masterpiece of drama, adventure, and courage featuring Charles Darnay, a man falsely accused of treason. He bears an uncanny resemblance to the dissolute, yet noble Sydney Carton. Brilliantly plotted, the novel culminates in a daring prison escape in the shadow of the guillotine.

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Things Fall Apart

Achebe, Chinua

Two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.

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This Fleeting World: A Short History of Humanity

Christian, David

This book will take you on a journey from the earliest foraging era to the agrarian era to our own modern era a fascinating one.

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Three Against Hitler

Wobbie, Rudi

A True story of three LDS teens fight for freedom.

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To Destroy You Is No Loss

Criddle, Joan

With the Khmer Rouge takeover in 1975, 15-year-old Teeda and 15 members of her upper-class family were among millions driven from Phnom Penh into the countryside. Now living in America, Teeda here recounts a terrifying, slavelike existence.

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Trinity

Uris, Leon

The history of the Irish Struggle. A sweeping and powerful epic adventure that captures the "terrible beauty" of Ireland during its long and bloody struggle for freedom. It is the electrifying story of an idealistic young Catholic rebel and the valiant and beautiful Protestant girl who defied her heritage to join his cause. It is a tale of love and danger, of triumph at an unthinkable cost -- a magnificent portrait of a people divided by class, faith, and prejudice -- an unforgettable saga of the fires that devastated a majestic land . . . and the unquenchable flames that burn in the human heart.


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Truman

McCullogh, David

The last president to serve as a living link between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, Truman's story spans the raw world of the Missouri frontier, World War I, the powerful Pendergast machine of Kansas City, the legendary Whistle-Stop Campaign of 1948, and the decisions to drop the atomic bomb, confront Stalin at Potsdam, send troops to Korea, and fire General MacArthur.

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Turkish Reflections: Biography of a Place

Settle, Mary Lee

An intimate portrait of Turkey by a tourist who falls in love with historical and modern Turkey: emperors and nomads, sultans and shepherds; she explores trails blazed by Alexander the Great, Tamerlane, Genghis Kahn,and Ataturk. This is a cross country odyssey into history, legend, mystery, and myth.


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Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi: A Novel

Japin, Arthur

This story movingly portrays the perplexing dichotomy of the cousins' situation: black men of royal ancestry, they are subject to insidious bigotry even as they enjoy status among Europe’s highest echelons. As their lives wind down different paths–Kwame back to Africa where he enlists in the Dutch army, Kwasi to an Indonesian coffee plantation where success remains mysteriously elusive–they become aware of a terrible truth that lies at the heart of their experiences.

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Viking: Hammer of the North (Echoes of the Ancient World)

Magnusson, Magnus

This book presents the reader with a researched/educated understanding of the topic, through the author's knowledge of the archaeological findings, historical records, sagas, and mythology.

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The Vikings

Magnusson, Mangus

The Vikings hold a particular place in the history of the West, both mythologically and in the significant impact they had on Northern Europe. Magnus Magnusson’s indispensable study of this great people presents a rounded and fascinating picture of a nation who, in modern eyes, would seem to embody striking contradictions. They were undoubtedly pillagers, raiders, and terrifying warriors, but they were also great pioneers, artists, and traders—a dynamic people, whose skill and daring in their exploration of the world has left an indelible impression a thousand years on.

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The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great

Pressfield, Steven

I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. So begins Alexander’s extraordinary confession on the eve of his greatest crisis of leadership. By turns heroic and calculating, compassionate and utterly merciless, Alexander recounts with a warrior’s unflinching eye for detail the blood, the terror, and the tactics of his greatest battlefield victories. Whether surviving his father’s brutal assassination, presiding over a massacre, or weeping at the death of a beloved comrade-in-arms, Alexander never denies the hard realities of the code by which he lives: the virtues of war. But as much as he was feared by his enemies, he was loved and revered by his friends, his generals, and the men who followed him into battle. Often outnumbered, never outfought, Alexander conquered every enemy the world stood against him–but the one he never saw coming. . . .


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Warriors of God

Reston, James Jr.

A rich and engaging account of the Third Crusade (1187-1192), a conflict that would shape world history for centuries and which can still be felt in the Middle East and throughout the world today. Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade – brings an objective perspective to the gallantry, greed, and religious fervor that fueled the bold clash between Christians and Muslims.


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The Water Thief

Pastor, Ben

In 304 c.e. Aelius Spartianus, officer and historian at the court of Diocletian in Dalmatia, is writing the biographies of past Roman rulers, including Hadrian, who has been dead for nearly 175 years. Aelius's particular charge is to investigate the unsolved mystery of the drowning death in the Nile of Hadrian's favorite, young Antinous.

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We Were There at the Battle of Britain

Knight, Clayton

First hand accounts.

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When China Ruled the Seas

Levathes, Louise

During the brief period from 1405 to 1433, seven epic expeditions brought China's "treasure ships" across the China Seas and the Indian Ocean, from Taiwan to the spice islands of Indonesia and the Malabar coast of India, on to the rich ports of the Persian Gulf and down the African coast, China's "El Dorado," and perhaps even to Australia, three hundred years before Captain Cook was credited with its discovery. With over 300 ships--some measuring as much as 400 feet long and 160 feet wide, with upwards of nine masts and twelve sails, and combined crews sometimes numbering over 28,000 men--the emperor Zhu Di's fantastic fleet was a virtual floating city, a naval expression of his Forbidden City in Beijing.


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When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

Kerr, Judith

Anna is not sure who Hitler is, but she sees his face on posters all over Berlin. Then one morning, Anna and her brother awake to find her father gone! Her mother explains that their father has had to leave and soon they will secretly join him. Anna just doesn?t understand. Why do their parents keep insisting that Germany is no longer safe for Jews like them? Because of Hitler, Anna must leave everything behind. Based on the gripping real-life story of the author, this poignant backlist staple gets a brandnew look for a new generation of readers just in time for Holocaust Remembrance Month.




Witch Child


Rees, Celia


In 1659, fourteen-year-old Mary Newbury keeps a journal of her voyage from England to the New World and her experiences living as a witch in a community of Puritans near Salem, Massachusetts.


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A World Lit Only by Fire

Manchester, William

From tales of chivalrous knights to the barbarity of trial by ordeal, no era has been a greater source of awe, horror, and wonder than the Middle Ages. In handsomely crafted prose, and with the grace and authority of his extraordinary gift for narrative history, William Manchester leads us from a civilization tottering on the brink of collapse to the grandeur of its rebirth-the dense explosion of energy that spawned some of history's greatest poets, philosophers, painters, adventurers, and reformers, as well as some of its most spectacular villains- the Renaissance.


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The World of the Shining Prince: Court Life in Ancient Japan

Morris, Ivan

This is a portrait of the ceremonious, inbred, melancholy world of ancient Japan, has been a standard in cultural studies for nearly thirty years. Using as a frame of reference The Tale of Genji and other major literary works from Japan's Heian period, Morris recreates an era when woman set the cultural tone. Focusing on the world of the emperor's court-the world so admired by Virginia Woolf and others-he describes the politics, society, religious life, and superstitions of the times, providing detailed portrayals of the daily life of courtiers, the cult of beauty they espoused, and the intricate relations between the men and women of this milieu.


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1421: The Year the Chinese Discovered America

Menzies, Gavin

On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China to "proceed all the way to the ends of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas." When the fleet returned home in October 1423, the emperor had fallen, leaving China in political and economic chaos. The great ships were left to rot at their moorings and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost in the long, self-imposed isolation that followed was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America seventy years before Columbus and had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. And they colonized America before the Europeans, transplanting the principal economic crops that have since fed and clothed the world.

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1984

Orwell, George

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is more timely that ever. 1984 presents a "negative utopia," that is at once a startling and haunting vision of the world—so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of entire generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.












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