Historical Fiction

The secrets we kept book cover

The secrets we kept

Lara Prescott

FICTION Prescott Lara
Historical Fiction

At the height of the Cold War, two secretaries are pulled out of the typing pool at the CIA and given the assignment of a lifetime. Their mission: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR, where no one dare publish it, and help Pasternak's magnum opus make its way into print around the world. Glamorous and sophisticated Sally Forrester is a seasoned spy who has honed her gift for deceit all over the world--using her magnetism and charm to pry secrets out of powerful men. Irina is a complete novice, and under Sally's tutelage quickly learns how to blend in, make drops, and invisibly ferry classified documents.

Becky's picture

While "The Secrets We Kept" is set around the creation and publication of Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago," it is not necessary to have read "Doctor Zhivago" to appreciate Prescott's work (though I now have added it to my list of books to read in the future!). Your attention shifts between two U.S. undercover typists working to distribute Pasternak's novel, to Olga (Pasternak's mistress), who's own livelihood and well being is very closely linked to the novel's publication. I really enjoy historical fiction and loved how this account examines the consequences and impact of creative, intellectual works during the time of the Cold War. -Becky

A place to belong book cover

A place to belong

Cynthia Kadohata

jFICTION Kadohata Cynthia
Fiction, Kids, Historical Fiction

Twelve-year-old Hanako and her family, reeling from their confinement in an internment camp, renounce their American citizenship to move to Hiroshima, a city devastated by the atomic bomb dropped by Americans.

Anne W's picture

One Japanese-American family dealing with the aftermath of WWII and their time in an internment camp -Anne W

My life as an ice cream sandwich book cover

My life as an ice cream sandwich

Ibi Aanu Zoboi

jFICTION Zoboi Ibi
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Kids

Twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet has lived with her beloved grandfather Jeremiah in Huntsville, Alabama ever since she was little. As one of the first black engineers to integrate NASA, Jeremiah has nurtured Ebony-Grace's love for all things outer space and science fiction--especially Star Wars and Star Trek. But in the summer of 1984, when trouble arises with Jeremiah, it's decided she'll spend a few weeks with her father in Harlem. Harlem is an exciting and terrifying place for a sheltered girl from Hunstville, and Ebony-Grace's first instinct is to retreat into her imagination. But soon 126th Street begins to reveal that it has more in common with her beloved sci-fi adventures than she ever thought possible, and by summer's end, Ebony-Grace discovers that Harlem has a place for a girl whose eyes are always on the stars.

Anne W's picture

This book is sad and funny, with issues of race and class and growing up navigated via Old New York and Star Trek fandom. The best! -Anne W

The secrets we kept book cover

The secrets we kept

Lara Prescott

FICTION Prescott Lara
Historical Fiction, Fiction

At the height of the Cold War, two secretaries are pulled out of the typing pool at the CIA and given the assignment of a lifetime. Their mission: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR, where no one dare publish it, and help Pasternak's magnum opus make its way into print around the world. Glamorous and sophisticated Sally Forrester is a seasoned spy who has honed her gift for deceit all over the world--using her magnetism and charm to pry secrets out of powerful men. Irina is a complete novice, and under Sally's tutelage quickly learns how to blend in, make drops, and invisibly ferry classified documents.

Anne M's picture

Oh, you need to read this book. Follow members of the CIA's "typing pool" picked to assist in the mission to get the novel Doctor Zhivago published and distributed in the Soviet Union. Their story is intertwined with Olga's, the mistress of Boris Pasternak, as she deals with the consequences of the novel's existence--it was not a favorite of the Kremlin, by any means. It is a page-turner. Also, you DO NOT need to read Doctor Zhivago to enjoy this book. However, it is a great read as well! -Anne M

The baker's daughter : a novel book cover

The baker's daughter : a novel

Sarah McCoy

FICTION Mccoy Sarah
Historical Fiction

A routine interview between a reporter and an elderly baker brings out memories of darker times: her life in Germany during that last bleak year of WWII. As their lives become more intertwined, all are forced to confront the uncomfortable truths of the past and seek out the courage to forgive.

Callie's picture

Nothing fits better with a cozy night by the fire than a great historical fiction book. Past and present collide in this book to make you engrossed until the very last page. -Callie

Stalking Jack the Ripper book cover

Stalking Jack the Ripper

Kerri Maniscalco

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Maniscal Kerri
Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Young Adult

A gothic murder mystery set in gritty Victorian-era London, where an intrepid society girl finds herself embroiled in the investigation of a serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.

Callie's picture

The mixing of old Whitechapel London, family secrets, and a killer on the loose gives off the perfect recipe for a dark, atmospheric who-dun-it mystery. -Callie

The luxe book cover

The luxe

Anna Godbersen

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Godbersen, Anna
Historical Fiction, Young Adult

In Manhattan in 1899, five teens of different social classes lead dangerously scandalous lives, despite the strict rules of society and the best-laid plans of parents and others.

Callie's picture

Beautiful dresses, deceptive suitors, and high-society galas...what more could you need? -Callie

Delayed rays of a star : a novel book cover

Delayed rays of a star : a novel

Amanda Lee Koe

FICTION Lee Amanda
Historical Fiction

"At a chance encounter at a Berlin soirée in 1928, the photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captures three very different women together in one frame: up-and-coming German actress Marlene Dietrich, who would wend her way into Hollywood as one of its lasting icons; Anna May Wong, the world's first Chinese American star, playing for bit parts while dreaming of breaking away from her father's modest laundry; and Leni Riefenstahl, whose work as a director would first make her famous--then, infamous. From this curious point of intersection, Delayed Rays of a Star lets loose the trajectories of these women's lives. From Weimar Berlin to LA's Chinatown, from a seaside resort in East Germany to a luxury apartment on the Champs-Élysée, the different settings they inhabit are as richly textured as the roles they play: siren, muse, predator, or lover, each one a carefully calibrated performance. And in the orbit of each star live secondary players--a Chinese immigrant housemaid, a German soldier on leave from North Africa, a pompous Hollywood director--whose voices and viewpoints reveal the legacy each woman left in her own time, as well as in ours. Amanda Lee Koe's playful, wry prose guides the reader dexterously around murky questions of ego, persona, complicity, desire, and difference. Intimate and raw, Delayed Rays of a Star is a visceral depiction of womanhood--its particular hungers, its calculations, and its eventual betrayals--and announces a bold new literary voice"--

Becky's picture

Added by Becky

Augustown book cover

Augustown

Kei Miller

FICTION Miller Kei
Historical Fiction

"In the wake of Marlon James's Man Booker Prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings, Augustown--set in the backlands of Jamaica--is a magical and haunting novel of one woman's struggle to rise above the brutal vicissitudes of history, race, class, collective memory, violence, and myth. Ma Taffy may be blind but she sees everything. So when her great-nephew Kaia comes home from school in tears, what she senses sends a deep fear running through her. While they wait for his mama to come home from work, Ma Taffy recalls the story of the flying preacherman and a great thing that did not happen. A poor suburban sprawl in the Jamaican heartland, Augustown is a place where many things that should happen don't, and plenty of things that shouldn't happen do. For the story of Kaia leads back to another momentous day in Jamaican history, the birth of the Rastafari and the desire for a better life"--

Becky's picture

Added by Becky

The book woman of Troublesome Creek book cover

The book woman of Troublesome Creek

Kim Michele Richardson

FICTION Richards Kim
Historical Fiction

1936. Tucked deep into the woods of Troublesome Creek, KY, lives blue-skinned Cussy Carter, the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry. She joins Roosevelt's Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a traveling librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky. Along her route, Cussy faces doubters at every turn, but is determined to bring the joy of books to the hardscrabble Kentuckians. -- adapted from back cover

Mari's picture

I was surprised no one on staff had recommended this already! Set during the Great Depression, Cussy Mary is last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry, and is treated as an outcast. She joins the Roosevelt's Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a traveling librarian, riding her Mule in the mountains to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Troublesome Creek. I loved the historical components of the story, it gives you a real insight of the devastating poverty of the people living in Appalachia. -Mari