Historical Fiction

Violeta : a novel book cover

Violeta : a novel

Isabel Allende

FICTION Allende Isabel
Historical Fiction

Violeta comes into the world in 1920, the first girl in a family of five boisterous sons. The ripples of the Great War are still being felt, even as the Spanish flu arrives on the shores of her South American homeland almost at the moment of her birth. As the Great Depression transforms the genteel city life she has known, Violeta's family loses all and is forced to retreat to a wild and beautiful but remote part of the country. She tells her story in the form of a letter, recounting devastating heartbreak and passionate affairs, times of both poverty and wealth, terrible loss and immense joy. Her life will be shaped by some of the most important events of history: the fight for women's rights, the rise and fall of tyrants, and, ultimately, not one but two pandemics.

Becky's picture

In a novel spanning one hundred years and bookended by pandemics, Isabel Allende writes of class, political and gender tensions in the life story of Violeta. For fans of historical fiction and interesting protagonists, this is worth checking out! -Becky

Interview with the Vampire book cover

Interview with the Vampire

Anne Rice


Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Horror

The Vampire Chronicles, Book 1 The spellbinding classic that started it all, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author “A magnificent, compulsively readable thriller . . . Rice begins where Bram Stoker and the Hollywood versions leave off and penetrates directly to the true fascination of the myth—the education of the vampire.”—Chicago Tribune Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly sensual, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.

Alexander A's picture

Added by Alexander A

The book thief book cover

The book thief

Markus Zusak

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Zusak, Markus
Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

Hanna's picture

I've heard good things about this book for years, but I've never read it. Recently, it came up in an article, and I thought maybe it was time to give The Book Thief a try. (I do enjoy Mark Zusak's other books. I really can't believe it's taken me so long to get to this one.) Good news, ICPL has several copies, plus audio CDs, eBooks and eAudio, so if you're interested, you also check it out! -Hanna

The diamond eye : a novel book cover

The diamond eye : a novel

Kate Quinn

FICTION Quinn Kate
Historical Fiction

"The New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code returns with an unforgettable World War II tale of a quiet bookworm who becomes history's deadliest female sniper. Based on a true story. In 1937 in the snowbound city of Kiev (now known as Kyiv), wry and bookish history student Mila Pavlichenko organizes her life around her library job and her young son--but Hitler's invasion of Ukraine and Russia sends her on a different path. Given a rifle and sent to join the fight, Mila must forge herself from studious girl to deadly sniper--a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death. When news of her three hundredth kill makes her a national heroine, Mila finds herself torn from the bloody battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America on a goodwill tour. Still reeling from war wounds and devastated by loss, Mila finds herself isolated and lonely in the glittering world of Washington, DC--until an unexpected friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and an even more unexpected connection with a silent fellow sniper offer the possibility of happiness. But when an old enemy from Mila's past joins forces with a deadly new foe lurking in the shadows, Lady Death finds herself battling her own demons and enemy bullets in the deadliest duel of her life. Based on a true story, The Diamond Eye is a haunting novel of heroism born of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world and changed the course of history forever." --

Anne M's picture

Fast-paced! Action-filled! And a history PhD student that is an expert in 17th-Century Ukrainian history who works in a library and then volunteers as a sniper for the Red Army during World War II! So much of this book was interesting. Like all Kate Quinn books, I could not put this one down. -Anne M

Post Office book cover

Post Office

Charles Bukowski

FICTION/Bukowski, Charles
Humor, Historical Fiction

Review by Publisher: "It began as a mistake." By middle age, Henry Chinaski has lost more than twelve years of his life to the U.S. Postal Service. In a world where his three true, bitter pleasures are women, booze, and racetrack betting, he somehow drags his hangover out of bed every dawn to lug waterlogged mailbags up mud-soaked mountains, outsmart vicious guard dogs, and pray to survive the day-to-day trials of sadistic bosses and certifiable coworkers. This classic 1971 novel'the one that catapulted its author to national fame'is the perfect introduction to the grimly hysterical world of legendary writer, poet, and Dirty Old Man Charles Bukowski and his fictional alter ego, Chinaski.

Mykle's picture

An absolutely wild ride. It's fascinating to wonder how much of this story comes from Bukowski's real-life stint as a postal carrier. I hope none but I have my suspicions! -Mykle

Where the Crawdads Sing book cover

Where the Crawdads Sing

Delia Owens

OverDrive Audiobook
Fiction, Historical Fiction

For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life—until the unthinkable happens. Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

Hanna's picture

Kya is an endearing girl who grows up in the Outer Banks of North Carolina while facing a pile of difficult circumstances. I'd recommend this book, for the setting, the character development, and the deeper thought it encourages about society. On top of that, I'd recommend the audiobook. The soothing southern lilt of the reader brought me back to childhood summers playing on the North Carolina beach. Any audiobook fan will tell you some recordings detract from the story, some fade into the background, and some create a little extra magic. Where the Crawdads Sing is absolutely the latter. -Hanna

Last night at the Telegraph Club book cover

Last night at the Telegraph Club

Malinda Lo

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Lo Malinda
Romance, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+

"Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father--despite his hard-won citizenship--Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day"--

Anne M's picture

A lovely coming of age story about finding oneself and understanding that you contain multitudes. If you ever felt pulled in different directions or on a quest to find where you fit in, you'll recognize thoughts and feelings in this book. Well researched, beautifully written, and a joy to read. -Anne M

Matrix book cover

Matrix

Lauren Groff

FICTION Groff Lauren
Historical Fiction

"Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, seventeen-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, its nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease. At first taken aback by the severity of her new life, Marie finds focus and love in collective life with her singular and mercurial sisters. In this crucible, Marie steadily supplants her desire for family, for her homeland, for the passions of her youth with something new to her: devotion to her sisters, and a conviction in her own divine visions. Marie, born the last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, is determined to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. But in a world that is shifting and corroding in frightening ways, one that can never reconcile itself with her existence, will the sheer force of Marie's vision be bulwark enough? Equally alive to the sacred and the profane, Matrix gathers currents of violence, sensuality, and religious ecstasy in a mesmerizing portrait of consuming passion, aberrant faith, and a woman tat history moves both through and around. Lauren Groff's new novel, her first since Fates and Furies, is a defiant and timely exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupted world"--

Heidi K's picture

This is a really special, one-of-a-kind book. I don't usually seek out books set in a 12th century abbey, and because of this the book acted as a great reading refresher. It is also based on the life of a real woman, which I love. I always enjoy reading about secret societies or little-known places, and an abbey is fascinating from that perspective - it operates on its own plane which is hidden from most of the world. The story about Marie de France is powerful, and you get to see the character transform over a long period of time. -Heidi K

The huntress : a novel book cover

The huntress : a novel

Kate Quinn

FICTION Quinn Kate
Historical Fiction

Shining a light on a shadow of history, The Huntress is an epic, sweeping Second World War novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network. On the icy edge of Soviet Russia, bold and reckless Nina Markova joins the infamous Night Witches - an all-female bomber regiment - wreaking havoc on Hitler's eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive. British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremburg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with reckless, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. In post-war Boston, seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancee. But Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Delving into her new stepmother's past, Jordan slowly realizes that a Nazi killer may be hiding in plain sight.

Anne M's picture

Absolutely riveting. Full of suspense and intrigue, I could not put this book down. -Anne M

No One Goes Alone: A Novel book cover

No One Goes Alone: A Novel

Erik Larson

OverDrive Audiobook
Suspense, Fiction, Historical Fiction

A group of researchers sets sail for the Isle of Dorn in the North Atlantic in 1905 to explore the cause of several mysterious disappearances, most notably a family of four who vanished without a trace after a week-long holiday on the island. Led by Professor James, a prominent member of the Society for Psychical Research, they begin to explore the island’s sole cottage and surrounding landscape in search of a logical explanation. The idyllic setting belies an undercurrent of danger and treachery, with raging storms and unnerving discoveries adding to the sense of menace. As increasingly unexplainable events unfold, the now-stranded investigators are unsure whether they can trust their own eyes, their instincts, one another—or even themselves. Erik Larson has written a terrifying tale of suspense, underpinned with actual people and events. Created specifically to entertain audio listeners, this eerie blend of the ghostly and the real will keep listeners captivated till the blood-chilling end.

Anne M's picture

Need a good story for a dark winter's night? Here is one. Erik Larson's latest, only available in audiobook is worth the listen. The premise is familiar, a group of individuals stay at an old manor in an isolated place. Strange events occur, suspicions arise, and everyone is afraid. However, this group of individuals expected came here for exactly this purpose. They are a group of 19th century scientists, experts, and scholars there to prove--or more likely disprove--that the house is haunted. But can they? I love Erik Larson's histories. All of his skills as a writer: ability to tell a story, have you deeply care about the individual's involved, and keep you rapt as the events unfold, translated easily to fiction. -Anne M