Historical Fiction

Shuggie Bain : a novel book cover

Shuggie Bain : a novel

Douglas Stuart

FICTION Stuart Douglas
Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+, Literary Fiction

"Shuggie Bain is the unforgettable story of young Hugh "Shuggie" Bain, a sweet and lonely boy who spends his 1980s childhood in public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Thatcher's war on heavy industry has put husbands and sons out of work, and the city's notorious drugs epidemic is waiting in the wings. Shuggie's mother Agnes walks a wayward path: she is Shuggie's guiding light but a burden for his artistic brother and practical sister. She dreams of a house with its own front door while she flicks through the pages of the Freemans catalogue, ordering a little happiness on credit, anything to brighten up her grey life. Married to a "whoremaster" of a husband, Agnes keeps her pride by looking good - her beehive, make-up, and pearly-white false teeth offer a glamourous image of a Glaswegian Elizabeth Taylor. But under the surface, Agnes finds increasing solace in drink, and she drains away the lion's share of each week's benefits - all the family has to live on - on cans of extra-strong lager hidden in handbags and poured into tea mugs. Agnes's older children find their own ways to get a safe distance from their mother, abandoning Shuggie to look after her as she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety. He is meanwhile doing all he can to somehow become the normal boy he desperately longs to be, but everyone has realized that Shuggie is "no right," and now Agnes's addiction has the power to eclipse everyone close to her-even and especially her beloved Shuggie." --

Heidi K's picture

This book received a Kirkus starred review, and it's definitely worth the hype. The book takes place in the working class Scotland of the 1980s. Agnes is a young alcoholic woman who loves her children but is mostly incapacitated by poverty and drink. Shuggie is a young boy who is a bit of a social pariah for being a gay momma's boy - even though for most of the book he has little to no understanding of why he doesn't fit in with the others. He just doesn't. I thought this book was heartbreaking but also just plain beautiful. I won't forget Shuggie or Agnes. -Heidi K

A gentleman in Moscow book cover

A gentleman in Moscow

Amor Towles

eAUDIO
Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

""In all ways a great novel, a nonstop pleasure brimming with charm, personal wisdom, and philosophic insight.this book more than fulfills the promise of Towles' stylish debut, Rules of Civility." - Kirkus Reviews (starred) From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility--a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel With his breakout debut novel, Rules of Civility, Amor Towles established himself as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction, bringing late 1930s Manhattan to life with splendid atmosphere and a flawless command of style. Readers and critics were enchanted; as NPR commented, "Towles writes with grace and verve about the mores and manners of a society on the cusp of radical change." A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count's endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose"--

Casey's picture

Another one that I continue to hear nothing but wonderful things about. I'm looking forward to getting to know Count Rostov soon. -Casey

All the light we cannot see : a novel book cover

All the light we cannot see : a novel

Anthony Doerr

eAUDIO
Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

"From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work"--

Casey's picture

I know, I know, I'm years behind on this one. In fact it's been on my list since it was nominated for an Alex award when it first came out. Now's the time! -Casey

Daisy Jones & the Six : a novel book cover

Daisy Jones & the Six : a novel

Taylor Jenkins Reid

eBOOK
Historical Fiction

"Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go-Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it's the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she's twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Another band getting noticed is The Six, led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she's pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend. The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice"--

Stacey's picture

Added by Stacey

The beautiful book cover

The beautiful

Renée Ahdieh

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Ahdieh Renee
Historical Fiction, Fantasy

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans is a safe haven after she's forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent in the middle of the carnival season, Celine is quickly enraptured by the vibrant city, from its music to its fancy soirées and even its danger. She becomes embroiled in the city's glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group's enigmatic leader, Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in Sébastien's own lair--the second dead girl to turn up in recent weeks--Celine battles her attraction to Sébastien and suspicions about his guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret. After a third murder, New Orleans becomes gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose--one who has now set Celine in his sights. As the murderer stalks her, Celine finally takes matters into her own hands, only to find herself caught in the midst of an age-old feud between the darkest creatures of the night, where the price of forbidden love is her life.

Stacey's picture

Added by Stacey

The song of Achilles book cover

The song of Achilles

Madeline Miller

FICTION Miller Madeline
Historical Fiction

Stacey's picture

Added by Stacey

The mirror & the light book cover

The mirror & the light

Hilary Mantel

eAUDIO
Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

""If you cannot speak truth at a beheading, when can you speak it?" England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith's son from Putney emerges from the spring's bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen before Jane dies giving birth to the male heir he most craves. Cromwell is a man with only his wits to rely on; he has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry's regime to the breaking point, Cromwell's robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him? With The Mirror & the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. She traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man's vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion, and courage"--

Anne M's picture

It has been 8 years since the last installment of Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell trilogy and "The Mirror and the Light" was well worth the wait. Beautiful written and rich in detail and character, Mantel's writing is absorbing. For fans of audiobooks, Ben Miles provides a fantastic reading. In anticipation for this book, I immersed myself in the world of Thomas Cromwell, rereading "Wolf Hall" and "Bring up the Bodies" by listening to the audiobooks. I missed so much from the first reading, I was glad I did. Now I'm a little sad to leave the Tudor court. Unlike most of the people in Henry VIII's circle, I'm just happy I get to do so by choice. -Anne M

Anne of green gables book cover

Anne of green gables

Brenna Thummler

eBOOK
Kids, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction

Anne W's picture

If you enjoyed the classic novel, or one of the movie or TV adaptations, you'll love this graphic novel adaptation about a spunky orphan who creates joy and excitement at Green Gables farm. -Anne W

I survived the sinking of the Titanic, 1912 book cover

I survived the sinking of the Titanic, 1912

Lauren Tarshis

eBOOK
Graphic Novels, Kids, Historical Fiction

Excited to board the Titanic with his aunt and little sister, ten-year-old George begins to explore the ill-fated ship's first-class storage cabin when the ship is rocked by a collision with an iceberg and begins to sink.

Anne W's picture

If you like the popular I Survived novel series, try this first installment of the graphic novel version of the series! -Anne W