Book Recommendations - Brookhaven,NY

Updated on January 29, 2013
L.N. asks from North Palm Beach, FL
14 answers

i think i eat books. i love reading so much, but i frankly just like historical fiction (not romance or regency novels). i have a nook and kindle and prefer hardcover books as well, but i am running out of books to read. so i thought i'd see if you all have recommendations.
i will start first by recommending the historian-by elisabeth kostova.
i love roman period, greek (gods), british royalty, napoleon-era etc.
do any of you have books to recommend for reading?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Wolf Hall and Bringing Up the Bodies by Hillary Mantel are great-I think both won booker prizes even. They are set in Henry VIII England and do a great job of exposing the craziness of his reign. Pillars of The Earth was amazing too. Oh-you might like Shadow of Night and A Discvovery of Witches...they are about a vampire/witch forbidden romance but the histrical background is wonderful as they travel back in time.

I loved the Historian also!

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answers from Washington DC on

currently reading moby dick (for the first time!), a sci fi by my beloved dan simmons in the bedroom, a neil gaiman on the kindle, a fantasy by orson scott card in the bathroom, and my car book is a classic favorite, harvest home by thomas tryon.
i get unreasonably anxious at the prospect of being stuck anywhere for more than a few minutes without a book.
:) khairete

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answers from New York on

For Napoleonic era, War & Peace. Don't be put off by the size or pompous reputation -- it seriously is a page turner.

A few others, though not the eras you mention:

US Civil War: The March, by EL Doctorow

India/Pakistan Partition: A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth and A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

This is a bit outside your genre, but it was also outside of mine, but quickly became my favorite fiction ever.

"A Song of Ice and Fire" by George RR Martin

Basically, it reads much like a historical fiction--kinda a medieval landscape with lots of palace intrigue, but it has a twist. The world is not earth, but a fictional world that has a very long and complex history, and has been impacted by magic, which has long been dormant, but where the books pick up, is just beginning to re-enter the world.

I am not doing the description justice at all, and quite frankly, I considered reading fiction to be a waste of time before I started reading it, but I zoomed through the 5 books that have been written (of the 7 planned) in 1 summer.

The series has been made into a HBO series: Game of Thrones (season 3 starts March 31), so it is really fun to get immersed in the genre.

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answers from Rochester on

I did like Philipa Gregory...well, some of her stuff. Her historical fiction was great, and she wrote a book called "The Little House" that I really, truly enjoyed.

There's an author named Doris Lessing that has written some amazing and some strange might like them, I don't know. There's one called "Ben, in the World" but that's the second in that particularly grouping, and I can't remember what the first book is. I suppose you could look it up...I read them in order, and they were amazing. One of the stranger ones was called "The Cleft"...couldn't get into it.

And though it's not in the genre you describe, I always have to recommend The Gunslinger/Dark Tower series by Stephen King. This is not a horror story, per se, but an awesome, epic tale that has elements of romance, western, sci-fi, and is absolutely my favorite piece ever (spanning thousands of pages and many decades) and I can't rave enough about it. You get a very rich sense of history reading it, and the characters are so well developed over time that you can truly become involved in the story. The first in the series is "The Gunslinger" and they should be read in order, if you want to undertake it...he recently added a book called "The Wind through the Keyhole" which is supposed to take place between books 4 and 5 but in my opinion, should be read last as did everyone who read the series faithfully as written. :)

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answers from Seattle on

Barbara Mertz!!!!

Or technically, Barbara Mertz / Elizabeth Peters.
Same woman. Just that she publishes scholarly books under Mertz & Circa 19th century British Egypt Mystery Novels under Peters.

She actually IS an Egyptologist ... So she's quite keen on pointing out when & where she deviates from reality.

The first book in the Amelia Peabody Mysteries (actually the first several) do this thing where most people can take em or leave em... But somewhere near halfway through... They can't be put down.

Her nonfiction books : RedLand BlackLand & (I'm blanking! Oy), are fantastic. I aced my first 2 Egyptology course, never cracking my textbook after having plowed through those (which are written in a MUCH more engaging style than most scholarly works -they're written for layman-, but are just top to tail crammed with vital infor.

LOVE Mertz/Peters!

Amelia Peabody First Book:
- Crocodile on the Sandbank

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answers from San Francisco on

"Katherine" by Anya Seton. Based on real historical figures, but there is romance involved, if that bothers you. I was an avid reader when I was young (not much time these days), and that one has always stood out in my memory. It's the first book my college roommate and I bonded over.

"Pillars of the Earth" - amazing.

War and Peace

If you like WWII books try Winds of War and Mila 18.

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answers from Phoenix on

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. It focuses on events surrounding the 1893 World's Fair.

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answers from Philadelphia on

Have you read Philippa Gregory? I loved "The Other Boleyn Girl" and "The Queen's Fool".

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answers from Tyler on

You've probably read it, but I enjoyed "Catherine The Great" by Robert Massie. It's a long read, but he really turned Russian history into such an interesting story. More US history with a fictional turn, 11/22/63 by Stephen King is really good. Both of the books I've mentioned are 700+ pages, so they took me a couple of weeks a piece to finish.
Other good books I can recommend:
The Immortal Henrietta Lacks
Rules of Civility
One Thousand White Women

I'm not including author names because I'm just listing off the top of my head. These are all recent best sellers, so they should be easy to find. Hope you find something new!

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answers from San Francisco on

I don't have any book recommendations, but have you ever been on You log the books you've read, you can hook up with friends and see what they've read, read reviews and once you log 20 books the website makes recommendations for you based on what you've already read. I love to see what my friends have read and have actually read some of their reads based on how they've rated the book. It's a wonderful website for readers!

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answers from New York on

Try all the Phillipa Gregory books.

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answers from New York on

I just finished "City of Thieves" by David Benioff. Historical fiction WWII. Amazing book.

Also recently read "Call the Midwife" by Jennifer Worth. It's memoir about midwife in post WWII London east end. They made BBC miniseries about it. Another wonderful book.

My book club is now reading "The Kitchen House" by Kathleen Grissom. Antebellum south. It's incredibly tragic, but very well written and a fast read.

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answers from New York on

Anything by Lindsey Davis (historical fiction -- ancient Rome) starting with the first, Silver Pigs!

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