Top Ten Best Historical Fiction Novels

Posted September 13, 2016 by Carlisa in Top Ten Tuesday / 10 Comments

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is “Top Ten All-Time Favorite Books of X Genre.” Aka I had to pick a genre that I had ten all-time favorite books in. And it’s hard! Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it…but give me options, and I’m a lost cause. I’d like to think of myself as a pretty eclectic reader; I read from and enjoy a lot of different genres. And that’s awesome! At least I think so. So anyway, this topic was hard, so I decided to scroll through my Goodreads favorite shelves…and I realized something: Only 5 of the 45 books on that shelf are not Historical Fiction or Fantasy (Fantasy takes about 90% of the list, haha). And it’s like a little lightbulb went off in my head: Those must be my favorite genre! Sure, I read a lot of different genres, but these are the ones that tend to make their way to my favorites list. Long story short—Today I’m doing Top Ten Best Historical Fiction Novels (at least in my opinion of the ones that I’ve read). Because Historical Fiction is awesome and allows us as readers to experience real-life, actual things that we wouldn’t have otherwise. So let’s get to it, shall we?

*Click on pictures and links for either Goodreads or my review*


the book thief the storyteller my lady jane wolf by wolf the diviners

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

If you haven’t read The Book Thief, stop what you’re doing and go get yourself a copy. Put it on hold in the library, buy the ebook, go to your local bookstore. I condone everything except stealing. You just need to read it. It’s one of my all-time favorites, and I’ve talked about it a lot on here, so if you’re reading this—go read that instead. I’ll allow that.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

I’ve only read this once, and to be honest, I don’t remember a ton because it was before my blogging days (aka I literally don’t remember anything that happened). But I know that it’s a story told in a story—a modern-day girl hears the story of her old neighbor (I think neighbor?) who was directly involved in WWII and the Holocaust. And I know that it was incredibly powerful. And completely different from Picoult’s other books. I have it on my shelf at home, so maybe I’ll do a re-read over Christmas.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton

I read this one just a few weeks ago, and I loved it. You should read my review if you haven’t (click on the link) because I just rave about its charming, fanciful delights. It’s so fun…and (kind of) historical, so that means it’s educational and okay to procrastinate your homework with.

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Another beautiful historical fiction. Like My Lady Jane, this one is more alternate history than historical fiction, but they kind of fit under the same umbrella. It explores what the world would be like if Germany and the Axis Powers won World War II…and FYI it’d be a lot different. I reviewed this one too, so check that out! And the sequel comes out soon, so it’s the perfect opportunity for you to go and read it.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

This one is super fun, set in 1920s New York, straight in the middle of the Prohibition. Which is a fun time to read about and experience. Buy Bray included this whole supernatural element that really vibed well with the setting. And it was creepy! Soooo Halloween read, anyone?

boxers saints code name verity mornings-in-jenin the-help

Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang

I just finished both of these graphic novels literally yesterday or the day before. They’re really fast, but also really thought-provoking about how we view history—especially a history that’s so completely foreign to me. I’m hoping a review will go up later this week because I’m going to see the author, Gene Luen Yang, at my local library. And if you haven’t checked out his most famous graphic novel, American Born Chinese, you definitely should.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

I’ve talked about this book a lot, I feel like. And I wrote a review, so go check that out if you want my full thoughts. But this WWII book is just very powerful and demonstrates what it really means to be a friend…even in hard times (to say the least). Heart-wrenching and beautiful. Go, go, go check it out.

Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa

I read this one years ago, and, again, I don’t remember everything (or anything really) that happens…but I remember that I loved it. I remember that I gave it 5 stars and placed it on my favorites list. I definitely think I should re-visit this one. I’m 80% sure this one is dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Don’t quote me on that.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This became a pretty famous movie, so you’ve probably heard of it. But the book is just as good, if not better! I can’t remember which one I saw/read first, but the book is definitely one to read. Gives you new insight into the characters and the time period! And remember, you is kind, you is smart, you is important.


Have you read any of these historical fiction novels? What are some historical fiction that I need to check out (I really, really want to hear your recs!)? Let me know in the comments and link me to your TTT!


  • I don’t read that much historical fiction, so this list is awesome! I’ve had some of these books recommended to me many times, especially My Lady Jane, Wolf By Wolf, and The Diviners. Thanks for sharing ^_^

    Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles

  • Allyson Gilmore

    I don’t read historical fiction, but I have been dying to start My Lady Jane! Hopefully soon 🙂 Great list!

    My TTT.

  • I love me some good ole historical fiction. i’ve only read a few of these so I’m taking notes hehe 😀 http://www.curious-daisy.com/top-ten-tuesday/top-10-all-time-favorite-books/

  • giovannard

    Loved The Help. Especially the movie! Great Top 10! 😀 My Top Ten Tuesday!

  • Oh, I love historical fiction, too! Philippa Gregory is an author that I’ve always gone back to, I think I’ve read pretty much every book she’s written!

  • Dangit, I’ve been seeing Wolf by Wolf everywhere and feel 100% out of the loop, because I haven’t read it yet! I need that to change ASAP. In other news, I also loved My Lady Jane and The Help!
    Ali @ the bandar blog

  • Even though I have enjoyed the historical fiction novels that I have read, it is definitely not in my top genres. I especially love reading about Elizabethan and Victorian England (Henry VIII is my fav!). I do not tend to be very adventurous with historical fiction, but you gave me quite a few great suggestions. Code Name Verity, The Book Thief, and The Help have been on my TBR for centuries.

  • Historical fiction is one of my main genres that I read! I loved The Book Thief and thought Code Name Verity was very good as well but I hadn’t heard of some of the other books on your list!

    (My TTT: https://thebeckoninghills.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/top-ten-tuesday-ten-favourite-mystery.html

  • The Book Thief omggg this book killed me when I read it back in highschool! I even own it in both french and english.
    The Diviners looks so good, I have to read it asap! I’ll try to keep it for halloween like you recommend 😀

  • I’ve only read Wolf By Wolf on this list (which was AMAZING). I do own My Lady Jane so I’ll get to that soon. There are a few on here that I want to check out. Thanks for the list! 🙂

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook