Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Historical Fiction Novels

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Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres and I’m so happy that this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) topic is past or future. I’m not a huge reader of sci-fi, so I thought I’d feature 10 of my favourite historical fiction novels this week. I haven’t included any historical fantasy novels. These are all purely historical fiction, though some do have some magical realism elements. And in case you couldn’t tell, I love WWII historical fiction!!!

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This one is a no-brainer. It’s my favourite book of all time so it has to appear on this list. This book is set in France and Germany during WWII.

2. Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali

This book is another WWII historical fiction novel but is one that is written from a very unique perspective. This book follows Max from his time as an unborn foetus inside his pregnant mother, until the war ends when he’s 10. Max is a Hitler youth whose conception and upbringing was heavily monitored in order to produce the perfect little soldier.

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Another one of my favourite WWII historical fiction novels – I’m sure you all know what this one’s about. This was the first required reading that I actually enjoyed and it sparked my love for WWII and historical fiction. This book is set in Germany.

4. The Lake House by Kate Morton

I thought I’d give you a break from the WWII fiction… The Lake House is a mystery novel about a child who disappeared in Cornwall in the 1930s. A detective from the present day hears about this mysterious disappearance and decides to uncover what really happened.

5. Goodnight, Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

This is a children’s book that I read when I was 12 and absolutely loved. I don’t remember too much of what happened but I was deeply affected by it and I remember begging my parents to buy me a copy of it. It still has a proud place on my shelves and I hope to reread it sometime this year. This book is set in Britain during WWII and is about a boy called Willie who is evacuated from London to the country. He is cared for by an elderly man, Mister Tom, and the bond between them grows.

6. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

This novel is set in Amsterdam in the 17th century. The descriptions in this book are so vivid and I really felt like I was there in 17th century Amsterdam. I’ve only read a handful of books set in the Netherlands and this one was truly unique.

7. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Another WWII historical fiction novel… The Narrow Road to the Deep North is the 2014 Man Booker Prize Winner. It’s a heartwrenching story about Australian soldiers in Japanese prisoner of war camps.

8. A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman

This novel is set in Cornwall during WWI and is about a friendship between a 90 year old woman and a young soldier who floats ashore near her home. This was beautifully written and made me realise that I love WWI fiction almost as much as I love WWII.

9. Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice by Kathleen Benner Duble

As you can probably tell from the title, this book is set in France during the French Revolution. While there were some aspects of the book that kept me from giving it more than 3.5 stars, I thoroughly enjoyed the setting of the novel and it was a time period that I’ve read very little about.

10. Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki

I couldn’t talk about historical fiction without mentioning my favourite manga, Rurouni Kenshin. This one is set in the Meiji era in Japan, which is a time period and setting that I love to read about. It’s definitely my favourite period of Japanese history, with Taisho as a close second. I love all mangas, animes, novels that are set during Meiji and Taisho.


Let me know what some of your historical fiction novels are. I’m always on the look out for more WWII fiction and other historical fiction in general! And if non-fantasy historical fiction isn’t your thing, let me know what historical fantasy novels you love! My favourite is probably The Infernal Devices ❤

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That Changed My Life

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by the team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week is Thanksgiving-themed, so I’m going to feature ten books that have made a difference in my life and I’m thankful to have read.

1. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This wouldn’t be a Top Ten Tuesday if this amazing book wasn’t in it. This is my favourite book of all time and I still don’t really know how it changed my life but I remember putting the book down and feeling like I was a different person to who I was before I read it. I think I even wrote in my review something along the lines of “I don’t know how but this book has changed my life”. This might sound a little bit strange but, in a way, I felt enlightened? I kind of felt like I’d had some sort of mental cleanse and there was a moment of absolute freedom and clarity. I’m probably sounding like a crazy person right now.

2. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I probably don’t need to explain this one. The Harry Potter series was my obsession from when I was about 10 years old until I was about 17? I read Harry Potter fanfiction all the time and my whole life was about Harry Potter.

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I had to read this book for school when I was in Year 8. It had come out the previous year in Australia and our teachers made us read it for English class because it was getting a lot of recognition worldwide that year. The Book Thief was the first required reading that I remember enjoying immensely. It was probably also the book that ignited my love for WWII historical fiction.

4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

TFIOS was the book that got me back into reading YA. I read it a couple of months before the movie came out and that slowly got me back into YA and fiction in general. Before that I was reading a lot of non-fiction and psychology related self-help books.

5. Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki

This is my favourite manga of all time (also my favourite anime and live action movie) and it was the first manga series that I remember reading. After reading Rurouni Kenshin, I fell in love with manga and I still read a lot of manga to this day.

6. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

This was another book that I had to read for English class in high school and it was another one that I really loved. This book is a Man Booker Prize winner and it really made me aware of literary prizes. I love reading prize winners now and I follow the Man Booker Prize really closely.

7. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This is my favourite classic of all time and it was the first one that I read independently of class and loved. It’s such a great story with some really complex characters. It made me fall in love with Oscar Wilde and I’ve loved everything of his that I’ve read so far. This book pushed me to read more classic literature outside of class.

8. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

I featured this one recently in a book tag so this might sound repetitive… but The Magic Faraway Tree was one of the first books that I read by myself as a kid. It was read to me in school when I was about 6 years old and I loved it so much that I made my parents buy it for me so that I could read it again by myself. This led to me being obsessed with Enid Blyton and at one point I owned almost everything she’d ever written.

9. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

This novel is my favourite YA novel of all time, but that’s not why I’m featuring it today. This book was one of the first LGBTQ+ books that I read after getting back into reading. And it made me realize how much I love books that feature LGBTQ+ characters and explore sexuality. So I guess it opened my eyes to the whole #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement.

10. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

This is another strange one but this was the first Shakespearean play that I read from start to finish. It made me see that 16th century English in iambic pentameter isn’t as intimidating as I thought it was… which was a good thing because we had to study one of Shakespeare’s plays each year.


What are some books that have made a difference in your life or have shaped you into the reader you are today?

The Nostalgic Book Review Tag II

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The Nostalgic Book Review Tag was created by the beautiful Read Think Ponder and I was tagged by her. This is my second time doing this tag (check out my first nostalgic book review here) but I loved doing it so much that I needed to do it again! But this time, instead of reviewing a book, I decided to review my favourite manga of all time.

GUIDELINES:

The idea of this tag is that you choose a book you read over 3 years ago and review it from memory without looking up a summary of it.

Here is my summary of the guidelines:

  1. Summary: Provide a summary of the book, including approximately when you read it, without consulting Google or the book itself.
  2. Thoughts: Share your thoughts on the book, from memory
  3. Epilogue: Look up a summary of the book and share your thoughts on what you did or didn’t remember/current feelings about the book.

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