Posts Tagged ‘Pride of Carthage’

A Year’s Worth of Historical Fiction Reads for Your Book Club

December 12th, 2014

With 2015 fast approaching, you’re probably scouring the shelves for titles to read with your book club next year. Why not focus on a single genre and take a tour of historical fiction? Appealing to a wide array of readers, these novels will broaden your knowledge of the past, whisk you away to a different time and place, and offer a variety of fascinating discussion topics. Below, we’ve gathered a list of twelve recommendations—one for each month of the year. From the story of a bold young seamstress who survives the Titanic shipwreck to the real-life mystery of a New York City judge’s 1930 disappearance, you’ll find something to satisfy everyone’s taste!

Pride of Carthage by David Anthony Durham

David Anthony Durham brings history alive, drawing a brilliant and complex portrayal of Hannibal Barca out of the scant historical record in this epic retelling of the legendary Carthaginian military commander’s assault on the Roman Empire. Get the reader’s guide>Line2

Niccolo RisingNiccolò Rising by Dorothy Dunnett

In this first novel in the celebrated House of Niccolò series, the grande dame of historical fiction tells the story of a bold and cunning merchant in fifteenth-century Europe. From a humble dyer’s apprentice, Nicholas vander Poele of Bruges schemes his way to the helm of a mercantile empire, and in the process wins the hand of the most powerful woman in Bruges and the hatred of two powerful enemies. Get the reader’s guide>


ConquistadoraConquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago

A young Spanish woman named Ana travels across the ocean to start a new life at her husband’s sugar plantation in Puerto Rico. But soon the Civil War erupts in the US, and Ana finds her livelihood, and perhaps her future, threatened by the hacienda’s slaves, whose richly drawn stories unfold alongside her own in this epic novel of love, discovery, and adventure. Get the reader’s guide>


TrueHistoryOfTheKellyGangTrue History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

In this Booker Prize–winning novel, the legendary nineteenth-century Australian outlaw Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. A monstrous criminal to some and a Robin Hood–like hero to others, Kelly comes to life by the skill of a great novelist. Get the reader’s guide>


PianoTunerThe Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason

In 1886, a shy, middle-aged piano tuner named Edgar Drake travels to the remote jungles of northeast Burma to repair the rare piano of an eccentric army surgeon. From this irresistible beginning, the novel launches Drake into a world of nightmarish intrigue rendered through the unbreakable spell of Daniel Mason’s storytelling. Get the reader’s guide>


ArthurGeorgeArthur & George by Julian Barnes

Exploring the grand tapestry of late-Victorian Britain, Julian Barnes creates an engrossing novel about the intersection of the lives of Arthur Conan Doyle, world-famous writer of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and George Edalji, a Birmingham solicitor imprisoned for dreadfully gruesome crimes. Get the reader’s guide>


DressmakerThe Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she’s had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired to be a famous designer’s personal maid on the Titanic. Tess survives the fateful voyage, but when alarming rumors begin to circulate, she is forced to confront a serious question. Did her mistress save herself at the expense of others? Get the reader’s guide>


TheWifeThe Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

One summer night in 1930, a New York City judge disappears without a trace. Behind this great man are three women, each with her own tale to tell: Stella, his fashionable wife; Maria, their steadfast maid; and Ritzi, his showgirl mistress. As the twisted truth emerges, this wickedly entertaining mystery will transport you into the smoky jazz clubs and the shadowy streets beneath the Art Deco skyline. Get the reader’s guide>


StarForMrsBlakeA Star for Mrs. Blake by April Smith

Inspired by a military officer’s journal she came upon over twenty-five years ago, April Smith’s moving novel honors the sacrifices of fallen World War I soldiers’ mothers and widows. At the center of the story is Cora Blake, who travels to France in 1931 with hundreds of other Gold Star Mothers to say a final farewell to their sons and husbands buried overseas. Get the reader’s guide>


InvisibleBridgeThe Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

After aspiring Jewish-Hungarian architect Andras Lévi leaves Budapest in 1937 to study abroad, he comes face-to-face with the tide of anti-Semitism spreading throughout Europe. He sees his and his family’s world starting to disintegrate when Hitler’s armies march across the continent. Through a personal story of love, courage, and survival, Julie Orringer shines a light on the fate of Hungarian Jews during World War II. Get the reader’s guide>


TheEmperorWasDivineWhen the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps. In her devastatingly evocative first novel, Julie Otsuka tells their story from five flawlessly realized points of view and conveys the emotional texture of their experience: the barbed-wire fences, the omnipresent fear, and the unheralded feats of heroism. Get the reader’s guide>


BirdsongBirdsong by Sebastian Faulks

Sebastian Faulks’s internationally bestselling novel spans three generations and the unimaginable gulf between the First World War and the present. As the young Englishman Stephen Wraysford passes through a tempestuous love affair in France and enters the dark, surreal world beneath the trenches of No Man’s Land, Faulks creates a tragic and unforgettable world of fiction. Get the reader’s guide>