15 Books To Read if You Feel Like Traveling Back in Time

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I was always that person who used to doze off in my high school history class after reading yet another textbook on World War II and the American Revolution. But history doesn’t have to be boring. Need proof? Look no further than the Historical Fiction aisle at our local bookstore. Once there, you’ll find all the romance and thrills you look for in other books set against historical backdrops that make you feel like a time travel. Even if you don’t typically like reading about history, there’s something in the genre for you. Read on to discover your new favorite book.

 

Anthony Doerr

All The Light We Cannot See

This book is actually sitting on my bookshelf right now. It weaves together the lives of two people during the time of the Nazi occupation: a 12-year-old girl from Paris and a young orphan from a mining town in Germany. Although they lived completely different lives, we see how their lives will eventually intersect. Even during tough times, this novel shows how, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

Christy Lefteri

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

A beekeeper and his wife live a very peaceful life in the Syrian city Aleppo, but when the war hits, their lives are changed forever. They are forced to escape their beloved town and embark on a perilous journey to Britain. This is a powerful and emotional story that you should add to your to-be-read list ASAP.

Kristin Hannah

The Four Winds

This book highlights one of the toughest times in American history: The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl Era. Set in 1934 Texas, a woman and her family must make the choice to either fight for the land she loves or flee to California in hopes for a better life. This is a story of hope, courage, and sacrifice.

Sarah Penner

The Lost Apothecary

Full of secrets, mystery, and vengeance, The Lost Apothecary will make you want to keep reading. In 18th century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women around the city whisper about a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. However, the apothecary’s fate becomes jeopardized when a 12-year-old girl makes a fatal mistake that causes centuries of consequences. It’s definitely a novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

An aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo wants to tell the world about her glamorous and scandalous life. She hires an unknown reporter for the job who is confused as to why Evelyn would even hire her in the first place. Why her and why now? You’ll have to read the book to find out! This is the perfect holiday read.

Freya Marske

A Marvellous Light

Robin Blyth is struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents’ excesses. He already has enough on his plate. But when an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, Robin discovers secrets beneath the reality he has already known. If you love mystery mixed in with some fantasy, you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

V.E. Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

In the year 1714 in France, a young woman, Addie LaRue, makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. She goes on throughout her life, trying to leave her mark on the world as much as she can, until 300 years later she stumbles upon a man in a bookstore who knows her name. This is one of those stories you won’t ever be able to forget.

Maggie O’Farrell

Hamnet

Drawing on Shakespeare’s famous play Hamlet, Hamnet is a luminous portrait of a marriage—but at its heart, the loss of a beloved child. Agnes settles with her husband and three children in Stratford. But when their son Hamnet dies, the husband writes a play called Hamlet. It’s a compelling story that deals a lot with loss, grief, and the importance of family.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican Gothic

Noemí Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, so she heads to a distant house in the Mexican Countryside. What she finds there is nothing that she ever suspected. This is perfect for people who love a good gothic, horror novel.

Heather Morris

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

This novel is a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions. Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942. Lale is put to work as a Tätowierer (tattooist) and must mark his fellow prisoners. He manages to find some light in his life even when surrounded by complete darkness.

Janet Skeslien Charles

The Paris Library

Based on a true World War II story, this novel describes the stories of two girls, Odile and Lily. Odile works at the American Library in Paris until the Nazis threaten to take away her library. Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in her small town in Montana. She is curious about her neighbor’s mysterious past. This is a powerful novel that explores the relationships that make us who we are—family, friends, and favorite authors.

C.J. Tudor

The Burning Girls

Reverend Jack Brooks moves to a remote corner of the English countryside with his 14-year-old daughter, only to discover a community with a haunted past. The community seems to be adamant on keeping its dark secrets. If you love thriller novels, this book is a must-read.

Alka Joshi

The Secret Keeper of Jaipur

A henna artist named Lakshmi arranges for his protégé, Malik, to intern at the Jaipur Palace in the Facilities Office. However, Malik soon discovers a world that is far darker than he ever imagined. He sets out on a mission to uncover the secrets behind Jaipur Palace’s hidden past. This is a novel that is full of character, lavishness, and atmosphere.

Beatriz Williams

Our Woman in Moscow

In 1948, Iris Digby vanished from her home in London with her American diplomat husband and their two children. Why did they disappear? Was it because they were eliminated by the Soviet intelligence service? Discover the truth behind their disappearance in this gripping novel.

Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale

Set during World War II, this novel tells the stories of two sisters separated and on their own dangerous paths toward love, survival, and freedom in German-occupied France. It captures a side of World War II that is seldom seen in film and literature. This may be a heartbreaking novel, but it does celebrate the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of women.

 

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