Staff Picks: Historical Fiction

Posted by Aaron on

Hello! We hope you like historical fiction! In the last few weeks, the Warrenton central library reference staff has read several interesting and enjoyable books that we’d like to share with you. There are many more historical fiction selections in the library’s stacks–it you need more suggestions, please ask one of us!

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

If you like Ernest Hemingway, then you will enjoy reading about how he met his wife Hadley in this novel by Paula McLain. The couple finds it difficult to keep up with the fast-paced life of Paris and struggle to make their marriage work. Hemingway is busy working on his novel The Sun Also Rises and Hadley finds herself alone in Paris and trying to remain the perfect muse for her husband. I enjoyed reading about their friendships with Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Perhaps you’ve heard of them. If you like the classics, you’ll enjoy this work of fiction.

If you want to further your reading on the Hemingways, give Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood a try. This story continues with a closer look at the lives of Ernest and his four wives and is told in four stories.

Jody, Adult Reference Librarian, Warrenton central library

A Simple Murder by Eleanor Kuhns

I prefer historical mysteries, and have read many of them over the years. One of the best series I’ve discovered recently is the Will Rees mystery series by Eleanor Kuhns, a librarian from New York. Her mysteries are set in Maine in the late 1790s. Will Rees, a former Revolutionary war soldier, is a traveling weaver by trade. In A Simple Murder, the first book in the series, Will is searching for his son, who has moved into a Shaker settlement. When a young woman is murdered during Will’s stay at the settlement, he is drawn into the investigation. To solve the murder, Will may have to expose some of the Shaker community’s darker secrets. There are three more books in the series–each one better than the one before, in my opinion.

The Daughter of Time by Josephine TeyJacket

This book has been around for a while; it was first published in 1951. I have read the book several times, and just recently listened to it on CD. Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant, while recuperating from a broken leg, becomes fascinated by the story of Richard III, King of England from 1483 to 1485. Did Richard really kill (or order the murder of) his two nephews, the “Princes in the Tower?” With the help of a friend, Grant sets out to discover what kind of a man Richard III really was. His research takes him through most of the standard (at the time) research sources on Richard III. If you are unfamiliar with Richard’s story, this book can be a bit dense, but is an absolutely fascinating read, especially in light of the discovery of Richard III’s skeleton in 2012. I highly recommend the book.

Vicky, Adult Reference Librarian, Warrenton central library

Looking for more book lists and staff suggestions? Stop by the reference desk at your local library.

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