Tuesday, November 9, 2010

shop talk - books that will ruin your life: historical fiction edition

I haven't done many "shop talk" posts at all. I call them "shop talk" because I work in books. I talk about books (without really talking about them) practically all day. I read constantly. Shop talk. 'Nuff said.

Earlier this week I posted about the great book I'm currently reading, Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran. It is available next February and just might be the best piece of historical fiction I've read thus far. I'm a huge fan of the genre and have read my share of the princesses and courtiers stories. This one touches on royalty but the "heroine" is a wax modeler living during the French Revolution. And it doesn't hurt that her love interest makes me swoon a bit. He was definitely written by a woman.

Reading this book has me thinking about my historical fiction faves so I thought I'd share my top 6 just in case some of you float in the same literary boat as me and are looking for some ideas. And feel free to add to my list if you feel so inclined!

6. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant - This biblical read is told from the perspective of Dinah, daughter of Jacob who appears briefly in the book of Genesis but, according to the author, has no voice of her own. A really interesting look at what life might have been like for a woman in Biblical times.

5. Nefertiti by Michelle Moran - The title says it all. This book follows the story of the Queen of Egypt, Nefertiti, but the fact that it is told by her sister makes it all the more interesting. I wanted to see the pyramids and sphinxes before this one but reading it made me really want to go to Egypt!

4. The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff - Read my review of this book here. They also made a Lifetime movie out of this one. Not the greatest though... the book is MUCH better.

3. Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin - Read my review of this book here. This one combines history and classic literature. Triple love.

2. The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory - This one is every historical fiction lover's staple. England's Henry VIII had six wives. And several mistresses. One of these was, Mary Boleyn, who just so happened to be the sister of his most infamous wife, Anne Boleyn, mother to Elizabeth I. This was the stuff of soaps before the days of TV. Can't get better than that.

1. Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran - OK, I'm going to go ahead and put this one in the top spot. I just love the different layers of this book. Tussaud's Wax Museum might be a cheesy tourist trap now, but it was once the center of news during the French Revolution. I can already see the movie.

If you take anything from this post, it is that Michelle Moran is an awesome historical fiction author. There are so many more great books beyond these. Happy reading!

1 comment:

MCW said...

Ok...I am adding on some of these onto my list. I have read TOB and 19th, but will get the others. I just started Ken Follett's new book, Fall of the Giants. Loving it.