How’s your day going? Mine was idyllic – curled up in bed with my book, had lots of adrak chai because sore throat, and gossiped with maa!
And for day of #blogtober I thought of sharing my favorite Historical Fiction Book Recommendations. Fall/Winter for me is the perfect time to read historical fiction books. They’re dark, gloomy, and serious. You can delve deeper into the complex layers and have a fabulous reading experience.
Top 5 Historical Fiction Books to read this season
1.The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – by John Boyne
If this doesn’t make you cry, I don’t know what will. It’s set during World War II and has the backdrop of Holocaust, so be prepared. Bruno comes home one day to find all his belongings are packed and he with his family are moving to a new house far away. In the new home he has nobody to play with. He goes exploring through the backyard and finds an unusual friend across the fence, the boy in the striped pajamas. Their friendship grows but has devastating consequences.
The movie adaptation is so good and moving. I have tears while I’m writing this and thinking about the movie!
2. Homegoing – by Yaa Gyasi
Read about African history in this tale of slavery, bravery, and family bonds spread across three hundred years. Homegoing is the story of two half sisters – Effia and Esi born in different villages in 18th century Ghana. While one is wedded to a rich Englishman and lives a luxurious life, the other is sold into Gold Coast’s booming slave trade.
The story spans across seven generations and ties the thread of family and love. The story is phenomenal. Each chapter is dedicated to one member from a generation. It is deeply steeped in history and culture. You can feel the pain of slaves and it does become depressing at times, but such an eye-opener in today’s world where caste, color, and race is being talked about a lot.
3. Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
Out of the list, this is my least favorite. But I think that a lot of people will like the story. It’s about a Chinese American family based in Ohio during the 1970s. One day Lydia, daughter of James and Marilyn Lee is found dead and her body is found in the local lake. Things take a turn from here as the readers discover family secrets and family dynamics.
I like the way she adds elements of caste, race, and amalgamates it with culture to make it look like a pivotal character itself.
PS – I love Celeste Ng’s writing style. Have been devouring her second book – Little Fires Everywhere!
4. The Kite Runner – by Khaled Hosseini
You cannot go wrong with Khaled Hosseini. Out of all his books, my favorite is The Kite Runner. It is an emotional and heartwarming story of an unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant.
The historical backdrop of Afghanistan, the misery and hopelessness of war, yet the story outshines with hope, love, and family ties. Read it to fill your heart with warmth and sob, and watch the movie to bawl your eyes and heart out. Sooo good!
Between Shades of Gray is the story of a 15year old Lithuanian girl, Lina set in the 1940s. She is just like any other girl happy in her small world, until one day when Soviet officers invade their home and Lina with her family and a thousand others are forcefully transported across the Arctic Circle to reach Siberia and work in some of the most inhumane conditions.
It is a story of courage, hope, and love that triumphs even in the most brutal circumstances. So cathartic yet the thread of hope ties you strongly. You empathize with the characters and can feel their pain. Death and disparity are overpowering, but you still feel hopeful about the characters. You’ll smile with them and surely cry a lot for them.
Let me know if you’ve read any of these. And if you have some historical fiction book recommendations do share them in the comments below. I’ll see you tomorrow! Bye…
Hope y’all are having a great start to the year. 2018 is the year of re-reads! Says who? Says every booknerd. We all secretly wish to re-reads our favorites, but then the ever ending list of new books makes rereading a tad bit difficult. One of my reading goals for 2018 is to reread 10 of my favorite books.
So here’s what I’ve chosen for Re-Readathon 2018.
1.Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor & Park is my favorite Rainbow Rowell book. I adore it no end. Started the Re-Readathon 2018 by devouring this fluffy YA. A fuzzy yet realistic love story, this one has all the feels.
2. The Lover’s Dictionary – David Levithan
Planning to start the month of love, February with this beautiful book. It is written in the form of definitions. I loved it when I first read it and now would be the perfect time to revive the love for words.
3. Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
Super excited to read the latest book by Becky Albertalli – The Upside of Unrequited. But before that I need to delve into this gem. It is an LGBT YA book. The chemistry and the love story got my heart melting the first time and I want to experience that magic again.
PS – The movie adaptation is releasing this summer, and guess who’s super excited??
4. Wonder – R.J Palacio
A heartwarming story about Auggie, a boy with facial deformity, his struggles in school, his friends and their #friendshipgoals. If you want to read something deep but not preachy, that’ll remain in your heart forever, Wonder is what you should pick up.
5. When We Collided – Emery Lord
You’re never too old for a love story. I read it in 2016 and loved it with all my heart. It’s a beautiful story of Jonah and Vivi that depicts how two broken people who when collide take the universe by storm. The realistic characters, beautiful relationships, and YA feels on point, When We Collided makes the perfect summer read.
6. And the Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini
Do I need to say anything by Khaled Hosseini is a gem? It has been close to 3 years since I last read any of his works. Re-Readathon 2018 is the perfect time to soak my heart and soul in his beautiful words. It is a beautiful historical fiction about two siblings and their ultimate bond.
7. I’ll give you the Sun – Jandy Nelson
It’s been so long since I read this and ever since I’ve only heard people rave their love about this epic YA. ‘I’ll give you the Sun’ will happen in Re-Readathon 2018. It is the story of two siblings, their life, struggles, and secrets. Told in alternate voices, it deserves all the praise.
8. 13 Reasons Why – Jay Asher
I read ‘13 Reasons Why’ way before it became a TV show. Have heard mixed things about the TV show though. So I thought it’ll be a good idea to give this one a re-read in 2018. It is about mental health, suicide, and grief. So if you’re looking for a sad YA, I totally recommend this.
9. Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami
I want to get back to Murakami phase, but have been skeptical. The best way, I thought, is to re-read an old favorite. If you also want to start reading Murakami, I highly recommend Norwegian Wood. It is a love story with classic Murakami touch. Best part, it doesn’t go above your head.
10. Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
Celeste Ng does historical fiction so good. This one is heartbreaking and heavy, but so worth it. Set in 1970s this one is about a Chinese American family living in Ohio. The daughter’s body is found in the nearby lake and the story unfolds.
Let me know if you’ve read any of these books. Also would love to know what your favorite books are that you’d love to re-read in 2018!
Starting my 2017 Favorites list with my ultimate love – Books! This year was an okayish reading year, but considering the hurricane I faced in personal life, I’m quite pleased. Looking forward to some great reading in 2018!
I read 10, 567 pages across 28 books. And I did accomplish my Goodreads Goal. So let’s begin this bookish journey in no particular order of favoritism.
Best books of 2017
Disclaimer – All of these weren’t published in 2017 (some of them were also). I just read them this year and fell in love, that’s why these lovelies have made it to the list.
1. The Sun Is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon
Started the year with some YA reading and totally loved it. This one is a story about Natasha (Jamaican) and Daniel (Korean American). Tasha’s family is being deported back, while Daniel is struggling to prove himself to his parents. Tasha and Daniel meet accidentally and feel a magnetic pull.
The story traces their journey and relationship through that one day, as they explore New York and themselves. There is so much diversity – ethnicity, race, culture, and then finding your true self and the signs that universe shows.
Candy floss with realistic feels, it has feels on point….
2. One Day – David Nicholls
Those who are meant to be, will be. If you haven’t read any David Nicholls books, then I highly recommend you do. They have such a happy vibe.
I loved the narrative style of this one. Story of 2 people Em and Dex, told over a span of 20 years. How life changes, yet some things remain constant. It is romantic, but not dripping sweet which is a great thing. Em and Dex are #goals.
Also the movie adaptation is pretty good!
3. Before I Go To Sleep – S.J Watson
Christine has acute case of amnesia. As she sleeps, her memories are erased. She wakes up everyday feeling lost in this world. She is constantly seeking support from her husband and psychiatrist. But all is not good, and there are some layered twists that need to be unfolded.
The premise is quite interesting, but it does get slow and repetitive in places. The suspense adds to the overall curiosity. The ending though is worth all the ups and downs.
4. After You – Jojo Moyes
You know a list of favorites is incomplete without a Jojo Moyes book. It is the sequel of Me Before You and traces the life journey of Lou after Will’s death. Trademark Jojo Moyes style – whimsy feels, romance, and lots of emotions.
The reminiscences of the romance between Lou and Will are like warm caramel sauce on ice-cream, pure love! The book talks about how important it is to move on. It’ll make you smile, cry, and give the strength to fall in love again! It’s pretty good, but there’s no getting over Me Before You, anytime soon.
5. Into The Water – Paula Hawkins
If you want to read an atmospheric thriller, this will make the perfect pick. The writing style is fabulous. You’re confused between witchcraft, suicides, eerie vibes and general disgust about gruesome deaths. The plot unfolds one layer at a time. The only problem, it does drag in between. Lots of characters and interconnected stories just add to the fun of this thriller.
6. Forbidden – Tabitha Suzuma
Forbidden is a YA, but so different from anything I’ve read in this genre. Maya loves Lochie. Lochie loves Maya. The problem – they are brother and sister. The complex issue of incest has been handled so well. A lot of people might find it weird, but the book is not just about incest, it is emotional and gets you thinking.
It is sensual just in right proportions and doesn’t at any point feel vulgar. The romance between Lochie and Maya is so pure, you can actually feel them in love.
7. In the Miso Soup – Ryu Murakami
If you’re someone who loves dark thrillers, this is a must read. Japanese literature is legit amazing. In the Miso Soup is a psychosexual thriller, some portions are quite disturbing and graphic. But that’s how it instills that feeling in you.
It is so gruesome and goth, yet so engaging. You get to know about the crime right in the beginning, but the way the protagonist and his layered personality unfolds is amazing to read. Just make sure you keep a happy read ready as your next book!
8. Hannah’s List – Debbie Macomber
A heartwarming love story, with a difference! Hannah wants her husband (Michael) to remarry after her death and suggests 3 options. The chemistry and friendship between Michael and the three women is portrayed so well.
It tugs all the right strings to make you feel alive. The loss, grief, and pain are so relatable that it leaves you sobbing. Hannah’s List makes the perfect setting for a happily ever after.
9. Baaz – Anuja Chauhan
It has Anuja Chauhan’s trademark wit, masala, and lots of laughter. A happy breezy read. She knows how to weave characters that stay with you forever. A captivating story, humorous writing style, and a handsome badass uniform clad protagonist, what else can you ask for in a contemporary?
Read it and remember that crush of yours!
10. The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty
I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It was supposed to be a dark thriller, but as you proceed through the book you’ll find a lot of emotions playing through.
The story has been told from the POV of three women and how ultimately their lives converge. The writing style is interesting and keeps your gripped. The start is a little slow, but it does pick up well.
I like how relationships and friendships are handled. Grief has been expressed so well, it is so relatable. The thrill aspect is less, but the emotional upheaval makes up for it.
11. Lies – T M Mogan
A great thriller – fast paced, full of twists, and keeps you guessing. It makes you think how vulnerable we’ve all made our lives thanks to social media. The premise of the book is based on lies, and I’ll not reveal much because that will spoil the fun of reading. Pick this one up if you want a quick read and a thriller that’ll keep you awake all night.
12. Between Shades of Gray – Ruta Sepetys
Moving on, from thrillers to historical fiction… I haven’t read a lot from this genre, but I know for sure this one is brilliant. It is devastating yet empowering at the same time.
The story is set during World War II and is based on true events. A story about love, courage, and hope which triumphs in inhumane conditions. So cathartic yet the thread of hope ties you strongly. You empathize with the characters and can feel their pain. Death and disparity are overpowering, but you still feel hopeful about the characters. You’ll smile with them and surely cry a lot for them.
13. They Both Die At The End – Adam Silvera
2017 has been such a diverse reading year and I am quite happy about it. Read a lot of LGBT books, and this is one of them. The story is set in a dystopian world. It is about Mateo and Rufus, who get a call from DeathCast telling both of them that they’re going to die within 24 hours.
Using an app Last Friend they connect with each other and their journey begins. The story traces their friendship, fears, and love. The essence of the premise is death, but it is presented in such a positive manner. Finding friendship and love on the last day of your life and craving for some more time, you can feel their helplessness. As the title suggests they do die at the end, but how they lived that one day makes a huge impact.
14. A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard
A fluffy contemporary which is a lot deeper than just YA feels. The story traces Stefii (a selective mute and has anxiety) and her new classmate Rhys (deaf). They talk through sign language and develop a strong friendship.
From being friends to a little more and finally being in a relationship, they grow and find themselves. It’s amazing to read how they try to overcome their flaws, but never hide them. The writing style is easy, the love story is cringy and cute in the best way possible.
15. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz
Saved the best for the last! This is the best book I’ve read in 2017. It is so good, I was in tears all through. Ari and Dante are so real, I don’t know whom do I love more.
It’s a heartwarming story about love, friendship, and finding yourself. They become friends and begins the journey of finding the secrets of the universe. Such overflow of emotions. The magic of words and the feels, it is just perfect.
If you’re looking for a strong and emotional LGBT book, I highly recommend this one…
Let me know if you’ve read any of these and loved. Also tell me which are your favorite books of 2017!