Historical Fiction Romance Books

Best Historical Fiction Romance Books for Valentine’s Day

Time travel and enjoy a swoon-worthy rogue with these great historical fiction romance books for Valentine’s Day!

Historical Fiction Romance Books

Best Historical Fiction Romance Books

Are you a fan of Claire and Jamie Fraser? Do you enjoy roguish dukes or dangerous outlaws? Whether you’re a fan of the steamy or like it clean– I have something for everyone to capture the romance of the day. Enjoy this list of historical fiction romance books to keep you company this Valentine’s Day!


Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

Judith McNaught is one of the original queens of the historical romance genre! And don’t let the stigma of weak damsels in distress get you down for this author– because she epitomizes the fact that strong women can enjoy this genre as well. She was the first female executive producer at a CBS radio station after all! She also worked as a controller for a major trucking company and as an assistant director for a film crew! Talk about being a strong woman with a thick skin in male dominated fields! And yet, she loves romance books- both writing them and reading them!

Almost Heaven takes you from the drawing rooms of London to the wilds of the Scottish Highlands.

Elizabeth Cameron, the Countess of Havenhurst, possesses a rare gentleness and fierce courage to match her exquisite beauty. But her reputation is shattered when she is discovered in the arms of Ian Thornton, a notorious gambler and social outcast.

A dangerously handsome man of secret wealth and mysterious lineage, Ian’s interest in Elizabeth may not be all that it seems. His voyage to her heart is fraught with intrigue, scandal, and passion, forcing Elizabeth to wonder: is Ian truly just a ruthless fortune hunter? Or could the love in his heart perhaps be true?

“Well-developed main characters with a compelling mutual attraction give strength and charm to this romance” (Publishers Weekly) You won’t be able to put down.

Historical Fiction Romance books

Books for Valentine's Day

Years by LaVyrle Spencer

LaVyrle Spencer is another legend in the historical romance genre. She was even inducted into the Romance Writers Hall of Fame in 1988. Twelve of her books were New York Times bestsellers and several of them were made into movies.She also won five (RITA) Romance Writers in America Awards, the highest award offered to romance writers, four of which were in the historical romance category.

She is known for crafting stories around realistic characters and stories that focus on families rather than just the relationship between the couple.

In Years, Spencer tells a World War I story about a school teacher who grows to womanhood in the arms of a man who’d given up on love.


Something Like Love by Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins is a historical romance writer who writes in a particular niche about early 19th century African-American life. (You may have seen me write about her in my Black Historical Fiction Authors article.) She chose this purposefully because she feels it is a period of African-American history that is overlooked.

She was voted on of the Top 50 Favorite African-American writers of the 20th century by the African American Literature Book Club. She also won the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award as well as many others.

In Something Like Love, Jenkins tells a story about the potential for change. Can someone change, or are they predestined to remain as they are?

Desperate to escape an arranged marriage, Olivia Sterling flees Chicago and heads west. She dreams of setting up her own seamstress shop in Henry Adams, a small all Black town in Kansas. But her plans are derailed when her train is robbed by Neil July and his notorious band of outlaws.

Neil is enchanted by the headstrong and lovely Olivia. No woman has ever set his blood on fire before, and he suspects no other woman ever will. When they meet again, Olivia is the town’s newly elected mayor and Neil is still the wanted outlaw. With bounty hunters on his trail, he would be wise not to linger, yet he can’t seem to leave her. Will Neil be able to convince Olivia to ride off into the sunset with him? Or will he finally lay down his guns for love?


historical fiction romance

Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin

Jeannie Lin is a newer voice on the scene. However, that in no way diminishes her power! Butterfly Swords was her debut novel, and right out of the gate it won her a Golden Heart Award! Since then, she’s been featured in USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and was listed in Library Journal as one of the best Romance novelists of 2011.

In Butterfly Swords, Lin weaves a story set in the Tang Dynasty, a time awash with luxury yet littered with deadly intrigues and fallen royalty. Princess Ai Li flees before her wedding.

Miles from home, with only her delicate butterfly swords for defense, she enlists the reluctant protection of a blue-eyed warrior….
Battle-scarred, embittered Ryam has always held his own life at cheap value. Ai Li’s innocent trust in him and honorable, stubborn nature make him desperate to protect her—which means not seducing the first woman he has ever truly wanted….


Come From Away by Genevieve Graham

Genevieve Graham is a newer historical fiction author on the block– publishing her first novel in 2017. Since then, this Canadian has proven herself to be a force to be reckoned with, writing five historical fiction books in just five years! I can’t even imagine doing all that research that quickly!

Graham focuses on Canadian history. She began by highlighting the little known area of Nova Scotia and has since expanded to write about Canada as a whole. Since publishing, her books have become bestsellers and one is even already optioned to become a movie!

In Come From Away, Graham highlights a little known period of Nazi infiltration in North America.

In the fall of 1939, Grace Baker’s three brothers, sharp and proud in their uniforms, board Canadian ships headed for a faraway war. Grace stays behind, tending to the homefront and the general store that helps keep her small Nova Scotian community running. The war, everyone says, will be over before it starts.

Three years later, the fighting rages on and the harsh realities of war come closer to home when rumours swirl about “wolf packs” of German U-Boats lurking in the deep waters along the shores of East Jeddore, a stone’s throw from Grace’s window.

Then, one day, a handsome stranger ventures into the store. He claims to be a trapper come from away, and, as Grace gets to know him, she becomes enamoured by his gentle smile and thoughtful ways. But after several weeks, she discovers that Rudi, her mysterious visitor, is not the lonely outsider he appears to be. He is someone else entirely—someone not to be trusted.

When a shocking truth about her family forces Grace to question everything she has so strongly believed, she realizes that she and Rudi have more in common than she had thought. And if Grace is to have a chance at love, she must not only choose a side, but take a stand.

Set against the tumultuous years of World War II, Come from Away is a mesmerizing story about strangers, enemies, and friends—and the power of love to transcend the barriers that keep us apart.

historical

An Unseen Attraction by K. J. Charles

K.J. Charles lives in London and is a queer historical romance novelist. She is a prolific writer with over thirty books in her repoirtoire. She has won a number of awards including both a RITA and Rainbow award.

In An Unseen Attraction, Charles depicts a slow-burning romance and a chilling mystery that binds two men together.

Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship. . . .

Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding . . . it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.

Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.


Enjoy these historical fiction romance books! I hope you find something to snuggle up with this Valentine’s Day!

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Black Historical Fiction Authors

Black Historical Fiction Authors

Looking for some Black historical fiction books? Here is a roundup of some fantastic Black historical fiction authors!

black historical fiction books

Black Historical Fiction Authors

I’m always looking for diverse voices in the historical fiction market. For so long it seemed to be a genre saturated with castles and royalty. Those stories are still entertaining and even important in their own way. I’m interested in the Tudors as much as the next girl. But there are so many other important stories out there! I’m loving that the market is expanding so dramatically! In the last year alone I’ve been exposed to so many new cultures and historical periods. I’m loving it! Today I want to focus on some amazing Black historical fiction authors I’ve found. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!


Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins has made a name for herself as the “Queen of Black historical romance”. She is a recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Award, the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, and has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in literature. She has also been featured on NPR, CBS Sunday Morning, the Wall Street Journal and People Magazine.

Since her first book, Night Song, debuted in 1994, she has been trail blazing the way in writing historical romance stories with Black and multicultural characters.

Learn more about her at her website- https://beverlyjenkins.net/ and shop her books below!

Black historical fiction authors

Black historical fiction authors

Lola Jaye

You may have seen her most recent book- The Attic Child hitting the bestseller lists and getting attention with Book of the Month etc. But before this haunting story, Jaye was already writing thought provoking historical fiction.

Wartime Sweethearts is a unique multicultural take on the popular WWII time period of historical fiction and Orphan Sisters is an immigration story as well as a deeper look at life in 1950s London.

To learn more about Lola Jaye- visit her website at https://www.lolajaye.com/ and shop her books below!


Dr. Vanessa Riley

Have you read Island Queen yet? This book floored me and was one of my top historical fiction reads of 2021! But before this groundbreaking true story about a former slave girl who becomes one wealthiest and powerful landowners in the West Indies, Riley had already made a name for herself in the historical fiction market.

Her work as classified as straight historical fiction as well as historical romance and historical mysteries– all taking place in Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras.

Her books have been featured in Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Publisher’s Weekly and more!

To learn more about Dr. Vanessa Riley check out her website here- https://vanessariley.com/ and shop her books below!

Black historical fiction authors

Yaa Gyasi

Gyasi has become a legend in the historical fiction world. Her debut novel, Homecoming, came out in 2016 and at the tender age of 26– won her the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award, the Pen/Hemingway Award, the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 honors, and the American Book Award. She also received a Vilcek Proze for Creative Promise in 2020.

To say this woman is talented is an understatement. But more importantly, she makes us think. Not only does she write about large sweeping periods in history to understand the ripple effects of events over time and generations, but she has also written and offered interviews in multiple publications about what reading in general does for us. How we read, why we read, what effect reading has on society etc.


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Best Historical Fiction Books 2022

Best Historical Fiction Books 2022

Enjoy a round-up of the best historical fiction books from 2022!

Best Historical Fiction 2022

Best Historical Fiction Books 2022

Another year has flown by! Man, that went fast! But with it came some fantastic writing! I’ve honestly really been impressed with the historical fiction books I’ve read this year. So, with that in mind, I’ve put together a list of my faves from the year. I hope you enjoy- so here it is- The Best Historical Fiction Books 2022!


The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis

I love Fiona Davis!! For a writer inspired by buildings in New York, she seriously manages to conjure up some amazing stories!


Eight months since losing her mother in the Spanish flu outbreak of 1919, twenty-one-year-old Lillian Carter’s life has completely fallen apart. For the past six years, under the moniker Angelica, Lillian was one of the most sought-after artists’ models in New York City, with statues based on her figure gracing landmarks from the Plaza Hotel to the Brooklyn Bridge. But with her mother gone, a grieving Lillian is rudderless and desperate—the work has dried up and a looming scandal has left her entirely without a safe haven. So when she stumbles upon an employment opportunity at the Frick mansion—a building that, ironically, bears her own visage—Lillian jumps at the chance. But the longer she works as a private secretary to the imperious and demanding Helen Frick, the daughter and heiress of industrialist and art patron Henry Clay Frick, the more deeply her life gets intertwined with that of the family—pulling her into a tangled web of romantic trysts, stolen jewels, and family drama that runs so deep, the stakes just may be life or death.

Nearly fifty years later, mod English model Veronica Weber has her own chance to make her career—and with it, earn the money she needs to support her family back home—within the walls of the former Frick residence, now converted into one of New York City’s most impressive museums. But when she—along with a charming intern/budding art curator named Joshua—is dismissed from the Vogue shoot taking place at the Frick Collection, she chances upon a series of hidden messages in the museum: messages that will lead her and Joshua on a hunt that could not only solve Veronica’s financial woes, but could finally reveal the truth behind a decades-old murder in the infamous Frick family.

Best Historical Fiction Books 2022

Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese

I loved this book! Call it my nerdy English teacher side coming out, I mean, I know there are few people out there who can say they truly enjoyed reading Nathaniel Hawthorne and the original Scarlet Letter. But Hester was an interesting examination of the original premise from a different perspective.

“A hauntingly beautiful––and imagined––origin story to The Scarlet Letter.” ––People

WHO IS THE REAL HESTER PRYNNE?

Isobel Gamble is a young seamstress carrying generations of secrets when she sets sail from Scotland in the early 1800s with her husband, Edward. An apothecary who has fallen under the spell of opium, his pile of debts have forced them to flee Glasgow for a fresh start in the New World. But only days after they’ve arrived in Salem, Edward abruptly joins a departing ship as a medic––leaving Isobel penniless and alone in a strange country, forced to make her way by any means possible.

When she meets a young Nathaniel Hawthorne, the two are instantly drawn to each other: he is a man haunted by his ancestors, who sent innocent women to the gallows––while she is an unusually gifted needleworker, troubled by her own strange talents. As the weeks pass and Edward’s safe return grows increasingly unlikely, Nathaniel and Isobel grow closer and closer. Together, they are a muse and a dark storyteller; the enchanter and the enchanted. But which is which?

In this sensuous and hypnotizing tale, a young immigrant woman grapples with our country’s complicated past, and learns that America’s ideas of freedom and liberty often fall short of their promise. Interwoven with Isobel and Nathaniel’s story is a vivid interrogation of who gets to be a “real” American in the first half of the 19th century, a depiction of the early days of the Underground Railroad in New England, and atmospheric interstitials that capture the long history of “unusual” women being accused of witchcraft. Meticulously researched yet evocatively imagined, Laurie Lico Albanese’s Hester is a timeless tale of art, ambition, and desire that examines the roots of female creative power and the men who try to shut it down.


Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu

This book had me step outside my usual comfort zone. I was not at all familiar with either this period of history or this part of the world and their history. This book was not only so well researched and written, it was also extremely engaging. I was enthralled with these characters and their stories! I’m not going to lie, this was not an uplifting read or even what I would consider a happy ending. But, it was an important and informative read. I’m glad I read it and I would STRONGLY recommend it for others to read as well!

Within every misfortune there is a blessing and within every blessing, the seeds of misfortune, and so it goes, until the end of time.”

It is 1938 in China and, as a young wife, Meilin’s future is bright. But with the Japanese army approaching, Meilin and her four year old son, Renshu, are forced to flee their home. Relying on little but their wits and a beautifully illustrated hand scroll, filled with ancient fables that offer solace and wisdom, they must travel through a ravaged country, seeking refuge.

Years later, Renshu has settled in America as Henry Dao. Though his daughter is desperate to understand her heritage, he refuses to talk about his childhood. How can he keep his family safe in this new land when the weight of his history threatens to drag them down? Yet how can Lily learn who she is if she can never know her family’s story?

Spanning continents and generations, Peach Blossom Spring is a bold and moving look at the history of modern China, told through the story of one family. It’s about the power of our past, the hope for a better future, and the haunting question: What would it mean to finally be home?


The Good Left Undone by Adriana Trigiani

This was a beautiful multi-generational story. I loved learning a new perspective of how World War II affected a part of the world. This was a heartbreaking love story, but one full of understanding and hope for the next generation.

From “a master of visual and palpable detail” (The Washington Post), comes a lush, immersive novel about three generations of Tuscan artisans with one remarkable secret. Epic in scope and resplendent with the glorious themes of identity and belonging, The Good Left Undone unfolds in breathtaking turns.

Matelda, the Cabrelli family’s matriarch, has always been brusque and opinionated. Now, as she faces the end of her life, she is determined to share a long-held secret with her family about her own mother’s great love story: with her childhood friend, Silvio, and with dashing Scottish sea captain John Lawrie McVicars, the father Matelda never knew. . . .
 
In the halcyon past, Domenica Cabrelli thrives in the coastal town of Viareggio until her beloved home becomes unsafe when Italy teeters on the brink of World War II. Her journey takes her from the rocky shores of Marseille to the mystical beauty of Scotland to the dangers of wartime Liverpool—where Italian Scots are imprisoned without cause—as Domenica experiences love, loss, and grief while she longs for home. A hundred years later, her daughter, Matelda, and her granddaughter, Anina, face the same big questions about life and their family’s legacy, while Matelda contemplates what is worth fighting for. But Matelda is running out of time, and the two timelines intersect and weave together in unexpected and heartbreaking ways that lead the family to shocking revelations and, ultimately, redemption.


I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

This was one of my top favorite reads of the year! I’d read about Communist Russia before and seen a glimpse of what it was like living under a Communist regime, but this was a whole new perspective.First off, this was Romania, and it was interesting to see just how infiltrated, sheltered and gaslit they were. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have no idea who to trust, not even your family.

A #1 New York Times and National Bestseller!
 
A gut-wrenching, startling historical thriller about communist Romania and the citizen spy network that devastated a nation, from the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray.

Best Historical Fiction Books 2022

Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.
 
Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He’s left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves—or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.
 
Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?
 
Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys is back with a historical thriller that examines the little-known history of a nation defined by silence, pain, and the unwavering conviction of the human spirit.


What were your best historical fiction books for 2022? Please be sure to add them below in the comments!

Enjoy this list of books? Be sure to check out my other Book Lists Here!

Are You a Gatsby Fan?

The Real Great Gatsby

Happy Birthday F. Scott Fitzgerald!

Are you a Gatsby Fan?

Are you a Gatsby Fan? Learn About the “Real” Great Gatsby!

Are you a Gatsby Fan? September 24th is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birthday! Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge Gatsby fan. This was actually one of the first things my husband and I bonded over. We even had a Great Gatsby-themed wedding, and well anyone who follows my social media knows my yellow furry friend- Gatsby 🙂

Some have questioned why I’m drawn to such a supposedly depressing book or why we’d choose to highlight our happiest day with a theme that ended in such catastrophe. But what I tell any of those people is I strongly believe both the novel and Fitzgerald himself were tragically misunderstood.

The Man Behind the Writing- The “Real” Great Gatsby

Fitzgerald took to writing at a young age. He was published for the first time at thirteen. He continued writing short stories and plays to the point of neglecting his studies at Princeton and soon found himself failing his classes and unlikely to graduate.

Fitzgerald joined the Army in 1917. Convinced he would die in war, he wanted to leave a piece of himself behind, so he rapidly wrote his first novel, The Romantic Egoist, which later became, This Side of Paradise.

It took years to bring This Side of Paradise to publication. However, when it did publish, it literally made him famous overnight.

By this point, Fitzgerald had also made a name for himself, writing short stories for magazines. He was fully supporting himself with his writing. It was his dream come true, followed by his long-time love, Zelda Sayre, finally agreeing to marry him.


They married in March of 1920 and began what became known as a famously tumultuous marriage. They traveled the world and lived an extravagant lifestyle while often leaving chaos in their wake.

Fitzgerald wanted to be taken seriously in the literary world; however, his drinking, partying ways, and chaotic marriage damaged his reputation with critics. They began to dismiss him as irresponsible and a flaky writer. This, however, was far from the truth. Although Fitzgerald was definitely an alcoholic, he always wrote soberly and was a critical perfectionist. He belabored over drafts, revising each line until he deemed it perfect.

Despite critics’ opinions of him as derelict or irresponsible, or perhaps because of it–– Fitzgerald’s name soon became synonymous with the Jazz Age in which he lived. He embraced this and even wrote about it in his novel, Echoes of the Jazz Age.

Fitzgerald’s writing mirrored his personal life in other ways as well. Many would argue he was, in fact, the real Great Gatsby in his story. Like Fitzgerald, Gatsby and his other characters possessed his idealistic, romantic soul. They were also often seeking the American dream, striving for something better. However, they were often plagued as Fitzgerald himself was, with a lack of control and loss.

Like his charactersFitzgerald continued to strive for more-– constantly chasing his next dream-– to write for Broadway, to write for Hollywood. He attempted both of these and yet, never fulfilled the opportunities the way he envisioned. Much of this was due to his drinking and inability to handle his finances. He and Zelda always burned through money faster than he could make it. Zelda also suffered from mental health issues and was eventually hospitalized in a care facility.

Fitzgerald’s last unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon, again mirrored many of his beliefs about his own life. Fitzgerald, unfortunately, passed away from a heart attack before finishing the novel and died believing himself a failure wasting away in literary obscurity. Indeed, for years, that did appear to be the case. However, somewhere in the late 1940s, his work went through a “resurgence” period until he was solidified in 1960 as an enduring American writer. So much so that his novel, The Great Gatsby, has been listed most often as a novel that defines an American classic.

I’ve always felt that Fitzgerald’s writing, The Great Gatsby, in particular, is one of those books that needs to be read more than once. It needs to be unpacked for the multiple layers that are there. Fitzgerald was a master at symbolism, and his themes do withstand the test of time. After all, aren’t we still obsessed with status and money? Will unrequited love ever go away? Or sadly, even the treatment and lack of choices for women is still an issue today.

What are your thoughts on Fitzgerald? Literary classic? Idealistic waste? Have you read any of his other novels aside from The Great Gatsby?

Have you read any of Fitzgerald’s other books? Check out my Fitzgerald Book List Below!

The Real Great Gatsby
Are you a Gatsby fan?

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This Side of Paradise is the debut novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, published in 1920. The book examines the lives and morality of post–World War I youth. Its protagonist Amory Blaine is an attractive student at Princeton University who dabbles in literature.

The novel explores the theme of love warped by greed and status seeking, and takes its title from a line of Rupert Brooke’s poem Tiare Tahiti. The novel famously helped F. Scott Fitzgerald gain Zelda Sayre’s hand in marriage; its publication was her condition of acceptance.

A True Classic that Belongs on Every Bookshelf!


It’s title taken from John Keats’s ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, Tender is the Night (1934) is Fitzgerald’s best-known and most widely read novel after The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald actually considered Tender is the Night to be his greatest novel. It was his fourth novel, and the last novel he completed before his death in 1940.

Set in the south of France in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic tale of a young actress, Rosemary Hoyt, and her complicated relationship with the alluring American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth pushed him into a glamorous lifestyle, and whose growing strength highlights Dick’s decline.

Lyrical, expansive, and hauntingly evocative, Tender Is the Night was one of the most talked-about books of the year when it was originally published in 1934, and is even more beloved by readers today.

The Real Great Gatsby
Are you a Gatsby Fan?

Are you a Gatsby Fan?

This is probably Fitzgerald’s best-known short story, especially since it was made into a movie in 2008 by David Fincher, with Brad Pitt in the starring role. 

Although better known today for his novels, in the 1920s F. Scott Fitzgerald ranked among the top writers of magazine fiction. Fitzgerald represented the dreams and aspirations of the post-World War I generation in his life as well as his works. With his glamorous wife, Zelda, and his cosmopolitan social circle, he projected the perfect image for narrating tales of restless youth in a hectic world.

These short stories offer insights into many themes, characters, and techniques that emerged in Fitzgerald’s later works. The title tale, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” reflects his preoccupation with life’s fleeting nature. “Winter Dreams,” written three years before The Great Gatsby, shares the concept of commitment to an idealized dream. “Babes in the Woods,” developed during the author’s Princeton days, evidences the roots of This Side of Paradise. Thirteen other selections offer further insights into the author’s growing skills as well as examples of his sparkling prose, understated wit, and deft characterizations.


Are you a Gatsby Fan? Then you also need to check out this more recent retelling of the famous tale-

“Jillian Cantor beautifully re-crafts an American classic in Beautiful Little Fools, placing the women of The Great Gatsby center stage: more than merely beautiful, not so little as the men in their lives assume, and certainly far from foolish. Both fresh and familiar, this page-turner is one to savor!” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code

“Jillian Cantor’s shifting kaleidoscope of female perspectives makes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic tale of Jazz Age longing and lust feel utterly modern. A breathtaking accomplishment.”—Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue 

Are you a Gatsby Fan?

On a sultry August day in 1922, Jay Gatsby is shot dead in his West Egg swimming pool. To the police, it appears to be an open-and-shut case of murder/suicide when the body of George Wilson, a local mechanic, is found in the woods nearby.

Then a diamond hairpin is discovered in the bushes by the pool, and three women fall under suspicion. Each holds a key that can unlock the truth to the mysterious life and death of this enigmatic millionaire. 

Daisy Buchanan once thought she might marry Gatsby—before her family was torn apart by an unspeakable tragedy that sent her into the arms of the philandering Tom Buchanan.

Jordan Baker, Daisy’s best friend, guards a secret that derailed her promising golf career and threatens to ruin her friendship with Daisy as well.

Catherine McCoy, a suffragette, fights for women’s freedom and independence, and especially for her sister, Myrtle Wilson, who’s trapped in a terrible marriage.

Their stories unfold in the years leading up to that fateful summer of 1922, when all three of their lives are on the brink of unraveling. Each woman is pulled deeper into Jay Gatsby’s romantic obsession, with devastating consequences for all of them.

Jillian Cantor revisits the glittering Jazz Age world of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, retelling this timeless American classic from the women’s perspective. Beautiful Little Fools is a quintessential tale of money and power, marriage and friendship, love and desire, and ultimately the murder of a man tormented by the past and driven by a destructive longing that can never be fulfilled.

Hope you enjoyed and found some new good reads to try! If you enjoy getting new book recommendations, make sure you check out my other Book Lists Here!

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Agatha Christie Books

Why Agatha Christie Books Make Her the Queen of Mystery!

Agatha Christie- the Queen and Legend!

About Agatha Christie and Her Books

Murder on the Orient Express, And Then There Were None, these are some of the most classic mysteries ever written. And who hasn’t heard of the famous Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple? Agatha Christie books are legendary, as is the author herself. Is that what has made her pop up so much again now in new recent writings? Let’s explore why Agatha Christie is the Queen of Mystery.

Born on September 15th in 1890, Agatha Christie became and remains the best-selling novelist of all time. She was a prolific writer, writing 66 detective novels, 14 short story collections, and the world’s longest running play of all time, The Mousetrap

Why Agatha Christie is the Queen of Mystery

Agatha Christie- The Early Years

Agatha Christie had a difficult start in life. She had an unorthodox upbringing where she was homeschooled and told she was not allowed to learn to read until she was at least eight years old. She taught herself at the age of five instead. Her father died when she was eleven and she and her mother were left with major financial problems. They were forced to leave their house relying on the hospitality of friends until eventually traveling to Egypt for Agatha’s “economized” coming out season.

Although Agatha received many marriage proposals in Egypt, it was not until she met a young pilot, Archie Christie, that she first fell in love. It was a whirlwind affair that ended in a wartime marriage.

Agatha Christie Books

It was during the war that Agatha took to writing detective stories. She used her newfound experience in poisons (she worked at a hospital dispensary during the war) as a basis for the plot of her debut novel,The Mysterious Affair at Styles. The murderer’s use of poisons in the book was so accurate that she received an unusual honorable tribute- a review in The Pharmaceutical Journal. 

Despite Agatha’s newfound success, her personal life was in shambles. Her marriage was falling apart, and there were rumors of a nervous breakdown. After a mysterious disappearance, Agatha decided it was time to start anew. She fulfilled a lifelong goal of traveling on the Orient Express, and spent time on an archeological dig in Baghdad. It was there she met a young archeologist in training, Max Mallowan, who became her second husband. 

In the years that followed, Agatha finally found happiness. She and her husband divided their time between England and digs around the world. She devoted her time to writing, enjoying success until her death in 1976.


Agatha Christie Books To Read List

And Then There Were None


“If you’re one of the few who haven’t experienced the genius of Agatha Christie, this novel is a stellar starting point.” — DAVID BALDACCI, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

An exclusive authorized edition of the most famous and beloved stories from the Queen of Mystery.

Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to an isolated mansion on Indian Island by a host who, surprisingly, fails to appear. On the island, they are cut off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives. One by one, the guests share the darkest secrets of their wicked pasts. And one by one, they die…

Which among them is the killer, and will any of them survive?

“Agatha Christie is the gateway drug to crime fiction both for readers and for writers. . . .  Just one book is never enough.” — VAL MCDERMID, Internationally Bestselling Author.

Agatha Christie Books

Agatha Christie Books
Why Agatha Christie is the Queen of Mystery

Murder on the Orient Express: A Hercule Poirot Mystery 

The exclusive authorized edition of the most widely read mystery of all time. Now a major motion picture directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh. 

“The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.

Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s enemies before the murderer decides to strike again.

This edition includes a photo insert of images from the film. 


The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot)

One of Agatha Christie’s most famous novels, featuring her beloved detective Hercule Poirot—and her most surprising twist.

The story that made Agatha Christie famous ends with one of her most dramatic twists. The villagers of King’s Abbot are shocked when a wealthy local widow commits suicide, and the very next day her fiancé, Roger Ackroyd, is stabbed to death. Dr. James Sheppard, the local physician, discovers the body of his friend and narrates the ensuing hunt for the killer. All the guests and staff at Ackroyd’s country house seem to have solid alibis—except for his missing stepson. But as the authorities home in on their most obvious suspect, the recently retired detective Hercule Poirot unexpectedly turns up and joins the fray. Dr. Sheppard gamely assists the legendary Poirot as he untangles one of the most fiendish mysteries in Christie’s extensive oeuvre.


Agatha Christie Books
Why Agatha Christie is the Queen of Mystery

The A. B. C. Murders: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

In this official authorized edition from the Queen of Mystery, Hercule Poirot sets out on the trail of a serial killer.

There’s a serial killer on the loose, working his way through the alphabet and the whole country is in a state of panic.

A is for Mrs. Ascher in Andover, B is for Betty Barnard in Bexhill, and C is for Sir Carmichael Clarke in Churston. With each murder, the killer is getting more confident—but leaving a trail of deliberate clues to taunt the proud Hercule Poirot might just prove to be the first and fatal mistake.

FYI: This was the first novel ever to follow the trail of a serial killer in a “whodunnit” mystery.


Sleeping Murder

In this exclusive authorized edition from the Queen of Mystery, the indomitable Miss Marple turns ghost hunter and uncovers shocking evidence of a perfect crime.

Soon after Gwenda moved into her new home, odd things started to happen. Despite her best efforts to modernize the house, she only succeeded in dredging up its past. Worse, she felt an irrational sense of terror every time she climbed the stairs.

In fear, Gwenda turned to Miss Marple to exorcise her ghosts. Between them, they were to solve a “perfect” crime committed many years before.


More Recent books about Agatha Christie-

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER!

AN AMAZON BEST BOOK OF 2021!

“A stunning story… The ending is ingenious, and it’s possible that Benedict has brought to life the most plausible explanation for why Christie disappeared for 11 days in 1926.”―The Washington Post.

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room returns with a thrilling reconstruction of one of the most notorious events in literary history: Agatha Christie’s mysterious 11-day disappearance in 1926.

In December 1926, Agatha Christie goes missing. Investigators find her empty car on the edge of a deep, gloomy pond, the only clues are some tire tracks nearby and a fur coat left in the car―strange for a frigid night. Her World War I veteran husband and her daughter have no knowledge of her whereabouts, and England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt to find the up-and-coming mystery author. Eleven days later, she reappears, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming amnesia and providing no explanations for her time away.

The puzzle of those missing eleven days has persisted. With her trademark historical fiction exploration into the shadows of the past, acclaimed author Marie Benedict brings us into the world of Agatha Christie, imagining why such a brilliant woman would find herself at the center of such murky historical mysteries.

What is real, and what is mystery? What role did her unfaithful husband play, and what was he not telling investigators?

Agatha Christie novels have withstood the test of time due in no small part to Christie’s masterful storytelling and clever mind that may never be matched, but Agatha Christie’s untold history offers perhaps her greatest mystery of all.

Fans of The Secrets We Kept, The Lions of Fifth Avenue, and The Alice Network will enjoy this riveting saga of literary history, suspense, and love gone wrong.


The Christie Affair by Nina De Gramont

Why would the world’s most famous mystery writer disappear for eleven days? What makes a woman desperate enough to destroy another woman’s marriage? How deeply can a person crave revenge?

“Sizzles from its first sentence.” – The Wall Street Journal

A Reese’s Book Club Pick

In 1925, Miss Nan O’Dea infiltrated the wealthy, rarefied world of author Agatha Christie and her husband, Archie. In every way, she became a part of their life––first, both Christies. Then, just Archie. Soon, Nan became Archie’s mistress, luring him away from his devoted wife, desperate to marry him. Nan’s plot didn’t begin the day she met Archie and Agatha.

It began decades before, in Ireland, when Nan was a young girl. She and the man she loved were a star-crossed couple who were destined to be together––until the Great War, a pandemic, and shameful secrets tore them apart. Then acts of unspeakable cruelty kept them separated.

What drives someone to murder? What will someone do in the name of love? What kind of crime can someone never forgive? Nina de Gramont’s brilliant, unforgettable novel explores these questions and more.


Hope you enjoy this list of Agatha Christie Books! For more of my book lists, check out the Book List page here!

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Labor Day Books

Looking for Labor Day Books?

Our Workplace History and Potential Future

Labor Day Books

Labor Day Books to Read

The first Labor Day Parade took place in NYC on September 5th, 1882. It was a demonstration for worker’s rights. Twelve years later, Labor Day was signed into a law as a national holiday to celebrate and honor the working class by giving them a day off.

Sadly, we still have a long way to go in regards to truly celebrating and honoring the workers of our country. We’re continuing to widen the wage gap, are facing more controversy and debate than ever between political opinions, and we’re experiencing one of the largest face-offs between workers and employers in our history.

So, where does that leave us for the future? Will American workplaces ever look the same again? Will we ever again have booming office buildings and daily commutes? Or has this been the reckoning that was needed after years of an imbalance in American working culture?

In honor of this year’s Labor Day- I wanted to provide you with a book list of some Labor Day books that will hopefully make you think and force some conversation about these issues and examine not only our present-day working issues, but also those from our past. You might find many systemic issues that have been present for a while. And most importantly, if this is our time of reckoning, we might need to look deeper to truly fix what is broken.

I want to add, it has been brought to my attention that some might question one or two of the books on the list. I want to explain that I chose these books not necessarily because I believe they will individually provide a solution, but because they will hopefully open a dialogue. One of the biggest problems facing us today is our distrust of the “other side”. We have become so polarized and defensive, we’ve forgotten how to listen and learn. But looking at all sides and beliefs and being open to why a solution is being offered is important to finding compromise. As Walter Cronkite once said, “In seeking truth you have to get both sides of the story.”

With that thought in mind, I’d love to continue to add to this list. If you have other resources or books you think I should add, please add them to the comments or feel free to reach out.

Labor Day Books To Read List


The Great Resignation: Why Millions are Leaving Their Jobs and Who Will Win the Battle for Talent by Russ Hill and Jared Jones

The era of adult daycare is over. The way we work has changed permanently. Leaders who fail to adapt will lose their best people. It’s why millions are leaving their jobs!

“We’ve had every leader in our organization read The Great Resignation. Employees are demanding more flexibility and other changes in how we lead. We must adapt or risk losing our best people.” – John Dawson

You can’t send 70% of the global workforce home for an extended period of time and not expect their priorities to shift. Add to that the discontent that’s been growing in most companies for years and you can start to see why there’s so much movement in the job market.

Labor Day Books

In The Great Resignation, Russ Hill and Jared Jones show how two trends have been building for years and how the pandemic accelerated both of them. Hill and Jones share data from Microsoft, Deloitte, McKinssey, LinkedIn, and Gallup alongside stories from their consulting and coaching clients that include executives at some of the world’s largest companies like Amazon, Cigna, Lockheed Martin, Johnson & Johnson, Fox, Kohler, and many others.

The Great Resignation is a casual, insightful read that gives you actionable ideas you can implement with your team immediately. Whether you’re a seasoned senior executive of a Fortune 50 company or a new leader seeking to strengthen your ability to lead in today’s competitive environment you’ll find tons of value in The Great Resignation.


Wage Theft by Kim Bobo

“This book will give you an entirely new perspective on work in America.” ―Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
 
In what has been described as “the crime wave no one talks about,” billions of dollars’ worth of wages are stolen from millions of workers in the United States every year―a grand theft that exceeds every other larceny category. Even the Economic Policy Foundation, a business-funded think tank, has estimated that companies annually steal an incredible $19 billion in unpaid overtime. The scope of these abuses is staggering, but activists, unions, and policymakers―along with everyday Americans in congregations and towns across the country―have begun to take notice.
 
While the first edition of Wage Theft In America documented the scope of the problem, this new edition adds the latest research on wage theft and tells what community, religious, and labor activists are now doing to address the crisis―from passing state and local wage-theft bills to establishing mayoral task forces and tapping agencies that help low-wage workers in spotting wage theft.
 
Citing hard-hitting statistics and heartbreaking first-person accounts of exploitation at the hands of employers, this updated edition of Wage Theft In America offers concrete solutions and a roadmap for putting an end to this insidious practice.


Stayin’ Alive The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class by Jefferson Cowie

A wide-ranging cultural and political history that will forever redefine a misunderstood decade, Stayin’ Alive is prize-winning historian Jefferson Cowie’s remarkable account of how working-class America hit the rocks in the political and economic upheavals of the 1970s. In this edgy and incisive book―part political intrigue, part labor history, with large doses of American music, film and television lore―Cowie, with “an ear for the power and poetry of vernacular speech” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), reveals America’s fascinating path from rising incomes and optimism of the New Deal to the widening economic inequalities and dampened expectations of the present.

Winner of the 2011 Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians for the Best Book on American History

Winner of the 2011 Merle Curti Prize from the Organization of American Historians for the Best Book in American Social History

Winner of the 2011 Labor History Best Book Prize

Winner of the 2011 Best Book Award from the United Association for Labor Education


Labor Day Books
Labor Day Books

We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism- American Style by Kate Aronoff

A stunningly original and timely collection that makes the case for “socialism, American style”

It’s a strange day when a New York Times conservative columnist is forced to admit that the left is winning, but as David Brooks wrote recently, “the American left is on the cusp of a great victory.” Among Americans under thirty, 43 percent had a favorable view of socialism, while only 32 percent had a favorable view of capitalism. Not since the Great Depression have so many Americans questioned the fundamental tenets of capitalism and expressed openness to a socialist alternative.

We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism—American Style offers a road map to making this alternative a reality, giving readers a practical vision of a future that is more democratic, egalitarian, inclusive, and environmentally sustainable. The book includes a crash course in the history and practice of democratic socialism, a vivid picture of what democratic socialism in America might look like in practice, and compelling proposals for how to get there from the age of Trump and beyond.

With contributions from some of the nation’s leading political activists and analysts, We Own the Future articulates a clear and uncompromising view from the left—a perfectly timed book that will appeal to a wide audience hungry for change.


Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor by Kim Kelly

“Kelly unearths the stories of the people- farm laborers, domestic workers, factory employees—behind some of the labor movement’s biggest successes.” —The New York Times

A revelatory and inclusive history of the American labor movement, from independent journalist and Teen Vogue labor columnist Kim Kelly.

Freed Black women organizing for protection in the Reconstruction-era South. Jewish immigrant garment workers braving deadly conditions for a sliver of independence. Asian American fieldworkers rejecting government-sanctioned indentured servitude across the Pacific. Incarcerated workers advocating for basic human rights and fair wages. The queer Black labor leader who helped orchestrate America’s civil rights movement. These are only some of the working-class heroes who propelled American labor’s relentless push for fairness and equal protection under the law.

The names and faces of countless silenced, misrepresented, or forgotten leaders have been erased by time as a privileged few decide which stories get cut from the final copy: those of women, people of color, LGBTQIA people, disabled people, sex workers, prisoners, and the poor. In this assiduously researched work of journalism, Teen Vogue columnist and independent labor reporter Kim Kelly excavates that history and shows how the rights the American worker has today—the forty-hour workweek, workplace-safety standards, restrictions on child labor, protection from harassment and discrimination on the job—were earned with literal blood, sweat, and tears.

Fight Like Hell comes at a time of economic reckoning in America. From Amazon’s warehouses to Starbucks cafes, Appalachian coal mines to the sex workers of Portland’s Stripper Strike, interest in organized labor is at a fever pitch not seen since the early 1960s.

Inspirational, intersectional, and full of crucial lessons from the past, Fight Like Hell shows what is possible when the working class demands the dignity it has always deserved.


$2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
The story of a kind of poverty in America so deep that we, as a country, don’t even think exists—from a leading national poverty expert who “defies convention.” (The New York Times)
Jessica Compton’s family of four would have no income if she didn’t donate plasma twice a week at her local donation center in Tennessee. Modonna Harris and her teenage daughter, Brianna, in Chicago, often have no food but spoiled milk on weekends.
After two decades of brilliant research on American poverty, Kathryn Edin noticed something she hadn’t seen before—households surviving on virtually no cash income. Edin teamed with Luke Shaefer, an expert on calculating incomes of the poor, to discover that the number of American families living on $2.00 per person, per day, was one and a half million households, including about three million children. Where do these families live? How did they get so desperately poor?
Through this book’s eye-opening analysis and many compelling profiles, moving and startling answers emerge. $2.00 a Day delivers provocative ideas to our national debate on income inequality.
“Powerful . . . Presents a deeply moving human face that brings the stunning numbers to life. It is an explosive book . . . The stories will make you angry and break your heart.”—American Prospect
“Harrowing . . . [An] important and heart-rending book, in the tradition of Michael Harrington’s The Other America.”—Los Angeles Times


In a Day’s Work: The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers by Bernice Yeung

“A timely, intensely intimate, and relevant exposé.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The Pulitzer Prize finalist’s powerful examination of the hidden stories of workers overlooked by #MeToo

Apple orchards in bucolic Washington State. Office parks in Southern California under cover of night. The home of an elderly man in Miami. These are some of the workplaces where women have suffered brutal sexual assaults and shocking harassment at the hands of their employers, often with little or no official recourse. In this heartrending but ultimately inspiring tale, investigative journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist Bernice Yeung exposes the epidemic of sexual violence levied against the low-wage workers largely overlooked by #MeToo, and charts their quest for justice.

Labor Day Books

In a Day’s Work reveals the underbelly of hidden economies teeming with employers who are in the practice of taking advantage of immigrant women. But it also tells a timely story of resistance, introducing a group of courageous allies who challenge the status quo of violations alongside aggrieved workers―and win.


Hope you enjoy this list of Labor Day Books! For more of my book lists check out the Book List page here!

Make sure you never miss out on a book list or new blog post. Subscribe to my website here!