#BookBingoNW2018: History — and historical fiction

Still trying to fill that “history” square on your Book Bingo card?  If you are like me, you learn a lot of your history from historical fiction. So the historical details and events that provide such a rich background for these novels had better be accurate!

Following are some of my favorite titles that incorporate meticulously researched history into their compelling stories:

The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
This novel features a grim plot (a young woman faces a series of calamities following her father’s death), but I was won over by the fascinating setting of 17th century Persia, and its flourishing community of carpet-weavers.

Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Based on the true story of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College in 1665, this luminous novel explores the intersecting lives of white settlers and Native Americans in the early years of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Both beautiful and sad.

The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis
First in a series of wonderfully atmospheric mysteries set in Ancient Rome featuring “informer” Marcus Didius Falco. Much of the fun comes from the fully-drawn characters, particularly the gruff but humorous Marcus and his wise, insightful wife Helena Justina.

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
This novel comprises two interwoven tales – one set in contemporary London and the other in 17th century London.  The historical part of the story is particularly compelling, featuring a scholarly young woman who – against the norms of the time – is allowed to act as a scribe for a blind rabbi.

The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami Based on true events, this novel vividly imagines the Spanish expedition that landed in (what is now) Florida in 1527. What makes this book especially intriguing is the narrator who is based on the real-life black Moroccan slave who was a member of the expedition.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
This captivating epic begins in the early 1900s and follows 4 generations of a Korean family that struggles against many hardships to make a new life in Japan.

The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea
In this sprawling, enchanting saga, a young woman in late 19th century Mexico is proclaimed a saint.  If you like Isabel Allende, you must try Luis Alberto Urrea!

Looking for more historical fiction? Check out these book lists created by Seattle librarians: Historical Fiction and Historical Mysteries.

For more ideas for books to meet your Summer Book Bingo challenge, follow our Shelf Talk #BookBingoNW2018 series or check the hashtag #BookBingoNW2018 on social media. Need a Book Bingo card? Print one out here or pick one up at your Library. Book bingo is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures.

 ~ posted by Paige C.

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