Hello folks! American Independence Day has me in a retrospective mood and what better way to be retrospective than to contemplate Annie’s favorite historical fiction. Historical books done right are some of my favorites because they are transportive in nature: we read to escape the troubles of reality, so why not experience a time gone by as well? If you’re itching to pick up some quality time travel-inducing reads, here are my picks:
- The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo: I first read this book in elementary school and, as I’ve outgrown a lot of things, I have not outgrown this book. The Tale of Desperaux tells of Desperaux, a small mouse with big ears who falls in love with the princess and is punished for his admiration. Included in this book is the story of Roscuro, a rat who takes up residence in the castle dungeon and is obsessed with light against his coconspirators’s instructions. What I love about this book is it’s simplicity. Whether or not mice are directly involved, we are always fascinated by the little guy who falls in love with the beautiful girl and wants to give up everything for love. This may be labeled a children’s book, but it’s a historical read for all ages. You can get your copy of this heartwarming tale here.
- The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson: I may have lied in the title: not all of these books are fiction, even though Larson’s The Devil in the White City is told in a fictitious style. While I lean toward all things fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed this non-fiction book about the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, the man responsible for its architecture, and the man who lured unsuspecting fairgoers into his murderous arms. The descriptions were wordy at best, but the amount of detail in this book is astonishing. Get a copy for yourself here.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett: This is truthfully one of my favorite books ever. This poignant and warmly honest book focuses on the lives of Aibileen Clark, Minny Jackson, and Skeeter Phelan as Skeeter, the daughter of a white cotton farm owner, writes a book exposing the unbearable conditions for black maids in 1960’s Jackson, Mississippi. Aibileen and Minny are black maids who anonymously offer their stories for Skeeter’s exposé and provide a clear lens into what life was like for the black women who raised the white women’s children. While this book is honesty and brutal at times, there is so much light and warmth to be found in Stockett’s eye-opening historical novel. You can get a copy here: I’d definitely recommend doing so.
- A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams: I feel like I can’t write a book-themed post without mentioning this book, but I love it! I’ll spare you the typical rant about how fabulous this book is–head to my Favorite Snow Day Reads and Favorite Beach Reads posts to get the scoop. Oh, and treat yourself to a copy here–you’ll thank me later.
Don’t forget that my celebratory Q&A is going live tomorrow, so if you have any questions now is your chance! I’m an open book (haha book jokes), so ask me anything: books, writing, lifestyle, my favorite Disney Channel movie, whatever! Ask away in the comments or on my Twitter and I’ll answer away <3