Booklist's Best Historical Fiction by Year

2009/2010/2011/Braille Only/Large Print Only

LEGEND: BOOK FORMATS

BR or BT = Braille book

RC, CR, CT = Cassette tape

DB = Digital book on cartridge

DB ##### (BARD) = Digital book available for download from BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download Service)

 

2008

Title: PEOPLE OF THE BOOK                                                   

Author: BROOKS, GERALDINE                                 Original Date: 2008

    Australian book conservator Hanna Heath analyzes a Hebrew manuscript     

    created in medieval Spain and saved from destruction in 1990s            

    Sarajevo. Hanna's discoveries--an insect wing, salt crystals, and wine   

    and blood stains--reveal the codex's past and the lives of its           

    guardians. Some descriptions of sex and some violence. Bestseller.       

BR   17613, RC   66059, DB   66059

Title: JOHNNY ONE-EYE: A TALE OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION                   

Author: CHARYN, JEROME                                    Original Date: 2008

    Revolutionary War-era Manhattan. Teenage double agent John Stocking,    

    a.k.a. Johnny One-Eye, befriends officers on both sides of the war,     

    including George Washington and British general Sir William Howe.       

    Johnny is in love with Clara, a biracial prostitute at the bordello     

    where he was raised, who shares in his adventures. 2008.                

RC   67918, DB   67918  

Title: REAVERS                                                              

Author: FRASER, GEORGE MACDONALD                          Original Date: 2007

Scottish borderlands, sixteenth century. An unlikely foursome attempts   

to thwart a Spanish plot to replace King James with an imposter.         

Ravishing Lady Godiva Dacre, her mischievous companion Mistress Kylie    

Delishe, dashing part-time highwayman Bonny Gilderoy, and English        

agent/hero Archie Noble face sundry adventures and complications of      

RC   68080, DB   68080   17                                       

Title: FELLOW TRAVELERS                                                    

Author: MALLON, THOMAS                                    Original Date: 2007

    Washington, D.C.; 1950s. While Senator McCarthy leads a crusade         

    against Communists and sexual subversives, recent college graduate and  

    devout Catholic Tim Laughlin begins his first homosexual affair with    

    Hawkins Fuller--an older State Department official. Some explicit       

    descriptions of sex. 2007.                                               

RC   68035, DB   68035                                       

Title: REDEMPTION FALLS                                                     

Author: O'CONNOR, JOSEPH                                  Original Date: 2007

    As the Civil War ends, sixteen-year-old Eliza Mooney leaves Louisiana    

    to search for her twelve-year-old brother Jeremiah. Meanwhile            

    Jeremiah, a drummer boy traumatized by the war, finds his way to a       

    western mountain town governed by Union general James Con O'Keeffe, a    

    former Irish rebel. Violence and strong language. 2007.                  

RC   67281, DB   67281                                           

Title: CHRIST THE LORD: THE ROAD TO CANA                                   

Author: RICE, ANNE, 1941-                                 Original Date: 2008

    In this sequel to Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt (RC 60914), young       

    carpenter Yeshua (Jesus) resists pleasures of the flesh, accepts his    

    destiny, and is baptized. He reveals who He is, gathers disciples,      

    spreads the word, and performs miracles. He is also tempted by the      

    devil.  Bestseller. 2008.                                               

RC   66745, DB   66745   

 2009

Title: PEACE                                                               

Author: BAUSCH, RICHARD                                   Original Date: 2008

    Italy, World War II. Three American soldiers undertake a dangerous      

    assignment to locate retreating Germans. Corporal Robert Marson hires   

    an elderly local to lead them over rough terrain, but as the men        

    succumb to fear, they grow increasingly uncertain of their              

    mission--and their guide. Strong language and some violence. 2008.      

RC   68090, DB   68090                           

Title: BLACK TOWER                                                         

Author: BAYARD, LOUIS                                     Original Date: 2008

    Paris, 1818. Homicide inspector Eugene Vidocq questions Dr. Hector      

    Carpentier, whose name and address were found in a dead man's pocket.   

    Clues connect him to the mystery of long-lost dauphin                   

    Louis-Charles--ten-year-old son of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI--who  

    was once imprisoned in the black tower. Strong language and some        

DB   71690     

Title: WOMEN                                                               

Author: BOYLE, T. CORAGHESSAN                             Original Date: 2009

    Tadashi Sato, a fictional Frank Lloyd Wright disciple, narrates the      

    tale of the architect's romantic entanglements with four women--three   

    wives and a mistress who was murdered in Taliesen, Wright's beloved     

    Wisconsin home. Sato reveals their intrigues, scandals, desperation,    

    and joys. Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions    

RC   68578, DB   68578   

Author: CARTER, STEPHEN L.                                Original Date: 2008

    Harlem, 1950s. African American writer Eddie Wesley stumbles upon the   

    body of white attorney Philmont Castle. Two years later, Eddie's         

    sister Junie disappears. Eddie spends two decades searching for Junie   

    and discovers that she and Philmont--along with Eddie's former          

    girlfriend Aurelia--had connections to a secret political society.      

RC   68096, DB   68096                                         

Title: EXILES                                                              

Author: HANSEN, RON                                       Original Date: 2008

    Wales, December 1875. In this historical novel, accounts of             

    poet/seminarian Gerard Manley Hopkins learning and writing about the    

    shipwreck of the Deutschland near the River Thames intertwine with      

    those of the five young German nuns who perished. Includes full text    

    of Hopkins's poem "The Wreck of the Deutschland." 2008.                                   

RC   67735, DB   67735 

Title: GIVEN DAY                                                           

Author: LEHANE, DENNIS                                    Original Date: 2008

    Boston, early twentieth century. Policeman Danny Coughlin goes          

    undercover to infiltrate Bolsheviks and anarchists who are recruiting   

    immigrants and workers to cause civil strife. Soon Danny sympathizes    

    with their plight, befriending his family's Irish maid and an African   

    American fugitive. Violence and strong language. Bestseller. 2008.      

RC   68066, DB   68066  

Title: MERCY                                                                

Author: MORRISON, TONI                                    Original Date: 2008

    Colonial North America, 1680s. An Anglo-Dutch trader reluctantly        

    accepts a young slave girl named Florens as payment for a bad debt.     

    Her mother hopes the transaction will prove a mercy to Florens, but     

    subsequent years in Jacob Vaark's household reveal the harsh reality    

    of being under another's dominion. Some violence. Bestseller.  2008.    

BR   18095, DB   69148                                        

Title: INDIGNATION                                                         

Author: ROTH, PHILIP                                      Original Date: 2008

    In 1951, during the Korean War, eighteen-year-old Marcus Messner, only  

    child of a kosher butcher, leaves Newark, New Jersey, to attend Ohio's  

    Winesburg College. He experiences rudeness, heartache, and fear of      

    expulsion before his death at age nineteen--which devastates his        

    parents. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2008.       

RC   67841, DB   67841 

Title: ENCHANTRESS OF FLORENCE                                             

Author: RUSHDIE, SALMAN                                   Original Date: 2008

    Mogor, a blond European who speaks seven languages, arrives at the      

    Indian court of Akbar the Great proclaiming himself England's           

    ambassador. The charlatan entertains the emperor with tales of a lost   

    princess. Strong language, some explicit descriptions of sex, and some  

    violence. Bestseller. 2008.

DB   67001

Title: DROOD                                                               

Author: SIMMONS, DAN                                      Original Date: 2009

    Wilkie Collins reveals the mysterious final five years of his friend    

    and fellow novelist Charles Dickens. After surviving an 1865 train      

    crash, Dickens meets the grotesque Mr. Drood among the bloody carnage.  

    Drood's disturbing behavior unnerves Dickens, who obsesses about        

    uncovering Drood's true identity. Dickens enlists Collins's help.       

RC   68808, DB   68808  DLD                                                                                    

 2010

Title: PARROT AND OLIVIER IN AMERICA                                       

Author: CAREY, PETER                                      Original Date: 2009

    1830s. Young French nobleman Olivier de Garmont travels to America      

    with his older British secretary Parrot to research a book on the       

    penal system and the American democratic experiment. In their           

    alternating voices, Olivier and Parrot recount their picaresque         

    adventures--past and present. Some descriptions of sex. Nat'l Book      

DB   72092                                                      

Title: FOUR FREEDOMS                                                       

Author: CROWLEY, JOHN                                     Original Date: 2009

    1940s. An airplane factory moves to Oklahoma and recruits women and     

    undrafted males to join the war effort. One disabled employee, Prosper  

    Olander, has affairs with multiple coworkers, all of whom struggle to   

    build lives in a rapidly changing era. Some strong language and some    

    explicit descriptions of sex. 2009.                                     

DB   72267         

Title: HOMER AND LANGLEY                                                    

Author: DOCTOROW, E. L., 1931-                            Original Date: 2009

    Homer Collyer, the blind brother, and his older brother Langley, a WWI  

    mustard-gas victim, become recluses in their Fifth Avenue brownstone,   

    hoarding newspapers and collecting odd things--a model T Ford,          

    typewriters, and surplus Army supplies--until they become imprisoned    

    by their vast accumulations. Bestseller.  2009.                         

BR   18489, RC   69642, DB   69642                   

Title: ALL OTHER NIGHTS                                                    

Author: HORN, DARA                                        Original Date: 2009

    New Orleans, 1861. Nineteen-year-old Union spy Jacob Rappaport is sent  

    during Passover to kill his uncle--who is planning to assassinate       

    Lincoln. His next mission is to marry Eugenia Levy, a Virginia Jewish   

    businessman's daughter who happens to be a Confederate agent. But       

    Jacob doesn't plan on falling in love. 2009.                            

RC   69243, DB   69243    

Title: PEARL OF CHINA                                                      

Author: MIN, ANCHEE                                       Original Date: 2010

    Fictional account of Pearl Buck (1892-1973), author of The Good Earth   

    (DB/RC 37294). Young Willow Yee befriends Pearl, a missionary's         

    daughter, in remote China. Willow's love and jealousy grow as Willow    

    later suffers during the Mao revolution but remains loyal to her        

    foreign friend, now a Nobel laureate. 2010.                             

DB   73254                                                            

Title: NO LESS THAN VICTORY: A NOVEL OF WORLD WAR II                      

Author: SHAARA, JEFF, 1952-                               Original Date: 2009

    After the D-day invasion, described in The Steel Wave (RC 67049), the  

    Allies march across Europe but encounter German resistance in the       

    Battle of the Bulge. Sergeant John Buckley is taken prisoner when his  

    plane crashes, while Private Eddie Benson slogs through Belgium.       

    Violence and strong language. 2009.                                    

DB   70486   

Title: CORAL THIEF                                                         

Author: STOTT, REBECCA                                    Original Date: 2009

    1815. As Napoleon begins his exile, young Daniel Connor arrives in      

    Paris from Edinburgh only to discover that his valise with valuable     

    papers and coral specimens has disappeared with the lovely woman on      

    the stagecoach. Encountering her again changes his views on love,       

    evolution, and crime. 2009.                                             

DB   71689                                                              

 2011

Title: BEAUTIFUL MARIA OF MY SOUL; OR, THE TRUE STORY OF MARIA GARCIA Y    

Author: HIJUELOS, OSCAR                                   Original Date: 2010

    TITLE CONTINUES: "Cifuentes, the Lady behind a Famous Song"             

    The beguiling Maria Garcia y Cifuentes travels to Havana in the early   

    1950s, where she becomes musician Nestor Castillo's lover. Years later  

    in Miami, Maria reconnects with the past. Companion to The Mambo Kings  

    Play Songs of Love (RC 30259). Some strong language and some            

DB   72511        

Title: BEAUTIFUL MARIA OF MY SOUL; OR, THE TRUE STORY OF MARIA GARCIA Y    

Author: HIJUELOS, OSCAR                                   Original Date: 2010

    TITLE CONTINUES: "Cifuentes, the Lady behind a Famous Song"             

    The beguiling Maria Garcia y Cifuentes travels to Havana in the early   

    1950s, where she becomes musician Nestor Castillo's lover. Years later  

    in Miami, Maria reconnects with the past. Companion to The Mambo Kings  

    Play Songs of Love (RC 30259). Some strong language and some            

DB   72511                                                         

2012

Title: TIME IN BETWEEN                                                      

Author: DUENAS, MARIA, 1964                               Original Date: 2011

    Morocco, 1936. Sira Quiroga, a young seamstress from Madrid, leaves     

    home with her lover but is abandoned in North Africa. She creates a     

    successful couture workshop and is recruited to work for the British    

    cause against Germany. Translated from Spanish. Some violence and some  

    strong language. 2011.                                                  

DB   74124                                                          

Title: RIVER OF SMOKE                                                      

Author: GHOSH, AMITAV                                     Original Date: 2011

    1838. Three ships, including the Ibis from Sea of Poppies (DB/RC        

    68395), weather a cyclone on the Bay of Bengal. Afterwards the          

    passengers and crew regroup in Canton, China's foreign enclave, just    

    as the Opium War begins. Some violence, some strong language, and some  

    descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2011.                        

DB   73744                                                             

Title: CHANGO'S BEADS AND TWO-TONE SHOES                                  

Author: KENNEDY, WILLIAM, 1928-                           Original Date: 2011

    Journalist and aspiring writer Daniel Quinn meets author Ernest        

    Hemingway in a Havana bar in 1957 and marries gunrunner Renata in a    

    Santeria ceremony. Returning home to Albany, New York, in 1968, Daniel 

    investigates race riots and corrupt politicians. Some violence and     

    some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2011.                      

DB   74031                                                            

Title: CAT'S TABLE                                                         

Author: ONDAATJE, MICHAEL, 1943-                          Original Date: 2011

    1954. Eleven-year-old Michael sails from Ceylon to Great Britain to     

    rejoin his mother. During the three-week voyage he befriends two other  

    boys, and together they have adventures that lead to insights about     

    adulthood, love, and betrayal. Some strong language. Bestseller.        

    2011.                                                                   

BR   19469,  DB   73963     

Title: BUDDHA IN THE ATTIC                                                 

Author: OTSUKA, JULIE, 1962-                              Original Date: 2011

    In the early 1900s a group of Japanese women, mainly daughters of       

    Buddhist farmers, sail to San Francisco as mail-order brides. Most      

    discover a life of hard labor and prejudice. Their children grow up     

    American--but then come the World War II internment camps. Bestseller.  

     2011.                                                                  

DB   73858                                                             

Title: CONQUISTADORA                                                       

Author: SANTIAGO, ESMERALDA                               Original Date: 2011

    1844. Ana Larragoity Cubillas arrives in Puerto Rico with her husband   

    Ramon, his twin brother Inocente, and sister-in-law Elena. In their     

    countryside hacienda their relationships and fortunes rise and fall     

    amid the harsh realities of plantation life. Translated from English.   

    Violence, strong language, and descriptions of sex. Spanish language.   

DB   72969                                                        

 The following are available in Braille only:

Title: CONSEQUENCES                                                         

Author: LIVELY, PENELOPE                                  Original Date: 2007

    A family saga beginning in 1930s London. The lives of Lorna, daughter   

    Molly, and granddaughter Ruth unfold against the changing physical and   

    social landscape of the city before and after the war. Ruth's nascent   

    self-exploration is expressed through the lens of her family's past.    

    2007.                                                                    

BR   17623                                                            

Title: FOREIGNERS                                                          

Author: PHILLIPS, CARYL                                   Original Date: 2007

    Fictionalized accounts of three figures of the African diaspora in      

    Great Britain. Jamaican Francis Barber--faithful servvant of Dr.        

    Samuel Johnson--falls into poverty. Biracial boxer Randolph Turpin      

    briefly becomes Europe's 1951 middleweight champion. In 1949 Nigerian   

    David Oluwale stows away on a ship bound for Leeds to become an         

BR   17892   

 The following are available in large print only:

Title: PUZZLE KING                                                         

Author: CARTER, BETSY, 1945-                              Original Date: 2009

    This is the story of unlikely heroes: the lively, beautiful Flora and   

    her husband, the brooding studious Simon, two immigrants who were each  

    sent to America by their families to find better lives. An improbable   

    match, they meet in New York City and fall in love. Simon, inventor of  

    the jigsaw puzzle, eventually makes his fortune. Now wealthy, but       

LB   06297 

Title: WEST OF HERE                                                         

Author: EVISON, JONATHAN                                  Original Date: 2011

    A century after the late-19th-century settlers of the Olympic           

    Peninsula to the west of Seattle set out to build a dam, their           

    descendents want to demolish it to bring back fish runs. With one       

    segment of the narrative focused on the town's founders circa 1890      

    and another showing the lives of their descendants in 2006, the novel   

    develops as a kind of conversation between two epochs, one rushing  

    blindly toward the future and the other struggling to undo the damage

    of the past. Strong language, descriptions of sex, and some         

    violence. 2011.        

LB   06695                                                                                                                       

 

 

Page last modified: October 24, 2012