By Guest Blogger Ellen Bryant Lloyd 

I have long been enamored with historical fiction. I love to read stories that transport me to another day and time, so when a member of the Triad Moms on Main Community Chat page on Facebook suggested that I share a list of historical fiction favorites, I looked forward to finding an opportunity to do so.

Historical fiction is typically a book written at least 30 plus years after an event or time period. It immerses the reader in real historical events and time periods, but may closely or loosely follow the specifics of the time or event. Historical fiction may be literary or include fantastical elements, mystery, murder, intrigue and romance.

I have compiled a lengthy list of great historical fiction novels, some recent releases and others that have been around for some time. These titles will take readers across the world and throughout the ages: 1960s India… 1100s England… mid-1700s Ghana… 1960s New York… 17th-century Norway… the Spanish Civil War, first-century Galilee, 1900 Argentina… Ancient Middle East… 1930s Germany… 1800s England… Ancient Greece… 1800s Columbia…… 1800s U.S…. 1930s Japan… and more! Enjoy!

Thank you all for sharing suggestions on the TMOM Community Chat page. I welcome your ideas for future editions of Ellen’s Book Nook!

The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

The Orphan Collector: A Heroic Novel of Survival During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic by Ellen Marie Wiseman

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

City of Vengeance by D.V. Bishop

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Ross Poldark by Winston Graham

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The City of Tears by Kate Mosse

The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Yours Cheerfully by AJ Pearce

The King Must Die by Mary Renault

Atonement by Ian McEwan

The War of the Poor by Eric Vuillard

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Night Watchman by Louis Erdrich

The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing by Mary Paulson-Ellis

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz

How Much of These Hills is Gold by C. Pam Zhang

The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

These Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card

Deacon King Kong by James McBride

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead


Ellen Bryant Lloyd is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue, the editor of Life at Lake Jeanette and Irving Park Living magazines, a premium level writer with Story Terrace ( and a freelance writer. Please visit and to learn more about Freckles. She lives in Greensboro with her husband and two children.

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