Diverse Reads: Beyond WWI & WWII

Historical fiction is one of the most popular genres to read. Most readers seem to stick within the time period between WWI and WWII. This week, we are asking readers to try branching out and travel to an earlier era of history. Here are three books we think historical fans will love.



Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel


During the 1520’s, England is close to falling to pieces. King Henry the VII has yet to secure the kingdom by producing an heir. Now he wants a divorce so he can marry Ann Boylen and hopefully stop the potential fall of the English empire. The novel, the first in the series, follows Thomas Cromwell, the King’s chief minister. Cromwell was a strong and powerful figure in the English Reformation. So sit back, relax and lose yourself in this political drama of Tudor Times.



The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

In Colson Whitehead’s latest novel, the author explores America’s deep south during the height of slavery. The Underground Railroad follows Cora, a cotton plantation slave whose life is filled with unimaginable terrors. Cora escapes her plantation by following another slave, Ceaser, who introduces her to the Underground Railroad. Whitehead re-creates the horrors of this time as we follow Cora fight to gain her freedom. This novel is perfect for those familiar with the time period or those who only remember what they learned in history class. Cora’s story will grab readers quickly and hold their attention until the last page.



Napoleon’s Last Island by Tom Keneally

Tom Keneally’s novel follows Betsy Balcombe who moved to the island where Napoleon has been exiled as a child. After 10 years, Betsy’s family become close to Napoleon which turns out to be dangerous for the family. A coming of age novel disguised as historical fiction, readers will fall in love with Betsy and enjoy following her as she learns how to navigate Napoleon’s court and her family struggles. Keneally brings to life the beginning of an Australian dynasty readers most likely are not familiar with.


Here’s to exploring new parts of history, and new genres as you diversify your reading!