A Month of Reading (Mostly) Historical Fiction Novels

Hello everyone! It’s November (already, can you believe it?). This month, I’ve decided to try and read the historical fiction novels I got from A Box of Stories ages ago, along with a few others I have on my kindle, and books that I want to or need to read, hence the “(mostly)” in the post title.

Note: some of the synopses of the books listed are mildly paraphrased and/or shortened.

Books from A Box of Stories

Ghost Moth by Michéle Forbes – set in Northern Ireland, summer 1949, and centred around a character called Katherine has to make a choice between two men. Twenty years later the secrets from that year are drawn to the light, and her family and city are on the brink of collapse.

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd – the famous fictional doctor starts his experiments in a barn in Headington, a secluded village near Oxford. Although he receives bodies from the coroner’s office, they have usually died by violent means and are already putrefying. So he moves all his equipment to Limehouse, and makes contact with the resurrectionists also known as the Doomesday Men.

Ace, King, Knave by Maria McCann – Betsy-Ann is a gambler and a dealer in gin and stolen goods, living with a grave-robber in cramped London Rooms. Sophia is a shy and demure heiress, living in Bath and recently married to the charismatic Edward. But neither of their men are what they seem. As the two women attempt to uncover the truth, their lives are drawn together in a riveting story of deception, trickery and gambles of many times.

Sword and Scimitar by Simon Scarrow – a vital outpost stands between the divided nations of Europe and the relentless expansion of the Ottoman Empire. As a decisive battle rages, a veteran soldier fights for the existence of the Knights of the Order of St John and the Christian world…. (I might be most excited for this one!).

Other historical fiction novels I hope to read this month.

The Haunting of H.G. Wells by Robert Masello – a plot against England that even the genius of H.G. Wells could not have imagined. It’s 1914. The Gret War grips the world – and from the Western Front a strange story emerges…a story of St. George and a brigade of angels descending from heaven to fight the beleaguered British troops. But can there be any truth to it?…. (this sounds really intriguing!).

Under a Gilded Moon by Joy Jordan Lake – Biltmore House, a palatial mansion being built by the Vanderbilts, American “royalty”, is in its final stages of construction in North Carolina. The country’s grandest example of privilege, it symbolises the aspirations of its owner and the dreams of a girl, just as driven, who lives in its shadow…..(saw this one on my Kindle First Reads listings for this month, and had to pick it up).

(psst! There is another historical fiction novel I’m excited to read this month, however it’s part of a birthday gift for my best friend as well as a bi-monthly book club pick this month, and I’m not sure when she’ll see this post so I’ll leave mentioning it for my next reading update post).

Other titles I hope to read in November (in no particular order).

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi  in this game-changing, inspiring book, Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the Antiracism Research and Policy Center, offers a radical new understanding of racism, showing that we are all part of the problem until we become part of the solution.

The Secret Commonwealth (Book of Dust #2) by Philip Pullman – Lyra Silvertongue is now a young woman in her second year as an Oxford student . When her daemon, Pantalaimon, witnesses a murder, they are forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, drawn into the complex and dangerous factions of a world they had no idea existed….

The Peculiar Royal by Alonna Williams (Netgalley arc) – the time has come for King Dorian Lockridge to find an heir for the country of Odsia; after the murder of his son, daughter-in-law and grandson fifteen years ago, he knew that sooner or later he’d need to find someone worthy to take the throne…

Sicily: A Short History, from the Greeks to Cosa Nostra by John Julius Norwich – The stepping stone between Europe and Africa, the gateway between the East and the West, at once a stronghold, clearing-house and observation post, Sicily has been invaded and fought over by Phoenicians and Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans, Goths and Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, Germans, Spaniards and the French for thousands of years. It has belonged to them all – and yet has properly been part of none….

This is not so much a TBR, as a list of books I only hope to read in the month of November – but not a strict one; I have both university books to read and assignments to write so I doubt I’ll get to all of them – but I have at least 2 on audiobook and some may be on BorrowBox, the library app that I use sometimes (I think it’s available via from libraries).

If you have read any of these books, what are your thoughts on them? (spoiler-free, please), or if you want to read any of them, want a reading buddy? :).

You have wings. Believe in them and yourself, and you will fly.

See you next time!

Kath xoxo

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