Have You Read????

Okay blog readers. I’m on the hunt for a good book and I’m hoping you might be able to help me. It’s been a bit since I’ve read an epic book. I put together a list of books from the Historical Fiction Lovers Facebook Page and am wondering if you all can help me pick my next book. Have you read any of these? Do you have any recommendations about any of these? Here’s the list.

1- Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson. Amazon readers gave it 4.4 stars.

The book is a story from WWII, set in Italy. You can find it HERE.

2- The Birth House by Ami McKay. You can find it HERE.

This one is about a women who works with a midwife/OBGyn person in Nova Scotia during WWI.

3- Mrs. Eliza’s English Kitchen by Annabel Abbs. This book earned 4.3 stars.

Here is just a little bit about the book: “England, 1835. London is awash with thrilling new ingredients, from rare spices to exotic fruits. But no one knows how to use them. When Eliza Acton is told by her publisher to write a cookery book instead of the poetry she loves, she refuses—until her bankrupt father is forced to flee the country. As a woman, Eliza has few options. Although she’s never set foot in a kitchen, she begins collecting recipes and teaching herself to cook. Much to her surprise she discovers a talent – and a passion – for the culinary arts.”

4-The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku. This one earned 4.8 stars.

This is a true story of a man who survived Auschwitz and was determined not to let it ruin his life.

5-Weyward by Emelia Hart. This one got 4.4 stars.

This one seems to be told over not two but three time periods.

6- Lula Mea by Bianca Cuie. This one is set in Louisiana and is a true story.

It earned 4.6 stars.

7-The book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate. I have read several books by this author and have liked them all.

This earned 4.5 stars. This one is set after the Civil War when reconstruction was happening.

8-Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb. This one seems to be part of a series.

From the little I checked out, it’s set in the US and seems to be a whodunit. Amazon readers gave it 4.3 stars.

9- Three Sisters by Heather Morris. This one takes place after WWII as three sisters try to find their way to Israel.

This one got 4.6 stars. I’ve read other books by this author and have enjoyed them.

10- The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray. This one got 4.5 stars.

I have read another book by this author and enjoyed it. This one takes place in three different time periods. Sometime books set like that are hard to listen in audio format.

So blog readers…those are the books on my list of books I want to read at some point. Has anyone read any of them? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments.

43 thoughts on “Have You Read????”

  1. I’m afraid I read mostly British literature of the 19th century, so I’m unequipped to help much here, but since you enjoy historical fiction, are you familiar with the book reviewed on page 18 of the April 2024 issue of the newsletter I edit? As a bonus, you’ll see the reviewer is a fellow quilter! The link attached to my name will take you to the webpage if you’re curious.

  2. I read 1-2 books/week and haven’t heard of any of them. Personally, from the descriptions I would jump into the women from Auschwitz. It is sure to be filled with hope, love and stolen moments of joy amidst the horror.

    Not that you asked. My favorite read so far this year? A Gentleman in Moscow. It’s fantastic and I will say no more.

  3. Chris Jensen

    I recently read Masters of the Air by Donald L Miller. I normally only read historical fiction, this story is written like a story. I couldn’t put the book down,
    It is the story of the 100th bombardment
    Airmen in WWII.
    One day a neighbor stopped to ask what I was reading. He then said his dad was in the 10oth & a prisoner in a stalig. That gave me shivers. His dads group is in the book.

    1. What a touching experience for you.
      My 17 yo daughter recently won an essay contest. The prize was a gift card to a book store. Masters of the Air was what she chose. She already read it once from the library, but said she needed to own it. I will read it this summer – I’m a teacher.

  4. Barbara deBoer

    I am going to suggest another book completely, called The Spoon Stealer by Lesley Crewe, from the books you like to read, I think you would really enjoy it

  5. Rebecca Burch

    Not on the list but I’m a historical fiction reader & my recommendations are “The Wonder”, “The Impossible Girl” &/or “Abundance”. Good luck finding a good read.
    I took a breather from reading historical fiction & just finished “Demon Copperhead” – one of the best books I’ve EVER read. I highly recommend it!

  6. Jo,
    The Women of Chateau Lafayette is the best book ever. You’ll really love it. I need to read a physical book, so I don’t know if anything will get lost with an audio book. Enjoy!


    1. I also read this book in book format and it has stayed with me a long time. I think audio might be harder to follow. Anything by Stephanie Dray is excellent.

  7. I love historical fiction and have read quite a few of the same ones you have read. Have you tried any by Mario Escobar?

  8. Linda M White

    Most of these sound interesting. I haven’t read any of them yet, but I was pulled right away to Lula Mae… can’t tell you why but I do love books set in Louisiana and the south in general.

    1. Linda, the other book review in my newsletter might particularly interest you because it has those Southern roots you enjoy. It’s on page 15. The link is in my name. Online comments from quilters and readers encouraged!

  9. Hi Jo, have you read The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride by Joe Siple. It was a very good book. Hope you enjoy if you give it a try.

    1. I agree, this book is excellent. Have a box of tissues handy! I also really enjoy books by Cathy Ryan Hyde books are good, especially “Take Me With You” and “Never Let Me Go”. They are not historical fiction, but compelling human drama.

  10. I don’t think I am really answering your question….but, I would recommend that anyone look into reading American Empress: The life and times of Marjorie Merriweather Post.
    Not a new book but a great story. Just check it out!

  11. Hi Jo, I read the happiest man on earth and liked it a lot. I, like you, am facing chronic illness and this book gave me hope that if this man could survive and find happiness I can also. I’ve got lots of pages turned down to remind me to reread spots when I need a bit of a boost.
    Thank you for the tutorials on the crumb quilts. I’m off and running and am following your directions closely!

  12. Several of my friends have read The Women by Kristin Hannah and suggested I read it. I just checked it out of the library–haven’t started it yet.

    It is set in 1965 and a 20 year old nursing student joins the Army Nurse Corps and is sent to Vietnam.

  13. Fran from Dubuque,Iowa

    My favorite and couldn’t put it down was “The Women” by Kristin Hannah. Very well written and researched about the women from the Vietnam War. Awesome story. Everyone should read it. Not sure about audio as that’s what you prefer. Also” The happiest man on earth” is very good.

    1. Carolyn Sullivan

      YES that is a Wonderful WELL written book. It haunts me still Maybe I need to read it again.

  14. The Happiest Man on earth by Eddie Jaku has to be one of the best non fiction books ever. So full of hope, optimism and gritty determination. The man was truly amazing. I did not expect to enjoy but it is one I will reread

  15. Martha W in WY

    Jo, I don’t know anything about the books you listed. The most recent book that I finished reading is “The Book of Lost Names” by Kristin Harmel. The setting is Germany during WWII and it is basically about characters who were in the resistance. I now am reading Jennifer Chiaverini’s “The Museum of Lost Quilts.” It’s not historical fiction like some of her previous books. It is a continuation of the Elm Creek saga. I really enjoyed these previous books of hers: “The Switchboard Soldiers” set during WWI; “The Spy Mistress” set during the Civil War; “Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule” again during the Civil War; a book about Elizabeth Keckley – “Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker”; “Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival”; and “Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters.”
    I really enjoy reading Jennifer ‘s books. My next ones to read will be “The Women’s March” about the suffrage movement and “The Enchantress of Numbers.” I don’t know if you can get any of these on your audio forum but I highly recommend these books.

    1. I read all of Jennifer’s books. I just bought The Union Quilters which I had missed. All of her books are excellent and I have learned and thought a lot about that era.

  16. I can’t give a recommendation other than the narrator can make or break a book for me. What a difference the actor makes!!

  17. I just finished The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon. It is a murder mystery set in colonial times. Main character is a midwife. Loved it! I thought it was a real “page turner”.

  18. I read The Book of Lost Friends and gave it 4.5 stars. It started off slowly, but I then became engrossed in it. Many reviewers said the same thing, so you have to stick with it for awhile.

  19. I’ve listened to Weyward and read The Book of Lost Friends. They were both excellent reads!

  20. It’s not on your list. I just finished reading “The Little Liar” by Mitch Albom. I would recommend it. It’s about the Jews being taken out of Greece to Auschwitz during WW II and what happens afterward.

    1. Donna NW Ind/Fl

      I agree with Martha! Jennifer Chiaverini is a wonderful writer. Kristen Harmel’s books are great too. I read on my kindle or with a book. I’ve never tried an audio book. I’ve enjoyed reading the comments. So many new authors to try! Thanks, Jo!

  21. I have read The Happiest Man on Earth. It is not fiction. It is a wonderful book, written by one who lived in and survived the Holocaust. His description of the emotions he experienced before, during and after his imprisonment were profound. How he decided to live his life after surviving is truly remarkable and a wonderful example to me. He passed away in 2021.

  22. Christy Maier

    I don’t know if you have read The Second Life of Mirielle West by Amanda Skenandore. It’s not on your list. I enjoyed it thoroughly and found it very moving.

  23. An avid reader here – I read The Book of Lost Friends a couple years ago and enjoyed it; still one of my top best ever. Recently I read The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams, a novel about the compiling of the Oxford English Dictionary, and it’s the best book I’ve read in a long time.

  24. I agree with Martha and Donna–any Jennifer Chiaverini book is great. Have read nearly all of her novels, the Elm Creek Quilts novels and her historical fiction, and would highly recommend all of them. Three Sisters is also very good. For something different, you might enjoy Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. One of my favorite books of the last few years is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr–it’s set in France and Germany during World War II. Would also second A Gentleman in Moscow.

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