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Historical fiction suggestions for a male?

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My husband loves historical fiction, but he's having trouble finding something he wants to read (romance is not his thing). Any suggestions?
#1 - August 02, 2013, 08:04 PM
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The Patrick O'Brien books about Jack Aubrey are pretty great. And will keep him busy for years.
#2 - August 02, 2013, 08:05 PM

I loved The Yard by Alex Grecian. It's a mystery set in London around the time of Jack the Ripper.
#3 - August 02, 2013, 08:05 PM
Robin

I also recommend Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, and the Century trilogy (Fall of Giants, Winter of the World, Edge of Eternity) (Only the first one is out, the second comes out in September).
#4 - August 02, 2013, 08:08 PM

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If you can list a few of his other interests (early America, medieval, WWII...whatever), I'd be happy to pop those into NoveList (a very handy library tool allowing the user to search fiction by super specific parameters) and see what it comes up with!

I heart using NoveList....:)
#5 - August 02, 2013, 08:32 PM

My boyfriend's dad loved "Code Name Verity".
#6 - August 02, 2013, 08:51 PM

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For a reader who likes "literary" voices

--Bruce Alexander's BLIND JUSTICE series, which imagine Sir John Fielding (Henry Fielding's brother) solving crimes in 18th-century London.

--WOLF HALL (starring Thomas Cromwell) and other books by Hilary Mantel.
#7 - August 03, 2013, 05:31 AM

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Tom Holt, a British writer who does a lot of humorous fantasy, also wrote an excellent series about Alexander the Great. And his mother Hazel Holt wrote a short novel that is the closest I've ever seen a 20th century writer come to imitating Jane Austen's style (just as an aside). :)
#8 - August 03, 2013, 08:01 AM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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How about Connie Willis? BLACKOUT and ALL CLEAR are technically sci-fi, since there's a time travel element, but they're that type of time-travel fiction where it's basically historical fiction with a few modern characters thrown in who are visiting from the future. Whenever I describe it, I think of calling it "historical fiction" first, and then I remember, "oh wait, it's science fiction, isn't it?" And they're good!

Also, how about mysteries? There are loads of mystery series that are set in historical time periods.
#9 - August 03, 2013, 08:47 AM

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These are really good suggestions. Thank you.

I like fantasy and science fiction (and I've loved some of Connie Willis's books), but my husband's pretty down-to-earth. He's always better at saying what he doesn't like--and he specifically said no time travel.

Despite a Phd and ability to handle really complex math concepts, he has trouble following a plot that jumps around in time or has multiple narrators. So something realistic would probably work best. Mysteries are good. He likes those. He also likes American history.
#10 - August 03, 2013, 09:27 AM
« Last Edit: August 03, 2013, 09:36 AM by Betsy »
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What about vividly written historical non-fiction, Betsy? Twilight at the World of Tomorrow: Genius, Madness, Murder, and the 1939 World's Fair on the Brink of War was an excellent read.
#11 - August 03, 2013, 09:55 AM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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Of course, what books we like are so personal and you never know who's going to like what, but here are a few of my favorite books/series that might fit the bill for your husband.

One of my favorite historical mystery is The Alienist by Caleb Carr. It's set in the 1890s and tells the story of a doctor trying to solve a series of murders using new technology like fingerprinting and profiling. Teddy Roosevelt was the police commissioner at the time and I think Carr did a great job writing him into the story. It came out in 1994. I should re-read it (and there's also a sequel).

If he likes mysteries, especially ones with humor and an old-fashioned feel to them, I'd suggest the Archie McNally series by Lawrence Sanders. They are set in a wealthy enclave of Florida.

There is also the Dortmunder series by Donald Westlake, which are humorous caper novels. Westlake has a whole bunch of other books as well. Again, there is an old fashioned feel to them, even though they aren't "historical." They are set in NYC.
#12 - August 03, 2013, 10:54 AM
Young Henry and the Dragon (2011, Shenanigan Books)

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The Killer Angels and Absalom, Absalom are Civil War era...
#13 - August 03, 2013, 10:56 AM

Of course, what books we like are so personal and you never know who's going to like what, but here are a few of my favorite books/series that might fit the bill for your husband.

One of my favorite historical mystery is The Alienist by Caleb Carr. It's set in the 1890s and tells the story of a doctor trying to solve a series of murders using new technology like fingerprinting and profiling. Teddy Roosevelt was the police commissioner at the time and I think Carr did a great job writing him into the story. It came out in 1994. I should re-read it (and there's also a sequel).

If he likes mysteries, especially ones with humor and an old-fashioned feel to them, I'd suggest the Archie McNally series by Lawrence Sanders. They are set in a wealthy enclave of Florida.

There is also the Dortmunder series by Donald Westlake, which are humorous caper novels. Westlake has a whole bunch of other books as well. Again, there is an old fashioned feel to them, even though they aren't "historical." They are set in NYC.

Agree with all of these... very different in style but they're all great!
#14 - August 03, 2013, 11:03 AM

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One of my favorite books is ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

two kidlit books (US HF) I recently read and loved were: MOON OVER MANIFEST (even though female MC - it is very much a mystery and even though there is some jumping between times it is all very direct---newspaper articles or listening to a storyteller) and MY NAME IS NOT EASY - very beautiful and emotional, tells the story of 3 brothers.

I really like this thread!!!
#15 - August 03, 2013, 12:27 PM
The Safest Lie in stores now
The End of the Line - VOYA Top Shelf & YALSA Quick Pick
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FB/twtr/Tmblr AngelaCerrito

Leather Stockings Tales by James Fenimore Cooper.

If you watched  The Last of the Mohicans then you know some of the characters...

:) eab
#16 - August 03, 2013, 12:59 PM

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All these are good. I'll pass your suggestions on and let him decide.
#17 - August 03, 2013, 01:17 PM
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THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

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Too bad he doesn't like time travel. I loved Stephen King's 11/22/63, so I'm going to recommend it to everyone else reading this thread. It's a masterpiece.
#18 - August 04, 2013, 07:50 PM
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Owl, I could not agree more with you about 11/22/63. Amazing!
#19 - August 04, 2013, 07:56 PM
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Maybe I'll take a look at that one. I love time travel.
#20 - August 04, 2013, 08:00 PM
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I put a few of his preferences into NoveList and Dennis Lehane came up high on the recommends. He has a number of historical, mystery type novels. Also, there is a Civil War mystery series by Owen Parry that has awesome reviews! The disclaimer is that I haven't read these, I just like using NoveList. :)

Good luck!
#21 - August 05, 2013, 09:14 AM

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I love when someone asks questions like this here - such great fun reading all the responses. My to read list is growing.
#22 - August 05, 2013, 09:27 AM
ICE DOGS, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
FALCON WILD, 2017, Charlesbridge
SLED DOG SCHOOL, 2017, HMH
SURVIVOR DIARIES, 2017, HMH
 
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Betsy, I'm reading a mostly astonishing series of detective fiction set in India in the 1920's -- first in the series is The Last Kashmiri Rose by Barbara Cleverly. For starters, I finally learned what the British were doing in the Crimea -- I've never understood much about that. Later books in the series have the detective returning to England, then doing work for Interpol in France.

A lot of the plots have to do with the aftermath of WWI. I qualified it as "mostly astonishing" because the first book after the detective returned to England felt average after all the exotic setting of the previous ones, but then it picked up with later books.
#23 - August 05, 2013, 11:33 AM

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