6 Historical Fiction Picks for Book Clubs

6 Historical Fiction Picks for Book Clubs

Historical fiction can be an entertaining tool for learning about days past. It can also be much more. Many novels set in previous periods go beyond a simple rendering of life in a particular time and place in history. For instance, authors may take advantage of the freedom provided by writing outside of their own eras to play with the notion of time itself, or to examine deeper truths about humanity. Books that provide the fun opportunity to reflect on historical details while introducing larger thematic topics often make for great book club selections.

Below are six such books that come highly recommended from our reviewers, with reading guides to spark ideas for discussing them with your book group. Several of these novels employ multiple timelines or cover a longer span of time, and some include connections to well-known people or events but speak from perspectives that have not always been considered historically significant. They all put a unique and valuable spin on the genre.

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6 Novels to Take Your Book Group Across the Globe

6 books to take your book group across the globe

No matter where we are in the world, books offer us a way of traveling to locations different from our own. Below, we bring you a list of relatively recent novels available in paperback that can help your book club explore and contemplate locales all over the globe, from remote wilderness to bustling cities.

Half of the books feature journeys by water or by air, while the others dive deep into the intricate details of specific places. Two of them, The Paris Hours and The Devil and the Dark Water, will even allow your group to travel through time to bygone eras, in the City of Light and on the high seas respectively.

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Fresh Debut Fiction for Your Book Group

fiction debuts for book clubs

While happening upon a brilliant debut work of fiction is an exhilarating experience, it can be difficult to track down the best new books by emerging authors. It can also be challenging to decide which titles will be good choices for your book club without prior knowledge of the writers. So, here is a list of five spectacular debuts that have either recently been released in paperback or will be soon, and that we recommend for book club discussion.

Aside from all being debuts, all five offer unique perspectives on history or current events, spanning from the American Old West to 20th-century northern Vietnam to a fictional near-future. We're pleased to bring you these fresh and exciting literary voices and have reading guides for each to help ensure that your discussion experience goes smoothly.

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Books in Translation for Book Clubs

Introducing translated literature into your book club is a great way to expand the scope of what you read and discuss. Translated books make up a relatively small percentage of all books published in English, but within that small percentage lie vast opportunities to engage with unique artistic perspectives. Below is a selection of recent translations for your book group to enjoy.

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is a feminist novel that makes a statement via its everywoman protagonist. It Would Be Night In Caracas and When the Plums Are Ripe show political events through the eyes of their distinct main characters. No Presents Please and The Black Cathedral are multi-faceted reads that explore individuality and community while offering viewpoints from a wide range of characters.

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The Best Books of 2020

Although a difficult year for many, 2020 turned out to be a great year for excellent books. If you don't already have a stack of unread books on your nightstand waiting for your attention (or even if you do), you'll definitely want to pick up a few of these titles from our Best of Year lineup - the highest rated books of 2020, as voted on by BookBrowse subscribers in our annual Best of Year survey (over 9,400 votes were cast). The books are listed in ratings order lower down this page; but first, the four 2020 Award Winners!

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Honest Reviews of 2020 Books by Real Readers

There are many places to find reader reviews on the web, but it can be a challenge to know which are truly independent.

The reader reviews offered through BookBrowse's First Impressions program are trustworthy because only our members can post them. Members have the opportunity to request books to read months ahead of their publication dates in exchange for their honest opinion. They can request specific titles but the books are assigned by an algorithm. So, while it's conceivable that someone with a personal connection to the book might receive a copy to review, the chances of there being enough people to influence the overall consensus is effectively zero.

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