If you are like me, then you love books based on real history but with a fictional twist. Real life doesn’t always make for a good book which is why the historical fiction genre exists. We decided to list the best historical fiction books of all time!
This list a bit hard to make because there are so many modern historical books that should be on the list. But unfortunately, we as a society are still trying to figure out which books from this era are classics and whatnot. That is going to leave some books off the list but for the most part, we still were able to make a good list.
The Best Historical Fiction Books of All Time
- Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
- The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
- Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
- The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
- The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
- A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
- The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
- The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
- Aztec by Gary Jennings
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
- The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
To Each Their Own
Unlike other genres, historical fiction is harder to rate because many of the books cover history from various countries. Books like A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe take place in three different counties.
Nonetheless, this list some of my all time favorite books such as The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, and Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. Hannah is a brilliant author and she has become one of my favorite authors. Her latest book The Four Winds easily could have made the list.
Pachinko and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles are modern books that tell rich and poignant stories. They are the reason I love reading new books and appreciating all the hard work authors put in their books. While these books have nothing in common, they showcase the brilliance of the historical fiction genre.
Lastly, the classics that made the list should also be discussed. Books such as Memoirs of a Geisha, Gone with the Wind, A Tale of Two Cities, and The Poisonwood Bible are amazing reads that have shaped our ideas of certain years and places. I can’t be the only one that has the sentence “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, play in my head every time I think of Charles Dickens!
These are our picks for the best historical fiction books of all time list. Many of these books have opened our minds to foreign countries and their history as well as certain periods in our own history. Unfortunately, time travel doesn’t exist and historical fiction books make learning that much for fun! Until next time, happy reading!