Top 10 Tuesday: Historical Settings

2 Feb

Thanks so much to The Broke And The Bookish for their weekly meme, Top 10 Tuesday. They always come up with great themes to get me thinking. This week we are looking at Historical Settings. Check out what places in time other bloggers want to visit HERE.


While time travel may appeal to many, I prefer to visit the past in books. I enjoy too many of our modern conveniences (antibiotics, indoor plumbing, etc), so I am perfectly content to enjoy vicarious residence. Also, many of the time periods I find fascinating were not very pleasant times in which to live — wars, religious and racial persecution, and did I mention the lack of antibiotics?

So here are some books that I found really helpful in experiencing the reality of history from the comfort and safety of my own home.

Top 9 Historical Settings


Babylonian Exile and Restoration of Israel

Lynn Austin has a fabulous series that relates the return of Israel from its exile in Babylon. Currently there are three novels in the series, two of which I have read. Excellent writing. Excellent history. You can read my reviews of the two books I have read by clicking on the titles — Return to Me and Keepers of The Covenant. On This Foundation is in my TBR pile.


First Century Rome

Randy Singer‘s novel, The Advocate, spans the time leading up to the birth of Christ, his ministry and crucifixion, and the spread of the early church — through the eyes of a Roman citizen. The culture of Rome, both religious and political, is explored. The novel features many historical figures that made up the glory and corruptness that was Rome.




Who doesn’t like Vikings?! Well except the raping, pillaging and looting. Heather Day Gilbert‘s novel, God’s Daughter, depicts the life of Gudrid, a Christian woman who gave birth to the first European in North America. It’s gritty, just like the original Vikings, but depicts a woman who is faithful to her God, despite the era in which she lived.



Medieval England

I love the Middle Ages and I love a great mystery. Mel Starr combines both in his series featuring Hugh de Singleton. There are 8 books in this series, so plenty of good reading. I love that Hugh, though limited by the science and superstition of the time, finds clever albeit low-tech ways to uncover the villains. Ashes to Ashes is the latest book in the series. Look for my review later this week.



Reformation England

As a teenager, I devoured books written about the Tudors. I loved the miniseries about Henry and his 6 wives. In Henry Brooks-Vyner‘s book, The Heretic, the impact of Henry’s break with the Pope and establishing himself as head of the church in England is explored. The new Church of England began its own persecution of other Protestant groups. This richly detailed historical novel is also laced with romance, adventure and intrigue.



Early American History

One of the best novels I have read is Lori Benton’s Burning Sky. The American Revolution is over, but the fortunes of the new country are still in question. This novel was a book club selection and created some of the best discussion we have ever had. Rich historical detail of the New York frontier, depiction of Native American/White relations, and unforgettable characters combine in a book that I rated Very Highly Recommended.



U S Civil War 

Tracy Groot is a favorite author. She writes moving and historically accurate fiction that keeps you thinking long after the last page is read. Her novel of the infamous Confederate prison, The Sentinels of Andersonville, struck a chord with both of my book clubs. The book was doubly special since I live just 45 minutes from the Andersonville historic site.



The Gilded Age — Golden Age of Hollywood

From the Gilded to the Golden, Susan May Warren depicts late 19th and early 20th century America with the multigenerational saga, The Daughters of Fortune. The series begins with The Heiress, continues in the Roaring Twenties with The Baroness and ends with The Duchess. I was swept up in the life and times of these characters — this is a highly recommended series.


World War II

The three books I have chosen to represent WWII are poignant looks at defeat, depravity and God’s power in the midst of suffering. They feature the ugliness of the human heart and the beauty of the human spirit. Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot is set during the British defeat at Dunkirk. The Butterfly and The Violin by Kristy Cambron is set in Auschwitz. The Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer is set in the Japanese-occupied Dutch East Indies. All are historically accurate, but also portray faith messages that are relevant for today.


What are your favorite historical settings?


20 Responses to “Top 10 Tuesday: Historical Settings”

  1. Carole February 2, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    I love your list, Beckie! This was a fun theme to think about, although I probably should have been reading instead of taking the time to put mine together.


    • rbclibrary February 2, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

      Me too Carole. I have been so distracted lately. Though Irene Hannon’s book kept my nose in the pages.


      • Carole February 2, 2016 at 6:03 pm #

        Beckie, we would have had even more books in common if I had read everything on your list!


      • rbclibrary February 2, 2016 at 6:22 pm #



  2. Carrie February 2, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

    Excellent list as always! I am going to have to check out that Mel Starr series – sounds very good 🙂


    • rbclibrary February 2, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

      I’m reading book #8, Ashes to Ashes, right now. I missed the first couple. If you like a mystery with an historic twist, I think you will like it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carrie February 2, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

        i do! 🙂


    • Carole February 2, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

      Carrie, I read one of his books and really enjoyed it. I especially enjoy historical settings where they had to rely on observation and intuition.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rbclibrary February 2, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

        That is one of the things that I love about this series.


      • Carrie February 2, 2016 at 6:34 pm #

        i haven’t read many like that but I really do enjoy the ones that I have read! Thanks, Carole!


  3. iloveheartlandx February 2, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

    I love WWII based books!
    My TTT:


    • rbclibrary February 2, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

      Besides the ones I listed, Sarah Sundin has great series too.


      • iloveheartlandx February 2, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

        Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll have to check her books out.


      • rbclibrary February 2, 2016 at 7:27 pm #



  4. Lucie @ Tea Books and Fun February 3, 2016 at 10:45 am #

    I’ve never read a US civil war novel yet, I’d love to!


    • rbclibrary February 3, 2016 at 2:00 pm #

      Tracy Groot’s book is a good start. Also, check out Jocelyn Green’s series. I have read The Widow of Gettysburg — excellent!


  5. Rissi February 3, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

    The gilded age and WWII are among my favorites. Susan May Warren’s Daughters of Fortune series is SO good; bittersweet, but excellent storytelling. 🙂 Considering PBS has a Civil War drama airing now (Mercy Street), I suspect that might become a popular era – provided it is successful.


    • rbclibrary February 3, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

      I haven’t heard about that series. Will have to check it out. So many other great books too numerous to mention in the categories. Thankful for other bloggers that listed the ones I missed.


  6. Susanne February 6, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    What a great list! I’ve had Lynn Austin’s on my TBR for a while. I think I’ll have to move it up! The Gilded age one is really calling to me too! Thanks for sharing theses.


    • rbclibrary February 6, 2016 at 11:37 am #

      Thanks so much! Definitely check out those books. You’ll love them. 😀


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