The best books for historical action...and some occasional kissing

Lance Hawvermale Author Of The Beekeeper's Bullet
By Lance Hawvermale

The Books I Picked & Why

The Shadow of the Wind

By Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves

Book cover of The Shadow of the Wind

Why this book?

I have always loved libraries. This novel takes place in 1940s Barcelona, a place of danger, romance, and memories that linger like ghosts. There’s a hidden library, a lost author, and a touch of romance, all set during the dangerous aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. What more could I want?


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Enigma

By Robert Harris

Book cover of Enigma

Why this book?

Related to my love of libraries is my adoration for codes and puzzles and secretive things. This novel is a fictionalized account of World War II codebreakers who race against the clock to break an unbreakable Nazi cipher. The hero’s life is complicated by the arrival of a beautiful MI5 officer...


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Eye of the Needle

By Ken Follett

Book cover of Eye of the Needle

Why this book?

Sometimes romance is even more romantic when it’s tragic. Another story set against real events of WWII, this story is a classic cat-and-mouse that attributes the outcome of the war to a single, accidental event: love. Well-researched and brilliantly describe, this is a setting that cleverly weaves the fictional with the real.


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The Venice Sketchbook

By Rhys Bowen

Book cover of The Venice Sketchbook

Why this book?

If you like intrigue, then welcome to Venice in 1938. This novel features a likable heroine in search of the solution to a mystery contained in a sketchbook. It’s full of art—both real and metaphorical. Set against the backdrop of impending war, this one is full of courage and heart.


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This Is How You Lose the Time War

By Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone

Book cover of This Is How You Lose the Time War

Why this book?

Almost defying description, this novella is both historical and science fiction. Written as a series of back-and-forth letters between two people falling in love from afar, it explores the themes of conflict, control, and hopeful defiance. It never explains itself, but invites the reader to realize that love is more powerful than war. It is beautifully written and surprisingly unique.


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