The best historical fiction for those of us born in the wrong century

Why am I passionate about this?

A psychic once told me I was born in the wrong century, and I can believe it. I have always been drawn to tales of the past, feeling a kinship for the men and women of whom I read―whether they are real or born of someone's imagination―and longing for a life not digitalized or controlled and one in which self-reliance and community are not at odds. Am I a romantic? You bet, and happy to be.


I wrote...

The Ghost of the Highlands

By Allison M. Azulay,

Book cover of The Ghost of the Highlands

What is my book about?

The first installment in the Ex Tempore Series, this tale has adventure, historical events, and characters, time travel, romance―you name it!

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Uther

Allison M. Azulay Why did I love this book?

Jack Whyte's Uther blew me away. Instead of the semi-mystical style I expected, given the magical associations with the Arthur legends, it wove a gritty, down-to-earth tale of Roman-influenced Britain in a time of raiders, intrigue, and warring factions. The characters came to life in my imagination as I read, and their hopes and experiences, conflicts, and loves became my own.

By Jack Whyte,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Uther as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fans of Jack Whyte's richly praised Camulod Chronicles, an authentic retelling of the Arthurian legend as it actually may have happened, have enjoyed watching the story of Camelot evolve through the eyes of Merlyn - witnessing firsthand Merlyn's role in shaping the boy who would be king. But there has been a part of the story that readers have been denied. With UTHER, Jack Whyte provides a portrait of Merlyn's shadow - his boyhood companion and closet friend, the man who would sire the King of the Britons. From the trials of boyhood to the new cloak of adult responsibility,…


Book cover of The Clansman

Allison M. Azulay Why did I love this book?

I could feel the affection Nigel Tranter has for Scotland and its history as I followed Rob Roy's adventures in The Clansman, seeing the hero from a perspective depicted with humor, as a roguish fellow of somewhat less than stellar character with a lot of savvy and a lot of luck, rather than the stock Hollywood version of a purely innocent victim. I laughed and cheered for the man and his kinsmen. And for all Roy's imperfections, I would have loved to have known him.

By Nigel Tranter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Clansman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the second book in the trilogy of the MacGregor clan. It follows the dramatic days of the 1715 uprising when the MacGregors support a king without a crown. Rob Roy is declared an outlaw and leaves home to avoid disaster - but his family are attacked in his absence and he vows revenge.


Book cover of Outlander

Allison M. Azulay Why did I love this book?

I have read Outlander several times, which is something I rarely do. Is it the words Diana Gabaldon uses that bring me back again and again? Is it the descriptions that make me live in the story, feeling the cold, smelling the earth, tensing at the danger? Is it the atmosphere that seems to color my life while I read chapter after chapter, unable to put the book down? Whatever it is, it captures me and won't let me go. And it inspired me to write my own book.

By Diana Gabaldon,

Why should I read it?

33 authors picked Outlander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first book in Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed Outlander saga, the basis for the Starz original series.

One of the top ten best-loved novels in America, as seen on PBS’s The Great American Read!
 
Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and…


Book cover of Down the Long Hills

Allison M. Azulay Why did I love this book?

There is a reason Louis L'Amour books remain popular. I wish I had the whole collection, and I read every one I can get my hands on. One I particularly recommend is Down the Long Hills, which is a slight departure from his usual tales. In this one, two children find themselves alone and pitted against weather, wilderness, warriors, and their own worry that they are too little for this journey. I could not help measuring my own knowledge and ingenuity against that of a seven-year-old boy and finding it wanting. Nor could I help admiring the resolve and sense of responsibility that would put most adults to shame. I'll be reading this one again, too.

By Louis L'Amour,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Down the Long Hills as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As part of the Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures series, this edition contains exclusive bonus materials!

Everyone was dead. Indian raiders massacred the entire wagon train. Only seven-year-old Hardy Collins and three-year-old Betty Sue Powell, managed to survive. With a knife, a faithful stallion, and the survival lessons his father taught him, Hardy must face the challenges of the open prairie as they head west in search of help. Using ingenuity and common sense, Hardy builds shelters, forages for food, and learns to care for Betty Sue. But their journey through this hostile wilderness is being tracked by even more hostile…


Book cover of A Morbid Taste for Bones

Allison M. Azulay Why did I love this book?

The title of A Morbid Taste for Bones sounds downright ghoulish (which may have been why I picked it up in the first place), but the Peter Ellis story introduced me to the sympathetic character of Brother Cadfael, the routines and intrigues of a Benedictine monastery, and the peasant perspective of life with zero modern conveniences and under the shadow of the political war among those who would be king (or queen) in 12th-century England. I have to admit I'm a sucker for mysteries that keep me guessing what will happen next, what each clue means, and whodunit. This book delivers all that and history lessons, to boot. And it's just one tale in an addictive series.

By Ellis Peters,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Morbid Taste for Bones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the gentle Shrewsbury spring of 1140 the midnight matins at the Benedictine abbey suddenly reverberates with an unholy sound - a hunt in full cry. Pursued by a drunken mob, the quarry is running for its life. When the frantic creature bursts into the nave to claim sanctuary, Brother Cadfael finds himself fighting off armed townsmen to save a terrified young man. Accused of robbery and murder is Liliwin, a wandering minstrel who performed at the wedding of the local goldsmith's son. But his supposed victim, the miserly craftsman, is still alive, although a strongbox lies empty. Brother Cadfael…


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Wrightsville Beach

By Suzanne Goodwyn,

Book cover of Wrightsville Beach

Suzanne Goodwyn Author Of Wrightsville Beach

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing all my life, but was never able to find my voice until I had my daughters. It was for them I wrote “Wrightsville Beach”. I wanted to show them what a good relationship should look like and how their decisions make a difference in where they will go. I want my readers to relive that feeling of falling in love and to be sent in unexpected directions, as life so often does to us. I want you to enjoy it so much, you don’t want to put the book down until it’s finished and once you do, to sit and reflect on it, savoring the feeling it has left behind.

Suzanne's book list on smart women trying to figure it all out

What is my book about?

Two years ago, devastated by the sudden death of his older brother, Hank Atwater went on a drinking rampage that ended in his being arrested. Since then, he has been working to rebuild his reputation in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, with little luck. But everything changes after a chance meeting with Jess Wade, a UNCW student studying to be a marine biologist. Hank and Jess feel connected to each other in a way neither has ever felt before.

But when Hank’s past leads to a frightful incident, it ends their relationship. Jess leaves to work on the beach with sea turtles, thinking about what really happened that summer with Hank, while Hank sets out to find his own path in hopes of one day winning her back.

Wrightsville Beach

By Suzanne Goodwyn,

What is this book about?

Two years ago, Hank Atwater made a terrible mistake. Devastated by the sudden death of his older brother, Rob, he went on a drinking rampage that ended in his being arrested for aggravated assault. Sober since then, he has been working to rebuild his reputation in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, with little luck.

Working a dead-end delivery job, Hank uses surfing and running to deal with being ostracized as he waits for his probation to end. But everything changes after a chance meeting with Jess Wade, a UNCW student studying to be a marine biologist. Hank and Jess…


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