The best books to transport you to another era

The Books I Picked & Why

The Library of Legends

By Janie Chang

Book cover of The Library of Legends

Why this book?

Chronicling the real-life evacuation of Chinese university students during the Battle of Nanking, Janie Chang makes history and magic come alive in The Library of Legends, perfectly tying together the trials and tribulations of a group of students evacuating Nanking with the myths and legends that they’re sworn to protect – and which protect them in turn over the dangerous 1,000-mile journey to safety. Quite simply, this book is magical.  

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The Social Graces

By Renée Rosen

Book cover of The Social Graces

Why this book?

I’m a sucker for a gilded-age story, and Renee Rosen’s latest novel ticks all the boxes for a truly immersive read. Chronicling the high society rivalry between Caroline Astor and Alva Vanderbilt, The Social Graces takes readers into the truly baffling feud between old and new money, making you all but feel as though you’re at parties with the Four Hundred, backbiting and gossiping behind the fold of an open fan. 

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Courage, My Love

By Kristin Beck

Book cover of Courage, My Love

Why this book?

I can’t tell you how many World War II novels I’ve read (and loved!) and Kristin Beck’s debut novel, Courage, My Love, stands out as an unforgettable tale of women in the Italian resistance. Showcasing the bravery and strength of those who fought against fascism, Beck’s impeccably-researched book drops readers into the harrowing and dangerous world of occupied Rome. Absolutely unputdownable.

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Bloomsbury Girls: A Novel

By Natalie Jenner

Book cover of Bloomsbury Girls: A Novel

Why this book?

Pour yourself a cup of Ceylon and settle into your coziest armchair to transport yourself to Bloomsbury Books, the postwar London bookshop where three determined women are about to make history. Natalie Jenner’s upcoming novel is a quiet and triumphant celebration of literary sisterhood, peopled with real-life literary figures and memorable heroines. 

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Sisters in Arms

By Kaia Alderson

Book cover of Sisters in Arms

Why this book?

I so love a WWII book that opens my eyes to a lesser-known aspect of the fight against fascism, and Kaia Alderson’s debut novel gives readers an insight into the lives of the Six Triple Eight, the only all-Black female battalion that served in Europe. Immersing readers in the experiences of women fighting prejudice at home and abroad, Alderson’s novel is a fantastic read that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. 

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