Irresistible Books for History Buffs

Posted by Hayley on November 13, 2017


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Some readers are stuck in the past. Help them feed their obsession with fascinating recommendations from Jones that explore true tales of monarchs and explorers, conquests and politics.

"Life is boundlessly complex, but good history is simple," Jones says. "These eight books, all published in the last decade, cover more than two thousand years of human endeavor, ranging from the rise of the Roman Republic to the election of Donald Trump. What they share is masterful, vivid storytelling by authors totally in command of their material."

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What books would you recommend for history fans? Share them with us in the comments!

See the complete coverage of our Gift Guide including:
Great Books for the Classics Lover
Books That Celebrate the Spirit
Fantastic Books for Fantasy Fanatics

Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)

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message 1: by Jaime (last edited Nov 24, 2017 09:42AM) (new)

Jaime would be great to see recommendations that include perspectives other than colonialism and conquests, a very euro-centric view.


Jen from Quebec :0) *IS* 'Devil's Bargain' worth it? I have been on the fence about it since the release, and I need opinions of the fine readers here on Goodreads to help me decide! Argh! Thanks to anyone who has a comment, good or bad! --Jen from Quebec :0)


message 4: by Ellen (new)

Ellen "Abina and the Important Men" by Trevor Getz is a fantastic book for those looking for a less euro-centric view and it is not only beautifully illustrated, but it is a change in how one views history. The first part of the story is told in graphic novel format, while the rest of the book is in regular text that makes you question the viability of sources and the different perspectives that are considered when history is being written about. Fabulous read!


message 5: by Suzie (new)

Suzie Jennifer Lynn wrote: "*IS* 'Devil's Bargain' worth it? I have been on the fence about it since the release, and I need opinions of the fine readers here on Goodreads to help me decide! Argh! Thanks to anyone who has a c..."

not worth buying, but worth a casual borrow from your library


message 6: by Janice (new)

Janice Devil's Bargain...no thanks. I'll read Let Trump Be Trump, or books on President Reagan, instead. To Catch a King, sounds good.


message 7: by Brittany's (new)

Brittany's Pages Michele wrote: "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI is also a great read. So is
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania"


LOVED Killers of the Flower Moon!


message 8: by Laureline (new)

Laureline Jaime wrote: "would be great to see recommendations that include perspectives other than colonialism and conquests, a very euro-centric view."

agreed


message 9: by Brian (new)

Brian Muldoon Dan Jones needs to read some HP Lovecraft. His writing is like a 6th grader. His wife's research is great but there is only so much known about the Templars and I have read most of it by better authors.

However they did make pretty good films from pretty bad books


message 10: by Renee (new)

Renee Brian wrote: "Dan Jones needs to read some HP Lovecraft. His writing is like a 6th grader. His wife's research is great but there is only so much known about the Templars and I have read most of it by better aut..."

I haven't read anything by Dan Jones, I have however read a book or two by Dan Brown that seems to fit your remark.


message 11: by Eugenia (new)

Eugenia Villanueva viso Jaime wrote: "would be great to see recommendations that include perspectives other than colonialism and conquests, a very euro-centric view."

THe Silk Roads is exactly what you’re asking for and its excellent.


message 12: by Megan (new)

Megan Jaime wrote: "would be great to see recommendations that include perspectives other than colonialism and conquests, a very euro-centric view."

It would be great to see more non-euro-centric books get published. If you've got recommendations you think should be on this list I'd love to hear about them.


message 13: by Megan (new)

Megan Eugenia wrote: "Jaime wrote: "would be great to see recommendations that include perspectives other than colonialism and conquests, a very euro-centric view."

THe Silk Roads is exactly what you’re asking for and ..."


It doesn't read like it is: "the fate of the West has always been inextricably linked to the East" <-- That reads like the book will be talking about Eastern history only in so much as it is a prop or tool that affects and altars Western history. AKA Euro-centric, about the West as subject and the East as an simply a factor in the West's experience.


message 14: by Paul (new)

Paul I very much enjoyed "A world lit only by fire" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


message 15: by Mackay (new)

Mackay How 'bout "Empire of the Summer Moon," (S.C. Gwynne) if you're interested in the Comanche? I'd recommend "Game of Queens" by Sarah Gristwood over "She Wolves" for a worthwhile correction of women's place in the history of power. And, though not recent, "Longitude" by Dava Sobel as scientific and social history as gripping as a thriller.


message 16: by Brian (new)

Brian Dear How about "The Friendly Orange Glow," a recent history book put out by Pantheon, that received a "glowing" favorable review in today's (12/9/2017) Wall Street Journal? https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...


message 17: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Michele wrote: "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI is also a great read. So is
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania"


Two excellent suggestions, Michele! I could not agree more.


message 18: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Renee wrote: "Brian wrote: "Dan Jones needs to read some HP Lovecraft. His writing is like a 6th grader. His wife's research is great but there is only so much known about the Templars and I have read most of it..."

OMG, I am laughing so unbelievably hard right now, Renee! Nice catch :)


message 19: by Jeanie (last edited Dec 10, 2017 06:10AM) (new)

Jeanie Brian wrote: "Dan Jones needs to read some HP Lovecraft. His writing is like a 6th grader. His wife's research is great but there is only so much known about the Templars and I have read most of it by better aut..."

I haven't read any of Dan Jones' books, but have seen his TV presentations over the past couple of years. My impression has always been that he's a TV history presenter because he's young, tall and attractive. Your comment on his writing supports my impression. :D

Have you seen Dan Snow of History Hit? Same thing, I get them confused!


message 20: by Jeanie (new)

Jeanie Jaime wrote: "would be great to see recommendations that include perspectives other than colonialism and conquests, a very euro-centric view."

How about https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...


message 21: by Muzammil (last edited Dec 14, 2017 04:57AM) (new)


message 22: by Costa (last edited Dec 16, 2017 01:25PM) (new)

Costa Panayi If you want to read an A-Z about The Last Tsar of Russia, definately have a read of:

Nicholas and Alexandra Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie by Robert K Massie Robert K. Massie

I learnt a lot of things about this fascinating family, and fascinating piece of History. Although a little 'heavy' at times, it was really interesting to read


message 23: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin Jennifer Lynn wrote: "*IS* 'Devil's Bargain' worth it? I have been on the fence about it since the release, and I need opinions of the fine readers here on Goodreads to help me decide! Argh! Thanks to anyone who has a c..."

I thought it was worth one read. You follow a journalists gathering of information about how Bannon/Trump landed where they are/were today. You can pick it up for free through the Libby app provided you have a local library card. If you don't like it, return it :)


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