Best Historical Fiction of the 21st Century

The best historical fiction written in the 21st century.
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flag this list (?)
1,147 books · 2,998 voters · list created June 25th, 2008 by jessica juniper (votes) .
254 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


jessica juniper 137 books
9 friends
TatiAnna 1096 books
151 friends
Jennifer 3078 books
49 friends
Val 589 books
106 friends
Vicki 2120 books
584 friends
JG (Introverted Reader) 3221 books
413 friends
Jess 702 books
41 friends
Smokinjbc 491 books
92 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-28 of 28 (28 new)

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message 1: by Annie (new)

Annie Add 'Shogun' by James Clavell :)


message 2: by Cathie (new)

Cathie Suggestion: Dorothy Dunnett's The Lymond Chronicles and House of Niccolo. Definitely historical fiction.


message 3: by Betty Jo (new)

Betty Jo add the Josephine Bonaparte series...The Many Trials and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. is the first one.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads There are a number of historical fiction lists, including one with nearly 6000 voters: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/15... .


message 5: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Please add "The Kadin" By Bertrice Small


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads It's easy to add books to the list; you do it at "add books to this list," which is the tab nezt to "all votes."


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Neither Count of Monte Cristo or Little Women is historical fiction; Dumas and Alcott were writing about their own time in both.


message 8: by Charity (new)

Charity U Um, "The Hiding Place" isn't historical fiction. It's true!


message 9: by Lois (new)

Lois The Hiding Place is not fiction...


message 10: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Mar 02, 2012 11:48AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Some of these books were not written in the 21st century. There's also the occasional non-fiction.

Do you want me to remove them, Jessica?


message 11: by Ashleigh (new)

Ashleigh "Night" is not fiction - it was the author's story of living during the Holocaust. And I don't think "A Great and Terrible Beauty" can be defined as historical fiction. To me, for a book to be historical fiction, it needs to either deal with real people or real events with an author's literary freedom mixed in.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Should I remove the non-fiction and the historical fiction not first published in the 21st century?


message 13: by Julie (new)

Julie Shouldn't these be for books first published after the year 2000?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You would hope so; but there's a lot of stuff on it that isn't.


message 15: by Brittany B. (new)

Brittany B. Definitely delete The Night. It is certainly not fiction, nor written in the 21st century.


message 16: by Jack (new)

Jack Hi everyone,

I have created a new group called Goodreads All Sorts and I'd love for people to join it or just even just give it a look. It's a group that discusses anything and everything. There will be monthly group reads, movies, and music. There is a folder for everything you could think of. I'd really like if people could spread the word because I'd love for the group to be a success. Here is the link to the group:

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/9...

Thanks very much,
Jack :-)


message 17: by Lluis_d (new)

Lluis_d I miss Victus, from Albert Sanchez Pinyol


message 18: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "Should I remove the non-fiction and the historical fiction not first published in the 21st century?"
Night was still in space #20. I couldn't stand it! The whole point is that the guy was actually there. It's gone now.

I question the presence of books (such as To Kill a Mockingbird) that were not written in the 21st century, as the subscript states, but that have a re-upped copyright. Didn't touch it, but I'm just sayin'.


message 19: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis The Scarlet Letter? Seriously? Dr. Zhivago? Looks as if this has just turned into one more list of historical fiction. Is Jessica still among us? I can mop stuff up (later) if you would like, but it would be a wholesale housecleaning that would seriously alter the list.


message 20: by Kate (new)

Kate This is the kind of list that made me want to be a Goodreads librarian! Sheesh. During some downtime at work today I removed a ton of books that were published before 2000, books that were not historical fiction, and books that were not fiction at all. I'm still chipping away at it, but the top 100 looks a lot more accurate, at least!


message 21: by Joanie (last edited Jul 11, 2015 06:32PM) (new)

Joanie Geffen Add Natchez Burning and The Bone Tree to this list.


message 22: by T (new)

T Moore Lluis_d wrote: "I miss Victus, from Albert Sanchez Pinyol"

HEAR! HEAR! Brilliant stuff, Victus! It gets my vote.

It is clearly one of the greatest works of HF ever written in any century.

But, this list is so sadly lame, does it really matter?

In fact, it might be a good thing it is not listed here.


message 23: by Donna (last edited Sep 01, 2015 07:29PM) (new)

Donna Davis Just a gentle reminder that any books you might want to add must be written prior to 2000. That means if they have been published before Y2K and then republished, they aren't contenders. I'm about to clean out some things that should not be here, and will post the removed books as I go. Just remember that it's easier to avoid impulsively adding a favorite title from yesteryear (or yestercentury) than it is for librarians to go in, double-check, yank, and document. Thanks.

Removed from page 2:

Lonesome Dove:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2... first pub 1985

Gone With the Wind:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... first pub 1936

My Antonia:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... first pub 1918

What are people thinking???

The Killer Angels:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6... first pub 1974

Number the Stars:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4... first pub 1989

King Rat:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9... first pub 1962

That's just page 2, and it's just the ones I noticed; there are probably others.

Checked the rest of the list and I'm not going to go find links for all of these, but they are gone nevertheless, along with 4 duplicates which the system found and removed:

Catcher in the Rye, pub. 1951
Roots 1980
The Hunt for Red October 1984
The Crucible 1953
Things Fall Apart 1958
The Winds of War 1971
Confessions of Nat Turner 1967
Anne of Green Gables 1908
Cry the Beloved Country 1948
The Screwtape Letters 1942
The Book of Daniel 1971
O Pioneers 1913
The First Man in Rome 1990
For Whom the Bell Tolls 1940

It might be tempting to give up on this list, but the other historical fiction list that gets a lot of play is messed up even worse, so this is where I'm putting my time and effort as a volunteer.


message 24: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Both The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons are ranked in the top 100. Even though both events deal somewhat with "historical" events, neither is actually set during a historical period. Should these be removed?


message 25: by Donna (last edited Jan 12, 2016 08:54PM) (new)

Donna Davis The system found and removed 3 duplicates.
Just noticed that Edward P Jones' In the Known World, which earned him a Pulitzer in 2004, is buried in the 300s and I am the only one who's voted for it. If you think this is whack, consider voting for it also.


message 26: by MollyRN (new)

MollyRN Oops. Guess I missed the 21st century piece of the title. Once I started looking at the reads I just got pulled in. It's really a list of Historical Fiction.


message 27: by BookLovingLady (last edited Jan 26, 2017 10:02AM) (new)

BookLovingLady I've removed Tolstoy's Anna Karenina for the obvious reason that the book was first published in the 19th century. Also removed Music & Silence, Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China and The Grapes of Wrath, as they were first published in the 20th century.


message 28: by Donna (last edited Jul 03, 2019 09:03PM) (new)

Donna Davis Removed, nonfiction, #366: The Glass Castle
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...

Removed for genre and copyright date:
Backroads, #432
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
The Collected Stories of Katherine Mansfield:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
#607 All Quiet on the Western Front:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8...

The system found and removed 1 duplicate.


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