Historical Fictionistas discussion

224 views
Recommendations? > Fiction of Biblical Times?

Comments (showing 1-45 of 45) (45 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Josephine (last edited Oct 11, 2012 06:28PM) (new)

Josephine (biblioseph) (auroralector) I have The Red Tent sitting on my tbr pile, and I know I'm going to enjoy it. I started wandering around the recommendations section, but I recognized some notoriously badly written HF I'd seen before.

So, with that long preamble, here it is: got any recommended reads from Bible times?

If low on ideas, I'm also interested in books from after biblical times through the 'fall of the western roman empire', the true beginnings of Christianity. But please specify which of the two your recommendation falls into.


message 2: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (BrynHammond) | 479 comments This used to be in my top ten books: Joseph and His Brothers by Thomas Mann (of Death in Venice fame and so on). It's massive. I must say I liked the early parts and find dull once we're in Egypt. I even have worries about the quality later on. But the first half had knock-out chapters. You might like the whole. He is a great writer.


message 3: by Heather (new)

Heather (jjgrl55) | 233 comments I'm currently reading The Passion of Mary Magdalen and am really, really enjoying it. I would warn that if you are religious you may find it offensive, as it definitely follows the storyline of Mary Magdalen and Jesus having a relationship- but if that won't bother you, I would recommend giving it a shot.

Also, I would recommend Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal if you want a good laugh and a heartwarming story. Though this book also takes some liberties with the story of Jesus, I have known preachers and pastors who enjoyed the way Jesus' humanity is portrayed.


message 4: by Josephine (last edited Oct 11, 2012 07:44PM) (new)

Josephine (biblioseph) (auroralector) @Bryn, that's an unusual recommendation if ever I heard one! I'll try and give it a shot. Thanks.

@Heather, I'm not easily offended. I'm interested in PMM more than Lamb, I'll have to admit. I started reading The Last Temptation of Christ, and despite knowing the ending, I'm really looking forward to getting back to it.

ETA: Did you know The Passion of Mary Magdalen is the sequel to Magdalen Rising? It's a quadrilogy exploring paganism, Judaic beliefs and the 'lost years' of Jesus' life. It sounds fascinating. I hope I'm not working myself up too much over it. XD


message 5: by Kit★ (last edited Oct 11, 2012 08:17PM) (new)

Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) Orson Scott Card has some, and while I've read quite a few of his other books, I haven't read these, so I can't personally vouch for 'em :)

Sarah Sarah (Women of Genesis) by Orson Scott Card
Rebekah Rebekah by Orson Scott Card
Rachel & Leah Rachel & Leah by Orson Scott Card
Stone Tables Stone Tables by Orson Scott Card


message 6: by Josephine (new)

Josephine (biblioseph) (auroralector) Thank you! I like what I've read of his, so I'll have to see which one I'll try first.


message 7: by Libbie Hawker (new)

Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside) (lmironside) | 289 comments I second Orson Scott Card's books! They are excellent.


message 8: by Libbie Hawker (new)

Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside) (lmironside) | 289 comments Oh -- I also recently read Pearl in the Sand...there were things about I liked and things I did not, but the nits I had to pick were all concerning historical accuracy and not Biblical stuff. As a work of Biblical fiction (shut your eyes to some anachronistic stuff), it's very enjoyable!


message 9: by Heather (new)

Heather (jjgrl55) | 233 comments I found out after I started reading that it was the second in a series. So far the book is standing on its own very well and I am excited to read the "prequel" now!


message 10: by Libbie Hawker (new)

Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside) (lmironside) | 289 comments I will definitely check out The Passion of Mary Magdalen...sounds like one I'll enjoy. Thanks!


message 11: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 459 comments My personal favorite in the category of Biblical fiction is Wisdom's Daughter: A Novel of Solomon and Sheba. In this version Sheba's realm is a matriarchal society. I found it be an amazing book.


message 12: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 590 comments Margaret George has one on Mary Magdalene: Mary, Called Magdalene

I've also seen this one has gotten good reviews: The Secret Magdalene


message 13: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (scarty) | 3 comments The author of wisdom's daughter (India Edgehill) also wrote two other books I liked: The Queenmaker and Delilah.


message 14: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Anton | 230 comments Eva Etzioni-Halevy is an Israeli scholar who has written some very good novels about lesser-known Biblical woman: Hannah, Ruth and Deborah. If you want something completely different, about a Jewish sorceress in 3rd-Century Babylonia, I have to recommend my own Rav Hisda's Daughter, Book I: Apprentice: A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery. Rav Hisda's Daughter, Book I Apprentice A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery by Maggie Anton by Maggie Anton


message 15: by Maggie (last edited Oct 12, 2012 10:38PM) (new)

Maggie Anton | 230 comments Robin wrote: "Margaret George has one on Mary Magdalene: Mary, Called Magdalene

I've also seen this one has gotten good reviews: The Secret Magdalene"


Personally, I like Margaret George's novel about Cleopatra The Memoirs Of Cleopatra by Margaret George


message 17: by Josephine (new)

Josephine (biblioseph) (auroralector) I like your description Marina: Moses and his women! Makes him sound like Solomon. :D


message 18: by Ann (new)

Ann Chamberlin | 40 comments I can offer my own Leaving Eden and Tamar also called Snakesleeper in the more recent edition. That's King David's daughter Tamar. I personally did not care for the Scott Card Biblical books (although Ender's Game--not hf--is better. Your mileage may vary, of course. I'd be interested to hear your opinion.


message 19: by Jaye (new)

Jaye  | 16 comments The Silver Chalice The Silver Chalice by Thomas B. Costain
Having read this years and years ago, I agree with the statement below. Like many, I don't remember a lot of books I've read, but I remember this book as being amazing.
"Costain paints a tremendous canvas filled with color and vitality. . .he breathes life into history. But THE SILVER CHALICE does more than this. It makes the New Testament, perhaps for the first time, seem real." (Chicago Sunday Tribune)


message 20: by Patricia (new)

Patricia O'Sullivan | 20 comments Heather J wrote: "I'm currently reading The Passion of Mary Magdalen and am really, really enjoying it. I would warn that if you are religious you may find it offensive, as it definitely follows the storyline of Mar..."

Heather, Lamb is one of my favorites!


message 21: by Beth (new)

Beth (bethlil) | 9 comments one of the best fictionalized Biblical books I've read lately is The Dovekeepers. It was a difficult read at times but well worht the effort to grasp an understading of what it must have been likeThe Dovekeepers


message 22: by Beth (new)


message 23: by Emily (new)

Emily | 58 comments Beth wrote: "The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman"

I was just going to recommend that book. It's probably my own favorite.


message 24: by Libbie Hawker (new)

Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside) (lmironside) | 289 comments Great thread! Even though I am not a believer, I've always found Biblical fiction to be sort of fun. Thanks for all the recommendations; keep 'em coming!


message 25: by Marina (new)

Marina Marek Halter writes biblical novels about women like Sarah, Zippora, etc.


message 26: by W.C. (new)

W.C. Hart | 15 comments I just nticed this discussion and would like to mention both The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas, and Ben Hur by Lew Wallace. Now both of these were made into large movies in the 1950's, but if that doesn't ruin reading them for you, I think you would find them both quite interesting and uplifting.


message 27: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Hime (wendyhime) | 11 comments Eve: A Novel Of The First Woman, by Elissa Elliott
My favorite since Red Tent


message 28: by Joseph (new)

Joseph  (BlueManticore) | 104 comments I found The Jewel of Medina to be a very interesting and entertaining novel.


message 29: by Karendenice (new)

Karendenice | 69 comments I'm going to have to add all of these books to me pile to-read!


message 30: by Lori (new)

Lori (GlitzyRebel) Karendenice,
My favorite book of all time is A Voice in the Wind. It's the first book in the Mark of the Lion Trilogy. Haddassah is a character that will stay with you long after you read the last page of the book.

As I remember, the first couple of chapters were a little difficult to get through so hang in there if you have the same experience.

I have read several other Francine Rivers books but none have had the same impact one me as this series.

A Voice in the Wind (Mark of the Lion, #1) by Francine Rivers An Echo in the Darkness (Mark of the Lion, #2) by Francine Rivers As Sure as the Dawn (Mark of the Lion, #3) by Francine Rivers


message 31: by Karendenice (new)

Karendenice | 69 comments I actually have all of these books...a friend of mine gave then to me not to long ago...I just haven't had a chance to get them started yet. I guess I'm going to have to!


message 32: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jennepstein) I also just remembered James Michener's The Source (I don't think I see that here yet?) -- which I read in high school, when I read pretty much anything Michener had written that I could get my hands on.


message 33: by Tytti (new)

Tytti If anyone is still interested, I'll add Mika Waltari's duology: The Secret of the Kingdom and its sequal The Roman about the early days of Christianity.


message 34: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (Nancyk18) | 606 comments Beth wrote: "one of the best fictionalized Biblical books I've read lately is The Dovekeepers. It was a difficult read at times but well worht the effort to grasp an understading of what it must have been like[..."

I must be a true contrarian. Like The Pillars of the Earth and Outlander, I didn't much care for The Dovekeepers. And mind you Alice Hoffman is among one of my very fave authors. If I wrote this before, sorry for the repetition but I'd love to know why I didn't enjoy this title and so many others did.


message 35: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (Nancyk18) | 606 comments Jennifer wrote: "I also just remembered James Michener's The Source (I don't think I see that here yet?) -- which I read in high school, when I read pretty much anything Michener had written that I cou..."

I loved The Source and reread it recently before our trip to Israel.


message 36: by Chakara (new)


message 37: by Chase (new)

Chase (chasenineworlds) | 5 comments the bible?


message 38: by blueemerald (new)

blueemerald | 17 comments "the bible"? Guess if it is considered Historical Fiction it fits here.


message 39: by Petra (last edited May 22, 2014 02:35PM) (new)


message 40: by Petra (last edited May 22, 2014 02:43PM) (new)

Petra Other books I have on my TBR list but can't vouch for as I haven't read them yet:


The Gospel According to the Son
Children of God (sequel to The Sparrow)
The Testament of Mary
Sarah
Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand: A Novel of Adam and Eve
A Time for Judas


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 388 comments There's The Robe, which I enjoyed when I read it many moons ago.


message 42: by Michele (last edited May 23, 2014 03:51PM) (new)

Michele For something a little different you can try Joseph Heller's God Knows, his story about King David.


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

blueemerald wrote: ""the bible"? Guess if it is considered Historical Fiction it fits here."

I agree. I am in it almost daily.


message 44: by LemonLinda (new)

LemonLinda (lwilliamson0423) | 841 comments These two by Taylor Caldwell are quite good -
Dear and Glorious Physician (covering the life of Luke) and Great Lion Of God (about Paul).


message 45: by Nell (new)


back to top