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HF Book Lists > History of the US through (mostly) historical fiction

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message 1: by Garth (last edited Jun 16, 2012 07:03AM) (new)

Garth A mix of fiction and non-fiction. Any recommended additions/changes?

1. Pre-Colombian: People of the Lakes by Kathleen O'Neal Gear
2. 1500s: The Last Voyage of Columbus by Martin Dugard (nonfiction)
3. 1600s: Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick (nonfiction)
4. 1700s: Copper Sun by Sharon Draper
5. 1700s: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
6. 1700s: Roots by Alex Hailey
7. 1800s: Burr by Gore Vidal
8. 1800s: Uncle Tom s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (I know, not technically HF.)
9. 1800s: Lincoln by Gore Vidal
10. 1800s: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
11. 1800s: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown (nonfiction)
12. 1800s: Little Big Man by Thomas Berger
13. 1800s: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
14. 1910s: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo
15. 1920s: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston
16. 1920s: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
17. 1930s: Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
18. 1930s: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
19. 1940s: Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk
20. 1950s: Your Blues Ain t Like Mine by Bebe Moore Campbell
21. 1950s: The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X nonfiction
22. 1950s: The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
23. 1960s: A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo (nonfiction)
24. 1970s: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
25. 1980s: Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
26. 1990s: Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle
27. 2000s: Zeitoun by Dave Eggers


message 2: by JoLene, Mistress of the Challenge (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1352 comments Mod
Interesting list to compile although you may not want to call it "historical fiction", but just fiction. The standard definition of historical fiction is a work that is published at least 50 years after the period which is is describing. Not to be a stick in the mud, but in case anyone was trying to use your list as a reference for challenges.

Are you trying to list books which capture the essences of the major events of the period? For example, in the 60's: The Things They Carried, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream. In the 80's: Less Than Zero captures young yuppies.


message 3: by Loren (new)

Loren DeShon (lorendeshon) | 23 comments Since you're allowing non-fiction, I don't think your list is complete without The Civil War by Shelby Foote.


message 4: by jb (new)

jb Byrkit (jbbyrkit) I have only read two on that list....To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the best books!


message 5: by Gabriel (new)

Gabriel Hmm, I like the list. I think I could add some more to it. Starting with authors like John Jakes Civil War Trilogy [1840's-1880;s]North and South and his The Bastard (Kent Family Chronicles, #1) by John Jakes (kent chronicles from 1750-1890's]. Captains and the Kings by Taylor Caldwell by Taylor Caldwell. I almost forgot The Scarlet Letter  by Nathaniel Hawthorne . James A. Michener has several books that coside with most of American eras from Chespeake to Texas. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry


message 6: by Brent (new)

Brent | 2 comments Great list, additions,

1700's Arundel by Kenneth Roberts

1800's 1876 by Gore Vidal


message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael Schmicker Garth wrote: "A mix of fiction and non-fiction. Any recommended additions/changes?

1. Pre-Colombian: People of the Lakes by Kathleen O'Neal Gear
2. 1500s: [book:The Last Voyage of Columbus|44745..."


Aloha Garth:
For 1960s, how about "Going After Cacciato" by Tim O'Brian. It takes place geograpohically in Vietnam, but psychologically in the States. Really illuminates the American soul during the 1960s.
Cheers,
Michael


message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael Schmicker Aloha all:
For pre-Colombian America, a thought-provoking but controversial history book would be Dr.Barry Fell's book "America B.C." It argues that multiple Old World visitors made it to what we call today the United States long before Columbus set foot - a book that greatly annoyed my Italian friend in college when I gifted it to her on Columbus Day one year.
Cheers,
Michael


message 9: by Michael (new)

Michael Schmicker L.M. wrote: "I love these lists! I'd be glad to get my brand-new release on it: Tidewater: A Novel of Pocahontas and the Jamestown Colony. Obviously it's about...Pocahontas and the Jamestown Col..."

Aloha L.M.
Congratulations!
Looking forward to reading it once I get through some earlier promised to-reads. I've been spending time in D.C. the last few years, and really need to make a day trip down to Jamestown.
Mike


message 10: by Libbie Hawker (new)

Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside) (lmironside) | 252 comments I'm hoping to visit Jamestown myself, one day! It was fascinating (and a little horrifying) to research.


message 11: by Rick (last edited Jul 26, 2014 08:28AM) (new)

Rick DeStefanis | 21 comments A good list, and including "The Things They Carried" is paramount given it is one of the best historical fiction pieces involving the Vietnam War. I wasn't overly impressed with "Platoon" or "Up Country," two acclaimed works on the subject. Any suggestions for other historical fiction involving Vietnam?


message 12: by Tasha (last edited Jul 29, 2014 03:20PM) (new)

Tasha Have you read Matterhorn?


message 13: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 298 comments Suggest William T. Vollmann's large undertaking Seven Dreams:
https://www.goodreads.com/series/5020...

"Seven Dreams: A Book of North American Landscapes is a series of novels by William T. Vollmann about the settlement of North America and the conflicts between natives and settlers. Each volume focuses on a different expedition in North American history..." Wiki


message 14: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 298 comments They are interesting. I've read... three? Truth is I'm halfway through his Jamestown story Argall. They are big books. Unconventional, too.


message 15: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) | 69 comments Bryn wrote: "They are interesting. I've read... three? Truth is I'm halfway through his Jamestown story Argall. They are big books. Unconventional, too."

I have Argall, but don't know when I will convince myself to read it. I haven't read any of the others yet, and am mostly interested in the most recent, The Dying Grass: A Novel of the Nez Perce War. I don't mind unconventional, I just want it to be more enjoyable than it is difficult, that's what has me waffling.


message 16: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) | 69 comments Helen wrote: "If it is ok I´ll tell you about my own novel,
James´ Journey about the Underground Railroad and the Abolitionists."


Fascinating subject. I remember having to read Frank Norris's The Octopus: A Story of California in school, and although at the time I thought I was bored to tears, it's really stuck with me. The railroad has an amazing history.


message 17: by Helen (last edited Sep 14, 2015 11:25AM) (new)

Helen Erwin | 133 comments Janice George (JG) wrote: "Helen wrote: "If it is ok I´ll tell you about my own novel,
James´ Journey about the Underground Railroad and the Abolitionists."

Fascinating subject. I remember having to read Frank Norris's [bo..."


Thank you!
I could not agree more, it really does.

Belle,
Antebellum law and medicine sounds incredible, especially medicine, we have learned a lot since then!


message 18: by Belle (new)

Belle Blackburn | 63 comments Helen wrote: "Janice George (JG) wrote: "Helen wrote: "If it is ok I´ll tell you about my own novel,
James´ Journey about the Underground Railroad and the Abolitionists."

Fascinating subject. I remember having..."


It sounds like voodoo today. We just smack our forehead and wonder what they were thinking but so will the people 100 years from now when they talk our "chemical age" or whatever. The MC's mother is a yarb doctor (herbalist) and her husband is a university educated doctor and of course they hate each other, but the old herbal cures have stood the test of time much better than the bleeding, blistering and giving of mercury have.


message 19: by Helen (new)

Helen Erwin | 133 comments Belle,
I have been wondering the same thing. What will they say about our own medicine of today?

Do you know anything about 16-18th Century medicine? I´m researching this time period now and I could use some pointers.


message 20: by Belle (new)

Belle Blackburn | 63 comments Helen wrote: "Belle,
I have been wondering the same thing. What will they say about our own medicine of today?

Do you know anything about 16-18th Century medicine? I´m researching this time period now and I cou..."


I really stuck to my own time period but surely there are resources out there. What have you tried so far? I have author friends who write in that time period but they are usually set in Europe. How different would that be?


message 21: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Belle wrote: "Helen wrote: "Janice George (JG) wrote: "Helen wrote: "If it is ok I´ll tell you about my own novel,
James´ Journey about the Underground Railroad and the Abolitionists."

Fascinating subject. I r..."


I still prefer/use the more natural treatments so really appreciate reading about them! I think they stand the test of time bc they really do work. :)


message 23: by Belle (new)

Belle Blackburn | 63 comments Tasha wrote: "Belle wrote: "Helen wrote: "Janice George (JG) wrote: "Helen wrote: "If it is ok I´ll tell you about my own novel,
James´ Journey about the Underground Railroad and the Abolitionists."

Fascinating..."


True, and also can be dangerous if you dont know what you are doing. Nature provides cures for its ailments, and usually close by.


message 24: by Helen (new)

Helen Erwin | 133 comments Belle wrote: "Here are a few places to start:

http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/P...

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/6......"


Thank you so much! This is great. I will save the links in my research folder.


message 25: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Belle, so true! My husband accidentally took way too much of an herb our doctor gave him and it was amazing how his body reacted, pretty scary actually!


message 26: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) | 69 comments Belle wrote: "True, and also can be dangerous if you dont know what you are doing. Nature provides cures for its ailments, and usually close by...."

I've worked with medicinal herbs for years and years, even grow some of my own, and yes, you must be very careful because in many cases they can be far more potent than anything the doctor prescribes or that can be bought over the counter.

I gave my mother a buckeye nut to carry around for her arthritis (it is lore and it is legend that buckeyes relieve the pain of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis), and now she says she won't tell anybody else because they will think she is crazy, but she wanted me to know that when she holds the buckeye nut in her hand at night when she falls asleep(when it hurts the most), the pain goes away. It has happened more than once, but she says she's afraid to tell anybody else, for fear they'll think she's slipping into dementia.

I have arthritis in my neck and spine, and so I've carried a buckeye nut in my pocket for a few years now... I don't know how or why, but it works.


message 27: by Belle (new)

Belle Blackburn | 63 comments Wow, Janice, I had never heard that. Thanks for letting me know.


message 28: by Tasha (new)

Tasha That is really awesome story (the buckeye)! I love herbs. I don't know much about them but what I do know and use they are amazing. My dog came to us with heartworm (he is a rescue) and we used herbs to treat him. The vet said it couldn't work, they've never seen it happen yet. Well, my dog has since tested negative for heartworm. He has also had some other issues which we are now treating with chinese herbs and finally we are getting some results! :)


message 29: by Helen (new)

Helen Erwin | 133 comments Janice,
I have heard that too, my mother swore by it.
Thank you for the reminder I had forgotten about this. Do you know how old this tradition is?


message 30: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) | 69 comments Helen wrote: "Janice,
I have heard that too, my mother swore by it.
Thank you for the reminder I had forgotten about this. Do you know how old this tradition is?"


No, I don't, but I think it originated in Europe before the colonies, but don't hold me to that.


message 31: by ROBERT (new)

ROBERT | 35 comments To get this thread back to historical fiction on the US. Here is a post I made in another thread.

"I thought of another one that was great at transporting me to another time and place. The Awakening Land Trilogy. The Trees is the best book that I have read on the wilderness experience and challenges. The growth of the area in the Fields and the Town just continued my awe.

The Trees

The Fields

The Town
,


message 32: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) | 69 comments ROBERT wrote: ""I thought of another one that was great at transporting me to another time and place. The Awakening Land Trilogy. The Trees is the best book that I have read on the wilderness experience and challenges. The growth of the area in the Fields and the Town just continued my awe.

The Trees

The Fields

The Town..."


I really liked The Trees by Richter, and I'd forgotten about the rest of the trilogy, which I definitely want to read. Thanks for the reminder.


message 33: by Harold (new)

Harold Titus (haroldtitus) | 110 comments ROBERT wrote: "To get this thread back to historical fiction on the US. Here is a post I made in another thread.

"I thought of another one that was great at transporting me to another time and place. The Awakeni..."


I second what Robert said. I would add A. B. Guthrie Jr.'s novels about the exploration and settlement of the West beginning with "The Big Sky."


message 34: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) | 69 comments Harold wrote: "I second what Robert said. I would add A. B. Guthrie Jr.'s novels about the exploration and settlement of the West beginning with "The Big Sky."..."

I don't know how I've missed this one. It's now on my Kindle. Thanks for the pointer!


message 35: by Fiona (new)

Fiona Hurley (fiona_hurley) | 226 comments Also very good:
- Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (1860s)
- The Given Day by Dennis Lehane (1910s)


message 36: by Glenna (new)

Glenna Morrison | 6 comments My personal favourite: Hawaii by James Michener


message 37: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Walker (jkwalkerauthor) Glenna wrote: "My personal favourite: Hawaii by James Michener" "Hawaii" was the first historical fiction I ever read, as a very precocious (and unsupervised) reader of 11. My parents got tit through their Book-of-the-Month Club and I read it before either of them. Been hooked on HistFic ever since.


message 38: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen Jeannette | 89 comments Common Sense by Thomas Paine.


message 39: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) | 69 comments Glenna wrote: "My personal favourite: Hawaii by James Michener"

I've read it more than once, tho' it's been a while and I'm thinking of another re-read. I wound up living in Hawaii for many years, and I think that book had a lot to do with it. I've tried to get others to read it, but they all complain that it is dry and boring and can't get past the first couple chapters. This is shocking to me, but then, I think what I like about Michener is his attention to detail. His novel The Source -- a 1000+ pages about an archeological dig -- was pure excitement for me. I guess it has to do with different tastes. ; )


message 40: by Glenna (new)

Glenna Morrison | 6 comments I picked up -- and put down -- Hawaii a number of times in the early '70s. On about the 4th try, I decided to skip the first 50 pages or so and start with the humans. I was hooked and have now read it three times. Still love it -- and everything else Michener has written.


message 41: by Glenna (new)

Glenna Morrison | 6 comments I also enjoyed reading “When Water Was Everywhere” by Southern California writer Barbara Crane. Through the eyes of her characters, I saw a different California than I ever knew existed--its lush vegetation, prosperous ranchos and vibrant mix of inhabitants. Quite a story!


message 42: by ROBERT (new)

ROBERT | 35 comments Fiona wrote: "Also very good:
- Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (1860s)
- The Given Day by Dennis Lehane (1910s)"


I enjoyed the Given Day. I liked the two sequels more. The Given Day was about the Police strike in Boston. Then the story continues in Florida through the younger brother with Live by Night and World Gone By. It was a good trilogy of historical fiction.


message 43: by Barry (new)

Barry Marks | 55 comments Glenna wrote: "I picked up -- and put down -- Hawaii a number of times in the early '70s. On about the 4th try, I decided to skip the first 50 pages or so and start with the humans. I was hooked and have now read..."

I've heard this a number of times over the years. I first read "Hawaii" when it first appeared in paperback and I thought the first part describing the creation of the islands was one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. I've read the book a couple of times since then. I've read that particular portion maybe 10 or 15 times since.

I general I find that with those very long period historical novels I enjoy them till they get near the present. Then I have to force myself to keep going. That's true of Michener and Rutherford's books. I read a lot of stuff about the present but when it starts early I go into a different mode and I guess i'm just not ready for modern times. :)

By the way, when people think of Michener these days they think of those big books he wrote. If you haven't already it's worth looking into the books he wrote before he wrote Hawaii. They're by far his best work.

Barry


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