Wednesday, May 15, 2019

My All Time Favorite Books

Hello hello! 
I was on Instagram stories earlier this week talking about my love for historical fiction books and I received a lot of messages from women following me that were interested in hearing some of my favorite books of that genre. Ask... and you shall receive!  
I mentioned briefly that my love of historical fiction books began while I was in undergrad at UF. My Momma gave me The Other Boleyn Girl to read and after that I was hooked. While on breaks from school and during the summer I would spend hours at our local library reading the backs of books and selecting the ones I wanted to check out. This is before I had a kindle so I would haul the books with me on vacation and devour them very quickly. I have always loved to read. It is a form of escape for me and I love learning about history and people's lives from long ago. 

1. Phillipa Gregory- Plantagenet and Tudor Series

Phillipa Gregory is one of my favorite authors. I have read all the above books from the Plantagenet and Tudor series. I didn't read them in order because some of the earlier books came out later. I will say that many details from these books are not completely historically accurate but I love them nonetheless. I particularly love the War of the Roses time period. Game of Thrones is said to partly be inspired by the War of the Roses and if you start reading about this war between cousins you will realize why. 

2. Margaret George 

The Autobiography of King Henry VIII by Margaret George is one of my ALL TIME favorite books in general but definitely on King Henry VIII. All her books are amazing. They usually encompass the subject's entire life and from what I have found she keeps the story historically accurate. I also particularly enjoyed her novel Helen of Troy. I haven't read much about that time period and I learned a lot from that book. 

This is my favorite book of ALL time. Hands down. I have read it at least 5 times. This is the most epic and tragic love story I have ever encounter and Heloise and Abelard are forever my favorite characters. If you haven't read this book DO IT! 
Funny story: I was re-reading this book in college and I was near the end so I was BALLING my eyes out. Shane came back to his apartment where I was reading and finds me hysterically crying on the couch. He was a bit freaked out and very confused to say the least. Now if I am ever reading a book and crying he asks "Are you reading about Heloise again?!". I haven't read it again in the past few years but I may get through it this summer sometime. 

4. Sharon Kay Penman- Plantagenet Series

I literally could not love this series more. I HIGHLY recommend Sharon Kay Penman she is a fabulous author. This series starts with the story of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor of Aquitaine was a truly, incredible historical figure and the life she led and the children she had with Henry changed England forever. If you haven't read a ton of historical fiction about the Kings and Queens of England and you are looking to I would start here. This series was captivating and I learned so much!

5. Maurice Druon- The Accursed Kings Series

This series is my second favorite behind the Plantagenet Series by Sharon Kay Penman. George R.R. Martin from Game of Thrones wrote the forwards for these books and claims that he also based GOT off this time period and the French Royal Family. I learned so much about french history from these books and I couldn't put them down. If you are looking for new historical fiction books to read I would suggest this series and the one from Sharon Kay Penman. 

6. Sally Christie- The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy

LOVEEEEEE this triolgy! If you watched the TV Show Versailles you will love these books. Cannot recommend them enough and they are very easy to read. 

7. Allison Pataki

When I started The Accidental Empress I didn't even know who Empress Sisi was but boy was I obsessed with her after reading the first book. I anxiously waited for the second book in the series read it at warp speed. Her life was so tragic and my heart broke for her in both books. 

8. Daisy Goodwin

If you love Downton Abbey you will love Daisy Goodwin's books. The only one in the list above I haven't read is My Last Duchess. I believe that is the follow up book to American Heiress. Also the show Victoria on PBS is based off of Daisy's books. 

9. Diana Gabaldon- Outlander Series

I am caught up on the current season of Outlander the show on Starz but I am only on the second book by Diana Gabaldon, A Dragonfly in Amber. I am totally emotionally invested in Claire and Jamie and I got sad when I found out she was pregnant in the book and stopped reading because I knew her and Jamie would be parted forever. Good thing I continued to watch the show and I know they are reunited {sorry for the spoiler}. I haven't had a lot of extra time to read and I've been really into my Bravo TV lately but now that summer is almost here and with a few vacations planned I should be able to get through a few more of this series. I do prefer historical fictions based on people who actually existed in the period over fictional character like in GOT or Outlander but both series are so good I still love them. I've learned a lot about Scottish history from this series and the TV show. 

10. George R.R. Martin - A Song of Ice and Fire

If you have watched GOT and have not read the books I would highly recommend you do. I have read all five books and like many others I am obsessed. George R.R. Martin is an incredible author and he truly brings the characters to life. He is very truly talented and character development and making you invested in those characters. Like I have said above George has admitted that the English and French royal families have inspired this series and if you know anything about the history of those families you can absolutely see why. I'm unsure if George will finish this series or if the ending will be the same as the show. I assume since he works with the show that he is using his ideas for the ending and the books will be similar but with much more detail. I really hope he does because there are many people that have followed these books for years and I think he owes us the final books. 

This the story of Frances Stuart who was a very interesting historical figure. She knew both King Louis XIV of France {The Sun King} and was the main mistress of King Charles II after he reclaimed the English throne. It is a really good book that explores both the English and French royal families. 

12. Ken Follett- The Century Trilogy 

This trilogy is incredible! I have only read the first two books but Shane has read them all. These books follow 5 families through the 20th century. The first book covers WWI, the second WWII, and the third covers the Cold War. I cannot tell you how much I learned about both World Wars by reading these books. I have always been very interested in history and I was shocked at all the details I had never learned in high school or college. It's actually kind of pathetic that these wars aren't covered in more detail these days. 

Okay I know that was long! I hope you're still with me. To all my readers out there I hope you love these books just as much as I have and you learn from them. 

I plan to start a new series by Conn Iggulden when I go on my work cruise later this month. There are three books in the series Wars of the Roses: Stormbird, Margaret of Anjou, and Bloodline. Although I have read about this time period extensively I always learn something new from different authors. 

Thanks for reading! 

xo, Alina


  1. Good evening,

    I just love historical fiction and have read a few of the books listed. One summer I went crazy and bought a ton of books to read, most of which are on this list. I am so glad I found someone else who enjoys Phillipa Gregory. When friends ask for books to borrow and I went that author I get a whole lecture on why their books are boring and how historical fiction is too old.

    Thank you so much for writhing this post and sending it in an e-mail too!!!

    1. Lyndsey thank you so much for your comment! I am so glad you enjoyed this post and so nice to meet a fellow historical fiction lover!



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