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Fiction for Nonfiction Readers

The Other Einstein
by Marie Benedict
A compelling novel about Albert Einstein’s first wife, Mileva, who was one of the few women to study math and science at the Zurich Polytechnic School where she and Albert met; and although regularly engaged in theoretical studies with her husband, was often unacknowledged for her contributions to Einstein’s work. 

The Girls in the Picture
by Melanie Benjamin
A stylish, historical novel that transports readers to Hollywood's early days of silent films and the friendship between dazzling star, Mary Pickford, and her friend, the prominent screenwriter, Frances Marion.

The Pistoler: a Novel of John Wesley Hardin
by James Carlos Blake
A novel of uncompromising depth and power that chronicles the American outlaw life of John Wesley Hardin, exposing the many different sides of a man who was a killer at age 15 and quickly became a legend.

Pretty Boy: the Epic Life of Pretty Boy Floyd
by Bill Brooks
Rising out of the Oklahoma dustbowl, this punchy fictionalization tells the story of famous outlaw Charley Floyd who robbed banks from Kansas City to Ohio.

Caleb is Crossing
by Geraldine Brooks
A splendid historical inspired novel about the first Native American to graduate from Harvard; narrated by Bethia Mayfield, daughter of a Calvinist preacher that traveled from England to bring Christ to the Indians.

by Michael Chabon
An idealized memoir of a man who bears witness to his grandfather’s deathbed confessions, which reveal the long buried involvement in a mail-order novelty company, adventures in WWII Germany tracking down Nazi scientists and the heyday of the U.S. space program.

The Autumn Throne: a Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine
by Elizabeth Chadwick
A stunning novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine who although imprisoned by her husband and separated from her children, refuses to give into tyranny and with great courage and fortitude fends off her enemies and negotiates a magnificent future for her chosen granddaughter.

The Tutor
by Andrea Chapin
A bold and captivating novel about love, passion, and ambition that imagines the muse of William Shakespeare and the tumultuous year they spend together.

Fates and Traitors: a Novel of John Wilkes Booth
by Jennifer Chiaverini
Follows the notorious John Wilkes Booth and the four women who kept his confidence: Mary Ann, the mother he revered; Asia, his faithful sister; Lucy Lambert Hale, the senator's daughter who loved him; and the Confederate widow Mary Surratt, whom he entrusted the secret of his plot to assassinate President Lincoln.

Fools and Morals
by Bernard Cornwell
An enthralling, action-packed novel that tells the story of the first production of A Midsummer Night's Dream--as related by William Shakespeare's estranged younger brother.

The Masterpiece
by Fiona Davis
This splendid novel takes readers back in time to the 1970’s and the late ‘20s with two stories of independent women, living 50 years apart, who find themselves working at the iconic Grand Central Terminal, which is considered the crown jewel and architectural masterpiece of New York City. 

All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
A stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

America’s First Daughter
by Stephanie Dray
This compelling, richly researched novel drawn from thousands of letters and original sources, tells the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter, Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph--a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

In the Name of the Family
by Sarah Dunant
A thrilling exploration of the notorious House of Borgia's Pope Alexander VI and his children, Lucrezia and Cesare, and their unstoppable plots to increase their powerful dynasty in the Renaissance 16th-century.

The Confessions of Al Capone
by Loren D. Estleman
A fictionalized portrait of famous aging gangster, Al Capone and J. Edgar Hoover who orders a special undercover investigation in an attempt to build a case against successors to Capone’s criminal throne. 

A Column of Fire
by Ken Follett
A fiery historical drama set in the middle of the 16th-Century during the Protestant Reformation that features treasonous plots, family rifts and international political intrigue.

Z: a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
by Therese Fowler
Jazz Age legends, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald come into focus in this heavily researched tale about the 1920s and the glorious lives of the rich and famous from New York, Paris and the French Rivera.

The Confessions of Young Nero
by Margaret George
This historical epic novel is devoted to notorious Roman Emperor Nerothe from his innocent childhood, soon blackened by harsh cruel lessons and a failed attempt on his life, to his own ruthless ascension to the throne.

Valley Forge: George Washington and the Crucible of Victory
by Newt Gingrich
An energetic dramatization of the Continental Army's grim winter at Valley Forge in 1777, told through the sensitive eyes of young Pvt. Peter Wellsley, a member of Washington's elite guard detail.

The Ways of the World
by Robert Goddard
Set in 1919 during the Paris peace talks, this novel introduces a 27-year-old R.F.C. war-veteran pilot who is determined to investigate the suspicious death of his father, a British diplomat.

by Daisy Goodwin
Drawing from Queen Victoria's own diaries, this novel brings us the brilliantly imagined life of an 18-year-old young woman who makes her mark on her nation and the world with the ascension to the English throne.

The Last Tudor
by Philappa Gregory
Three Tudor sisters attempt to navigate their positions as possible heirs to the throne of England. After the death of her cousin, Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey's father and uncles maneuver to place her on the throne. Her reign lasts only nine days before she is imprisoned and tried for treason.

Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard
by Sally Gunning
An absorbing and compelling work of historical fiction that brings to life a little-known chapter of the American Revolution -- the story of Benjamin Franklin and his bastard son, and the women who loved them both.

An Officer and a Spy
by Robert Harris
A chilling historical fiction novel of conspiracy and espionage that covers the story of the infamous Alfred Dreyfus affair in Paris 1895 from the vantage point of French army officer Georges Picquart who comes across new evidence that questions if they got the right man.

The Marriage of Opposites
by Alice Hoffman
A fictionalized biography about Rachel Manzana Pomi, the Creole mother of impressionist painter Camille Pissarro, who was forced into an arranged marriage to a man 30 years her senior in order to save her father's fortune and upon her husband’s death, resilient to find love again regardless of scandal for her and her son.

Loving Frank
by Nancy Horan
An ambitious, mesmerizing novel about the scandalous affair between architect Frank Lloyd Wright and the wife of his client that rocked the suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, after they left their families to live together abroad.

A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini
A powerful, incredible chronicle spanning three decades of Afghan history, including anti-Soviet jihad, civil war and Taliban tyranny as told through the eyes of two women and their enduring hope. 

We Were the Lucky Ones
by Georgia Hunter
An extraordinary, propulsive novel based on the true story of a family of Polish Jews who scatter at the start of the Second World War, determined to survive, and to reunite.

Jane Austen’s First Love
by Syrie James
A lively, clever novel inspired by actual events about 15-year old impetuous Jane who dreams of three things – doing something useful, writing something worthy and falling madly in love.

Butch Cassidy: the Lost Years
by William W. Johnstone
Filled with page-turning action and authentic historic details, this novel is a fitting tribute to the famed outlaw Butch Cassidy who was thought to be killed alongside the Sundance Kid in 1908. Or was he?

Burial Rites
by Hannah Kent
A haunting fictionalized account of Agnes Magnusdottir, a work maid charged with the brutal murder of two men and shipped off to a remote farm in northern Iceland to await her fate-death by beheading. 

The Lady of the Lakes: the Love Story of Sir Walter Scott
by Josi S. Kilpack
A romantic biographical fiction that traces the early love life of Sir Walter Scott through his disappointing courtship of his first love and then the subsequent meeting of the minds and hearts he finds with Charlotte, the woman he marries.

Feast of Sorrow: a Novel of Ancient Rome
by Crystal King
Set amongst the scandal, wealth, and upstairs-downstairs politics of a Roman family, this novel exposes the story of the man who inspired the world's oldest cookbook and the ambition that led to his destruction.

Two Gentlemen on the Beach
by Michael Köhlmeier
An absorbing novel about two icons of the 20th century, Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill, who by a chance encounter start a unique friendship and bond by a mutual dark secret of suffering from depression.

by Affinity Konar
This gripping novel explores the world of twin children who were the subjects of Nazi doctor Josef Mengele's horrifying experiments at Auschwitz and placed in his “zoo", rather than being sent to the gas chambers.

The Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy
by Wendy Leigh
A thrilling novel set against  the glittering backdrop of Hollywood and Washington in the 1950s with a unique premise: What if Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy had met and begun a secret correspondence?

Stolen Beauty
by Laurie Lico Albanese
This fast paced and suspenseful novel of love, war, art, and family gives voice to two extraordinary women and their stories behind the creation and near destruction of Gustav Klimt's most remarkable paintings.

The Whiskey Rebels
by David Liss
A clever historical thriller about the adventures of Ethan Saunders, once a valiant spy for General Washington, who is now living in disgrace having fallen under suspicion of traitorous dealings with the British.

Girl in Disguise
by Greer Macallister
An exciting, well-crafted historical novel featuring Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective in 1856 Chicago, highly skilled at lock picking, disguises and surveillance.

Wolf Hall
by Hilary Mantel
Mantel boldly captures the life of Thomas Cromwell, crafty architect of Henry VIII's annulment from Catherine of Aragon, the execution of Sir Thomas Moore, Henry's battle with the Church of Rome, and the Reformation.

The Wardrobe Mistress: a Novel of Marie Antoinette
by Meghan Masterson
A fascinating and visceral novel that gives an inside look at Marie Antoinette's luxurious life in Versailles; remarkably juxtaposed against the struggling lives of the common people during the French Revolution. 

The Chaperone
by Laura Moriarty
A novel about the friendship between an adolescent, pre-movie-star Louise Brooks, later known as the iconic symbol of the flapper and the bob hairstyle; and the prim woman who chaperones her to New York City.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz
by Heather Morris
A heart-rending account of a Jew’s forced occupation as a tattooist for the notorious German death camp, Auschwitz, where despite having to brand thousands of prisoners, risks his own life to help keep many alive.

The Last Witchfinder
by James Morrow
In this impeccably researched adventure novel, a self-confident young woman witnesses the horrifying death of her beloved aunt, unjustly executed as a witch. Determined to end witch-hunts in England and the North American colonies, she makes it her mission to bring down the Parliamentary Witchcraft Act of 1604. 

The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence: a Story of Botticelli
by Alyssa Palombo
A compelling narrative that marries fine art with romantic historical fiction in a sensual interpretation of Medici Florence, artist Sandro Botticelli and the muse that inspired the most treasured works of the Renaissance.

The Accidental Empress
by Allison Pataki
With rich period detail and a cast of bewitching characters, this novel offers a captivating glimpse into one of history's most intriguing royal families, shedding new light on the glittering Hapsburg Empire and its most mesmerizing, most beloved "Empress Sisi."

Quiet Dell
by Jayne Anne Phillips
Ripped from the headlines, this mesmerizing novel is based on the real life murders of several women by con man in a small West Virginia community.

The Alice Network
by Kate Quinn
The fast paced novel features a time line split between a woman desperately seeking her cousin in 1947 postwar France and the doings of the "Alice Network" of female spies during WWI.

When Somebody Kills You*
by Robert J. Randisi
In this entertaining installment of the Rat Pack mysteries, retired pit boss of the Sands Casino, Eddie Gianelli, recalls his adventures as fixer to the stars including Frank, Dino, Sammy and Judy Garland.

The Remarkable Courtship of General Tom Thumb
by Nicholas Rinaldi
This fast-paced and brightly colored novel is a portrait of Civil War America told from the perspective of the nation's smallest "military" hero, who was discovered and rechristened with the stage name General Tom Thumb by circus master P.T. Barnum.

Epitaph: a Novel of the O.K. Corral
by Mary Doria Russell
A meticulously researched fictional deconstruction of the infamous shootout at the O.K. Corral with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday that forever changed the lives of the citizens of Tombstone in just 30 fatal seconds.

by William Safire
A sprawling, fact-based novel that will acquaint readers with several of the nation's first political scandals, including those of the United States’ founding fathers.

My Kind of Town: a Joe Buonomo Mystery
by John Sandrolini
In this fictionalized novel, WWII flying ace Joe Buonomo returns to Chicago at the behest of his pal, Frank Sinatra, who needs to make things right for Mafia don Sam Giancana by giving a command performance. 

Lincoln in the Bardo
by George Saunders
From a seed of historical truth, a haunting story featuring Abraham Lincoln, following the death of his beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie that intertwines familial love, unbearable grief and supernatural manifestations caught in the transitional bardo state between death and the next realm.

I, Eliza Hamilton
by Susan Holloway Scott
A beautifully written historical fiction novel about a founding father's wife, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, who proves not only a passionate guardian of her husband's home and children, but a protector of his legacy.

Louise’s Chance
by Sarah R. Shaber
With interesting period details, this suspenseful novel set in the 1940s gives an intelligence agent more than she bargained for when she’s promoted during the final days of World War II and helps recruit German POWs as possible double agents behind enemy lines.

The Women in the Castle
by Jessica Shattuck
A shocking and redemptive novel about the lives of three widows whose husbands were murdered in a failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler, become intertwined as they return to the crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of Nazi German high society.

The Stars are Fire
by Anita Shreve
Based on the true story of the largest fire in Maine’s history that ravaged two hundred thousand acres, this novel tells the brave story of a young mother tested by this catastrophic event and its devastating aftermath.

American Wife
by Curtis Sittenfeld
Although names, states and other details have been changed, this novel provides a fictional portrait of First Lady Laura Bush, revealing how an elementary-school librarian marries the least promising son of an old-moneyed, intensely competitive Republican family and sticks by him as he rises to President of the U.S.

The Lincoln Deception
by David O. Stewart
Historian Stewart's richly detailed and suspenseful novel set in 1900 presents Doctor Jamie Fraser who is compelled to investigate the cryptic deathbed revelation of John Bingham, the respected statesman who tried the conspirators in Lincoln’s murder.

The Help
by Kathryn Stockett
An optimistic novel set during the civil rights movement in Jackson, Mississippi, where three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way people view one another.

Oil and Marble: a Novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo
by Stephanie Storey
An imaginative tale of Leonardo and Michelangelo and their rivalry, as they conceive their iconic masterpieces, the Mona Lisa and the David in Florence at the turn of the 16th century. 

Beneath a Scarlet Sky
by Mark T. Sullivan
A plot-driven and inspiring 1940s story of a young man who joins an underground railroad in Italy to help Jews escape over the Alps; while working as the personal driver of a powerful commander in the Third Reich.

A Gentleman in Moscow
by Amor Towles
A transporting novel about Count Alexander Rostov who is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik Tribunal and ordered to house arrest for the rest of his life inside the Metropol, a luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin, as decades of Russian history unfold outside his door.

The Witchfinder’s Sister
by Beth Underdown
A vivid and terrifying dramatization of witch hunting in Europe during the 17th century based on the life of real English witch finder, Matthew Hopkins, as narrated by his sister, Alice, who is distraught by his violent acts.

Lisette’s List
by Susan Vreeland
In this thought-provoking historical novel, comes a woman’s awakening in the south of France to the power of art, the beauty of provincial life and to love in the midst of war. 

Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession
by Alison Weir
Acclaimed author and historian, Weir, weaves exciting new research into the story of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's most infamous wife, a woman ahead of her time whose very life--and death--forever changed a nation. 

Code Name Verity
by Elizabeth Wein
A British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.

Before We Were Yours
by Lisa Wingate
A thought-provoking complex tale about two families, two generations apart, linked by the notorious true-life scandal of the Tennessee Children's Home Society sale of poor children to wealthy families across the U.S.

The Patriot Bride
by Kimberley Woodhouse
An amazing patriotic adventure with special attention to historical accuracy during the American Revolution War about two spies, Faith, a wealthy widow and Matthew, friend of Benjamin Franklin, who work together covertly to aid the Patriot cause.

Not Just a Game
by Douglas P. Zipes
An intriguing alternate-history novel about three time periods including the 1936 Berlin Olympics where a secretly Jewish athlete loses to American track star Jesse Owens and faces Hitler’s wrath; the 1972 Munich Games with the massacre of Israeli athletes; and the 2016 Rio Games where athletes found Nazism reborn.

The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
Trying to make sense of the horrors of WWII, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors


rev. ajb 8/18