Historical-Fiction.com (favorite books of 2009)

Goodbye 2009, Welcome 2010!
December 31, 2009
Arleigh Johnson

2009 has been a wonderful year in the publishing industry for historical fiction! Some unforgettable books have entered our realm and many of them I have not had the chance to read, though they grace my bookshelves quite nicely. The purpose of this year-end post it to highlight the books I did get the chance to enjoy and categorized them accordingly. I’ve made lists, so feel free to peruse and leave a comment if you feel compelled to do so.


PAGES READ: 14,816

BOOKS REVIEWED: 42 (though some are pending for upcoming events)


* Hardcover: 10
* Paperback: 25
* ARC: 5
* Manuscript: 1
* Audio: 1


* Historical Fiction: 35
* Young Adult: 4
* General Fiction: 2
* Non-fiction: 1


* England: 24
* France: 6
* Italy: 3
* Ireland: 1
* Spain: 1
* Russia: 1
* America: 1
* Ancient Rome: 1



* Jean Plaidy: 11
* Robin Maxwell: 4
* Donna Russo Morin: 2
* Sarah Addison Allen: 2
* Carolyn Meyer: 2

So, looking at these numbers I am most likely to be found reading paperback historical fiction set in England and written by a female author, more likely than not, Jean Plaidy! I also have compiled a list of ‘winners’ in specific areas of interest:

* FAVORITE OVERALL BOOK: The Diamond by Julie Baumgold

I have chosen this book because it is so well written, informative and interesting. It also made me laugh out loud many times over and I developed a fondness for Napoleon Bonaparte that I had not harbored previously from other works of fiction that included him a supporting character.

* MOST HISTORICALLY ACCURATE: Any novel by Jean Plaidy

No one can top Plaidy when it comes to accuracy. She sometimes includes dozens of reference citations for her FICTION novels. When I’m interested in an era hers are the first I read so that I know I am getting the ‘real’ history, and then can move on to authors who creatively manipulate the facts to fit their story.

* MOST ENTERTAINING: Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

I love a good Jane Austen sequel (or continuation) and Laurie’s set of time travel novels are so laugh-out-loud funny! I love the modern, chick-lit feel of them intertwined with the nostalgic Regency flavor. They just a pleasure to read, sort of like getting a manicure or highlights. You just want to run a bubble bath and sit back and enjoy reading them!

* MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING: The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander

I will never forget the events as told in this book. Such a horrible monstrosity, yet there is the underlying story of the love the Romanov family had for one another, which was the most important thing in the world to them. Unforgettable is the best word to describe this book!

* FAVORITE NEW (to me) AUTHOR(s): C. W. Gortner, Elizabeth Chadwick and Donna Russo Morin

C. W. Gortner made his rounds on many of the book blogs in our ‘community’ and I finally made myself buy his book and read it. His writing is intelligent and perfectly synchronized – another way of saying thoughts and events fall perfectly into place with one another. I’m very impressed with his protagonists and can’t wait for the Medici book coming out in 2010!

Elizabeth Chadwick has been around for a while and I can’t believe this was my first taste of her writing! Action, courage and intrigue, and not mention a yummy male protagonist! What’s not to love? The sequel to The Greatest Knight is on my Spring itinerary, and I can’t wait!

Donna Russo Morin is a new author I just happened across because her book possesses a beauiful cover, for which I am such a sucker! Once I read her first novel, I was lucky enough to read the manuscript of her second – and found, to my immense pleasure, that my book review quote is PRINTED on the upcoming release of The Secret of the Glass! Donna’s books are unique in that she has a knack for inventing strong, female characters with unusual hobbies and lifestyles. Her descriptions of such are expert and very informative.

The last book I completed this year is Leslie Carroll’s Notorious Royal Marriages, which will be featured here next week with my review and creative post, as well as some great fun over at HFBRT. Click below to find our schedule of events and line-up for 2010!

HAPPY 2010 to all! May the new year brings lots of great books and FREE TIME in which to read them!