Top Ten Tuesday: History Buff Represent!

Firstly, I apologise for not doing TTT last week, it was a combination of me waking up and going OH DEAR IT’S TUESDAY and being quite busy with uni. So you know. But that’s okay, because I’m back! This week we’ve got a pretty dang cool theme to go by and seeing as I’m a History Major at uni I thought that I would take a bit of an historical spin on things.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over @ The Broke and the Bookish and each week there’s a different theme that we get to make a list about featuring ten related books. It’s so much fun and the topics are always great! It’s also a fabulous way to learn more about people’s reading adventures and I recommend heading over to the official page to do some exploring through the link up.


This week’s theme is:

 Ten Books That Every History Buff Should Read

And everyone else, for that matter.

Now, most of the books that I’ve chosen today revolve about The World Wars, so forgive me for not being overly diverse. It’s my favourite period of history to study so I just happen to always read these books. However, I’m trying to branch out this year and read some different things. But for now, I hope you like the first half of the 20th century!


 The Railway Man by Eric Lomax


I read this book last year and my soul was destroyed. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll understand. This book is fabulous and definitely a must read for those of you wanting to learn more about Prisoners of War during WWII. This is the memoirs of Eric Lomax – and therefore true story – and it is about his imprisonment in such camps after being captured at the Fall of Singapore. It’s a confronting read but well worth it.

From this book you will gain:

A concise understanding of the treatment of POWs by the Japanese.
Knowledge about trains.
Information on the attitude of soldiers when singing up for war when they didn’t really know what they were getting into.
Knowledge about British missions in India, Singapore, and Japan.
A broken heart.



 The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron


This book is set during WWII and you will learn some things you had no idea about. It follows two perspectives, one set in the present and one set during WWII. Let’s focus on the latter. Adele is a widely acclaimed violinist who after a bit of a serious kafuffle gets herself taken to Auschwitz, of which I’m sure you’ve all heard about (if not, then I’m worried). I’m not going to say much more than that but Cambron had dug into the histories of the concentration camps and brought to light something I did not know was a thing that happened. I highly recommend reading this as a quick and informative read on the conditions in a concentration camp. And if you’re worried, this is not that much of a confronting read.

From this book you will gain:

An understanding of the Nazi regime.
Frustration from people’s ignorance within the book about what Adele is going through.
Knowledge about activities that happen within the camps that is never spoken about.



 The Book Thief by Makus Zusak


I promise I will read this very soon. It’s next on my to-read agenda – but I’m currently trying to stay afloat at uni so every thing has slowed down a bit. I think most people know what this book is about now, it’s about a girl who gets sent to a foster family during WWII. Her brother has died and she doesn’t really understand what’s going on. It’s an AMAZING story (and I say this because I’ve seen the movie and credible sources say that the movie is indeed good compared to the book). I can’t wait to read this and if this is not on your list then excuse me whilst I throw this at you.



 The Water Diviner by Andrew Anastatios


The movie version of this book will destroy. your. soul. However, the book is much, much, much more palatable. When this first came out, as the movie and book came out together, my friend and I went to see it at the cinemas and had to refrain from outright wailing – THE FEELS. This is an Australian story of a father who goes back to Gallipoli (site of a major battle in Turkey, please tell me you know about this one – this is the ‘legend’ behind Anzac Day in Australia) to find his sons, dead  or alive, as they are missing in action. It’s heartbreaking but beyond worth reading. If you want to know what trench warfare was like, then you’ve come to the right place.

From this book you will gain:

A concise history of the basic events that occurred at Gallipoli.
A destroyed soul.
Knowledge about Turkey and its culture.
Knowledge about Australia and its culture.
Frustration at how unhelpful everyone was in this book.
A snippet of a view at WWI.
Painful knowledge about trench warfare during WWI.



 Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle McGorian


This is a beautiful book that follows a boy who is evacuated to the countryside during WWII. He comes from a family that is anything but well-to-do and is somewhat shocked by the care and treatment that he receives from his foster dad. This is a beautiful story told from a child’s perspective about the experiences of war.

From this book you will gain:

Knowledge about evacuated children in Britain during WWII.
General knowledge about WWII.
An understanding of the difficulties and lifestyles of those living during this period.



My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young


Okay so I haven’t read this one yet, despite buying it as a birthday present to myself last year. I know, I’m terrible. This is set during WWI and from what I understand from the blurb I think this will have a similar feel to the movie adaptation of Testament of Youth, which if you haven’t seen I highly recommend. I think this is going to be heartbreakingly beautiful. I can’t wait.



The Fig Orchard by Layla Fiske


Now I haven’t read this one either but my Mum has. This one’s an interesting one. Again set with the backdrop of either World War One or Two this takes place in the Middle East, Turkey I believe. It’s the story of one woman trying to live and get by in the face of many struggles. That about as much as I understand of it – but according to my Mum this is fantastic. I have high expectations for this one and I think its unique setting should rate it higher.



 In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick


If you’re a fan of Moby Dick, or like me, haven’t read it but already have decided you’re a fan, then this is probably a good book to pick up. I haven’t read this one yet but it is another take on the naval disaster that Moby Dick is based on. There’s also now a movie starring Chris Hemsworth, just saying.



 Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand


I have not read this one yet but I know it’s going to be great. This is the story of a survivor of a plane crash who is captured and taken to a prisoner of war camp. The protagonist was an Olympic level athlete and his endurance will do him well during this time. If you enjoyed The Railway Man, then my guess is that you’ll enjoy this one too.



All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This is a beautiful, beautiful story set in France and Germany during WWII. One of the protagonists is a young, blind girl who is French and the difficulties, or at least, perceived struggles from the reader’s point of view, are nerve wracking for her as she tries to survive in Nazi occupied France. The German boy, on the other hand, is an interesting story of someone who does not want to fight for the Nazis but has no choice. In my opinion, this is a must read.

From this book you will gain:

A desire to learn to read brail.
How to identify EVERYTHING without your eyes.
A feeling of disappointment that you don’t have a miniature, wooden set up of your hometown.
Knowledge about Nazi occupied France.
Knowledge about fighting for the Nazis.



People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

I loved this book when I read it. This is about a modern day historian who is given an ancient Jewish prayer book to restore but she finds several things inside the book, such as salt, the membrane of a butterfly wing, blood, etc – and from these Brooks tells us the story of how they got there. Whilst the main character is not privy to this, it is an awesome experience for the reader to find out the true story behind it. I highly recommend this full stop.

From this book you will gain:

Knowledge about Jewish history.
An understanding of living in a war torn country.
Many feels.
Much excitement.
Probably more Geraldine Brooks books.  


 What’s your favourite period in history?

Historical Fiction Books 4

 Let me know in the comments below!

End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~



15 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: History Buff Represent!

  1. I’m not a history buff, but your choices were great. Those books do the time period so much justice and I have loved what I’ve read on your list. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was such an amazing book! I literally went out to buy as many of her other books as I could find after finishing that one, she’s such a talented lady. I hope you enjoy reading them! Thanks for linking!


  2. Love love love this post! People of the Book is on my TBR, and I’m adding The Water Diviner to it as well. I really haven’t read much Australian historical fiction so that needs to be remedied.

    I don’t really have a favourite historical period, but because you can’t stop me I’m going to suggest some books for you! (If you’ve already read these… sorry 🙂 )
    1. Black Dove White Raven by Elizabeth Wein – WW2 in Ethiopia
    2. The Orphan Train by Elizabeth Baker Kline – about the orphan relocation project in the 1920s in the USA
    3. The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh – WW1 and WW2 in South East Asia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read any of those books! What a terrible person I am! And I just looove People of the Book and I don’t think people are talking enough about how amazing it is. And yes, you should definitely remedy that – if you’re looking for a good movie to watch as well, and you might have already seen it, Gallipoli directed by Peter Weir is a very popular one! I can’t wait to read all those books!! I was only recently doing some research into more books set in unique places, something more diverse, so I especially like the sound of the one set in Ethiopia. Thanks 🙂


  3. I am admittedly not a history buff, but I have read and adored The Book Thief and of All The Light We Cannot See is on my lifetime TBR because it’s a Pulitzer Prize Winner!

    And I liked Unbroken the movie. hah.
    All the other books look great too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome! I hope you enjoy All the Light We Cannot See – it’s fascinating and unique to have a main character that is blind! I’m excited to get around to Unbroken, I hope it lives up to my expectations. Thanks!


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