World Book Day – Historical Fiction, Memoirs and More!

Hannah Jenkins

To celebrate World Book Day we thought we would share some great memoirs and historical fiction books that you might enjoy!

Not sure what you want to read? Why not try clicking pause on the video to choose your next read?



Uncle Otto: A Novel by Winfred Cook

In weaving fiction and family history alongside historical events, Winfred Cook offers a brilliant literary debut in Uncle Otto. The novel is complex in plot and character development, displaying one of the most sophisticated analyses of black migration from southern rural settings to those of the urban north during the early 20th century in the United States. The joy, struggle, and tragedy that pervades Uncle Otto is the best that contemporary novelists have to offer.

The novel is an important account of one family’s story. While the events my not all be true in fact, they are true to life, and represent a period of time and a perspective that is underrepresented in literature


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Dirty Mines: Coal Mining in Pennsylvania by John Fitzgerald

DIRTY MINES is a story about coal mining in Pennsylvania. For the first time many of the jobs performed by boys, as young as 8 years old, are described in detail. Cesar D’Angelo was 10 when his father was killed in the mines. Cesar, the oldest boy in his family, had to take his father’s place working for the coal company. His first job was working high up in the dangerous coal breakers. At the age of 12 he went down into the blackish, coal dusted mines to begin his long mining career. His first job was sitting in the dark alone for 10 to 12 hours a day as a door keeper. Later he became a spragger, mule driver, and had various other jobs until becoming a lifetime coal miner.

DIRTY MINES also addresses the rich history of this era; including the miscarriage of justice towards the Molly Maguires in their fight for union rights and the environmental disaster at the Knox Coal company that ended coal mining in North Eastern Pennsylvania.

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The Posse: 8 Historical Western Romances by Lyn Hormer

“One Way or Another” By Frank Kelso
A bitter water dispute twists two Texas cattle ranches one way or another after the son of one rancher takes a shine to the other rancher’s daughter, new from the east.

“The Schoolmarm’s Hero” By Lyn Horner
The Sheriff leads a posse after two drunken cowboys who kidnapped the spinster schoolmarm. The chase forces him to realize how much he loves her.

“Bad Day at Round Rock” By cj petterson
The pursuit of stolen gold culminates in a “Bad Day at Round Rock”–a story of greed, death, and love torn from pages of West Texas history.

“The Reckoning” by Charlene Raddon
A half-breed boy seeks his place in the world—with the Shoshone who raised him, or his white aunt and uncle where he has been sent for an education.

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SEDAHLIA by Cynthia D.Toliver

After fleeing post-Civil War Georgia, John Masters, Sr., his wife Virginia Masters, and their rebellious servant Jessie Lindsey have built new lives in Texas ranch country. Now their offspring, Johnny Masters and Rachel Lindsey, are in love. On the isolated, sprawling Sedahlia ranch, their youthful dalliances are largely overlooked until Rachel becomes pregnant, forcing Rachel to leave Texas for a freedman’s school in Georgia.

From the insulated Sedahlia ranch to the Jim Crow south, the rails both separate and unite – parting lovers, reuniting family, pushing out the old, bringing in the new. It is in these settings that the Masters and Lindseys live and love, and their personal needs and mores collide. The repercussions rumble through this family and the surrounding community, tearing them asunder and bringing them together as only love and tragedy will.

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The Other Two-Fifths by Joan Early

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, THREE FIFTH of all other Persons.

The Other Two-Fifths, historic novel detailing the fight for racial equality and its human toll on black Americans, follows the turbulent lives of the Carter, Amos, Oliver, Sturgis, and LeBlanc families through two centuries in their struggle for civil rights.



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The Horseman by Kristina O’Donnelly

As Ariadne, the American, Burhan, the Turk, and Mehmet Ali, the Kurd, emerge from the mists of 8,000 BC and reunite in 20th Century Turkey, they play out their star-crossed destinies upon an explosive stage of upheavals and changes.

A fiery love triangle with its roots in Prehistory …

Only a strong woman like Ariadne, the American, can tame a powerful firebrand like Burhan, the quintessential Turk!

… For A Love That Defies Time, Would You Pledge Your Soul to Eternity?

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Shanty Gold by Jeanne Charters

In 1849’s famine-ravaged Ireland, thirteen-year-old Mary Boland is found lying mostly dead on the side of the road to Cork Harbor, Queenstown, Ireland. She just buried her mother and baby sister after they both died of starvation. Now she is headed for Boston to find her father— no matter what. Raped and beaten by the evil crew of The Pilgrim’s Dandy, she is rescued by a fifteen-year-old Negro slave who had been used in like manner for some time and had vowed to throw himself to the sharks that very night. Together they survive the harrowing two and a half month trip, helping others as well. Their friendship is the key to the new world for both of them, carrying them through hardships and trials, and eventually to happiness.


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Fall of the House of Queens by Shelly Talcott

From the moment William Somers first set foot in Henry VIII’s palace his heart belonged to a beautiful kitchen maid and his loyalty to a great king. But fools are destined to witness history, not make it, and so William must watch and jest as Henry pushes aside a loyal wife for a woman capable of bringing a kingdom to its knees. But when William’s dearest friend Mabel is forced to bend to an equally cruel fate in the forgotten depths of the kitchens will he find the strength to defend her?


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The Eden Legacy by Harold Gershowitz

June 4, 1967, was supposed to be a high point in Noah Greenspan’s year. It’s the night before the grand opening of Potomac Centre, the urban development project he spearheaded in the heart of Washington, DC. But the outbreak of the Six-Day War in the Middle East eclipses the event.

In the aftermath of the short, bloody war, Noah’s fiancée, Palestinian American journalist Alexandra Salaman is assigned to Israel to cover the political implications for Israelis and Palestinians alike. It’s a dangerous task, partly because Alexandra was, years earlier, instrumental in preventing a terrorist attack and partly because she’s a Christian Arab engaged to Noah, a Jew. Such a marriage is certain to arouse anger from either side of the Israeli-Palestinian divide.

As Noah deals with legal and financial challenges to Potomac Centre, he and Alexandra find their relationship challenged by her insistence on staying in Israel to do her job—and by reunions with old lovers.


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The Depth of Beauty by A.B. Michaels

In 1903, San Francisco’s Chinatown is teeming with vice just blocks away from the city’s aristocrats, but wealthy Will Firestone sees the district as a potential market for his shipping enterprise. Dazzled by an exotic young widow from Canton, he is drawn into the immigrant enclave, a decision that will rock his foundation, change his attitude, and lead him down a treacherous path.

Country girl Mandy Culpepper is only fifteen when she’s orphaned and brought under the protection of the Firestone name. Grateful for her privileged status, she’s determined to give back by helping Chinese immigrant girls in jeopardy, even if it means facing dangers that put her at odds with both her guardian and those in power.

Following their own divergent paths, Mandy and Will are caught up in the rising tension between city power brokers and the reviled foreigners. But an intruder no one bargained for will bring them together in a fight against a horrifying disease – a scourge that cares nothing for race or social standing or the love one person feels for another.

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The Road Ahead by Olivia Zikora

Young Nneka Uchendu never listens to anyone but herself, and her inquisitiveness and bravery worry her grandmother, Ogonna. It is 1967, and Ogonna’s home in Onitsha, Nigeria, is getting dangerous. The Biafran War has just begun, and Hausa fighters are out in full force. Ogonna dreads Nneka running into the brutal soldiers. Even her ordinary, unassuming neighbors could be spies for the other side.

When Ogonna realizes that Onitsha will soon completely fall, she comes up with a daring plan to spirit her beloved granddaughter away from the violence. Her plan succeeds, but the war follows them out into the country. Ogonna can sell her jewels one by one to help the family, but they won’t last forever.

Olivia Zikora’s powerful novel is about what happens when the only thing left is hope. Ogonna does whatever she can to protect her granddaughter, and the old woman’s strength in the worst of circumstances inspires and bolsters Nneka during her own ordeals.

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Living Past Being a Victim by Dannielle Gallant Simms

Someone living in an abusive situation has to endure not only fear and physical pain but also feelings of isolation, shame, and hopelessness. Why is this happening? Why doesn’t he just leave? I can’t let anyone know what’s really going on.

Danielle Gallant Simms, author of Living Past Being a Victim, has had these same thoughts. She was sexually abused by her own father for the first time when she was just four years old. That abuse continued for years as she suffered in silence, afraid to tell anyone. Simms wrote this book to share her own horrific story, and how she finally managed to escape the cycle of abuse and find peace and happiness. Her wish is to let others who have been victims of abuse know that they are not alone and that it is possible to escape, to forgive, and to move on.

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The Longfellah’s Son: An Almost True Irish Story by Michael Cassidy

This is an almost true story. Murphy was a child of the newly emerging 1950’s Irish middle class. He was raised in the environment of a conflicted marriage that never should have happened. While his privileged upbringing seemed idyllic to the outside world, his reality was starkly different. Life at home was always turbulent. Apart from constant beatings, he never knew what daily chaos would erupt. His thirteen year Jesuit education was academically excellent. But it also resulted in a childhood love of God being beaten out of him while confirming his condemnation to burn forever in hell. Murphy was unsettled by the rigid Irish class system where social status predetermined one’s future thereby condemning innocent children and adults to the inevitability of an impoverished life. Signs of his destruction from alcohol were evident in his early teens. He became a meteor raging through the lives of those who loved him and many who didn’t. At first successful in business, he became penniless, deserted his wife and son, then became homeless before finally sobering up. Murphy eventually left Ireland for an uncertain future as a penniless illegal immigrant in America. But it was there he successfully resurrected himself. Many years later, he returned briefly to Ireland for his mother’s funeral.

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Musings of a Blogger: Inspirational Thoughts for Your Life’s Journey by Ruth Anne Caukwell

Musings of a Blogger: Inspirational Thoughts for Your Life’s Journey speaks with a voice of courage and a spirit of discovery as it reveals the musings of a woman who has devoted her life to personal improvement through education, reflection, and transformation. The author, Ruth Anne Caukwell, entwines a collection of inspirational thoughts with a sequence of workbook entries. By spending time sharing the musings and then reviewing one’s own life, the reader of this guide for life’s journey can set out with determination to discover life’s deep truths.

Musings of a Blogger shares the story of a boy who sees a butterfly struggling to emerge from its chrysalis. Desiring to help it, he releases the butterfly, only to discover that the struggle to break free is what gives strength to the butterfly’s wings. Absent the struggle, the butterfly is too weak to fl y. The workbook gives shape to one’s struggle, serving to build strength so that one may fl y gloriously like a healthy butterfly.

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Buddha, Christ, and the Eagle: Finding Happiness by Frances Rinaldi

They used to tell stories about Shangri-La, a land of peace and prosperity hidden in the heights of the Himalayas. In the adventure that lies ahead, Janet Locke doesn’t find the mythical city, but she does find a new, joyous existence up on the roof of the world.

It starts with phone call. An old friend wants to know if Janet wants to join her on a bicycling trip through Bhutan. Janet knows absolutely nothing about the small, central-Asian country. When she looks it up on the Internet, she learns that its gross national product is happiness. Janet, frustrated with life’s challenging moments, decides that this sounds delightful.

After a quick stop in Thailand, Janet is on to Bhutan. She falls in love with the charming country. As Janet ventures out into the wilderness surrounding the awe-inspiring Himalayas, she learns lessons about the many worries she carries. Like so many others, this journey will change her life.

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Amazing Women by Charles Margerison

Who was the first woman to qualify as a doctor? Who is the only woman to have won two Nobel Prizes? Explore these and other great stories in Amazing Women’. In this unique story collection from Amazing People Worldwide, the real lives of iconic women including Coco Chanel, Sojourner Truth, Edith Piaf, Marie Curie and Helen Keller, come to life. Understand their real lives and challenges and be inspired by what they did and how they achieved it. This is a must-read for every woman seeking motivation. The women in this title were trailblazers. Their stories are a source of inspiration and offer an interesting and easy way to learn from those who have made major contributions to our world. Discover how these amazing women lived, loved and worked in their own distinct ways. We can learn key lessons from each one of them. In particular, their achievements were a result of their determination to continue on, regardless of how difficult the journey. They believed in what they had to offer, and used their time well. Meet these amazing women through BioViews, a short biographical story, similar to an interview. These unique stories provide an easy way of learning about amazing people who made major contributions to our world and can help you achieve your ambitions in your journey through life.

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1 Comment

  1. Neelamani Sutar


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