Holiday Gift Ideas for History/Historical Fiction Fans, 2019

With the holidays just around the corner, it is time to consider gift ideas for family and friends. If they enjoy historical fiction, or reading about history, the list below should help you get a head start on your shopping. Choices range from a new biography of American inventor Thomas Alva Edison by a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, to a novel about the Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky set in Depression-era America. Connect to our catalog for additional information and reviews:

The Atlas of Boston History edited by Nancy Seasholes.
Every aspect of Boston's long and fascinating history is explored in this comprehensive volume that includes thematic maps, historical and contemporary illustrations, and contributions from noted historians and experts.

The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 by Rick Atkinson.
A Pulitzer-Prize winning historian turns his attention to America's Revolutionary War. This first volume in a proposed trilogy covers the first twenty months of the war.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
A love story, set against the backdrop of New York's theater scene in the 1940s, by the author of Eat, Pray, Love.

The Club: Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age by Leo Damrosch
An award-winning biographer brings 18th century London to life in this captivating story of the group of leading writers, artists, and intellectuals who met every Friday evening at the Turk's Head Tavern to wine, dine, exchange ideas, and discuss the issues of the day.

Edison by Edmund Morris
Pulitzer-Prize winning biographer Morris provides a detailed portrait of Thomas Alva Edison, one of America's greatest inventors. While researching the book, the author was given complete access to family records, and original documents preserved in Edison's laboratory at West Orange.

The Giver of Stars: A Novel by Jo Jo Moyes
Moyes' novel centers on five women who worked for the Pack Horse Library Project in Kentucky during the Depression. The project was a Work Progress Administration program that delivered books to remote areas in the Appalachian Mountains from 1935 to 1943. The purpose was to give employment, and promote literacy.

Last Witnesses: An Oral History of the Children of World War II by Svetlana Alexievich
This Nobel Prize-winning author provides a moving oral history of the experiences of children in the Soviet Union during World War II. First published in Russian in 1985, it has only now become available in English translation.

Music: A Subversive History by Ted Gioi
A noted music critic and historian presents a challenging history of the music produced by "peasants and plebeians, slaves and bohemians, renegades and outcasts" of the world, and how that music reflected and influenced social, cultural, and political change.

The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West by David McCullough
When Britain signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783, which ended the American Revolution, it ceded the vast Northwest Territory to the United States. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian McCullough tells the absorbing story of the settling of this vast territory from 1788, when the first group of pioneers set out from New England, to the mid-19th century.

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
Keefe, an award-winning New Yorker staff writer, uses the notorious 1972 abduction and murder of Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, as the starting point for this compulsively readable account of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Reshaped the Constitution by Eric Foner
The author, a history professor at Columbia University, provides a compact account of three Reconstruction-era constitutional amendments - the 13th, 14th, and 15th - that had long-term consequences for civil rights in the United States.

Stalingrad by Vasily Grossman
This epic novel is set during the Battle of Stalingrad, when the German army besieged the Russian city during World War II. Grossman was a war correspondent at the time, and writes from first-hand experience of the siege. Stalingrad is the prequel to Grossman's celebrated Life and Fate, and it is the first time the novel has been available in English translation.

Sword of Kings: A Novel by Bernard Cornwell
The Sword of Kings is the twelfth installment in Bernard Cornwell's bestselling Saxon Tales series. Set in Britain during the Viking invasions, the series is the basis for the Netflix hit, The Last Kingdom.

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
An historical novel, from the author of Between the World and Me, that includes fantastical elements in telling the story of a young slave boy's search for freedom in 19th century America.