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Historical Fiction Bestsellers

The top 50 Historical Fiction audiobooks on Libro.fm based on sales from our 1,000+ partner bookstore locations.

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  1. Circe

    “This remarkable journey into mythology brings the ancient gods directly and viscerally into the present. Circe is a perfect mashup of elegant language, glorious storytelling, and exquisitely modern sensibilities. Miller's telling left me awed and moved by Circe and her story, all while wishing I could invite her over for a glass of wine on the porch. How this amazing author so perfectly melds the human and the divine, creating a story both immediate and epic, is dazzling.”

    Beth Albrecht image Beth Albrecht, The Magic Tree Bookstore
  2. The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club)

    “Ta-Nehisi Coates understands something big and he understands it better than anyone else right now. The Water Dancer led me on a journey up and down the landscape of American slavery with a narrative that feels like The Book of Exodus meets, well, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Over 400 pages I have cried, I have laughed, I have been educated, and I have been enlightened. Coates writes with an honesty that can only come from a sublime, even spiritual, understanding of the souls of the white man and the black man in America. Written with poignancy and humanity, The Water Dancer left me stunned but clear-headed, like I had just been woken up from a deep, dream-filled sleep.”

    Norris Rettiger image Norris Rettiger, Lemuria Bookstore
  3. Valentine

    “This story has just... I'm gobsmacked. It was a love letter to west Texas and the women who live there. It was a pointed finger to the way sexism and racism beat people down until they, as Mary Rose says as she aimed her Winchester, "need to kill someone." The language could be as dry as a tapped oil field at times while rising at others to become as lush and colorful as a sunrise in a place where the horizon stretches forever.”

    Page 158 Books image Jenny, Page 158 Books
  4. By Min Jin Lee / Narrated by Allison Hiroto

    Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)

    “A father's gentle nature, a mother's sacrifice, a daughter's trust, and a son's determination are the cornerstones of this grand, multilayered saga. Pachinko follows one family through an ever-changing cultural landscape, from 1910 Korea to 1989 Japan. As the bonds of family are put to the test in the harsh realities of their world, Sunja and those she holds dear manage to carve themselves a place to call home with hard work, self sacrifice, and a little kimchi. Through it all is a message about love, faith, and the deep-rooted bonds of family. Min Jin Lee gives us a phenomenal story about one family's struggle that resonates with us today. It will take hold of you and not let go!”

    Jennifer Steele image Jennifer Steele, Boswell Book Company
  5. Things in Jars

    “Set in Victorian England, Things in Jars feels like a Sherlock Holmes story, if Holmes had been a woman. You can’t help but love Bridie Devine, a strong-willed, chain-smoking woman who has clawed her way from life as an orphaned thief to a highly sought-after detective often consulted by Scotland Yard. Bridie’s newest case, though, is proving difficult and incredibly strange. Not only will it force her to confront someone from her past who she thought was dead, she’ll also team up with an actual ghost as she solves a fantastical crime. Highly imaginative, Things in Jars is a fun and immersive read.”

    Bookmarks image Jamie Southern, Bookmarks
  6. The Song of Achilles

    “It is unbelievably easy to get lost in the long-forgotten world Miller recreates. Easier still with such incredible narration from Douglas. At once rich mythology and modern love story, The Song of Achilles dazzles like Ichor. Beautifully written, with characters you love to hate and love all at once. Though I’ve heard The Iliad many times, this is the version that will stick with me. And I certainly shan’t ever forget Patroclus.”

    Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
  7. A Gentleman in Moscow

    “Through Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov's ordinary encounters and activities within the bounds of the four walls of post-revolutionary Moscow's Metropol Hotel, where he is under house arrest, Towles deftly guides readers across a century of Russian history, from the Bolshevik uprising to the dawn of the nuclear age under Krushchev. Grandiloquent language and drama reminiscent of Tolstoy gradually give way to action and tradecraft suggestive of le Carre in this lovely and entertaining tale of one man's determination to maintain his dignity and passion for life, even after being stripped of his title, belongings, and freedom. Reading A Gentleman in Moscow is pure pleasure!”

    The Vermont Book Shop image Becky Dayton, The Vermont Book Shop
  8. Deacon King Kong

    “It's been a while since I wanted to listen to an audiobook from the beginning right after I finished it. Deacon King Kong, narrated by Dominic Hoffman, is well-crafted storytelling with memorable characters and oddball humor that I just loved. It's also gritty and heartbreaking. What more can you ask of an engaging story when you are house-bound by a viral pandemic. Thank you, James McBride!”

    Rediscovered Books image Becky, Rediscovered Books
  9. "The many listeners enthralled by the earlier two volumes in Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall trilogy will find all their expectations met in this final installment... Here is a narrative achievement of the highest order." — AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner

    This program is read by Ben Miles, who played Thomas Cromwell in the Royal Shakespeare... Read More »

  10. Before We Were Yours

    “Based loosely on a very real institution, I was quickly drawn into the story. The narrative went back and forth in time and I could hardly wait to reach the connection between the past and present.”

    Fenton's Open Book image Constance, Fenton's Open Book
  11. Lincoln in the Bardo

    “Saunders' first novel has a steep entry curve. It's not a novel that reveals itself quickly and easily, but if you give it your attention, if you burrow deep into the book, you'll be eminently rewarded. There is a richness and depth of humanity here. There is the strange and wonderful. There is love and grief and mystery all brought together in the story of Abraham Lincoln's dead son, the Civil War, and what may happen to us all after we leave the mortal coil. It's a beautiful and moving book that will stay with you for a long, long while.”

    University Book Store image Jason Vanhee, University Book Store
  12. By Hilary Mantel / Narrated by Simon Vance

    The sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn

    Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate... Read More »

  13. A Long Petal of the Sea

    “In this quietly compelling novel, Isabel Allende deftly brings us into the world of the Spanish Civil War and Chilean Revolution, elegantly weaving characters' stories together to produce a stunning tapestry of love, heartbreak, loyalty, and politics. Follow war doctor Victor and accomplished pianist Roser as they struggle down a path that is constantly blocked with great challenges. Though many despair, there is always a way through, and you may find support in places you least expect.”

    Rediscovered Books image Kalli, Rediscovered Books
  14. The Nickel Boys

    “With every book, Colson Whitehead proves his ever-growing genius. He’s a master of the written word and truly one of the greatest living American novelists of our time. I didn’t think it was possible for him to write something better than Underground Railroad, but he most certainly has — The NickelBoys grabbed me at page one. It’s a mystery and a thriller, a treatise on race and social injustice, and a literary masterpiece all rolled into one. Ellwood and Turner are characters that will stay with me forever. This should be mandatory reading in every classroom.”

    Changing Hands image Michelle Malonzo, Changing Hands
  15. Black Leopard, Red Wolf

    “If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be feral. James creates a fantastical Africa that invokes the violence and brutality of the old world, but wraps it in delicate layers of myth and magic that make the reader want to cozy up to the savagery in order to get a better look. The characters add to the effect, as they are mysterious enough to entice and real enough to despise. The sense of displacement and lack of certainty enforces the message that nothing and nobody in this world can be trusted, not even the self. If people want to call this the African Game of Thrones, I won’t necessarily argue, but I will say that the Tracker and his frenemies would make any of the big baddies in Westeros run for cover with their tail cut off. ”

    Cellar Door Books image Linda Sherman-Nurick, Cellar Door Books
  16. By Hilary Mantel / Narrated by Simon Slater

    In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political power

    England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years,... Read More »

  17. Inland

    “Man, I could live my whole life inside this novel and be perfectly happy. Téa Obreht is the real thing. Inland has the stern gorgeousness of Blood Meridian, the cinematic perfection of Station Eleven, the fantasia-like atmosphere of Cloud Atlas, and the deep-heartedness of The Winter Soldier. This is the sort of novel that makes people want to get up and soldier on. I really loved this book.”

    Flyleaf Books image Erica Eisdorfer, Flyleaf Books
  18. A royal scandals connection to a brutal serial killer threatens London in this new Veronica Speedwell adventure from New York Times bestselling and Edgar® Awardnominated author Deanna Raybourn. Autumn 1888. Veronica Speedwell and her colleague Stoker are asked by Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk to stop a potential scandal so explosive it threatens... Read More »

  19. The Tattooist of Auschwitz

    “Just, wow. By the time I got to this novel I had forgotten it was based on true events! The story is overwhelming, all the more for it's truth. All of the turns that seemed so confusing to me, I learned, are a result of Heather Morris' careful and accurate telling of memories born in chaos. Lale and Gita are truly magical. Make sure you follow through to the VERY end!”

    Innisfree Bookshop image Casey, Innisfree Bookshop
  20. On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert, gunmen stormed his house, machine guns blazing. The attack nearly killed the Reggae superstar, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Marley would go on to perform at the free concert on December 5,... Read More »

  21. The Mercies

    “A chilling and captivating book taking place in a Norwegian village in the 1670s, The Mercies is a story of resilience. It follows Maren, who watched as all the village men died in a storm and has had to find a way to survive those losses, and Ursa, the daughter of a merchant who was married off to a witch hunter before being brought north. When their paths cross, both women’s lives are changed forever. This beautifully written story left me chilled. It is not often that I have to put down a book, but there were several times I had to walk away from this one to just sit and think about it. A must-read!”

    Trident Booksellers and Cafe image Katherine Nazzaro, Trident Booksellers and Cafe
  22. By Anthony Doerr / Narrated by Zach Appelman

    Winner of the 2015 Audie Award for Fiction

    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list

    From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a... Read More »

  23. By Kate Quinn / Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld

    The Huntress

    “A Russian night witch and a British war correspondent turned Nazi hunter join forces to track a ruthless assassin in The Huntress, the latest book by Kate Quinn. From the pre-war wilds of the Soviet Union to the streets of a war-torn Germany to the bustle of Boston, Quinn masterfully mixes the past with a post-war present, and it’s phenomenal. Fans of The Alice Network and The Nightingale will love this fantastically fast-paced and utterly exhilarating historical fiction.”

    McLean & Eakin Booksellers image Kristin Bates, McLean & Eakin Booksellers
  24. By Kate Quinn / Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld

    In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

    1947. In the chaotic... Read More »

  25. The Secrets We Kept

    “This perfect historical novel is made of the most alluring ingredients. First, a divine and doomed love affair between Russian author Boris Pasternak and his muse and secretary, Olga Ivinskaya, a woman immortalized in Pasternak’s epic novel Doctor Zhivago, which was banned in Russia for more than 30 years. Second, two American women typists working for CIA and their forbidden love story in the midst of the Cold War and the witch hunt against homosexuals. Lara Prescott brilliantly portrays how a timeless novel like Doctor Zhivago can change course of history. After I finished reading The Secrets We Kept, I pressed the book against my chest, as if I could hear the lovers’ hearts still beating.”

    Aggie Zivaljevic image Aggie Zivaljevic, Kepler's Books
  26. By Laura Lippman / Narrated by Susan Bennett

    Lady in the Lake

    “I continue to be in awe of Laura Lippman’s ability to write novels that are so much more than mysteries. Lady in the Lake is, of course, a wonderful mystery with twists and turns and surprises —nothing is predictable. But it is also a beautiful character study and a sensitive look at the desire to have a meaningful life and how ambition can be motivating but also blinding. I loved the multiple voices in the novel— Laura’s characters are never perfect and therefore come across as real people with real needs. I have no doubt that Lady in the Lake will be a huge success.”

    The Ivy Bookshop image Ann Berlin, The Ivy Bookshop
  27. By Janie Chang / Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller

    “The Library of Legends is a gorgeous, poetic journey threaded with mist and magic about a group from a Chinese university who take to the road to escape the Japanese invasion of 1937 – only to discover that danger stalks them from within. Janie Chang pens pure enchantment!”  ?Kate Quinn, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The... Read More »

  28. The Swans of Fifth Avenue

    “Are you interested in the lifestyles of the rich and famous? Arrange your hair and makeup, darlings, and get ready to dish about the dirty little secrets in 1950s high society. Truman Capote collected 'swans' -- rich and glamorous women who floated through life pampered and indulged. This fictionalized account of the meteoric rise and very public fall of Capote, entwined with his deep friendship with Babe Paley and his ultimate betrayal of her and the rest of the swans, will slake your thirst for gossipy, breezy, scandalous details. Take off your wrap, pour a highball, and enjoy!”

    The River's End Bookstore image Cindy Pauldine, The River's End Bookstore
  29. In the House in the Dark of the Woods

    “In the House in the Dark of the Woods has a wonderful, slowly creepy tone that builds steadily and is well supported by the anachronistic linguistic style. Narrator Vanessa Johansson has a smooth voice suited to the style and range of characters. It's reminiscent of the movie The Witch, and manages to recall Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter as well. Just when you think you've figured everything out, Laird Hunt flips the script, though the questions he leaves unanswered are all the better for it. This audiobook is perfect for infusing a good old-fashioned witchy vibe into my October evening walks, yet not so terrifying that I'm jumping at the black cats that cross my path. Listen to it Halloween night, after the danger of knocking trick-or-treaters has past, and the quiet dark is settling in.”

    Powell's Books image Amber, Powell's Books
  30. Killing Commendatore

    “Part ghost story, part fairy tale, wholly human, Haruki Murakami’s new novel is a quiet burn of redemption and rebirth and the stories that cannot be told. An unnamed artist is asked by a faceless man to paint his portrait, a culmination of 9 months lost in art and music, loss and sex, the memories of love and empathy of men. Once you accept the impossible, you can only find yourself enthralled upon a mountain, listening for a bell, ruminating on what is left behind.”

    Bookshop Santa Cruz image Jocelyn, Bookshop Santa Cruz
  31. Lilac Girls

    “Lilac Girls is a powerful and moving debut told through the voices of three women during World War II. Caroline is a New York socialite working at the French consulate and sending care packages to French orphans. Kasia, a young Polish girl, is arrested for helping the underground resistance and sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp. Herta is the only female German surgeon stationed at Ravensbruck. The way these three women's lives intersect both during and after the war will grip you and tug at your heartstrings. I would recommend this to anyone who loved Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale.”

    Island Bookstore image Melissa Law, Island Bookstore
  32. The Mitford Murders

    “I am not the main mystery reader in my household, but I loved The Mitford Murders. With perfect timing for all things Great Britain, Jessica Fellowes definitely deserves her uncle Julian's blessing to place the real-life Mitfords in a fictional Downton Abbey-like setting. It absolutely kept me guessing and satisfied all my English cravings. Well, at least until the royal wedding in May!”

    Chapter2Books image Sue Roegge, Chapter2Books
  33. Unsheltered

    “A brilliant novel set in two different centuries, eras when lies trumped truth and superstition overruled science. Kingsolver illustrates human resiliency with insight, humor, and compassion in this deeply satisfying novel. While showing the cost of leadership built on false promises and lies, it also illustrates the strength of the human spirit with characters who will not be broken by their times. Kingsolver’scharacters, including historical figures Mary Treat and Charles Landis, shine as they make their way through the maze of survival set before them. Great reading.”

    Deon Stonehouse image Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music
  34. A Well-Behaved Woman

    “In her lifetime, Alva Smith Vanderbilt goes from being a Have to a Have-Not to a Have-It-All. Not content to just build spectacular mansions and host fabulous high-society balls, she uses her status and immense wealth to help the poverty-stricken, promote racial equality, and advocate for women’s rights in the courts and voting booths. As she did in Z, Therese Anne Fowler digs beyond the sensational and scandalous newspaper headlines and brings depth to her protagonist to show us a life well-lived.”

    Arcadia Books image Nancy Baenen, Arcadia Books
  35. By Alice Hoffman / Narrated by Marin Ireland

    The Rules of Magic

    “In a dazzling, emotive prequel to her bestselling novel Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman brings the reader back into the world of the Owens family. The Rules of Magic takes us back two generations with practical Franny, who must learn how to love; sensitive Jet, who must learn how to persevere; and restless Vincent, who must learn how to be happy. Hoffman's writing is frank, tender, vivid, and elusive all at once. Full of sorrow and beauty and courage, The Rules of Magic is a delicious, satisfying read.”

    Heather Herbaugh image Heather Herbaugh, Mitzi's Books
  36. The Tenth Muse

    “Catherine Chung’s female protagonist is a mathematician, and it is thrilling to have a woman scientist who is a complex character in an even more complex novel. In trying to solve a math riddle, she ends up exploring the riddle of her own childhood, which is inextricably linked to one of the darkest episodes in human history. Catherine Chung has woven a rich tapestry mixing present and past, ambition, identity, and gender issues. A beautiful book.”

    Shakespeare & Co image Francoise Brodsky, Shakespeare & Co
  37. As Bright as Heaven

    “This is an incredibly written novel that takes place during a rarely talked about but horrendous time in history. While I was reading I couldn't help but imagine myself in the place of these incredible characters. Meissner wrote about death and experiencing death in such an extraordinary way- by the end of this book i was completely changed. I could not help but look at death differently. It was a life changing book.”

    Anderson's Bookshop image Katrina, Anderson's Bookshop
  38. I Was Anastasia

    “By far the best historical fiction title I've read in a long time! Not only is the story historically accurate, but the way it unfolds is unique and significantly adds to the plot and character development. Even though most readers today probably know how the book ends before they even start it, Ariel Lawhon's masterful storytelling will leave you cheering for or jeering at one of the Anastasias - which one is up to you!”

    Kari Erpenbach image Kari Erpenbach, University of Minnesota Bookstores
  39. By Kristin Hannah / Narrated by Polly Stone

    In love we find out who we want to be.
    In war we find out who we are.

    FRANCE, 1939

    In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn't believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes... Read More »

  40. By Daren Wang / Narrated by Robin Miles

    The Hidden Light of Northern Fires

    “In The Hidden Light of Northern Fires, a town on the Underground Railroad secedes from the Union after it becomes fractured by the politics of the American Civil War. As a huge geek on the subject, I'm often skeptical of historical fiction relating to it. While Wang's tale benefits from being based on truth, that is a moot point. His well-developed, very real characters and masterful writing are all that's needed for an incredible debut. Though a novel of the home front, it is nonetheless a war novel focusing on how conflict brings out the best and worst in people. It is one of the best works of historical fiction on the Civil War that I've ever read, and perhaps even that exists.”

    Fountain Bookstore image Carl Kranz, Fountain Bookstore
  41. By Agatha Christie / Narrated by Gemma Whelan

    Murder Is Easy

    “Murder Is Easy is beautiful work of clever mystery and thrill by the original queen of the genre. Christie's easy conversational tone and well-paced build-up in action are as fun to listen to now as it must have been to read back in the day. It's always fun to read a good Poirot or Mrs. Marple plot, but I think she really shines with her one-off impromptu detectives, and especially so in the calmly clever Luke and daringly sharp Bridget. And, of course, the brilliant, well-styled narration of Gemma Whelan just caps it off perfectly and makes you want to keep listening for hours on end.”

    Gottwals Books image Cat, Gottwals Books
  42. By Helene Wecker / Narrated by George Guidall

    In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

    Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift... Read More »

  43. By Agatha Christie / Narrated by Hugh Fraser

    Voted by the British Crime Writers’ Association as the "Best Crime Novel of all Time"

    Hercule Poirot comes out of retirement in one of Agatha Christie’s ten favorite novels, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

    Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been... Read More »

  44. "Jane fans rejoice! . . . Exceptional storytelling and a true delight." —Helen Simonson, author of the New York Times bestselling novels Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and The Summer Before the War

    Mary, the bookish ugly duckling of Pride and Prejudice’s five Bennet sisters, emerges from the shadows and transforms into a desired woman with choices... Read More »

  45. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

    In the National Book Award–winning Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann thrilled readers with a marvelous high-wire act of fiction that The New York Times Book Review called “an emotional tour de force.” Now McCann... Read More »

  46. Once Upon a River

    “Time to settle down for a story. It begins, as good stories should, with the rescue of a pair of strangers on a winter night. Though all is not as it seems in Diane Setterfield’s latest, as Once Upon a River quickly delves into a mystery. The young girl was dead when she was pulled from the river, but hours later she begins to breathe. As the story of her revival spreads, more than one member of the village feels mysteriously drawn to her. Could she be their missing child, estranged granddaughter, long-lost sister? Setterfield’s work is the closest an adult can come to settling down for story time, and Once Upon a River has the same magic, timeless, and cozy charm of a tale that has been told through the ages. Simply lovely.”

    Molly Gillespie image Molly Gillespie, Joseph-Beth Booksellers
  47. "The Glittering Hour is an exceptional novel about choosing how to live amid powerful grief and true love." — Bookpage

    Award-winning author Iona Grey's next unforgettable historical about true love found and lost and the secrets we keep from one another

    Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing. Her life is a whirl of parties and drinking, pursued by... Read More »

  48. In 1960's Florida, a young Cuban exile will risk her life-and heart-to take back her country in this exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana.

    Beautiful. Daring. Deadly.

    The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez-her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel... Read More »

  49. "Astoundingly original, this impressive debut belongs on the shelf with your Margaret Atwood and Octavia Butler collections."--New York Times Book Review

    Named a most anticipated book of 2020 by Time, Vanity Fair, Esquire, O Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, BookRiot, Domino, and LitHub

    "Brilliant, suspenseful...A masterpiece."--Elizabeth...
    Read More »

  50. By Michael Chabon / Narrated by David Colacci

    WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

    The beloved, award-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, a Michael Chabon masterwork, is the American epic of two boy geniuses named Joe Kavalier and Sammy Clay. Now with special bonus material by Michael Chabon.

    A “towering, swash-buckling thrill of a book” (Newsweek), hailed as Chabon’s “magnum opus”... Read More »

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