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Historical Fiction Bestsellers

The top 10 Historical Fiction audiobooks on Libro.fm based on sales from our 1,000+ partner bookstore locations.

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  1. Circe

    “A bold retelling of the Circe episode from Homer's Odyssey that not only captures the interlocking pieces of Greek mythology, but also gives each god, titan, and Grecian a pulsing complexity. Both Circe the book and the character are quiet, sensual and--at times--freewheeling, adventurous, and devastating. Perdita Week's performance here is multi-layered and captivating. The voices she chooses to portray each character captures the unfolding drama and humor beautify.”

    Avid Bookshop image Luis, Avid Bookshop
  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. 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
  4. The Nickel Boys

    “This is the story of boys at a reform school in Florida in the 1960s. Based on the true story of the Dozier School for Boys, and the atrocities that took place there. This isn’t for the faint of heart; the cruelty and violence are terrible. However, Whitehead is a master novelist. The haunting beauty of his prose makes this a must-read. The narrator is split between 2 main characters, Elwood and Turner, and it is through their eyes that we meet the authorities at Nickel, like Spencer, Earl and Hennepin, all terrifying in their own way. And we meet the other boys, like Griff and Harper, each warped by the horrors they see. And each one has a story which Whitehead sometimes delves into, creating complex characters whose actions make sense for who they are. Whitehead elegantly moves the reader from Elwood’s early pre-Nickel days to events, past and present, at the school and into the future where archeologists and reporters have finally uncovered the truth. Beautifully written. Wonderfully read by JD Jackson. Highly recommended.”

    Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kristine, Buttonwood Books and Toys
  5. The Song of Achilles

    “This is one of the best books I've ever read. Do your heart a favor and read this beautiful, tender, heartbreaking book.”

    Mysterious Galaxy Books image Kelly, Mysterious Galaxy Books
  6. 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
  7. Unsheltered

    “A new Barbara Kingsolver novel is always a gift but this time her fictional journey feels even more powerful as she asks, “Can history help us navigate an impossible-looking future?” Unsheltered tells the stories of two families from different centuries living under the same roof, reeling from turbulence on both a national and a familial scale. Shelter is a basic survival need, but Kingsolver, being the literary artist she is, uses her characters to consider how we use physical, intellectual, and emotional shelters to navigate such troubles. The storms of life will surely rage but shelters can save our lives.”

    Bookshop Santa Cruz image Casey & Jenny, Bookshop Santa Cruz
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
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