Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books Every History Nerd Should Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers share their own bookish top ten lists based on the topic of the week.  You can check out Ten Tuesdays here.

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Top Ten Books Every History Nerd Should Read

I love history and non-fiction, and I had a lot of fun putting together a list of books for history nerds!  It’s definitely a random assortment of books- things you’d learn in history class, books about a specific time in history, books about the history of a particular thing, and even some historical fiction.  I definitely kept thinking of all of these books I wanted to talk about, which is why it’s so random but hopefully, there’s something that catches your interest!


  1. And The Band Played On by Randy Shilts.  This book is about the first few years of AIDS, and as someone born after this book takes place, it was really fascinating to see AIDS in the early days of the disease.  It’s not history in the traditional history class sense, but
  2. Queen Of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore To The Revolution by Caroline Weber.  It’s a biography of Marie Antoinette in the context of fashion, and I learned a lot!
  3. The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  I LOVE this book about the history of HeLa cells. If you haven’t read it, you should, because it’s completely and totally amazing.
  4. Stiff by Mary Roach.  It’s the history of how cadavers are used, and it sounds weird (because it is, just a little) but it’s definitely worth reading!
  5. Candy Freak by Steve Almond.  You get a little bit of history in terms of candy in America (personally, it wasn’t as much as I thought), and it’s definitely skews more towards food writing than history, but still interesting.
  6. The Wives Of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser.  I feel like this one doesn’t necessarily get the attention that the ones by Alison Weir or David Starkey get, but I think it’s the one that I’d recommend to people, because it’s the most balanced and gives the best overview of his wives.

Historical Fiction:

  1. A Moment Comes by Jennifer Bradbury.  I didn’t even know that the partition of India and Pakistan was something that actually happened until I read this book, and I think it’s a great book that history buffs will probably really like!
  2. A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier.  It’s set during the Spanish Flu, and somehow, the fact that the book is set during a flu epidemic seems to always be timely.
  3. Crow by Barbara Wright.  It’s set during riots in Wilmington in the late 1800’s, and it was something I didn’t know actually happened until I read this book.  It made me want to learn more about it!
  4. Witch Child by Celia Rees.  It’s about a witch, who escapes to America to avoid accusations of being a witch…only to be accused of being a witch.  I love the diary format, and it’s nice to see something about witches that’s not about the Salem Witch Trials.

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