Skip to Main Content

Rapid Readers' Advisory: Historical

This LibGuide helps librarians and library patrons quickly connect with popular and relevant books and eBooks by genre, theme, medium, or language.

Library of Congress (LC) Subject Headings

If you'd like to browse our circulating stacks on-site, the following Call Number ranges may help you find a good read:

PAP Paperbacks (these are usually in an area separate from the Circulating Stacks)

PN Drama, poetry, movies etc.

PQ Romance Literature

PR English Literature

PS American Literature

PZ Fiction in English

The Water Dancer: A Novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates

"Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage--and lost his mother and all memory of her when he was a child--but he is also gifted with a mysterious power. Hiram almost drowns when he crashes a carriage into a river, but is saved from the depths by a force he doesn't understand, a blue light that lifts him up and lands him a mile away. This strange brush with death forces a new urgency on Hiram's private rebellion. Spurred on by his improvised plantation family, Thena, his chosen mother, a woman of few words and many secrets, and Sophia, a young woman fighting her own war even as she and Hiram fall in love, he becomes determined to escape the only home he's ever known. So begins an unexpected journey into the covert war on slavery that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia's proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North..." #Slavery #SouthernUS

(Olivia Butler's) Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Damian Duffy and John Jennings

Octavia E. Butler's bestselling literary science-fiction masterpiece, Kindred , now in graphic novel format. More than 35 years after its release, Kindred continues to draw in new readers with its deep exploration of the violence and loss of humanity caused by slavery in the United States, and its complex and lasting impact on the present day. Adapted by celebrated academics and comics artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings, this graphic novel powerfully renders Butler's mysterious and moving story, which spans racial and gender divides in the antebellum South through the 20th century. Butler's most celebrated, critically acclaimed work tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and inexplicably transported from her home in 1970s California to the pre?Civil War South. As she time-travels between worlds, one in which she is a free woman and one where she is part of her own complicated familial history on a southern plantation, she becomes frighteningly entangled in the lives of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder and one of Dana's own ancestors, and the many people who are enslaved by him. #GraphicNovel #Slavery #TimeTravel #eBook

Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang

"Daiyu never wanted to be like the tragic heroine for whom she was named, revered for her beauty and cursed with heartbreak. But when she is kidnapped and smuggled across an ocean from China to America, Daiyu must relinquish the home and future she imagined for herself. Over the years that follow, she is forced to keep reinventing herself to survive. From a calligraphy school, to a San Francisco brothel, to a shop tucked into the Idaho mountains, we follow Daiyu on a desperate quest to outrun the tragedy that chases her. As anti-Chinese sentiment sweeps across the country in a wave of unimaginable violence, Daiyu must draw on each of the selves she has been-including the ones she most wants to leave behind-in order to finally claim her own name and story." #Chinese #China #HumanTrafficking #Kidnapping #19thCentury

This Other Eden by Paul Harding

A novel inspired by the true story of Malaga Island, an isolated island off the coast of Maine that became one of the first racially integrated towns in the Northeast. In 1792, formerly enslaved Benjamin Honey and his Irish wife, Patience, discover an island where they can make a life together. Over a century later, the Honeys' descendants and a diverse group of neighbors are desperately poor, isolated, and often hungry, but nevertheless protected from the hostility awaiting them on the mainland. During the tumultuous summer of 1912, Matthew Diamond, a retired, idealistic but prejudiced schoolteacher-turned-missionary, disrupts the community's fragile balance through his efforts to educate its children. His presence attracts the attention of authorities on the mainland who, under the influence of the eugenics-thinking popular among progressives of the day, decide to forcibly evacuate the island, institutionalize its residents, and develop the island as a vacation destination. This Other Eden is an enduring testament to the struggle to preserve human dignity in the face of intolerance and injustice." #Eugenics #RaceRelations #Hurricanes #Families #MixedRace #Missionaries #IslandLife

The Nickel Boys: A Novel by Colson Whitehead

In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad , Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South in the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children... #AfricanAmerican #Black #Teenagers #Racism #Reformatories #AbuseofPower #Florida #eBook

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood--where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned--Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. #FugitiveSlaves #Slavery #UnitedStates #19thCentury

The Historian: A Novel by Elizabeth Kostova

Discovering a medieval book and a cache of letters, a motherless American girl becomes the latest in a series of historians, including her late father, who investigate the possible surviving legacy of Vlad the Impaler. #Vampires #Historical #Horror #Occult #Thriller #Paranormal #Romance

Ivanhoe: A Romance by Sir Walter Scott

A young Saxon knight proves his worth in Sir Walter Scott's immortal classic blending history and romance In the twelfth century, England is in ruins. The tension between the Saxons and Normans are at an all-time high. While King Richard the Lion Heart is away, his brother Prince John sits on the throne, allowing the Norman nobles to ravage the Saxon countryside further. There is no one to protect them. Their land is repossessed. They are made to flee into the forests as outlaws, leaving behind the stand-in king who has forsaken them. Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, disowned by his father after pledging allegiance to King Richard, has returned from the Crusades eager to win the love of Lady Rowena. The young knight, eager to prove himself worthy of her affections, sets out to demonstrate his merit & fighting his enemies with aid from the likes of Robin Hood. #English #England #GreatBritain #Romance #KingRichard #RobinHood #Crusades #eBook

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

"Based on local history and family stories passed down by the author's great-great-grandfather, Cold Mountain is the tale of a wounded soldier Inman, who walks away from the ravages of the war and back home to his prewar sweetheart, Ada. Inman's odyssey through the devastated landscape of the soon-to-be-defeated South interweaves with Ada's struggle to revive her father's farm, with the help of an intrepid young drifter named Ruby. As their long-separated lives begin to converge at the close of the war, Inman and Ada confront the vastly transformed world they've been delivered." #CivilWar #UnitedStates #19thCentury #Solitude

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

His ordered life thrown into disarray when he begins treating an unstable genius artist who has recently attacked a canvas at the National Gallery of Art, psychiatrist and art hobbyist Andrew Marlow struggles to understand the secret that torments the artist. #ArtAppreciation #French #Painters #Psychiatry #Psychological #WashingtonDC

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Winner of the 1961 Newbery Medal, Island of the Blue Dolphins tells the story of a girl left alone for eighteen years in the aftermath of violent encounters with Europeans on her home island off the coast of Southern California. #NorthAmerica #Indians #NativeAmericans #California #Survivalism #IslandLife #eBook

Silence by Shusaku Endo

"Shusaku Endo's classic novel of enduring faith in dangerous times "Silence I regard as a masterpiece, a lucid and elegant drama."--The New York Times Book Review. Seventeenth-century Japan: Two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to a country hostile to their religion, where feudal lords force the faithful to publicly renounce their beliefs. Eventually captured and forced to watch their Japanese Christian brothers lay down their lives for their faith, the priests bear witness to unimaginable cruelties that test their own beliefs." #Japan #Japanese #Jesuits #Christians #Christianity #Catholics #Catholicism #Missionaries #Persecution #Portugal

©2022 Houston Community College Libraries