Janet’s Gems: Great Historical Reads

Wanaque Library Assistant Janet loves to read historical fiction in her spare time. Here, she’s chosen five of her favorite reads that are available as eBooks. All you need to access them is your library card!

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
This book will introduce you to the Kentucky Pack Horse Library Program of the 1930’s and the ‘Blue’ people of Kentucky. It is a tale of how women and their books attempt to overcome illiteracy, intolerance, poverty and prejudice. It is written with compassion and the need for human connection. This book will take you on a journey that will make you hurt and cry, yet fill you with powerful knowledge and strength.  Available as an ebook or downloadable audiobook on Hoopla and as an ebook on Overdrive/Libby.

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff
Sixteen year old Noa is faced with life-altering decisions as she navigates WWII and Nazi Germany. This is a story full of secrets, lies, friendships, grief and love. Jenoff has written a novel that is a tribute to the human spirit. If you enjoyed Sara Gruen’s Water For Elephants you will embrace this tale of courage, The Orphan’s Tale. Available as a downloadable audiobook on Hoopla or as an ebook on Overdrive/Libby.

The Magnificent Esme Wells by Adrienne Sharp
If you love stories set in the glamorous world of gangsters, 1930-40’s Las Vegas and Hollywood – this is the book for you! This coming of age story follows interesting characters as they navigate schemes and dreams, amusing and delighting the reader. Available as an ebook or downloadable audiobook on Hoopla.

The Taster by V. S. Alexander
V.S. Alexander’s The Taster tells of a young girl, Magda, who felt honored to secure a prestigious job with the Third Reich; as a food taster; testing for poisons in food, for Hitler. (How many of us knew about food tasters?) The story begins with a naive Magda who, by the story’s end has grown into a strong and self assured woman, amid the inhumanities and atrocities of war. Available as an ebook or downloadable audiobook on Hoopla.

Absorbing Nonfiction History Reads
Janet doesn’t limit herself to reading only fiction. She’s found a lot of great nonfiction books that are riveting reads! Here are a couple of her favorites.

The Boys in The Boat by Daniel James Brown
In the 1930’s a ramshackle group of nine crew members from Northwest Washington row in perfect unison, overcoming the harshest conditions imaginable, to triumph in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Come on a journey into the world of the crew – the determination and passion to work as a team (rowing is one of the most cooperative sports) Enjoy the adventure and history. Available as an eBook in Overdrive/Libby

The Pale-Faced Lie: A True Story by David Crow
An unforgettable family memoir that is disturbing yet captivating as it takes us into the life of David Crow. Living on a Navajo reservation with a psychopathic father and mentally unstable mother this inspirational story teaches the power of forgiveness and the strength of the human spirit to overcome adversity. Available for download as an audiobook on Hoopla.


Need help getting started with Overdrive/Libby or Hoopla? All you need is your library card. Here’s how to do it.