Top Ten Tuesday—Historicals I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read Yet

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly feature of The Broke and the Bookish. A full list of instructions and future themes can be found here. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Haven’t/Want To Read From X Genre. A couple of these books I’ve begun reading but haven’t gotten back to yet.

1. Anything by James Michener. I actually have The Source, his epic about thousands of years of Israeli history, on my shelves, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. He wrote just the types of books I love most, intense historical sagas with many characters, spanning many years, telling huge, sweeping, complex stories. Nowadays, of course, it’d be hard for him to find an agent, editor, or publisher, since he’d be sure to get knee-jerk comments like “Your word count is ridiculous!” and “You didn’t write one book, you wrote five or six books.”

2. The Forty Days of Musa Dagh, by Franz Werfel. It’s on my shelves, and I started reading it a long time ago, but for whatever reason abandoned it and never got back. It’s based on the real-life story of a brave group of Armenians who resisted the Turkish genocide against their people in 1915. I remember really disliking Juliette, one of the odar (non-Armenian) characters.

3. The Winds of War, by Herman Wouk. I actually started over with this book during the summer, but haven’t read from it in awhile. In this case, it’s not so much laziness or not making the time as it is terrible binding. I got a $1 paperback from the awesome Mystery Train Records in Amherst, Massachusetts, and I got what I paid for. The 5″ x 8″ trade paperback size does NOT work well with a book of over 1,000 pages! I really need a new copy with a more realistic trim size. The other three Wouk novels I have (War and Remembrance, The Hope, The Glory) are all a more practical, normal 6″ x 9″ trim.

4. Battle Cry, by Leon Uris. As I’ve admitted, Mr. Uris wasn’t the world’s greatest writer, and was probably at best a somewhat above average writer with a good editor. He was a great storyteller and researcher, but not so much a great writer. Anyway, I found this book for free awhile ago. It’s about the Marines during WWII.

5. All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque. I’ve been wanting to read this book since I was 15, but I’ve just never gotten around to it. There are so relative few books about the WWI era anymore, but this one was written when it was still in recent memory.

6. Roots, by Alex Haley. This one’s been on my shelf for years; I have no excuse for not having read it yet.

7. The Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon. I know I should read these books, since I love nothing better than a super-long doorstopper, but the massive amounts of hype make me hang back. Almost always, I have the exact opposite opinion from the crowd, and deliberately avoid books, writers, actors, films, bands, and albums surrounded by overwhelming hype and popularity.

8. The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough. I think I have this book somewhere, but never got around to it.

9. …And Ladies of the Club, by Helen Hooven Santmyer. I was so excited to find my own copy of this book, after seeing it in the library of the Bald Pate Inn in July 2001. But I never got around to sinking my teeth into this luxuriously long town saga, set from 1868–1932.

10. The Rashi’s Daughters series, by Maggie Anton. I got the second volume, Miriam, a long time ago as a Chanukah or birthday present, but never got around to starting it. The three books are set in Medieval France, and tell the stories of the daughters of the great Talmud commentator.

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9 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday—Historicals I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read Yet

  1. That’s ok. I’ve never finished Pride and Prejudice, and never even started Little Women. I would’t let being a contrarian stop you from sampling some popular stuff, although I’ve avoided Outlander because I don’t do Scottish. Seriously worn out stereotype.

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  2. Yay, another historical fiction list! 🙂 I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t even heard of a lot of these, so I certainly have a lot of reading to do. I know what you mean about Outlander – it’s on my TBR, but I’m always suspicious of hype. Great list!

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  3. Oh, there are some good ones here. In my younger days I read lots of these long, long historical sagas. AND LADIES OF THE CLUB – one of my favorite books ever. Keep meaning to re-read, but you know how that goes. Herman Wouk’s WINDS OF WAR and WAR AND REMEMBRANCE – lovely. THE THORN BIRDS – wow, everyone was reading that one back in the day. And Michener. My goodness – I tried to read several of his books. Got through TEXAS and SPACE and maybe CHESAPEAKE. That man wrote such long books, but good. Thanks for the reminders of great reads!

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  4. My next list should definitely be historicals – I haven’t read a single one of these, although I tried to audiobook Outlander (I still have it, and it was good, it’s just really, really long and I didn’t have the patience for 40 hours of listening!). I’ve also been meaning to read Roots.

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT!

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  5. I haven’t read that many Classics or Historical novels but I’m planning to change that this year. I’ll go and check out everything on your list! Who knows? Maybe I’ll find some that I’d love to read.
    Thanks for sharing! 😀

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  6. I read the first Outlander book and I really enjoyed it, this was a few months before the tv series debuted and it’s picked up a lot more steam since then. I tend to shy away from overly hyped series, but I wasn’t disappointed. Great list!!

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