5 Fiction Must-Reads For Your Book Challenge

History buff or just love reading historical fiction? Look no further than these historical fiction novels.

Book challenges have always been a fun way to get people to read more and also keep track of the various books read throughout the challenge. Goodreads is the best place for finding what books to read, browse through various genres and start your challenge.

As a huge book nerd, books have always been my way to escape from reality; school, relationships went sour, post-grad life not as exciting as my heroine slashing dragons, etc. Over my 20-odd years of life, I've read countless novels with amazing storytelling and adventures galore. Consistently my genre of choice has been Historical Fiction novels, as much as I like watching fantasy and science-fiction type films, reading novels based on actual historical events moved me a lot more emotionally. That being said, historical fiction novels are not just a way for me to escape into a different time but also to learn more in-depth about parts of history that may not be publicly known or as focused on.

Here are the 5 fiction must-reads for your book challenge:

1. The Auschwitz Escape

historical fiction books for book challenge
Image Source: Goodreads

The book is about a young Jewish man named Jacob Weisz who joins the rebel forces to take on Germany. Unfortunately during one of the raids, young Weisz finds himself captured and put on one of the trains heading towards the Auschwitz camp. While in the camp, Jacob makes plans to try and escape from the camp, no matter the risks. 

Why you should read The Auschwitz Escape:

I found this book to be an incredible read and one that comes highly recommended. Stories based on World War II and the Holocaust are books I tend to read more, however, each one I read always gives me new insights into those horrific moments. A constant reminder of a time past but still relevant to today's climate. Loosely based on real-life people, it's an incredible tale of one man’s brave attempt to escape from the escapable.

I can't recommend this novel enough. A must-read!

2. The Tattooist of Auschwitz

historical fiction books for book challenge
Image Source: Goodreads

A novel based on a series of interviews told by Holocaust survivor and tattooist of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. The tale begins with Sokolov on a train heading to what was perceived as a "job site" for Jews but was really the beginnings of the concentration camps. Once the Germans found out that he is well versed in many languages, he is given the role of the tattooist, who was responsible for tattooing thousands of Jews in a span of three years. While imprisoned he meets Gita, a woman who captures his heart, and from that moment, vows to somehow survive and marry her.

Why you should read The Tattooist of Auschwitz:

What I remember most about this book was once it ended, I sat in silence for a few minutes going over everything that happened. It's a book that stays with you, remembering the people, their plights, the fight to stay alive, and the harrowing pain that most went through. No matter how dark some moments seemed in the novel, the author also brought light in those trying times, like the sweet bits between Lale and Gita, or the friendships that lasted a lifetime for some. 

Because of his position, I can understand the reluctance of Sokolov to not tell his story until years later as he lived a more privileged standing as a tattooist, however that doesn't take away from the risks he took to make sure fellow prisoners were taken care of.

Truly a must-read story, you won't regret it.

3. Pachinko

historical fiction books for book challenge
Image Source: Goodreads

Set in the early 1900s during the Japanese occupation of Korea, our teenage heroine Sunja finds herself pregnant by a wealthy merchant, who she finds out is married. She decides to take up an offer of marriage from a sickly, pastor passing through to Japan. It seems a simple story but with Sunja's refusal to marry such a powerful figure, the consequences of that decision continue to hunt the family three generations on.

Why you should read Pachinko:

Pachinko starts with such a simple background but by the middle of the book, you realize that one's decision can still affect people decades down the road. It was a great read and honestly, I'm mad it took me so long to get a hold of it. You will cry, laugh, and enjoy this family's journey over the span of decades. 

4. We Were The Lucky Ones

historical fiction books for book challenge
Image Source: Goodreads

Inspired by the true story of a Jewish family separated during World War II and their fight to reunite - all in one piece. It is 1939, the Kurc family is trying to live a relatively normal life despite the rumors of an impending war, until one day it all changes. Driven by the thought of reuniting once again, the Kurc family goes through many hardships, exile, and near-death experiences, clinging to the hope of seeing each other once again.

Why you should read We Were The Lucky Ones:

Despite the encouraging title, We Were The Lucky Ones is not a tale that comes without hardships.  Every turn of the page had me sitting on the edge of my seat praying to book-gods that this family could make it to the end. It'll make you want to hold your loved ones tightly to you and never let go. 

5. A Thousand Splendid Suns

historical fiction books for book challenge
Image Source: Goodreads

A heartbreaking story of a family living in Afghanistan’s most volatile moments in history like post-Taliban rebuilding and how they overcome the horrific events as a family unit. A story about a family’s strength, newfound love, and the friendships they acquire during those trying times.

Why you should read A Thousand Splendid Suns:

Khaled Hosseini is a brilliant storyteller. I’ve read most of his books - except Sea Prayer which is an illustrated book - and each one is a treasure. A Thousand Splendid Suns are my favorite out of all of them. The way Hosseini weaves the stories of two generations together so seamlessly is a testament to his gift as a writer. If you are a fan of The Kite Runner, then you will love this book.

Fan of literary fiction novels, green tea, roller skating, and watching dog videos.

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