Ten Historical Settings I Love

Book Roundup, Discussion
Historical Settings

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is all about settings and I chose to feature ten historical settings I love! I’ve always loved books with historical settings, and I’ve got my favorites just like everyone else. So here they are:


Historical Settings


Historical Settings in New York:

One of my favorite historical settings is New York. It’s a setting I didn’t have much experience with when I was younger, but I’ve read several books that take place in New York as an adult. I especially like immigrant stories where people (or creatures) migrate to the new world in search of a better life. New York has such a diverse history, and these are some of my favorite books that take place there.


Hatmaker's heartThe Hatmaker’s Heart by Carla Stewart
This book is about a young British woman working as a hat designer in New York City during the 1920s. It’s about fashion, following your heart, and finding happiness. There is a bit of romance, but it takes second place to the main story.

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The Shoemaker's WifeThe Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
I read this book a while back and I wasn’t sure I liked it then. I loved the setting though, and so I included it here. It’s also one of those books that has stuck with me, which counts for something since I don’t usually ponder a book much long after I’ve finished it. It starts off in the mountains of Italy, then migrates to New York.

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The Golem and the JinniThe Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
A friend recommended this book to me and I absolutely loved it. It takes place in New York in 1899, during a time when a lot of immigrants were coming to America in search of a better life. It’s about a golem, a jinni, and their lives as they interact with each other and the humans around them. It has a fascinating, complex plot and great characters.

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A Match of WitsA Match of Wits by Jen Turano
This is the final book in Jen Turano’s Ladies of Distinction series. All of the books are about wealthy young women in New York and their humorous search for husbands. This happens to be my favorite book in the series, which I included it.

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Historical Settings in Europe:

Another one of my favorite historical settings is Europe. I know I’m not alone in this, since there are oodles of books, TV shows, and movies set in historical Europe. So much history takes place in that small area of the world that you could never learn everything if you lived a hundred lifetimes. Maybe that’s why I (and the rest of the world) am so fascinated with it.


The Golden BraidThe Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson
I read this book not too long ago. It’s a retelling of the fairy tale of Rapunzel, but with the omission of magic. It takes place in Germany during the middle ages. At first, I wasn’t sure about the setting, but it grew on me and I grew to love the castle, the characters, and the few German words tossed in.

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Midwife's ApprenticeThe Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman
Set in medieval England, this story is about a young orphan that becomes an apprentice to a midwife (as you may have guessed from the title). It’s a wonderful read and I’ve always loved books set in the middle ages.

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Grave MercyGrave Mercy by Robin LaFevres
This is the first book in the His Fair Assassin series about young female assassins in Brittany before it was absorbed by France. It’s part adventure, part intrigue, and part romance. If you are in the mood for a book that you can’t put down for a second, this is the one. Besides that, the setting is incredible.

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The MoorchildThe Moorchild by Eloise McGraw
This is a story about a changeling girl raised in a human home. It’s derived from Irish and English folklore about changelings and fairies. This historical setting is in a fictional village during the middle ages when superstitions ran high and magic was widely believed in and even more widely feared.

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Historical Settings in the Frozen North:

I grew up in a very rural part of Canada, so it shouldn’t be a big surprise that I love books set in the wilderness of Canada and Alaska. These are just two of the books I’ve read that take place in the frozen north.


Gentle BenGentle Ben by Walt Morey
I first read this story in school, then again on my own. I read it several times over. There was something about the relationship between a human and an Alaskan brown bear that captivated me. I still love this book and plan on reading it with my own kids soon.

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Call of the WildThe Call of the Wild by Jack London
This book takes place in the Yukon territory, which is an area that straddles the Alaska and Yukon (Canadian territory) border. It was one of my favorite stories when I was a kid and I still love it. One day, when my slowly dwindling TBR pile is gone, I will read this again.

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What are some of your favorite historical settings? Let me know in the comments!

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  • Reply
    Susan (Bloggin' 'bout Books)
    February 2, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Immigrant stories in New York? Yes, please! I’ve read a few of those lately because the setting never ceases to fascinate me. Glad I’m not the only one 🙂

    Happy TTT!

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      February 2, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      Me too! I love discovering new places and settings through fiction. New York is definitely one of my favorite discoveries.

  • Reply
    Stacy Renee @ LazyDayLit
    February 2, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    These are great locations! I’m partial to UK settings myself but love the ‘Frozen North’ locations!
    Here’s my TTT

  • Reply
    February 2, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    I’m happy to see Grave Mercy on your list. I just purchased a copy last year and I definitely plan on getting to it this year. Great post!

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      February 2, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      You need to read it! Grave Mercy was a fantastic book. I hope you get to read it this year!

  • Reply
    Tressa @ Wishful Endings
    February 2, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I went back and forth on joining this one. I just already had three posts going up this morning. Grave Mercy would definitely be one that would make my list. The Hatmaker’s Heart was also a good setting. Great list!

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      February 2, 2016 at 8:46 pm

      I know, you don’t want too many posts going up at once. It’s definitely a tricky balance.

  • Reply
    Joann Downie
    February 3, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Nice list, the Frozen North was an interesting choice!!


    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      February 3, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      Thanks! I love books that take place in the north. I’ve read a few of them and I like the unique challenges that the setting provides.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Great list. Midwife’s Apprentice has an adorable cover, and the story sounds awesome. I’ll check it out!

  • Reply
    Adriana @ BooksOnHerMind
    February 7, 2016 at 2:54 am

    I prefer historical settings in Europe too. I think it’s all the Jane Austen movies or British movies in general set in that time. You just reminded me that I really must finish the rest of the books in the His Fair Assassin series. The setting was so wonderful although I don’t like ow the girls were treated.

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      February 10, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      You should really read the rest of the His Fair Assassin series. They are such good books! I liked the first one the best, but the other two were really good too.

  • Reply
    Olivia Roach
    February 8, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    I LOVE my historical fiction but it is evident that I don’t read nearly as much of it as I would personally want to myself. I love the sound reading about Ancient Greece and Egypt. Also, the whole Elizabethan time period in Britain intrigues me!

    My recent review: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2016/02/arrows-review-tour-giveaway.html

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