Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. There are a lot of ways you can interpret this week’s category. I chose to go with some of my favorite historical fiction and futuristic novels.
I don’t read a lot historical fiction, mostly because while I’m interested in history, I have trouble finding historical novels that can really keep my interest. I’ve also realized as I’m thinking about this Top Ten that although I read a lot of scifi/fantasy most of my interests lie more towards fantasy/urban fantasy and I haven’t really read many books taking place in the future either (with the exception of dystopian novels).
Since I don’t really read a lot of either, I decided to split this Top 10 and share some each of historical fiction and futuristic fiction that I have read and enjoyed – though I discovered while writing this list that it was easier to come up with historical titles I’ve read and enjoyed than futuristic ones (I was trying to avoid the obvious YA dystopian novels).
- The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak – I think everyone needs to read this book at least once. It was so well done, and I loved how Death was the narrator of the book. This is just a terrific book and I can’t recommend it enough.
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – Of course. I was hesitant to read these books for a long time simply because I’m not a big fan of historical fiction, but I finally decided to give them a chance and I’m glad I did. I really loved the first book with it’s 18th century Scottish setting.
- Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen – Technically Austen’s works are not historical fiction, as the time period was contemporary when she was writing them, but I really enjoy her writing. I’m just not sure if it’s because I actually like the time period, or if it’s because I like her writing style.
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen – This book kicked off a fascination with circus stories that eventually led me to discover The Night Circus, which is another terrific read if you ever get the chance. But I just loved the writing style and the tone of this novel; I couldn’t put it down.
- A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick – It’s been years since I read this book, but I remember that I couldn’t put it down. It was intriguing and dramatic, suspenseful and well-written.
- The Martian by Andy Weir – It doesn’t take place very far into the future, but far enough that we’ve made several successful voyages to Mars. This is definitely my favorite read of 2015, and is near the top of my list of favorite books ever.
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – A novel set in the future, where most of the pop culture references are from the 1980s. That’s probably why I loved this book so much – I’m not a big video game person, but I couldn’t put this book down. Like The Martian it’s not set that far into the future – it’s the year 2044 – and it’s a really bleak future, so I’m not sure I’d want to live in that future, but this was a fun read.
- The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury – Obviously this is a classic and a little dated at this point, but I really enjoyed Bradbury’s take on what life might be like if we colonized Mars. I found this book really interesting.
- Lock In by John Scalzi – This book fascinated me. Once again, it doesn’t take place in the far future, but the idea of someone being locked inside their own bodies and needing artificial bodies in order to interact and movie throughout the day was interesting. This was a quick read and I really enjoyed it.
- Feed by M.T. Anderson – This was another interesting read. Granted, it kind of falls into the YA dystopia category and I was trying to avoid that for this list, but I think this one stands apart from the rest. It really speaks to what happens when we become too addicted to our social media and constant internet “feeds.” It was a really interesting look at a possible future.
As I looked through lists of Historical Fiction and Futuristic Fiction on Goodreads while I was making this Top 10, I realized there are actually a lot more books that I’ve read that are historical fiction than I originally thought. However, in my mind I don’t think of them that way. So I guess I do like historical fiction, if it’s written well enough. Also, there are a ton of popular futuristic novels that have been on my TBR for a long time, but I just haven’t gotten to them. I could have made an entire Top 10 just based on those books.
What are your favorite historical and futuristic novels? What is it that attracts you to one or the other?