Today in the chart

Dive Into Some Fantasy or History

This week we’re bringing you another list of book recommendations from different categories: fantasy and historical fiction.

A few weeks ago, we suggested summer reads based on big 2022 titles in mystery-thrillers, contemporary romance, and science fiction. But we realize not everyone digs those genres, so this week we’re bringing you another list of book recommendations from different categories: fantasy and historical fiction.

Historical Fiction

A Ballad of Love and Glory by Reyna Grande

If you loved the English patient, you’ll want to pick up this saga featuring an unexpected love story between Ximena, a Mexican army nurse, and John Riley, a disillusioned Irish soldier who deserted the American army and now fights for the Mexicans during the Mexican-American War. Ximena is treating soldiers while grieving the murder of her husband by Texas Rangers, and John has formed the St. Patrick’s Battalion with other deserters to protect Mexico’s northern border.

The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn

If you like a bit of nonfiction woven into fiction about kickass females, this book features the story of Mila Pavlichenko, a bookish woman who becomes “Lady Death,” named for being the deadliest female sniper in the world. Based on a true story, the book tells how Pavlichenko’s fame after her 300th kill eventually leads to a friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt — and then a harrowing struggle to survive against enemies who have joined forces against her.

Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang

Take a bit of Memoirs of a Geisha, a bit of Billy the Kid, and a bit of every story where a woman had to live a lie to protect herself from others, and you have most of the ingredients in Four Treasures of the Sky. This sage follows the story of Daiyu after she’s trafficked from China to the United States to work in a brothel in the late 19th century Wild West. Repeatedly having to reinvent a new identity for herself, Daiyu even has to pretend to be a boy to avoid abuse on the streets. Still, her true test of survival will come as anti-Chinese immigrant sentiment intensifies across the US.

Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict

Throughout far too much of history, men were responsible for most scientific advances mostly because they were the ones allowed to pursue scientific work. But then there were the women who made great discoveries—and saw them snatched away from glory-seeking men. Such is the story of Rosalind Franklin in this novelized tale of her life as she discovers the double helix structure of DNA and then watches the insufferable men she works with take all the credit.


A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft

Margaret is the best sharpshooter in her small town and has her sights set on killing the legendary hala, a mythical creature whose death will reveal an ancient magical secret to the hunter who bags it. But she needs a partner since the hunt requires teams of two. Weston is almost an alchemist, or he would be if he didn’t keep getting fired from his apprenticeships. After Weston ends up on Margaret’s doorstep for a last-chance apprenticeship with her father, Margaret realizes he’s probably her best hope to join her team for the Halfmoon Hunt. But each may get more than they bargained for from the partnership.

The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller

Beyond fantasy, this genre-bending book is also a murder mystery involving a necromancer who tends trees made from bone and whose personality resides in more than one body. The protagonist, Charm, is a witch, a whore, a madam, a prisoner, a survivor, and a necromantic worker who must tend the trees and their fruit while also providing imaginary girls to the wealthy patrons of Borenguard. She almost must spend Tuesdays with the Emperor—until he calls her to his deathbed to help him determine which of his sons murdered him in exchange for her freedom.

Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May

Looking for history and fantasy with a bit of queer love and The Great Gatsby thrown into the mix? Wild and Wicked Things is your book, set in an alternate Europe after World War II, where magic exists but is ostracized. Annie Mason has come home to Crow Island to settle her father’s affairs after his death, but when she reconnects with her old friend Beatrice, she discovers a whole new underworld of glamor and magic, as well as the irresistible Emmeline, rumored to be a witch in a world that doesn’t accept them.

Nettle and Bone by T. Kingfisher

Marra is a princess but is not interested in finding a prince to marry. Instead, she’s planning to kill the abusive prince her sister was forced to marry. But she has to complete three seemingly impossible tasks first, including “building” a dog out of bones, and only with a little help from her reluctant fairy godmother, a grave witch, and a disgraced knight.

Subscribe to our M-F newsletter
Thank you for subscribing! Welcome to The Nursing Beat!
Please enter your email address