History Book Club

A history book club is a great way to combine some neat activities with a book discussion! Follow the standard book club guide for set up, hosting, and entertainment ideas. 

Once you have figured the basics out, you get to be creative! Here are a few ideas for how to “history twist” your book club! 

Read History Book Reviews

Your group can go one of two ways - 

(1) Historical fiction or (2) Historical Nonfiction. 

Historical fiction is going to be set in the past, based around a historical event, but have an invented story (think Rose and Jack in the movie, Titanic). Historical Nonfiction is any factual book based on a historical event. This type of book can range from a textbook style to a narrative, or “story-like” quality. You might want to also choose a subgenre of historical nonfiction such as a US history book or a World history book theme. 

The Book Club Meeting Twist
Once you have chosen the best history book for your group based on the history book reviews you've been reading, plan your meeting around the time period. Have a themed menu and ask your members to dress in costume! Visit our book club recommendations page for a little Q&A session on this topic. 

Take a field trip as part of your History Book Report!
Here is where you really shake things up! Choose a book with historical base in your hometown. Then plan a fieldtrip around the event. 

For example, if you live in (or near) Gettysburg, PA read Killer Angels by Michael Shaara then take a trip to the battlefields. Part of the reason readers are interested in belonging to a history book club is their shared fascination for things that really happened. What better way to end a great book discussion than to see where your story really took place? Get crazier - have the book discussion once you get there! 

History Search
Find out what cool historical events happened in your home town! Just type in "“historical events in (your hometown here)" and have fun finding a book that suits your needs.

History Book Club Books

We've provided some book selections below to help you when starting your history book club.  Some are new, some are old, but all are timeless and will generate an engaging book club discussion!

Historical Fiction

  • The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  • The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Historical NonFiction

  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • Mistress of the Vatican by Eleanor Herman
  • Bullies by Alex Abramovich

Return to Book Themes main page.

For Book Clubs

Some books are meant to be discussed in detail.  Here are some we recommend: 

the women
black candle women