Historical Fiction, Nonfiction, and WNBA Centennial RSVPs

First; books of 1917We’re getting closer to the end of October, and, as we do, don’t forget to RSVP for the WNBA Centennial celebration! Since this is a gathering in 2017 that commemorates bookish women gathering in 1917, why not curl up with a good historical fiction book?

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (1993)

When an Englishman proves unlucky in love and, shortly after, WWI begins, he enlists. While the war progresses, he finds himself in charge of miners tunneling beneath the German trenches.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson (2015)

When the luxury ship the Lusitania sank in 1915, it was a turning point in how America viewed the war. This non-fiction book paints the world of the ship’s passengers as those still in America.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (1929)

On the Italian front, an American ambulance driver begins a relationship with an English nurse, but the war and other circumstances intervene.

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart (2015)

Not far from New York before the war, three sisters alone on a farm are threatened by mobsters. The eldest sister decides to take matters into her own hands in this hilariously matter-of-fact novel.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes (2013)

Set during WWI and our time, this book chronicles the tales of two women who lost their loves: Sophie, whose husband is at the front, and Liv, whose husband gifted her a painting of Sophie before he died.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfield (2009)

This steampunk alternative history YA novel set immediately before WWI follows the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and a girl fighting (as a boy) in the British Air Service as the two encounter each other.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (2003)

In this historical fiction book, intrepid Maisie Dobbs sets up her own private investigation practice after she returns from her time as a nurse on the front of WWI, but her first case forces her to confront her experiences during the war.

October: The Story of the Russian Revolution by China Miéville (2017)

Though China Miéville is perhaps better known for his science fiction and weird fiction, his most recent work is non-fiction. It chronicles the 1917 Russian Revolution.

Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore (2017)

In this nonfiction book, American girls working in watch factories painting glow in the dark radium dials on watches begin themselves to glow, and then to grow ill as they fight for worker’s rights.

Regeneration by Pat Barker (1991)

If you missed the post on war poetry, check it out! It will illuminate some of the characters in Regeneration, the first book of Pat Barker’s trilogy, as they meet at a war hospital in 1917.


And, of course, while you’re at the WNBA Centennial, look into getting a copy of the WNBA’s new book: Women in the Literary Landscape: A Centennial Publication of the Women’s National Book Association.

These historical fiction books all focus around when the WNBA was founded, but there are plenty more out there! Have a great time reading—but don’t get so caught up reading that you forget to RSVP for the Centennial!

About Katherine Akey

Katherine is a copywriter and an all-around bookworm who enjoys reading classics, literary fiction, and just about anything that crosses her desk.

Comments are closed