Historical Fiction

The Best Historical Fiction of 2024 So Far, According to Goodreads

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Always books. Never boring.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s midyear check-in time, and in all corners of the bookish internet, we’re taking a look back at the first half of 2024 in new releases. The “Best Books of the Year So Far” lists are piling up — in fact, they started about a month before the halfway point of the year. This is a great way to get an overview of the very buzziest titles, but that only scratches the surface of the incredible books in a wide range of formats and genres that have come out this year. That’s why it can be more useful to seek out round up lists of the genres, formats, and topics you’re most interested in as a reader, like the best queer books of the year so far.

In that spirit, Goodreads has put together a list of 48 of the best historical fiction books out in the first half of 2024. These are the titles that have been added to the most “Want to Read” shelves on Goodreads and the ones that are getting good ratings by users — only titles with a 3.5 average rating or above are included. They’re arranged by time period, from 412 BCE all the way up to 1987. (And if you disagree about that being historical fiction, Goodreads says, “Yes, we regret to inform you that the 1980s are now firmly considered historical fiction. Time is a cruel mistress.”)

Here is a selection of the most popular historical fiction books that came out in the first half of 2024.

The American Daughters book cover

412 BCE: Glorious Exploits by Ferdia Lennon

1519: You Dreamed of Empires by Álvaro Enrigue

1655: The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye by Briony Cameron

1730: All the World Beside by Garrard Conley

1851: The American Daughters by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

1861: James by Percival Everett

1864/2018: Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange

The Underground Library book cover

1907: The Great Divide by Cristina Henríquez

1935-1945: The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan

1940: The Underground Library by Jennifer Ryan

1950: The Briar Club by Kate Quinn

1965: The Women by Kristin Hannah

the late 1960s: The Road to the Country by Chigozie Obioma

1987: Swift River by Essie J. Chambers

Check out the full list at Goodreads.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.