Favorite Books – Second Quarter, 2021

The end of June means the end of the second quarter of the year! I can’t believe we are halfway through 2021. It’s been a great reading year for me so far. I think setting a high goal (125 books!) has made me work extra hard to achieve it. And there are so many good books coming out this year, it’s been an easy goal to work towards!

I read 36 books from April – June, which is at a slower clip than the first quarter. Numbers aren’t what matters, though. It’s the quality! 

As a reminder, I do let my monthly newsletter subscribers know what my favorite books are each month so sign up here if you’d like to find out before these quarterly recaps! Plus in my newsletter, I also list corresponding historical sites with the books to help you plan a future trip to walk in the characters’ footsteps! 

For more in-depth reviews of all of the books I’m reading, please follow me on Instagram and Goodreads!

All book links are Amazon affiliate links. You can also visit my Bookshop.org shop, where your purchases help independent bookstores and creators.


Favorite Historical Fiction Books for Adults

I read a lot of 4.5 – 5 star books this quarter!

Several of these came from my Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Books of 2021 post!

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn – World War II women’s fiction at its finest!

The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray – an expertly woven tale of three women all linked by Lafayette’s ancestral home

The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton – another gem about Cuban history from one of my favorite authors!

Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce – a rollicking tale in the jazz clubs of 1920s Chicago

I tried a few new-to-me or debut authors that were fantastic!

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner – a dual timeline book about the mystery linking a 17th century apothecary owner and her assistant with a modern-day aspiring historian

Eternal by Lisa Scottoline – a sweeping tale of love and loss in Rome during World War II 

The Light Over London by Julia Kelly – a fascinating novel about the gunner girls in the Blitz

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear – the first of a long historical mysteries series

Answering Liberty’s Call by Tracy Lawson – a novel about a strong woman from the Revolutionary War, based on a real person!

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I finally started a blockbuster historical fiction/fantasy/romance series and loved it! I can’t wait to read more in the series.

I’ve read 3 of Karin Tanabe’s books and have loved them all. My favorite in this quarter is The Diplomat’s Daughter, a searing tale from World War II that takes you from Austria to America to Japan.


Favorite History Nonfiction Book for Adults

The Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, Mississippi by Richard Grant – I heard about this on the Currently Reading podcast’s Indie Press List for Patrons. Natchez seems like such an interesting place – a place with the most antebellum mansions in the south juxtaposed with a progressive political scene. There are uncomfortable questions, hard truths, and laugh out loud moments in this book. 



Favorite Young Adult Historical Fiction Book

The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron – another outstanding novel about a World War II teen standing up to the Nazis


Favorite Middle Grade Historical Fiction Book

I got a sneak peek of my friend, Libby McNamee’s upcoming release, Dolley Madison and the War of 1812. It comes out in August on the 207th anniversary of the burning of Washington, DC. It’s fantastic! Preorder it for your child!


And I have to mention the top book read so far this year – The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. It’s not a historical fiction book but it’s stellar! Definitely in my top 10 books of all time!


Are you changing your reading for summer? What did you read this quarter? Give me some recommendations in the comments!

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