Why a reading list of the best books based on a true story? There’s something about a book based on a true story that just captivates readers. Maybe it’s the feeling that you could be reading about someone who really existed or the knowledge that the events actually happened. Whatever the case may be, true story books have a way of pulling readers in and keeping them hooked until the very end. And even after finishing the book, readers often find themselves thinking about the story and the characters long after they’ve put it down. It’s no wonder, then, that books based on true stories are so popular. They have a way of resonating with readers in a way that other books simply don’t. This list is dedicated to some of the best true story books of all time.
Empress Orchid by Anchee Min is based on the true story of a woman who became the last empress of China. The book follows Orchid from her humble beginnings as a concubine in the emperor’s harem to her eventual ascension to the throne. Along the way, Orchid must navigate the dangerous waters of court politics and survive the machinations of her enemies. Empress Orchid is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of history’s most intriguing women.
Anchee Min is a Chinese-American author who was born in Shanghai and immigrated to the United States in 1984. She is best known for her memoir, Red Azalea, which chronicles her experiences growing up during the Cultural Revolution. Min’s novel, Empress Orchid, was inspired by her own grandmother’s life and is based on historical research she conducted while working as a screenwriter in China.
Before We Were Yours
Before We Were Yours is a novel by Lisa Wingate that tells the story of a young girl who is kidnapped and sold to an illegal orphanage. The novel is based on a true story, and Wingate has done extensive research on the subject. As a result, the novel provides a detailed and realistic view of the child trafficking industry. The novel also explores the themes of family, love, and betrayal.
Wingate’s writing is beautiful and lyrical, and she creates characters that are both sympathetic and complex. Before We Were Yours is an excellent novel that will stay with readers long after they finish it.
The Nickel Boys
The Nickel Boys is a novel by Colson Whitehead that was published in 2020. It tells the story of two boys, Elwood Curtis and Turner, who are sent to the Nickel Academy, a reform school for African American boys in Florida, in the 1960s. The book is based on a true story, and it highlights the brutal treatment that the boys receive at the hands of the school’s staff.
Whitehead is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and his other notable works include The Underground Railroad and Zone One. The Nickel Boys was met with critical acclaim upon its release, and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2020.
Thomas Keneally’s book is based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand Jewish people during the Holocaust. Keneally first heard about Schindler’s story from a survivor of the Holocaust, and he was immediately intrigued. He decided to write a novel based on Schindler’s experiences, and the result is an incredibly powerful and moving book.
Although it is fiction, the story feels incredibly real and provides a window into one of the darkest periods in human history. Keneally is a masterful storyteller, and Schindler’s Ark is an essential read for anyone interested in World War II or the Holocaust.
Wolf Hall is a historical novel by Hilary Mantel, based on the life of Thomas Cromwell, an English statesman and chief minister to King Henry VIII. The novel won the 2009 Man Booker Prize and was shortlisted for the 2010 Costa Book Award. It has been adapted into a television series, starring Damian Lewis as Cromwell. Born to a blacksmith in Putney, Cromwell rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most powerful men in England.
A key figure in the rise of the Tudor dynasty, he helped to engineer the annulment of Henry’s first marriage and secure his second marriage to Anne Boleyn. He also played a leading role in the English Reformation, helping to break away from the Catholic Church and establish the Church of England. Although Cromwell was eventually disgraced and executed, his legacy has endured, and he is considered one of England’s most significant statesmen.
Lisa Genova’s novel, Still Alice, is based on a true story. The novel tells the story of Alice Howland, a fifty-year-old woman who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. As Alice struggles to come to terms with her diagnosis, she must grapple with the prospect of slowly losing her memories and her sense of self.
While the novel is fiction, it is based on Genova’s own experience as a neurologist. In addition to writing Still Alice, Genova has also written several other novels, including Left Neglected and Love Anthony. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her family.
Murder on the Orient Express
Murder on the Orient Express is one of Agatha Christie’s most famous novels. The book is based on a true story of a murder that took place on the Orient Express train in 1934. Christie was inspired to write the book after hearing about the case from her friend, Lady Dudley. The book centers around Hercule Poirot, a world-renowned detective, who must solve the mystery of who killed Ratchett, an American businessman.
The novel is set in the glamorous world of the Orient Express and features an international cast of characters. Christie’s clever plotting and masterful use of suspense have made Murder on the Orient Express one of the most popular and enduring mysteries of all time.
Beautiful Exiles is a novel based on the true story of Ernest Hemingway and his second wife, Martha Gellhorn. Meg Waite Clayton interweaves Hemingway’s fiction with events from his life to paint a portrait of a marriage marked by jealousy, passion, and ultimately, betrayal.
The result is an intimate look at one of the most famous literary couples of the twentieth century. Beautifully written and compulsively readable, Beautiful Exiles is sure to appeal to fans of Hemingway and historical fiction alike. Meg Waite Clayton is a New York Time bestseller and has been recognised with numerous awards for her exceptional writing.
Tara Westover’s memoir, Educated, is based on her own life growing up in a survivalist family in Idaho. Westover was raised without formal education or medical care, and she spent her days helping her father at his junkyard. However, when she was 17, she decided to leave home and get an education.
She eventually attended Brigham Young University and then Cambridge University, where she earned a PhD in history. Westover’s story is one of determination and courage, and it is an inspiring tale of what one can achieve when given the opportunity to learn.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a historical fiction novel based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew who was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1942. There he was tasked with tattooing the prisoners’ IDs on their arms. He used his position to protect and save the lives of many prisoners, including that of his future wife, Gita.
The author, Heather Morris, interviewed Lale before his death in 2006 and based the novel on his experiences. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an important work of historical fiction that brings to light the human stories behind one of the most horrific events in history.
Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Beneath a Scarlet Sky is a historical fiction novel based on the true story of Pino Lella, a seventeen-year-old Italian boy living in Milan during World War II. The novel follows Pino as he is drafted into the German army and tasked with serving as a driver for a high-ranking Nazi official. Despite his initial reluctance, Pino comes to see the value of his work and even starts to enjoy the luxury and freedom that come with it.
However, as the war continues and the Allied forces close in on Milan, Pino begins to realize the true nature of the Nazi regime. He starts to question his loyalty and eventually decides to risk everything to help the Resistance fight back against the occupying forces. Beneath a Scarlet Sky is an inspiring story of courage and defiance in the face of tyranny. It is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, hope can still be found.
Cheryl Strayed’s Wild is a best-selling novel based on a true story. The book tells the tale of Strayed’s journey to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650-mile trek that spans from Mexico to Canada. Along the way, she confronts her demons, both literal and figurative, as she tries to make sense of her life.
Strayed’s writing is raw and honest, and she paints a vivid picture of both the beauty and the brutality of nature. In addition to being an entertaining read, Wild is also a thought-provoking exploration of grief, loss, and redemption. The New York Times Book Review described the book as ‘spectacular…a literary and human triumph.’
The Revenant is a novel by Michael Punke that tells the story of frontiersman Hugh Glass. In 1823, Glass was left for dead by his companions after being mauled by a bear. Against all odds, he survived and embarked on a relentless quest for revenge. The Revenant is based on a true story, and Punke’s research brings the character of Hugh Glass to life in vivid detail.
Punke himself is an experienced frontiersman, and his personal knowledge of the wilderness added another layer of authenticity to the novel. The Revenant is an unforgettable tale of survival and vengeance that will leave readers both riveted and deeply affected.
In Cold Blood
Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood is a book based on the true story of the brutal murders of a Kansas family in 1959. Capote took an innovative approach to the book, using journalism techniques to tell the story from the perspective of both the victims and the killers. The result was a gripping and disturbing account that has captivated readers for generations. Capote’s career began with his debut novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, which was published to critical acclaim in 1948.
He went on to write several more novels, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood. While he is best known for his novels, Capote was also a talented journalist and screenwriter. His work has had a lasting impact on American literature, and he remains one of the most beloved and respected authors of our time.
What are books called that are based on true stories?
There are books that are based on true stories but read like fiction, blurring the lines between reality and imagination. These books are known as “creative nonfiction” or “narrative nonfiction.”
In creative nonfiction, authors use literary techniques such as plot, character development, dialogue, and setting to craft a compelling and immersive narrative. However, unlike fiction, the events and people in these books are based on real-life experiences and historical events.
One popular subgenre of creative nonfiction is the “true crime” genre, which tells the story of a real crime and its investigation in a way that reads like a suspenseful thriller. Another subgenre is “historical nonfiction,” which uses narrative techniques to bring historical events to life.
Why are books based on a true story so powerful?
Books that are based on true stories can be incredibly powerful for a number of reasons. One of the most significant is that they can create a deep emotional connection with the reader. Knowing that a story is based on real events can make it more relatable and emotionally impactful. This can evoke empathy, sympathy, and other strong emotions from the reader, who may feel a personal connection to the story or the people involved.
In addition, books based on true stories can offer unique insights into the human condition. They can help readers understand different cultures, historical events, and experiences that they may not have encountered before. By challenging assumptions and biases, these books can inspire readers to think more critically about the world around them.
Another reason that books based on true stories can be so powerful is that they can be incredibly inspiring. Stories of real people overcoming adversity, fighting for justice, or achieving great things can be uplifting and motivating. They can show readers that anything is possible, and encourage them to pursue their own dreams and goals.
Finally, books based on true stories can be informative and educational. They can help readers learn about historical events, scientific discoveries, or social issues. By providing a deeper understanding of the world and the people in it, these books can inspire readers to learn more and seek out new information.
Overall, books based on true stories are powerful because they combine the power of storytelling with the authenticity and relevance of real-life experiences. They offer a unique perspective on the world, evoke strong emotions, inspire, and educate readers, making them an important and impactful part of our literary landscape.
When it comes to books based on true stories, there are a lot of options out there. And based on what you’re in the mood for, your choice can vary widely. But if you’re looking for books based on a true story, then you should definitely encourage people to read more of those. After all, there’s nothing like hearing about someone’s real-life experiences to make you feel more connected to them. And who knows, maybe you’ll even learn something from their story. But whatever the reason, encourage people to pick up a book based on a true story. It’ll be worth their while. So next time you’re looking for a good book to read, make sure it’s based on a true story. After all, truth is always stranger than fiction!