B&N Reads, History

History is Entertaining: Our 9 Favorite Historical Narrative Nonfiction Books

If you’re looking for an entertaining read that is historical and true, we’ve got you covered. Narrative nonfiction often reads like a novel but is full of true events, educating readers while they get lost in a story, and we think that’s the best way to get lost in history! Check out some of our favorite historical narrative nonfiction books and get lost in unbelievably true events.  

The Princess Spy: The True Story of World War II Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones

The Princess Spy: The True Story of World War II Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones

Paperback $13.99 $18.00

The Princess Spy: The True Story of World War II Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones

Larry Loftis

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Paperback $13.99 $18.00

Larry Loftis is back with another captivating spy story that will have readers racing to read the full account of Aline Griffith, the Countess of Romanones. A true story, The Princess Spy is the story of a bright-eyed young woman determined to help her country through deep-cover espionage. Infiltrating the high society of titled Europeans, Aline risked everything to serve her country, and readers won’t be able to get enough of this vivid recounting of her dazzling adventures. 

Larry Loftis is back with another captivating spy story that will have readers racing to read the full account of Aline Griffith, the Countess of Romanones. A true story, The Princess Spy is the story of a bright-eyed young woman determined to help her country through deep-cover espionage. Infiltrating the high society of titled Europeans, Aline risked everything to serve her country, and readers won’t be able to get enough of this vivid recounting of her dazzling adventures. 

Prisoners of the Castle: An Epic Story of Survival and Escape from Colditz, the Nazis' Fortress Prison

Prisoners of the Castle: An Epic Story of Survival and Escape from Colditz, the Nazis' Fortress Prison

Hardcover $22.99 $28.99

Prisoners of the Castle: An Epic Story of Survival and Escape from Colditz, the Nazis' Fortress Prison

Ben Macintyre

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Hardcover $22.99 $28.99

Ben Macintyre, a virtuoso chronicler of WWII and bestselling author of Operation Mincemeat, turns his focus from his usual intrepid spies to the history of Colditz Castle, the infamous maximum security Nazi prison, and the audacious exploits of its escape-prone Allied denizens. Prisoners of the Castle is a propulsive, almost cinematic read. A bit Great Escape and a dash of Prisoner of Alcatraz

Ben Macintyre, a virtuoso chronicler of WWII and bestselling author of Operation Mincemeat, turns his focus from his usual intrepid spies to the history of Colditz Castle, the infamous maximum security Nazi prison, and the audacious exploits of its escape-prone Allied denizens. Prisoners of the Castle is a propulsive, almost cinematic read. A bit Great Escape and a dash of Prisoner of Alcatraz

The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II

The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II

Hardcover $24.99 $32.50

The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II

Buzz Bissinger

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Hardcover $24.99 $32.50

Sixty-five young Marines in WWII’s Pacific Theater, many of them top-level college and professional football players, feeling the tension and tedium in the waiting time before the Battle of Okinawa, play a brutal to-the-finish football game dubbed the “Mosquito Bowl.” Who they were, where they came from, those who survived the conflict and those who did not is an epic, poignant, unique tale of football, war, and the bravado of youth. 

Sixty-five young Marines in WWII’s Pacific Theater, many of them top-level college and professional football players, feeling the tension and tedium in the waiting time before the Battle of Okinawa, play a brutal to-the-finish football game dubbed the “Mosquito Bowl.” Who they were, where they came from, those who survived the conflict and those who did not is an epic, poignant, unique tale of football, war, and the bravado of youth. 

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler

Paperback $14.99 $18.99

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler

Rebecca Donner

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Paperback $14.99 $18.99

A compelling and bracing story of a life lived large and brave, All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days charts the perilous career of Mildred Harnack, newly graduated, newly married, newly moved from Wisconsin to 1930s Berlin. She was witness to the destruction of a democracy, the cruelty of a demagogue’s oppression and, in its face — and despite significant dangers — she chose committed resistance. Rebecca Donner’s telling is taut and immersive, riveting from start to finish. It is a story that lingers long after the final page. 

A compelling and bracing story of a life lived large and brave, All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days charts the perilous career of Mildred Harnack, newly graduated, newly married, newly moved from Wisconsin to 1930s Berlin. She was witness to the destruction of a democracy, the cruelty of a demagogue’s oppression and, in its face — and despite significant dangers — she chose committed resistance. Rebecca Donner’s telling is taut and immersive, riveting from start to finish. It is a story that lingers long after the final page. 

Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad

Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad

Hardcover $30.00

Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad

Matthew F. Delmont

In Stock Online

Hardcover $30.00

Half American is the history of World War II but including the events and actors that history books have long erased. Telling the story of Black Americans who fought on two fronts, fighting for their rights in America and for the country abroad, this book compiles the stories of such Black heroes as Thurgood Marshall, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., Ella Baker, James Thompson, and Langston Hughes. Meticulously researched and indispensable, this is the World War II book that every history buff and military history fan should be reading. 

Half American is the history of World War II but including the events and actors that history books have long erased. Telling the story of Black Americans who fought on two fronts, fighting for their rights in America and for the country abroad, this book compiles the stories of such Black heroes as Thurgood Marshall, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., Ella Baker, James Thompson, and Langston Hughes. Meticulously researched and indispensable, this is the World War II book that every history buff and military history fan should be reading. 

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

Paperback $15.99 $20.00

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

Erik Larson

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Paperback $15.99 $20.00

Gripping, educational, and emotionally charged, Larson gives us a street level view of London during the Blitz and humanizes Winston Churchill as he leads his people through hell. 

Gripping, educational, and emotionally charged, Larson gives us a street level view of London during the Blitz and humanizes Winston Churchill as he leads his people through hell. 

Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American Adventure

Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American Adventure

Hardcover $26.99 $32.50

Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American Adventure

Rinker Buck

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Hardcover $26.99 $32.50

Rinker Buck, author of the bestselling book The Oregon Trail, sets off on another adventure, this time going down the Mississippi River on a flatboat. Life on the Mississippi interlaces Buck’s own experience traveling down the river with earlier travels, with Buck challenging the brutality behind the westward movement. Blending historical narratives with his own sense of adventure, Buck creates a remarkable story that sheds a light on the history of the Mississippi River. 

Rinker Buck, author of the bestselling book The Oregon Trail, sets off on another adventure, this time going down the Mississippi River on a flatboat. Life on the Mississippi interlaces Buck’s own experience traveling down the river with earlier travels, with Buck challenging the brutality behind the westward movement. Blending historical narratives with his own sense of adventure, Buck creates a remarkable story that sheds a light on the history of the Mississippi River. 

Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica's Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night

Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica's Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night

Paperback $13.99 $18.00

Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica's Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night

Julian Sancton

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Paperback $13.99 $18.00

Meticulously researched and realized, with a deep novelistic flare, Madhouse at the End of the Earth reconstructs the action-packed survival story of an early expedition to the South Pole. Amundson, Cook and an inexperienced, undisciplined crew, on an ill-fated ship, imprisoned in the Antarctic ice and darkness. This tale of adventure, excitement and, indeed, terror will captivate those who were drawn to The Lost City of Z, In the Kingdom of Ice and In the Heart of the Sea. Julian Sancton has gifted us an insanely gripping book from start to finish. 

Meticulously researched and realized, with a deep novelistic flare, Madhouse at the End of the Earth reconstructs the action-packed survival story of an early expedition to the South Pole. Amundson, Cook and an inexperienced, undisciplined crew, on an ill-fated ship, imprisoned in the Antarctic ice and darkness. This tale of adventure, excitement and, indeed, terror will captivate those who were drawn to The Lost City of Z, In the Kingdom of Ice and In the Heart of the Sea. Julian Sancton has gifted us an insanely gripping book from start to finish. 

The Last Hill: The Epic Story of a Ranger Battalion and the Battle That Defined WWII

The Last Hill: The Epic Story of a Ranger Battalion and the Battle That Defined WWII

Hardcover $26.99 $29.99

The Last Hill: The Epic Story of a Ranger Battalion and the Battle That Defined WWII

Bob Drury , Tom Clavin

In Stock Online

Hardcover $26.99 $29.99

In this action-packed and unforgettable book, readers will encounter the heroism of a single battalion in December of 1944 during World War II. Castle Hill, known as Hill 400, was the gateway into Nazi Germany, and both Nazis and the Allied forces were determined to take the hill and hold it. A battalion of the most elite and experienced rangers known as “Rudder’s Rangers” was given the command, and outnumbered but determined, 130 of them stormed, captured, and held the hill … but only 16 returned after the battle. This book is the detailed story of what the survivors remember about that long day, and it will linger in readers minds long after they finish. 

In this action-packed and unforgettable book, readers will encounter the heroism of a single battalion in December of 1944 during World War II. Castle Hill, known as Hill 400, was the gateway into Nazi Germany, and both Nazis and the Allied forces were determined to take the hill and hold it. A battalion of the most elite and experienced rangers known as “Rudder’s Rangers” was given the command, and outnumbered but determined, 130 of them stormed, captured, and held the hill … but only 16 returned after the battle. This book is the detailed story of what the survivors remember about that long day, and it will linger in readers minds long after they finish.