Top 10 Fun Books for History Lovers

Page Turners Perfect for the History Buff in Your Life

Mixed Race Woman engrossed reading a book at home on the bed in the daytime
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Trying to buy gifts for history lovers can be difficult if you don't know where to start. Of course, there are hundreds of serious books one can buy about topics as diversified as World War II to the history of salt.

But history doesn't always have to be dry and academic; there are also lighthearted choices to pick from. The following books are so fun and easy-to-read that you'll want to keep them on your bookshelves for years to come. 

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"Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things"

Written by Charles Panati, this book is the supreme historical trivia lover's book. It provides the history and origin of over 500 everyday objects, customs, magazines, foods, and even superstitions. After reading this page-turner, you will know the origins of Tupperware, Yankee Doodle, and pajamas.

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"The Pessimist's Guide to History"

Written by Doris Flexner and Stuart Berg Flexner, this is a chronology of interesting blurbs about low points in history. For instance, a lot of focus is put on events such as earthquakes, massacres, disease, and war. As the tongue-in-cheek title suggests, this book is not for the optimist! Rather, it is pure catastrophe and chaos at its best.

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"Lies My Teacher Told Me"

Explore the fascinating and politically correct process of the creation of American history textbooks in schools and learn what's wrong with the system and the books. Author James Loewen provides a disturbing look at the state of our kids' education.

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"One-Night Stands With American History"

This fascinating collection of vignettes by Richard Shenkman and Kurt Reiger will no doubt entertain and amuse. "A Freshman Congressman Elected Speaker of the House" and "FDR and the Case of the Missing Map" are just two of a plethora of fun and short reads.

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"An Uncommon History of Common Things"

Have you ever wondered where pancakes come from? Or who invented Boxer shorts? This book, by Bethanne Patrick and the National Geographic Society, is full of fascinating information.

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"Unsolved Mysteries of American History"

Writer Paul Aaron takes a closer look at 30 interesting stories and questions. To give you a taste: Was Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis and Clark fame) murdered? And were the Rosenbergs guilty?

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"The Greatest Stories Never Told"

Here's a collection of little-known stories that have changed history, including how a wrong turn started World War I. With 100 stories accompanied by 200 illustrations, this book by Rick Beyer and the History Channel is both fun and informative.

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"Don't Know Much About History"

Author Kenneth Davis jumps around American history in this popular book that will be interesting to most but might be a bit of a bore to more well-read armchair historians. But it's a fun ride through American history nonetheless.

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"The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects"

Beautifully crafted, this book by Richard Kurin is filled with both photographs and history that would make a wonderful addition to a coffee table. The book is an interesting look back at history through the objects that helped make it.

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"Letters of the Century: America 1900-1999"

This spectacular collection by Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler of over 400 letters about famous people and important events will bring history to life. You will read through a treasure trove of first-person accounts, including letters from Charlie ChaplinFDR, Janis Joplin, Jerry Falwell, Cher, and much more.

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Team, ThoughtCo. "Top 10 Fun Books for History Lovers." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). Top 10 Fun Books for History Lovers. Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "Top 10 Fun Books for History Lovers." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 25, 2023).