If you’re a fan of history and love to read, then you know that not all historical non-fiction books are created equal. Some can be dry and tedious, making it a chore to get through them, while others read like page-turning novels, keeping you on the edge of your seat. In this article, we have compiled a list of five historical non-fiction books that are sure to captivate your attention and keep you engaged until the very last page.

1. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

This book tells the true story of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and the serial killer who used the fair as a backdrop for his gruesome crimes. Erik Larson masterfully weaves together the stories of the architects and planners behind the fair with the chilling tale of H.H. Holmes, a charismatic doctor who lured his victims into his hotel and murdered them.

“The Devil in the White City” reads like a thriller, with suspenseful twists that keep you guessing until the end. Larson’s meticulous research and attention to detail make the historical setting come alive, transporting the reader back to the turn of the century.

2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

This book tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor African American woman whose cancer cells were taken without her knowledge and used for scientific research. Rebecca Skloot explores the ethical issues surrounding the use of Henrietta’s cells, as well as the impact they had on modern medicine.

Skloot’s narrative style is engaging and personal, making the story of Henrietta Lacks relatable and emotional. The book provides insights into the history of medical research and the role that African Americans played in advancing scientific knowledge.

3. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

This book tells the story of William E. Dodd, the US ambassador to Germany in the years leading up to World War II. Erik Larson paints a vivid picture of Nazi Germany and the rise of Hitler, as seen through the eyes of an American diplomat and his family.

“In the Garden of Beasts” reads like a suspenseful thriller, with moments of tension and danger as the Dodds navigate the political climate of Germany. Larson’s research is impeccable, and his ability to bring history to life is unparalleled.

4. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

This book tells the story of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma and the murders that occurred in the 1920s as the tribe became wealthy from oil reserves on their land. David Grann exposes the corruption and greed that led to the murders, as well as the efforts of law enforcement to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“Killers of the Flower Moon” reads like a mystery novel, with twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the end. Grann’s research into the Osage tribe and the events surrounding the murders is extensive, making the historical setting come alive.

5. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

This book tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who becomes a prisoner of war during World War II. Laura Hillenbrand vividly describes Zamperini’s experiences as a POW, including the brutal treatment he endured at the hands of his captors.

“Unbroken” reads like a heroic epic, with Zamperini’s story of survival and resilience inspiring and uplifting. Hillenbrand’s research and attention to detail make the historical setting come alive, transporting the reader back to the Pacific theater of World War II.

These historical non-fiction books are sure to captivate your attention and keep you engaged from start to finish. By combining meticulous research with engaging narratives, these books read like riveting novels, making history come alive in a way that is both informative and entertaining. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a good read, these books are sure to satisfy.