A Book Based on a True Story
A book based on a true story is the next reading challenge category. This was a really easy category for me as I have read a lot of the books that I have listed below. I hadn't realised there were so many books written that have either drawn on the author's personal experiences or have been based on well-known facts that have happened in history. The amount of 'fiction' books based on World War two is crazy. So I apologise that there are three included below, but they are iconic and very popular reads! I really hope you enjoy this category. I have picked The Tattooist of Auschwitz, for two reasons really. One it is based in the war, and I love these kinds of reads, and secondly, it was just so well advertised and recommended last year I just knew I had to work it into one of my reading categories somehow!
After The End by Clare MacKintosh
This isn't released until the 25th June; however, I received an ARC of this a few months back. It was absolutely heartbreaking and brilliant. It is very different from Clare MacKintosh's usual books but don't let any bad reviews based on this put you off! Clare and her husband went through similar trauma. Although this is about different people and completely fiction, it is based on her own experiences, so I thought it worth putting it in this reading category. See my review here:
Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. Only now they're facing the most important decision of their lives - and they don't agree. As the consequences of an impossible choice threaten to devastate them both, nothing will ever be the same again. But anything can happen after the end . . .
If I'd Known by Paige P. Horne
The best book I have read so far this year. I was in absolute tears at the end of it, even more so when you read the author's note at the end, explaining how much of it was based on a true story. See my review here:
Time is a thief they say, and if you’re not careful it’ll slip right past you, taking everything you hold dear in this world with it. It was the summer of 1972 when I first laid eyes on him. Cynthia Rose probably got more than she bargained for when she came to my door step asking to write about my story. Our story. To everyone else Travis Cole was just the bad boy, but to me he was the keeper of my heart and even as time aged us and miles kept us apart, my heart stayed his. Forever his.
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
This is Piper Kerman's true story about her time in prison. It was adapted for TV by Netflix in 2013 and will air it's final season this June. Kerman has said that the TV show veers away from her reality quite a bit in the later seasons. I've loved this series, and I'm gutted it is coming to an end. I will have to read the book once it's done to make the comparisons!
With her career, live-in boyfriend and loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the rebellious young woman who got mixed up with drug runners and delivered a suitcase of drug money to Europe over a decade ago. But when she least expects it, her reckless past catches up with her; convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at an infamous women's prison in Connecticut, Piper becomes inmate #11187-424. From her first strip search to her final release, she learns to navigate this strange world with its arbitrary rules and codes, its unpredictable, even dangerous relationships. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with tokens of generosity, hard truths and simple acts of acceptance. Now an original comedy-drama series from Netflix, Piper's story is a fascinating, heartbreaking and often hilarious insight into life on the inside.
Paranormal Intruder by Caroline Mitchell
This is about a poltergeist/ghost, so it is up to you whether you think this is based on a true story or not... See my review here:
The terrifying true story of a family in fear. An innocent family finds itself completely helpless against the sudden onset of paranormal activity in their quiet rural home. A knife embedded in a kitchen cupboard, crockery smashed by invisible hands, and blood-chilling growls emit from thin air. Caroline and her husband Neil search for answers as they try to protect their family from the unseen entity that seems determined to rip them apart. The biggest question looms over them like a dark cloud who is going to help us? There are emergency services for many things, but not of this nature. It might be easier to believe temporary insanity, if not for the vast amount of witnesses. Police, fire services, mediums, priests and investigators all become embroiled in the mystery. The family struggles to cope, and Caroline grows concerned for her husband’s failing health as he withdraws from the world. However, the entity has only just begun. Paranormal Intruder is the true storyof one family’s brave fight against an invisible entity. Described as one of the best documented cases of paranormal activity, this best selling book will stay with you long after you have finished reading it. To see more about this remarkable case, including pictures and evidence, visit and subscribe to www.caroline-writes.com
Shindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally
I haven't read this one yet, but it is my pick for the book about history or set in the past category.
In the shadow of Auschwitz, a flamboyant German industrialist grew into a living legend to the Jews of Cracow. He was a womaniser, a heavy drinker and a bon viveur, but to them he became a saviour. This is the extraordinary story of Oskar Schindler, who risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland and who was transformed by the war into a man with a mission, a compassionate angel of mercy.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
One of the most iconic tales of a girl in hiding during the Nazi regime. I have read this, but it was pre-reviews, so I don't have anything to share other than it is so moving and if you haven't read it then it most certainly must go on your bucket list of reads.
Among the most powerful accounts of the Nazi occupation, "The Diary of Anne Frank" chronicles the life of Anne Frank, a thirteen-year old girl fleeing her home in Amsterdam to go into hiding. Anne reveals the relationships between eight people living under miserable conditions: facing hunger, threat of discovery and the worst horrors the modern world had seen. In these pages, she grows up to be a young woman and a wise observer of human nature. She shares an unparalleled bond with her diary, which holds a detailed account of Anne's close relationship with her father, the lack of daughterly love for her mother, admiration for her sister's intelligence and closeness with her friend Peter. Anne Frank's account offers a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman who turns thoughtful and learns of the many terrors of the world.
The Note by Zoe Folbigg
Based on the author's real-life experience of meeting the love of her life on a train this is the debut novel for Zoe Folbigg. See my review here:
Love at first sight - based on the true story of one girl and her 'train man'... One very ordinary day, Maya Flowers sees a new commuter board her train to London, and suddenly the day isn't ordinary at all. Maya knows immediately and irrevocably that he is The One. Every day they go through the same routine; he with his head in a book and her dreaming of their happily-ever-after. But eventually, Maya plucks up the courage to give Train Man a note asking him out for a drink. And so begins a story of sliding doors, missed opportunities and finding happiness where you least expect it. Based on the true story that everyone is talking about, The Note is an uplifting, life-affirming reminder that taking a chance can change everything...
The Revenant by Michael Punke
I have been meaning to watch the film with Leonardo DiCaprio in it. I hadn't realised it was based on a book nor that it was based on a true story!
The novel that inspired the epic new movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. Hugh Glass isn’t afraid to die. He’s done it once already. Rocky Mountains, 1823 The trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is one of the most respected men in the company, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts Glass face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two men from the company are ordered to remain with him until his inevitable death. But, fearing an imminent attack, they abandon Glass, stripping him of his prized rifle and hatchet. As Glass watches the men flee, he is driven to survive by one all-consuming desire: revenge. With shocking grit and determination, he sets out on a three-thousand-mile journey across the harsh American frontier, to seek revenge on the men who betrayed him. The Revenant is a remarkable tale of obsession and the lengths that one man will go to for retribution.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
My pick for this category!
I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart. In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale - a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer - it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too. So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.
This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
I have this as one of my Modern Mrs Darcy challenge books to read. It was everywhere last year and won awards left right and centre!
Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you. Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn't – about life on and off the hospital ward.