Elizabeth Kostova – The Historian

Elizabeth Kostova – The Historian

Score: 8/10

About Liz

Average Goodreads rating: 3.76

Books sold: 3 mil.

Yale’s undergraduate.

Love for books inherited from her mother, a librarian, while love for Dracula awakened during a Slovenian trip by her father .“We traveled around and saw beautiful places, and at one point he began to tell me a wonderfully creepy Dracula story.”. (If you read the book you know we talking a bit of autobiography – goosebumps.) 

As a child, she listened to recordings of Bulgarian folk music and became interested in the tradition. So much so, that she married Bulgarian.

On average, people reading her books are 3 times more likely to write a review, than the rest of my sample. Every 12th person reading her book (and rating it in on goodreads) wrote a review too (talk about engagement), second only to Matt Haig where every 8th person reading him feels like writing a book about that too. (Lots of hate, of course, as 3 mil. sold from someone completely unheard-of is something people have difficulties to forgive.)



Ladies and gentleman I give you…


The Historian

Bookworm to bookworm, for sure. 

Every word in this books breathes love for books and what do they embody.

It really is as if you have mixed some Dan Brown (with his ability to mix facts with fiction and making you want to go see places), add some Paulo Coelho (when his mysticism isn’t too go-change-yourlife-tomorrow-outthere) with a dose of femininity (would help myself with J.K. Rowling, but I can’t, I don’t use J.K. to just help myself!) with want to actually help Bram Stoker in his effort. (I applaud her for not bashing him, as many of a lesser people would, and did.)

She is one of us. You can feel that. Originally, I meant it as probably the only complaint I could raise against this author, that she is just not Salinger, Heller, Tolkien, J.K. or anybody from the GOATS section of your library, but on second thought I love her even more for that. She is a book lover who wrote a book she would want to read. And you being a bookworm too, will want to read it. You will not HAVE to read it, you will want to read it…

Also, do you know how you always think of Romania when considering some hiking trip? And how you always, when someone mentions monasteries think of Bulgaria and not Nepal, or Spain? Or when someone talks city where great religious battles were fought you immediately think of Constantinople or Istanbul and not Jerusalem? Do you, also, know how you always know that it is actually the same city when they use those names or Tsargrad

And how is it that there is no blockbuster Kingdom of Heaven-type movie about Istanbul?

Plot of this book unfolds on historical events as interesting as anything from Roman, Ancient Greek, Enlightenment, or what-is-your-favorite-historical-era in places as beautiful as any you can think of.

Let me just leave these pictures in here for you to absorb and pretend that they are not related to the story, so I don’t get accused of spoiling anything for you.

(…it might be wise to visit city like Sofia. And let me just say it, not because I have been there, but because I enjoy feeling terribly smart about this pun.)

Also, this is a great great gift for a 14-16 years old girl, who likes to read. (And thus naturally, isn’t just a trendfollower, but is capable of appreciate something her classmates don’t talk about.)


Favorite line:

“At first I thought I would study literature. Then, however, I realized I loved true stories even better than imaginary ones.” 


(Main character on becoming historian…Makes you think…)

Project Details

Skills : 8/10, Books

Configure in "Appearance" => "Customise" => "Footer" YES, this is left in here on purpose, so you know we are not perfect either. #approachable