Sarah Gainham Bibliography Definition


1derblitz109First Message
Sep 2, 2006, 9:56pm

Anyone have any good WWII fiction books to recommend?


Sep 3, 2006, 1:26pm

I would also love some good recommendations. But I have one on my wish list that I'm anxiously awaiting. The Rising Tide by Jeff Shaara will be released in November. I've enjoyed a couple of his books from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and I expect this one to be good.


Sep 3, 2006, 4:50pm

It's marked as a young adult book, but I loved The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I truly think it's one of the best books I've ever read, and I would recomend it to anyone. It takes place in Germany during WW II.


Sep 3, 2006, 5:25pm

Black Cross by Greg Iles.


Sep 4, 2006, 1:51am

I recently read Mary Doria Russell's A Thread of Grace, which takes place in Italy toward the end of the war. She has a wonderful way of making her characters so real you can almost reach out and touch them, and the novel deals with an interesting and little-known episode, when the Italians (officially allied with Germany) defied the Nazis to shelter a large number of Jews, both Italian and from elsewhere, in the countryside. My only criticism is there were a few too many characters to easily keep track of; a writer of lesser skills wouldn't have been able to pull it off.

Then, of course, there is Leon Uris's classic Exodus, which deals with the aftermath.


Sep 4, 2006, 1:58am

On the off-chance that you read German, I'd highly recommend the novel Stella Termogen by Utta Danella. I haven't got it catalogued yet, but it shows what the war was like for a young German woman. The book starts a bit slowly, because it begins with Stella's birth and tells her life story through the aftermath of the war. It's a very different and interesting perspective and an absorbing novel. I don't know if it's been translated into English.


Sep 4, 2006, 12:11pm

I also enjoyed The Reader by Bernard Schlink..I think it was set at the end of the war in Germany. It has been awhile. A Woman in Berlin reads like fiction but it is non fiction...that one has stayed with me...a woman's survival in Berlin...and the Russians got there first.


12Doug1943First Message
Sep 5, 2006, 3:18pm

I highly recommend Len Deighton's Bomber. Deighton normally writes schlock Cold War fiction, but this book is outstanding. It is about a Lancaster raid that goes off course and hits the wrong town. To write the book, the author did years of research, talking to bomber crew, ground crew, German night fighter pilots, German anti-aircraft crew and German emergency services. The characters are extremely real, and the technical information is first class.


Sep 5, 2006, 7:51pm

I love Book Thief and I also really liked Madonnas of Leningrad. I have heard a lot about The Remains of the Day, but haven't read it yet.


15TheStatutoryApeFirst Message
Sep 5, 2006, 9:55pm

Not sure if it's the sort of thing you are looking for but The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick is a 'What if the Allies lost WWII' book. The story itself and the characters are a bit quirky. Definitely not a war novel. Takes place in a US that is half German occupied territory and half Japanese occupied territory. The plot itself revolves around a banned book which is a 'What if the Allies won WWII' book. ha

There is a really trash spy novel called They Used Dark Forces by Dennis Wheatley. It's actually a Spy/Occult novel based in WWII and is pretty bad but I found the steriotypical pulp novel aspect to be a bit entertaining personally.


17tubi11First Message
Sep 7, 2006, 12:07am

The only one that comes to mind now is The Forger by Paul Watkins. It is about an American who comes to Paris in the 1930's to study painting, and gets involved in an elaborate and dangerous scam to defraud the Nazis. I enjoyed it very much.


21philipivanFirst Message
Sep 8, 2006, 3:08pm

Jackdaws by Ken Follett is a very exciting read about a British women who worked as saboteurs behind enemy lines in France. It's may not be "great literature", but I found myself worrying about what would happen to the characters as I was falling asleep at night.


Sep 8, 2006, 3:16pm

Jackdaws by Ken Follett is a very exciting read about a British women who worked as saboteurs behind enemy lines in France. It's may not be "great literature", but I found myself worrying about what would happen to the characters as I was falling asleep at night.


Edited: Sep 11, 2006, 8:51am

Terribly sorry, this is WWI, but such a good book I can't help myself - A long, Long Way by Sebastian Barry. No matter what I read about war I always wonder what the experience was really like. This novel seems to comes closest to describing the experience of a soldier.


26karen_oFirst Message
Sep 17, 2006, 9:30pm

I second the nominations for The Book Thief and A Thread of Grace; the first because it's one of the best books I've read this year and the second because I hadn't previously been aware of the actions of Italian citizens during the war.

A book that was recently favorably reviewed in one of the local (Denver) papers was Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery. My library doesn't even have it yet, though, so I can't tell you if it's any good.

And finally, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Scott Turow's Ordinary Heroes.


Sep 19, 2006, 8:10pm

I recently read Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks and really enjoyed it. It's the story of a woman who is in love with a pilot and ends up getting sent to France as a messenger and stays to try to find him. It's a very vivid tale about the resistance and what life was like - the lack of food, fuel, and the general feeling of being caught in the middle and not knowing where your loyalties lie. I also just finished The Blue Noon by Robert Ryan which is in a similar vein. Both talk about the resistance and covert operations in France. Blue Noon is very carefully based on a true story and many characters that are mentioned are well known people Malcom Muggeridge and Anthony (Airey) Neave to mention a few. So there is a lot of history interwoven with the fiction. Both were entralling for me because I am more interested in the human side of the war rather than the political, military or philisophical side. I read to find out what the average person was experiencing during those years. My parents met during the war, and both passed away recently so I am looking for answers to some of the questions that I never thought to ask until it was too late.


28novascotia32First Message
Sep 19, 2006, 10:19pm

I just read "The Tiger Claw" by Shauna Singh Baldwin. The novel is inspired by Noor Khan - a spy who worked again the Nazi in occupied France.
Highly recommended.


Sep 20, 2006, 8:28pm

Woo Hoo, I made up a list of all the books that you guys mentioned and took it to the Second Hand bookstore today. I scored quite a few. Interestingly, all the titles that I found were in the section marked "Spy/War" - an area I would never have wandered into otherwise. But when I asked the owner where to look, that's where he sent me. Fortunately, it's one of the few sections that is sorted by Author Name so my list was in that order and I was able to whip through it in not too much time at all. If anyone wants a copy of my list either in Word format or Excel or just as a text file, just email me and I'll send you a copy. It was very helpful to have the whole list in front of me. I plan on keeping it updated as more recommendations come in, because it's an area that I will really want to do some research in. Now the decision is, which one to start on first!! I came out of there with two grocery bags full so I have plenty to choose from. Thanks for all the recommendations!!


Sep 21, 2006, 8:21pm

In terms of WWII:
“The Living and the Dead" by Konstantin Simonov
"Life and Fate" by Vasily Grossman
"Young Lions" by Irwin Shaw
"The Triumph and the Glory" Steven E. Rustad (my favorite by far)
"Star" by E. Kazakevich
"Double Cross Blind" by Joel Ross
The first two are some of the best novels published about WWII from the Eastern Front perspective, the second being considered by some to have been THE best novel to come out of WWII. My person favorite, as noted, is Rustad's book which incorporats points of view from the Americans, Germans, Brits, and Soviets. The others are all worth reading at least once. "Star" was made into a movie by the Russians, both versions (somewhat different ending in the movie) are good.


3118rabbitFirst Message
Sep 23, 2006, 12:51pm

I really thought "WAR A History" by Elsa Morante was
great book on how one individual survives in facist
Italy during WW11. The book is an English translation
from the original Italian.


33njloofbourrowFirst Message
Edited: Sep 24, 2006, 12:29pm

I liked Robert Harris' Enigma a lot -- a mystery set within the ranks of the codebreakers in WWII. They made a pretty good movie out of that one too.

Harris also wrote Fatherland, which is really post-WWII speculative fiction, but also quite good.


Edited: Oct 19, 2006, 5:45pm

Curzio Malaparte's 'Kaputt' which was written during the war--Malaparte was a correspondent for the Corriere dela Sera covers much of the German campaigns into Russia and Yugoslavia. It also touches on the nazi occupation of Poland and Finnish-Soviet war. Malaparte's book is very eye opening--he was no fan of the Nazi's. It's very elegant prose masks some very disturbing scenes of carnage and depravity. It's considered as fiction but it's more fictionalized. He followed it up with a sequel 'The skin' by which time he had joined up with the American army moving northward through Italy.

James Jones--thin red line.
Lothar gunther Buchheim's--Das Boot
Currently reading Willi Heinrich's--Cross of Iron and that is very good.
Claude Simon's--Flanders Road.
W.S. Kuniczak's--thousand hour day (about the German invasion of Poland from a Polish perspective) and there's a sequel to that 'The March'.
Could throw in Louis Ferdinand Celine's trilogy of novels--Castle to Castle, North, Rigodoon--which are all highly objective but it does give a number of interesting and usually very humorously blackened portraits of many of the more prominent French Vichy figures.
Mailer's--Naked and the Dead as someone mentioned and also have read one of Furst's novels (also mentioned above) but it was very good.
Almost forgot Paul West's--Very rich hours of Count Von Stauffenberg--which details very horrifically the plot of German Officers to assassinate Hitler--and that is a really disturbing book.


36MikeyHorseHeadFirst Message
Sep 27, 2006, 10:37pm

This message has been deleted by its author.


Sep 30, 2006, 9:13pm

I've been reading (very slowly as there's a lot of skipping back and forth between characters as their lives slowly converge) Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy and chanced upon a copy of A Woman in Berlin which I'm itching to read. I just have so many books in my "to be read" pile right now after taking the list compiled from the recommendations of everyone here to the second hand bookstore. I'm trying not to start a different book until I've finished the one I'm on, but Gone to Soldiers takes a bit more concentration than I realized when I began. It starts out like several different stories but then you realize that peripheral characters in each story appear in another and then you see how they are all linked together. I ended up going back and skimming sections I'd already read for bits I missed the first time through. But so far it's very good. I'll post my final opinion when I'm done.


Oct 4, 2006, 12:58pm

Also for WWII, there is The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, Atonement, by Ian McEwan, Memoirs of a Geisha (kind of), Five Quarters of the Orange. And, of course, Night.


Oct 4, 2006, 9:40pm

Finished Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy. I enjoyed it, but it got much darker than I expected, based on the way it began. Also, the ending kind of left me feeling that the book could have had a few more chapters. I don't know why, but it felt like each character's story was so unfinished. Of course probably because they were unfinished. But usually novels at least make you feel like you haven't lost the last 100 pages or so. But I got what I wanted from it, which was a description of what the average person _might_ have been through during the war. This book covered a lot of area since it was both North America, Europe and the Eastern Front. The war against Japan was a part of the war that I'd never read much about but now am interested. Sounded like a horrendous place to have served. Now I understand the bias so many of my parent's contemporaries had against Japanese cars when they first came on the market. And I was made aware that once the Jewish survivors were freed from the camps, many still were not citizens of any country. Their battles were far from over once they'd survived.
Anyway, I'd recommend it, but allow yourself plenty of time to keep all the different plots organized in your head.


Oct 7, 2006, 7:31am

I don't often make statements like this but here we go - Everyone MUST read A Woman in Berlin. It's an easy, fast read but you will feel sick at the end of it. It packs a powerful message about what things were like for women during the war. I expect this behavior happened wherever the front line soldiers (of any army) went and there were women and liquor. The hopelessness and fear and powerlessness of these people is heartrending. And they are also finding out for the first time about the death camps and what their countrymen did with all the Jews and prisoners. Very enlightening and everyone interested in WWII needs to read this. I can't think of how many women in how many countries were overrun like this. I know Estonia took a hard hit between the Germans and the Russians the power went back and forth. I'm sure loyalties went to those that used the least brutality for all of them behaved brutally toward their captives. Oh what an evil world we live in sometimes. It never ceases to shock me. But maybe I look for the best in everyone and don't usually think badly of any group. So the behavior described in this book really shocked me more than anything.


Edited: Oct 7, 2006, 5:15pm

Another one, that I'm reading now, is Thomas Mann's Faustus. The Faust story seems one of the perfect classics for Germany's greatest 20th century writer to be retelling during the war.


43zerkaloFirst Message
Oct 7, 2006, 5:23pm

Dear derblitz109,

A stunning semi-fictional WWII book is Kaputt by Curzio Malaparte. It's really top of the bill, and I can tell, for I have read numerous books on this subject.



Oct 9, 2006, 9:48pm

Amen warbrideslass...A Woman in Berlin is a haunting look at war through the eyes of a woman who could be me.


Oct 10, 2006, 9:32am

warbrideslass - After your recommendation of A Woman in Berlin, I put it on hold - I'm picking it up today.


Oct 14, 2006, 11:11am

Re: Quartzite's recommendation of Helen MacInnes. Really enjoyed her books and if I were to reread one it would probably be While Still We Live.

Another author who wrote in the years following 1945 (and drawing heavily on his own experiences for some) was Nevil Shute. Three that really stand out for me are The Legacy aka A Town Like Alice, Pied Piper, and the Chequer Board. The Legacy deals, in its first half, with some women who were prisoners of the Japanese in Malaya and is based on an actual incident. Pied Piper is set in France in the summer of 1940 and concerns an elderly Englishman trying to get home along with some children he agreed to take with him.

A more recent book is Sentimental Journey by Jill Barnett. While Ms. Barnett is primarily known for her romances, this book was written to honor her father and to try to tell about the men and women who lived through his time and fought his war. In reading it I felt more connected to my parents' generation. While the characters fall in love as well as fight a war, Sentimental Journey is primarily about the characters getting on with their jobs and surviving as best they can.


47spec1963First Message
Edited: Oct 18, 2006, 5:00pm

I started reading Billy Boyle, A World War II Mystery, by James R. Benn. The author's voice is intreguing and the story is interesting. Based on the first few chapters I recommend it.

“Once an Eagle” is one of the very best novels I’ve ever read. It covers much of the 20th century and describes the “coming-of-age” of a young man who begins his military career in WW I and concludes it in Vietnam. Meyer explores important questions of honor and integrity in the military in war and peace.

I will list several more novels below that I have read and enjoyed, as well as a couple of non-fiction books.

“Piece of Cake” by Derek Robinson describes the air war in the early years of WW II. The novel follows a group of RAF pilots during the “Phony War” in France, the evacuation from France, and the Battle of Britain. It explores how individuals cope with the terror of combat.

“Bomber” by Len Deighton describes one day in the Battle of the Ruhr from the perspective of a RAF bomber crew, a German fighter pilot, and a German officer charged with antiaircraft defenses of the Ruhr. This description brings the battle down to a struggle between individuals rather than between faceless enemies.

“The Magic Army” by Leslie Thomas tells the story of the buildup of US forces in England between January and June of 1944. Much of the story turns on the displacement of Brits from farms and villages to make way for the Yanks – and the attitudes spawned on both sides by this American invasion.

In the category of non-fiction I suggest several memoirs that read almost like novels:

“With the Old Breed” by E. B. Sledge describes the author’s experiences as a marine in some of the tough island battles of the Pacific through the battle of Okinawa.

“Goodbye, Darkness” is the personal experiences of a great story teller, William Manchester, as a Marine rifleman. It is one man’s attempt to understand the meaning of war.

“The Brereton Diaries” follow Lewis Brereton’s experiences from the fall of the Philippines through the defense of Australia to the building of an American combat force in India, American assistance to the Brits in the defense of Egypt, and, finally, Overlord. Hard to believe that one man could be in so many critical areas during one war, but Brereton was there.

Finally, “Reach for the Sky” by Paul Brickhill is the memoir of Douglas Bader, a RAF pilot who lost both of his legs in an aircraft crash in the late 1930’s, yet went on to fly and fight in the Battle of Britain. Inspiring.


Oct 18, 2006, 8:36pm

I think your last paragraph summs up what I am trying to do in my reading and that is to "feel more connected to my parents' war". Both my parents died in the beginning of this year and they would have been married 61 years on May 10 which was the day of my Dad's funeral. He had said just after my mom died that it would be the first year they wouldn't be together on their anniversary. They ended up together anyway. They married just a few days after the war ended, so their wedding was pretty low scale. I read on a war brides list recently where Barbara Cartland gathered as many wedding dresses as she could and let them out for 1 pound a day so that war brides could have a wedding gown. My Mom got married in a suit but I know a few years later, my aunt was getting married and rationing was still so strict that she had to get a wedding gown sent from Canada. My mom sent it to her and she was thrilled to have it as so many brides still could not buy silk or nylon(which was the closest synthetic to silk at the time) clothing. Those were the most common fabrics used for bridal gowns.


Oct 19, 2006, 4:13pm

I like this thread; the specificity of it! "Historical fiction" is so vast - covering...well...all of history, right? I would recommend if anyone has a specific time period they enjoy and would like recommendations, they start a new topic...

The list for WWII is really endless..from Herman Wouk,'s Winds of War, Caine MutinyPierre Boulle's The Bridge Over the River Kwai and one of my favs...The Dirty Dozen which my parents took away from me (inappropriate for young girls, but I finished it the next time they went grocery shopping) to Martin Booth's Hiroshima Joe and Angela Huth's Land Girls to Sarah Waters' Night Watch. I think the best WWII books I've read in the last couple of years are Thread of Grace and Night Watch. Mary Doria Russell will tell you that she used some of Rumsfeld's words in that book...guess for which character?


50mjwenselFirst Message
Oct 19, 2006, 5:09pm

I just finished one that was really interesting, but not truely historical, Days of Infamy by Harry Turtledove. It's alternate history of WWII touching on what would have happened to Hawaii if Japan had actually invaded. It certainly puts a new twist on the history of Pearl Harbor, by having Americans subjugated by the Japanese.


Oct 24, 2006, 2:11am

One of my favourites is an unusual one focusing on a group of children on the outskirts of London during the war. It is Spies by Michael Frayn. It captures the innocence, adventure and mystery of youth in an evocative manner.


54lalyposadaFirst Message
Nov 24, 2006, 12:22pm

I wonder why nobody mentions Catch 22.


55ariadne7First Message
Nov 24, 2006, 3:13pm

As far as I am concerned some of my favorite books about WW2 are as follows-
Requiem for a Wren by Nevil Shute
The Blue Bicycle by Regina Deforge
Night Falls on the City by Sarah Gainham
and also two other authors are Catherine Gaskin and Catherine Gavin.
Hope this helps.


Nov 24, 2006, 4:40pm

I just finished reading Restless by William Boyd. Very interesting book with several twists. Written by a man, the novel tells the story of two women, mother and daughter. Author effectively moves back and forth between 1941 and 1975, letting the mother's story (she was a British spy in US in 1941) unfold for the daughter. Drama builds from beginning to end.


57LinMaFirst Message
Nov 28, 2006, 8:32pm

Try The Unknown Soldier by Väinö Linna. It gives the perspective of ordinary finnish soldiers; when it was first published in 1954, Linna was criticized for the lack of a higher meaning and noble sacrifice - the main characters were too grubby, ignorant and realistic for a "proper war book".


Jan 2, 2007, 11:14pm

The boy in the Striped Pajamas is the most powerful YA book about the Holocaust that I have read in ages.


Jan 3, 2007, 2:19pm

I recommend A Midnight Clear by William Wharton. It's a very human story about soldiers (American and German) who become isolated from officers, and take the opportunity to come to terms with each other. But things go wrong. It was also made into a very good movie.


Edited: Jan 5, 2007, 9:16am

Not fiction, but memoirs are two forgotten works I stumbled across several years ago. I apologize for forgetting the authors' names but:
Three Came Back - a young couple (he's with the British embassy, she's American) and their very young son are trapped in Singapore (or Burma) when the Japanese invade. They are interned for the rest of the war. Very interesting and well written.

The Walls Came Tumbling Down - a young Dutch woman has been in a German detention camp for political prisioners when the war ends and makes her way back home. The tail end of the war and very good.


Jan 5, 2007, 9:24am

Historical Fiction, right? So I'll leave out the alternate history suggestions.
W.E.B. Griffin's Brotherhood of War, Corps, and other WWII based Military Fiction.
Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir series, German P.I. pre-WWII, WWII, and post-WWII series.
James Webb - The Emperor's General - post WWII in Japan.


Jan 21, 2007, 2:10pm

Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate, is the classic epic novel of WWII Russia. It centers on the life in totalitarian Stalinist Soviet Russia, and in particular on the Battle of Stalingrad.

The tale is unrelentingly grim. Nearly every character dies, is betrayed to the Soviet authorities, or simply suffers - and no ordinary suffering, but genuine Slavic deprivation. Political betrayal runs rampant across every class of Stalinist Soviet society with mind-boggling inefficiency.

Grossman recreates the frustration of not knowing why one has been accused of infidelity to the Revolution. Often the victim doesn't know by whom or of what they have been accused.

Grossman somehow imagined that his book would be published in the Soviet Union - as he proposed during the thaw under Nikita Khrushchev. Instead, while Grossman was not molested, his book was taken "under arrest" by the KGB in 1961. Fortunately, Grossman kept two undeclared copies that were smuggled out to the West in 1980 and published in 1985.


Jan 21, 2007, 2:38pm

I just read Two O'Clock Eastern Wartime by John Dunning, which is something a bit different on the WWII front, set in the U.S. at a New Jersey radio station and looking at the the role of radio and domestic espionage.


Jan 22, 2007, 2:34pm

I highly recommend Snow Falling in Cedars by David Guterson. Although the main story line concerns a post-WWII murder trial, flashbacks to the war years occupy much of the narrative. The scenes set in a Japanese-American internment camp and the Pacific theater are especially memorable. And the prose is impressive in its own right.


Feb 4, 2007, 12:44pm

Although not directly about the war, Zoli by Colum McCann follows the life of a gypsy poetess, much of it set around and after WWII in Slovakia, Czechoslavia and Austria. I had not read much about the Romi people and here is a very well-crafted, vivid story.


Feb 4, 2007, 2:25pm

Has anyone read Leon Uris's QB VII? It's partly a legal thriller set after the war in London where a well-respected doctor sues an Israeli war hero for slander for accusing him of war crimes committed in a death camp. The testimony at the trial brings to light with devastating clarity Dr. Kelno's part in the horror of the Holocaust, and the ending is unforgettable. I read it decades ago and have never quite gotten over it.


Edited: Feb 5, 2007, 7:03am

Message 66: avaland I had not read much about the Romi people and here is a very well-crafted, vivid story.

avaland, if you're interested in the topic, Fires in the Dark is also really good. It deals with the Roma and the Holocaust (among other things - it's almost 500 pages.)


Feb 12, 2007, 11:50pm

Hi Folks,
I was so impressed with the volume of book recommendations on this list, that I decided to compile a list. I researched and filled in almost all the missing information. Just a couple of ?? where I couldn't find the complete info. In all, there are over 140 titles, some recommendations are for collections or series so they count for more than one. I've saved this in both Excel format and as a Word Table. If anyone would like a copy, send me your email addy, and I'll send you what I have. This has been so helpful for me when I go to my local second hand bookstore which is organized by author lastname. I can scan through the shelves with my list in hand and know if I've found a winner. This list is up to date as of the last post on Feb. 5th and I intend to keep it up because it was a bit of a task to confirm all the titles in one go. Enjoy!!


Feb 13, 2007, 8:45am

warbridelass...great idea. please send me a copy at Thanks.


Edited: Mar 22, 2007, 11:59am

The best WWII novel I've ever read is The Berkut by Joseph Heywood. I can do no better than quote my own review here: "This is my very favorite WWII novel. The plot is ingenious and the ending will amaze, astonish, and shock you. The climax of the book provides a most satisfying ending--if only Hitler had received his comeuppance as he does here. It's too bad that no one ever made a movie out of this book". BTW, I'm new at this, so I have a question. I assume the touchstone checkmark is for popularity, but how is it assigned?


Mar 22, 2007, 6:55pm

Jaime638: The checkmark next to a touchstone author or title means that you have that author/title listed in your library.


75ayaeckelFirst Message
Edited: Mar 22, 2007, 6:57pm

try guy sajer's forgotten soldier-an alsatian/german's memoir of the eastern front


Edited: Mar 24, 2007, 7:40pm

Twilight of Courage By Brock & Bodie Thoene is an excellent one, set at the time of Dunkirk and the invasion of France.

I'm also quite fond of Anatomy of a Battle by Kenneth Macksey which is a fictional accounting of a plausible battalion-sized battle to show how small unit combats played out during the period.


78lthatchFirst Message
Mar 29, 2007, 2:20pm

I read an editor's copy of an outstanding WWII book, called Autumn Fool by Michael D'Emilio. It's a mix of historical fiction, a love story and a period piece that brilliantly depicts a soldier's disillusion upon returning to his NJ home after the war. It should be available soon on


Apr 3, 2007, 1:36am

Two favourites read many years ago were Mila 18 by Leon Uris (Warsaw Ghetto) & HMS Ulysses by Alistair MacLean.
I notice Forgotten Soldier has been mentioned but I think there is still some dispute over whether this is fiction or fact!
War of the Rats by David Robbins (about Stalingrad - I think Enemy at the Gates was based on this). For an Australian story (and they were the first to inflict a defeat on both the Japs & the Germans on land) try Twenty Thousand Thieves by Eric Lambert, about Tobruk.
I will also second A Piece of Cake by David Robinson - this really shocked me when I read it.
Of course, as the son of a tanker with the Guards Armoured Division, I consider A Bridge Too Far as a work of fiction but I don't think it's very well written either so I won't recommend it. :)


Apr 4, 2007, 4:14pm

Derblitz109: When I discovered them thirty years ago I became completely immersed in Herman Wouk's The Winds Of War and War And Remembrance. Stopped everything and just read and read and read.


Apr 4, 2007, 4:41pm

I really enjoyed Five Past Midnight by James Thayer. I read it a long time ago and have since "misplaced" my copy.


Apr 6, 2007, 9:39pm

I was captivated and deeply moved by Louis de Bernieres' tragi-comic Captain Corelli's Mandolin, the setting of which is the Greek Island of Cephallonia during the Italian occupation in World War Two.

Additionally, I cherish Joseph Heller's Catch-22.


85foxyflaresFirst Message
Apr 12, 2007, 12:26pm

Small Island by Andrea Levy. Such a great book with so many individual voices and separate stories. Very clever and moving.


Apr 12, 2007, 1:08pm

#s 84 & 85 - I have both those on my shelf waiting to be read. Hearing you guys speak so highly of them makes me a little more anxious to get to them sooner, rather than later!


Apr 27, 2007, 1:52am

I'm currently about half-way through The Separation by Christopher Priest and have to say it is excellent - I can definitely recommend this one - especially if it continues to be as good as it has been so far!


Apr 27, 2007, 10:22am

Lately I've really enjoyed exploring forgotten corners of the war. I really enjoyed Small Island by Andrea Levy, the story of Jamaican soldiers who fought in the RAF and then discovered they were unwelcome in post-war Britain. I also really enjoyed An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro. I don't think it's quite as well-written as some of his other stuff, but it's the only novel I've read to consider the war from the Japanese perspective.


May 14, 2007, 2:54pm

I'm a big fan of When the Emperor was Divine, by Julie Otsuka which tells the story of a Japanese-American family put in to an American internment camp. It is a short read, but emotionally powerful and tells the story of the war on the homefront.


May 19, 2007, 8:39pm

I also enjoyed When the Emperor was Divine....forgotten about it...thanks for the reminder.


May 20, 2007, 9:43am

This message has been deleted by its author.


May 20, 2007, 3:13pm

From a woman's perspective, the following:
Night falls on the city a woman hides her Jewish husband during the Nazi occupation of Vienna
Rumors of Peace a girl in California comes of age during WW2
Five quarters of the orange a mother & daughter are linked in the death of an occupying German soldier & the anger of their neighbors for the retribution that follows
Resistance a Frenchwoman aids in the escape of downed American aviator
The heat of the day
2 women from different classes survive the London blitz.


May 22, 2007, 6:13am

The Diary of Anne Frank.
The Garden of the Finzi-Continis.
In both, the Nazis loom, but rarely appear. Smoke in the distance.

Better weather is FINALLY here–so we can finally enjoy the great outdoors…Whether you’re planning a trip to a new and exotic location, swimming at the municipal pool, revisiting your favorite haunts or prefer armchair traveling on your porch with an iced tea, chances are we have what you’re looking for (as well as a few surprises).

The Parks and Recreation display in Reference has maps, pamphlets, guides, books, and videos–most of which are available for check-out–on places like St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the U.S.A.; the Northwest’s famous Pacific Crest Trail where one can hike or backpack all or parts of the trail from Mexico to Canada; pedal along your favorite Illinois bike path; camp, surf, swim, or beach-comb along the Pacific coastline of Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington, Canada or Alaska; follow in the footsteps of Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark who trekked 8000 miles in 28 months; sign-up for the rafting-ride-of-a-lifetime along the Snake River; or read Aldo Leopold’s classic A Sand County Almanac whose book begins with “There are those who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.”

This display highlights only a fraction of what’s available to you in our collection. Happy trails and happy summer!

Book Stacks E 158 .C827 2001America’s national scenic trails / by Kathleen Ann Cordes.
Book Stacks F 532.I5 S35 2013Dreams of duneland: a pictorial history of the Indiana Dunes Region / Kenneth J. Schoon.
Book Stacks F 536 .D49xDirectory of Illinois museums: including historical, cultural and scientific agencies.
Book Stacks F 539.3 .P64 2012Oddball Illinois: a guide to 450 really strange places / Jerome Pohlen.
Book Stacks F 547.J2 M637 1954xFlowering plants and ferns of Giant City State Park / by Robert H. Mohlenbrock.
Book Stacks F 547.L3 C74 2002xStarved Rock State Park: the work of the CCC along the I & M Canal / Dennis H. Cremin, Charlene Giardina.
Book Stacks F 547.L3 S25Starved Rock State Park and its environs / by Carl O. Sauer, Gilbert H. Cady and Henry C. Cowles.
Book Stacks F 548.18 .F57 1987Country walks near Chicago / by Alan Fisher.
Book Stacks F 548.18 .F7625Frommer’s Chicago with kids.
Book Stacks F 548.18 .T47 2004xChicago : off the beaten path / Cliff Terry.
Book Stacks F 548.37 .C495 2007xChicago / edited by Suzanne Lander.
Book Stacks F 782.R59 F73 2013Making Rocky Mountain National Park: the environmental history of an American treasure / Jerry J. Frank.
Book Stacks F 852.3 .D47 2000Guide to America’s outdoors. Pacific Northwest / by Bob Devine.


Book Stacks G 1105 .N4 2000National geographic atlas of natural America.
Book Stacks GV 1045.5.M55 S44 1995Mountain biker’s guide to the Midwest: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois / Dave Shepherd.
Book Stacks GV 174 .D87 1999xWilderness within: reflections on leisure and life / Daniel L. Dustin.
Book Stacks GV 182 .J66 2005xInvention of the park: recreational landscapes from the Garden of Eden to Disney’s Magic Kingdom / Karen R. Jones and John Wills.
Book Stacks GV 191.4 .J46 1995Outdoor recreation in America / Clayne R. Jensen.
Book Stacks GV 199.42.I3 P67 2009Hiking Illinois / Susan L. Post.
Book Stacks GV 199.42.I32 I454 1998Hiking & biking the I & M Canal National Heritage Corridor / by Jim Hochgesang.
Book Stacks GV 199.42.I6 M34 2000Hiking Indiana / Sally McKinney.
Book Stacks GV 199.42.M82 S757 2012Best hikes near St. Louis / JD Tanner and Emily Ressler-Tanner.
Book Stacks GV 53 .L54 2006America’s boardwalks: from Coney Island to California / James Lilliefors.

Book Stacks QE 105 .W6 1997Geology underfoot in Illinois / Raymond Wiggers.
Book Stacks QE 106.I34 G85 2004xGuide to the Illinois Caverns State Natural Area / Samuel V. Panno [and others].
Book Stacks QH 105.F6 B66 2002Book of the Everglades / edited by Susan Cerulean.
Book Stacks QH 105.I3 A53 1997Nature of Chicago / Isabel S. Abrams.
Book Stacks QH 105.M55 S48 2996Smithsonian guides to natural America. The Northern Plains– Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota / text, Lansing Shepard.
Book Stacks QH 105.N7 D39 2007Field guide to the natural world of New York City / Leslie Day.
Book Stacks QH 75 .D83 2011Authenticity in nature: making choices about the naturalness of ecosystems / Nigel Dudley.
Book Stacks QH 76 .M53 2009Wilderness in national parks: playground or preserve / John C. Miles.
Book Stacks QH 76.5.I5 Z98 2002Guide to Illinois nature centers & interpretive trails / Walter G. Zyznieuski and George S. Zyznieuski.
Book Stacks QH 81 .L56 1989x


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