Best Non-fiction War Books

List of most compelling nonfiction books about war.
1

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4.41 avg rating — 59,564 ratings
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2

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4.27 avg rating — 38,728 ratings
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3

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3.91 avg rating — 35,367 ratings
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4

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4.16 avg rating — 4,600 ratings
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5

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4.33 avg rating — 51,709 ratings
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6

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4.43 avg rating — 408,878 ratings
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7

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3.72 avg rating — 222 ratings
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8

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4.52 avg rating — 110 ratings
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9

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3.94 avg rating — 584 ratings
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10

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4.14 avg rating — 137 ratings
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11

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4.18 avg rating — 29,896 ratings
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12

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4.18 avg rating — 31,809 ratings
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13

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4.28 avg rating — 17,470 ratings
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14

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3.87 avg rating — 6,636 ratings
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15

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3.81 avg rating — 733 ratings
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16

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4.09 avg rating — 519 ratings
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17

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4.03 avg rating — 3,995 ratings
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18

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4.28 avg rating — 1,666 ratings
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19

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4.38 avg rating — 17,211 ratings
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20

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4.01 avg rating — 681 ratings
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21

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4.08 avg rating — 1,751,175 ratings
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22

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3.49 avg rating — 7,645 ratings
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23

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4.13 avg rating — 54,168 ratings
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24

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4.30 avg rating — 13,394 ratings
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25

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4.18 avg rating — 3,707 ratings
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26

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4.23 avg rating — 12,158 ratings
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27

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4.28 avg rating — 17,350 ratings
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28

by
4.30 avg rating — 517 ratings
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29

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4.17 avg rating — 15,559 ratings
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30

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3.94 avg rating — 166,346 ratings
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31

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4.08 avg rating — 4,739 ratings
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32

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4.32 avg rating — 17,706 ratings
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33

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4.24 avg rating — 17,410 ratings
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34

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4.21 avg rating — 76 ratings
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35

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4.24 avg rating — 11,699 ratings
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36

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4.16 avg rating — 21,779 ratings
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37

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4.33 avg rating — 5,585 ratings
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38

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4.26 avg rating — 8,294 ratings
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39

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4.27 avg rating — 592,664 ratings
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40

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4.06 avg rating — 107,149 ratings
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41

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4.24 avg rating — 9,057 ratings
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42

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4.21 avg rating — 13,428 ratings
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43

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4.06 avg rating — 15,154 ratings
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44

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4.44 avg rating — 63 ratings
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45

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3.61 avg rating — 54 ratings
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46

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4.14 avg rating — 13,140 ratings
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47

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4.12 avg rating — 1,396 ratings
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48

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4.24 avg rating — 10,918 ratings
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49

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3.62 avg rating — 7,082 ratings
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50

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3.99 avg rating — 8,268 ratings
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51

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3.83 avg rating — 141 ratings
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52

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4.14 avg rating — 7,935 ratings
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53

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4.05 avg rating — 6,728 ratings
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54

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4.19 avg rating — 6,520 ratings
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55

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4.56 avg rating — 5,266 ratings
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56

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4.22 avg rating — 8,688 ratings
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57

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4.19 avg rating — 4,739 ratings
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58

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4.21 avg rating — 31,427 ratings
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59

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4.14 avg rating — 20,912 ratings
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60

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4.20 avg rating — 295 ratings
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61

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4.24 avg rating — 6,231 ratings
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62

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4.29 avg rating — 5,313 ratings
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63

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4.21 avg rating — 2,345 ratings
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64

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4.11 avg rating — 8,265 ratings
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65

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4.12 avg rating — 19,451 ratings
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66

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4.02 avg rating — 20,528 ratings
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67

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4.01 avg rating — 483 ratings
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68

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4.23 avg rating — 5,270 ratings
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69

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4.17 avg rating — 299 ratings
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70

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4.18 avg rating — 4,721 ratings
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71

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4.27 avg rating — 5,135 ratings
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72

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4.11 avg rating — 2,232 ratings
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73

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4.43 avg rating — 37 ratings
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74

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3.70 avg rating — 274 ratings
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75

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4.12 avg rating — 1,030 ratings
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75

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3.41 avg rating — 98 ratings
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77

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4.09 avg rating — 58 ratings
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78

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4.23 avg rating — 4,207 ratings
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79

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4.24 avg rating — 10,610 ratings
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80

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4.07 avg rating — 2,384 ratings
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81

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4.26 avg rating — 28,288 ratings
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82

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3.85 avg rating — 22,207 ratings
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83

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4.14 avg rating — 6,803 ratings
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84

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3.66 avg rating — 265 ratings
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85

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3.92 avg rating — 256 ratings
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86

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4.14 avg rating — 5,996 ratings
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87

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4.17 avg rating — 1,620 ratings
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88

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 85 ratings
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89

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4.11 avg rating — 147,030 ratings
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90

by
4.59 avg rating — 44 ratings
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91

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4.15 avg rating — 3,899 ratings
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92

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4.44 avg rating — 50 ratings
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93

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4.40 avg rating — 40 ratings
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94

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3.95 avg rating — 452 ratings
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95

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4.10 avg rating — 3,621 ratings
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96

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3.89 avg rating — 5,884 ratings
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97

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4.33 avg rating — 7,615 ratings
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98

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4.60 avg rating — 157 ratings
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99

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4.16 avg rating — 3,927 ratings
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100

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3.96 avg rating — 68,535 ratings
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286 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Nostromo 336 books
10 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 2732 books
588 friends
Pat 724 books
172 friends
Sara 390 books
91 friends
Sarah 236 books
4 friends
Pat 39 books
3 friends
Jamie 1218 books
58 friends
Joe 1158 books
34 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-41 of 41) (41 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 2: by Matt (new)

Matt Bunn How I add a book to this list?


message 3: by Dr. Michael (new)

 Dr. Michael Galvin I don't know. I didn't start this list. I wanted to add the books in my post but didn't know how to do that either.


message 4: by Rachel (last edited Mar 30, 2009 06:43PM) (new)

Rachel You add books to the list in the upper right corner.


It says "find/add books to list"



message 5: by Nostromo (new)

Nostromo I started the list to get book ideas. I intially thought it would be a list of books more akin to personal memoirs like Grant's, Caputo's and Grave's. But folks have added more history-type books, which is great. I have started reading and am enjoying McPherson's Battle Cry for Freedom based on reviews above. Many thanks - keep them coming.


message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa both of the Rick Riordan books are fiction and shouldn't be on this list. They are good, but not in the proper category


message 7: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Battle Cry of Freedom told me more about the Civil War in the Introduction than I learned from any other book.

It stated that prior to the Civil War, Harper's Weekly (THE news magazine of the day) used to refer to this country as "The United States ARE..." plural. But after the war it was always "The United States IS..." singular.

That explains the Civil War in a nutshell.


message 8: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Maybe we want to divide this list into separate wars...Ancient, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam,Desert Storm etc. It might be easier to order my choices.

I have a #1 favorite for WWII, but that means another one would have to be #2 even if it is my #1 favorite book about the Vietnam war.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for being fiction:

All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque
The Iliad, by Homer
The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan
The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan
The Titan's Curse, by Rick Riordan
The Battle of the Labyrinth, by Rick Riordan
The Last Olympian, by Rick Riordan
Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
Fields of Fire, by James Webb
The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads There's plenty of scope there for new lists, if you want to start them, Lisa. It's pretty easy to start a new list.


message 11: by Nostromo (new)

Nostromo To true.


message 12: by Dr. Michael (new)

 Dr. Michael Galvin I just added a bunch (2/22/10)


message 13: by Allan (new)

Allan I believe O'Brien states that The Things They Carried is a work of fiction, although it does feel quite real.


message 14: by Richard (new)

Richard Lowry New Dawn tells a story you will never forget - New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You could vote for it.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I tried to add books but there was no 'Save' button or any other means of leaving the page which meant they were not added - a waste of effort


message 17: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Jul 22, 2011 03:27PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Um, you don't hit a "save" button; you can either vote for a book that's already on the list, by clicking "vote for this book" in the information under its title, or go to "add books to this list," where you can perform a general search or choose books from your own bookshelves. If you do the latter, the "vote for this book" button is to the right of the book's title. A list of the books you have voted for will appear to the right of the page.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks Susanna - no point me having my own nerdy little list .... surely they should be added to the main list?


message 19: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Jul 23, 2011 10:13AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Uh, "your list" is added to the main list. All votes go to the main list.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Uh


message 21: by Manray9 (new)

Manray9 "Matterhorn" by Karl Marlantes is fiction and shouldn't be on this list.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Indeed it is; I'll remove it.


message 23: by Dean (new)

Dean Anderson #5 - "The Things They Carried" is a great book...And it is fiction. Should not be on this list.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for being fiction:

The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien


message 25: by Dean (last edited Nov 02, 2012 07:21PM) (new)

Dean Anderson Thanks, Susanna. Great, helpful list.


message 26: by Nostromo (new)

Nostromo Susanna wrote: "Indeed it is; I'll remove it."

Susanna, thanks. How are you able to remove books? Nostromo (who stated this one)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I'm a GR Librarian. It's a function on the edit page.


message 28: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis It doesn't look as if this page has seen much traffic recently, but I like it, and I also found a duplicate (Sherman's Memoirs), which I removed, along with 4 other unnamed duplicates that the system said had been taken out (I asked it to search for duplicates).


message 29: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Susanna wrote: "Removed for being fiction:

All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque
The Iliad, by Homer
The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan
The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan
The Titan's Curse,..."


Yes, The Killer Angels is classified as fiction, but it's a great primer for learning about the Civil War.


message 30: by Stuart (new)

Stuart Hill Susanna wrote: "I'm a GR Librarian. It's a function on the edit page."

Hello, can you remove The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker as those are fiction. Currently ranked at 277.


message 31: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis I've noticed that listopia, for some reason, is always a place that draws complaints, and often they are not all that valid, i.e., a book is not listed and the person can just put it on, or nonspecific, i.e., "This list sucks", which always makes me wonder what the individual is doing there anyway...and then there's this complaint, which I hadn't planned on turning into one. I just wanted to say I have gotten SO MANY really great ideas for my want-to-read books from this list! Thank you to the many individuals who added thoughtful selections, esp. the Catton series.


message 32: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Donna, there are both valid an invalid complaints on every list. I looked at one yesterday about "Best Book Series" and wondered why the hell The Taming of the Shrew and On the Road were listed.


message 33: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Well, of course there are valid complaints too. I'll see if I can find the link you mentioned and zap those. Obviously they are just misplaced...and I swear that there's a troll out there who puts Twilight on every list, regardless of genre. But my main point was to express my appreciation for the good stuff that people added and that I think did me some good.


message 35: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Jonathan Brett wrote: "http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/13..."

Did not find On the Road, but there are 13 pp. & I only had time to go through 5 of them. Removed Taming of the Shrew and The Three Musketeers. Was sorely tempted to remove Little Women, but since there was a Little Men at some point I didn't dare. (Librarians are held strictly accountable, so when in doubt, I leave it alone). It may be someone else has found & removed On the Road. If you see it again, let me know what page it's on & I'll get it. I am not an employee, just one of many volunteers, but I signed on because I really hate seeing misplaced books in listopia. Thanks...it's a nifty list. When I get a minute, I will go back & vote!


message 36: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Three Musketeers is part of a series, though.


message 37: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis The only series of which I can find it to be considered a part is the complete works of Dumas, which does not qualify for our purposes.

I will be away from the site for a few days on personal business. If you want other titles removed, I am sure someone can help, or you can apply to be a Goodreads librarian.


message 38: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan I'm already a Goodreads librarian, but I don't delete things. As for Three Musketeers, those that I mentioned on the other page are, in fact, part of the Musketeer series. In each one, D'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Collectively, the three books are known as The d'Artagnan Romances.


message 39: by Neil (new)

Neil Funsch Battle Cry is a work of Fiction and should not be on this list.


message 40: by Ian (new)

Ian The Yellow Birds, currently ranked at joint 391, is fiction.


message 41: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Why is Undaunted Courage on this list? Lewis & Clark weren't at war. They were out exploring. It's been awhile since I read this book so maybe I forget - Did President Jefferson declare war on an Indian tribe? If yes, I don't remember that part. I know L & C had to protect themselves and their party but I don't remember any war.


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Anyone can add books to this list.