Good Minds Suggest: Michelle Moran's Favorite Books About WWIPosted by Goodreads on July 4, 2016
It is Paris 1917, and the infamous exotic dancer Mata Hari sits in a jail cell waiting to discover her fate. The once celebrated performer, whose risqué acts transfixed much of Europe, is accused of espionage and treason leading to the deaths of thousands of French soldiers. She would go on to be executed by a French firing squad that year. But was the intriguing Dutch-born dancer and courtesan really a criminal seductress and spy? Bestselling historical novelist Michelle Moran delves into this and other questions in Mata Hari's Last Dance, her latest book to revisit, and enliven, an enigmatic historical legend. Moran, whose previous books include Nerfetiti, Cleopatra's Daughter, and Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution, pairs detailed research with richly imagined details to provide a riveting character study and unusual take on the First World War. She gives Goodreads her top five World War I books.
To Serve Them All My Days by R. F. Delderfield
"I'm not sure how many times I've read this book. Three? Four? It's set in a British boys' boarding school, and the young man at the center of the book returns from the First World War broken and shell-shocked. The next 22 years of his life—first as a teacher and finally as the headmaster of Bamfylde—capture both the profound hope and struggle that was the reality for many between the two world wars."
To the Last Man by Jeff Shaara
"It's impossible not to recognize just how much research went into this novel, with its four protagonists, all of whom are fighting in the First World War. The fact that one of the protagonists is the Red Baron made this book a compelling read for me. The Red Baron was always one of those names I recognized but couldn't really place in history. I knew he was a pilot, I knew he flew in WW1, but that was really it. I can't say enough about this book or about Shaara as an author. He takes his readers from the air to the ground and covers what seems to be the entire war."
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
"This book was assigned reading in high school, and it's stayed with me ever since. Hemingway's description of war is visceral—and no wonder, given that he was there to witness it all. The love story between the American ambulance driver on the Italian front and an English nurse is really only a very small part of the story. The really gripping reading happens when Hemingway describes the fallout of war and what happens to soldiers when they've seen battle."
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
"Yes, this is a children's novel, but I'm a firm believer in historical fiction for children, and this is one of those books that's enjoyable for adults as well. Set in France during WW1, the novel follows the life of a war horse named Joey. His young owner, Albert, is desperate to bring Joey home after the army purchases him for the war effort. This is one of the books that, even though it's written for children, will stay with you awhile."
Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
"This epic novel begins in 1911 and follows the struggles of five different families through some of the great political upheaval of the 20th century. What makes this book stand out for me is how convincingly the author portrays his settings. Whether it's a light-filled palace or a dark coal mine, you feel like you're right there with the characters."
Vote for your own favorites on Listopia: Best World War I Books