Historical Fictionistas discussion

245 views
Recommendations? > World War 2 historical fiction books

Comments Showing 1-50 of 113 (113 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3

message 1: by Maureen (new)

Maureen | 3 comments I only started reading historical fiction this year and I am loving it. I am on a theme of WW II books. I read The Book Thief, Sarah's Key, The lost wife and now Hotel of the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I was wondering if anyone had any favorites of books that are written during this time period. I would love to hear suggestions.


message 2: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 616 comments All the Light We Cannot See (2014) was wonderful.


message 3: by Portia (new)

Portia I agree


message 4: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 233 comments I would like to put in a word for The Garden of Letterswhich deals with WW II in Italy and The True Story of Hansel and Gretelwhich is a WWII retelling of the fairy tale.


message 5: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Crampton (cramptonmargaret) | 8033 comments I recommend The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure and the nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Both are set in Paris and France and were 5 star reads for me.


message 6: by Colin (new)

Colin Lever I recommend Alone in BerlinHans Fallada and The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz: A True Story of World War II. Also Maureen, watch this space in the new year!!!!!!


message 7: by Nadine (new)

Nadine | 24 comments Margaret.....I agree with you about the Nightingale. Kristin Hannah is a wonderful writer. It's a 5 star for me as well.
I'm planning to read the architect that you recommended. :))


message 8: by happy (last edited Nov 26, 2015 04:59AM) (new)

happy (happyone) | 44 comments I'm a WW II buff, so depending on your defination of HF, I have several

by Leon Uris

Battle Cry by Leon Uris - based on his experiences with the 6th Marnies in the Pacific

Mila 18 by Leon Uris - about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising

Armageddon by Leon Uris - about the occupation of Germany and the Berlin Airlift

David Robbins

Last Citadel by David L. Robbins about the Battle of Kursk

War of the Rats by David L. Robbins about the battle of Stalingrad

The End of War by David L. Robbins about the race to Berlin

Broken Jewel by David L. Robbins about the Japanese occupation of the Philipines

Liberation Road A Novel of World War II and the Red Ball Express by David L. Robbins about the Red Ball Express (a supply route set up after D-DAY) and American deserters in France

Enjoy


message 9: by Maureen (new)

Maureen | 3 comments Wow thank you so much!! I can't wait to get started.


message 10: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 564 comments The Invisible Bridge is just superb.

Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission is non-fiction, but so thrilling it reads like the best kind of fiction - the mass rescue op launched to save the survivors of the Bataan Death March.


message 11: by Amy (new)

Amy | 27 comments All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is on my to-read list!

Also wonderfully written and darkly funny with superb twists and turns is City of Thieves by David Benioff . This is a coming-of-age story of a sorts set during the Siege of Leningrad by the Germans. Full disclosure: the setting is grim and if you're sensitive it may not fit the bill.

For something a bit softer but still moving, The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies is a compelling take on a young Welsh woman's relationship with a German POW.


message 12: by Patti (new)

Patti | 3 comments The Winds of War by Herman Wouk is wonderful and not to be missed.


message 13: by happy (new)

happy (happyone) | 44 comments As is it sequel

War and Remembrance (The Henry Family, #2) by Herman Wouk


Peggyzbooksnmusic | 620 comments I'll recommend Bird's Eye View by Elinor Florence. It's written from the POV of a young Canadian female who becomes involved with the War Effort because of her photography skills.

Also, one of my favorites from years back is The Last Convertible by Anton Myrer


message 15: by happy (last edited Nov 27, 2015 01:08PM) (new)

happy (happyone) | 44 comments It isn't completely about WW II - roughtly half is, but Anton Myrer's

Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer Once an Eagle

is a classic and is on the required military reading list for officers in the US Army ( or at least it was 30 yrs ago, man I'm getting old :))


Peggyzbooksnmusic | 620 comments happy wrote: "It isn't completely about WW II - roughtly half is, but Anton Myrer's

Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer Once an Eagle

is a classic and is on the required military reading list for off..."


happy, Thanks for clarifying that some of The Last Convertible doesn't take place during WWII. I read it when it was first published in the 1970's or 1980's.


message 17: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 564 comments happy wrote: "It isn't completely about WW II - roughtly half is, but Anton Myrer's

Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer Once an Eagle

is a classic and is on the required military reading list for off..."



I'll second the vote on "Once An Eagle." Just marvelous; one of the best war-stories out there EVER in my mind.


message 18: by happy (last edited Nov 27, 2015 07:14PM) (new)

happy (happyone) | 44 comments I think I've read it 4 or 5 times over the years. It's a great look a leadership and what a leader should be.

If you like Ken Follett, he has a few with WW II as a backdrop. My favorites of his include

Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett
Jackdaws by Ken Follett
Hornet Flight by Ken Follett
Night Over Water by Ken Follett


message 19: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 616 comments Here’s an oldie but a goodie: Above Suspicion by Helen MacInnes. Most of her books were Cold War-era, but this one started in 1939.


message 20: by Portia (new)

Portia MacInnes was one of my faves back in the day.


message 21: by Portia (new)

Portia happy wrote: "I think I've read it 4 or 5 times over the years. It's a great look a leadership and what a leader should be.

If you like Ken Follett, he has a few with WW II as a backdrop. My favorites of his in..."


Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett Eye of the Needle is still one of my favorites


message 22: by Helena (new)

Helena Schrader Battle of Britain Fighter Ace Bob Doe said Chasing the Wind was the "best book" he had ever read about the Battle of Britain, adding the book "got it smack on the way it was for us fighter pilots." So if you're interested in an authentic account of the Battle of Britain, you can't do better. Chasing the Wind is also available in Kindle under the title Where Eagles Never Flew Where Eagles Never Flew by Helena P. Schrader


message 23: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Griffin (wreckoftheessex) | 1 comments My favorite HF is Johnny Tremain- Newbery Award book. Really draws you into the Revolutionary War.


message 24: by C.P. (last edited Nov 28, 2015 08:01AM) (new)

C.P. Lesley (cplesley) | 688 comments You might try Wolfsangel, set in WWII France. I haven't read this one, because I read too much Holocaust-related stuff at work to want to tackle it in my spare time. But I did enjoy the author's other two books.

Connie Willis also has a pair of time travel books that include World War II Britain: Blackout and All Clear.


message 25: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 616 comments I loved Johnny Tremain, too!


message 26: by Portia (new)

Portia Abigail wrote: "I loved Johnny Tremain, too!"

Did you watch it on The Wonderful World of Disney back in the day as I did?


message 27: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 616 comments I have never seen a film version, but it was in my grandmother’s library of children’s books, and I read it several times as a kid.


message 28: by happy (last edited Dec 15, 2015 04:36PM) (new)

happy (happyone) | 44 comments Kate wrote: "happy wrote: "It isn't completely about WW II - roughtly half is, but Anton Myrer's

Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer Once an Eagle

is a classic and is on the required military readin..."

Peggy Z,

Sorry, I didn't mean to correct you, I was refering to Once and Eagle

I've never read The Last Convertable. I've always been meaning to, but somehow never gotten around to it.

I need to brush up on my composition skills :)


message 29: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 291 comments If you want a WWII story from a different perspective than is usually read, try I'll Be Seeing You (from the POV of two military wives) and The Street of a Thousand Blossoms (Japan).


message 30: by Tytti (new)

Tytti If you want realistic war novels from a different perspective, The Winter War (set in 1939-40) and Unknown Soldiers (1941-44) are like that.


message 32: by Colleen (new)

Colleen The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
The Nightingale
Stones from the River

I agree - WW2 is fascinating, yet horrifying to read about.


message 33: by Carol (new)

Carol | 6 comments I loved Destiny (Navy Justice, Prequel) by Don Brown which covers a sweet romance and how WWII connects people from Pearl Harbor to Nazi Germany.


message 34: by Mary (new)

Mary (maryhagen14yahoocom) | 70 comments I'm writing a novel about Nazi Germany and so Have been reading books on that time period. Reading about the atrocities is almost hard to believe and yet it happened.


message 35: by Tytti (new)

Tytti Amy wrote: "Also wonderfully written and darkly funny with superb twists and turns is City of Thieves by David Benioff. This is a coming-of-age story of a sorts set during the Siege of Leningrad by the Germans."

I am actually just reading a memoir by someone born in 1920 who was in Leningrad during the siege (officially as a soldier in the Red Army), and who was then sent to a forced labour camp hundreds of kilometers away where they were starving, too, and then back again to Leningrad. In his opinion the town could have been evacuated much sooner, it wasn't completely cut off. Also according to him, the Russians welcomed Germans as liberators at first, after suffering years of Stalin's terror. I'm not surprised, he had just written what it was like growing up in the 1930's near and in Leningrad.

Then he had had enough of the twists and turns of his home country (after also barely surviving a year in prison in 1938-39, mainly for being non-Russian, and his relatives were also probably either deported or killed by NKVD) and switched sides when he was sent to spy the enemy. He wore another uniform for the rest of the war. The Soviet spy training also included advice on how to get food behind enemy lines. Go to a house, speak Russian words with a German accent and after you have got what you wanted, kill them. The Germans will get the blame and the Russians who hadn't left their homes were enemies anyway. Nice people.


message 36: by Kelli (new)

Kelli (kellimiller) | 1 comments Invisible Bridge and The Nightingale are 2 of my faves that you haven't read.


message 37: by Maureen (new)

Maureen | 3 comments I actually read All Quiet on the Western Front years ago. It was a great book. Maybe I will have to reread.


message 38: by Ivan (new)

Ivan Light | 2 comments Yes, All Quiet's the classic, all-time anti-war novel. I also recommend the 1937 b & w film.

Mark's right about how essential it is to understand World War 1 in order to understand WW2. I'd go farther. One cannot understand the twentieth century (including Isis) without understanding World War 1 and its sequel.


message 39: by Mary (new)

Mary (maryhagen14yahoocom) | 70 comments ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT was a favorite of mine as well, but such a sad ending. I need to reread it since I read it years ago. Thanks for mentioning it.


message 40: by Denise (new)

Denise (deniseg53) | 9 comments I would like to add:

Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian

The Glass Room by Simon Mawer

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

The Kommandant's Mistress (can't think of author's name).

Maus (all three) by Art Spiegel


message 41: by John (new)

John M. | 12 comments To understand ordinary, daily life in Germany under Hitler, I would recommend Philip Kerr's series of Bernie Gunther mysteries.


Olivia "So many books--so little time."" | 118 comments Currently I'm reading Winter of the World by Ken Follett. It's set in the years leading up to and during World War ii. So far it has been excellent.


message 43: by Linda (new)

Linda | -38 comments I was also disappointed in All The Light You Cannot See. May I suggest The Nightingale?
You will love it!


Peggyzbooksnmusic | 620 comments happy wrote: "Kate wrote: "happy wrote: "It isn't completely about WW II - roughtly half is, but Anton Myrer's

Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer Once an Eagle

is a classic and is on the required mi..."


@happy, I just noticed your post back in Nov! No need to apologize :D I love learning about books I may have missed by my favorite authors.

And to add to the discussion, I can also recommend The Book Thief by Markus Zusak It's YA and took me a while to get used to his style of writing. It's very tragic but beautifully written.


message 45: by SandyC (last edited Dec 28, 2015 11:05AM) (new)

SandyC (sandyc88) | 81 comments DIdn't see this posted yet.

The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1) by Paullina Simons is about the German siege of Leningrad. I loved this book, and the next 2 in the trilogy.


message 46: by Marie Z (new)

Marie Z Johansen (mzjohansen) | 6 comments Linda wrote: "I was also disappointed in All The Light You Cannot See. May I suggest The Nightingale?
You will love it!"


I second for this amazing read! I have gone on to read a lot of non-fiction about the French Resistance thanks to the book"


message 47: by Marie Z (new)

Marie Z Johansen (mzjohansen) | 6 comments C.P. wrote: "You might try Wolfsangel, set in WWII France. I haven't read this one, because I read too much Holocaust-related stuff at work to want to tackle it in my spare time. But I did enjoy..."

I second this excellent read as well. It really began to open my eyes and make me want to read more non-fiction about this time.


message 48: by Linda (new)

Linda | -38 comments Marie Z. wrote: "Linda wrote: "I was also disappointed in All The Light You Cannot See. May I suggest The Nightingale?
You will love it!"

I second for this amazing read! I have gone on to read a l..."


Marie Z, please could I ask for some of the titles for the NF you read about the French resistance. Nightingale was my first WWII book about France and I yearn for MORE!


message 50: by happy (new)

happy (happyone) | 44 comments If you are at all interested in the 8th AF

Twelve O'Clock High! by Beirne Lay Jr. is probably one of the best. Written right after the war by a former officer on the staff at the 8th AF HQ. When I finally got around to reading it, I recognized several of the stories that were based on actual events.

It's also a pretty good movie staring Gregory Peck

Another good book on the Air War against Germany is Len Deighton's

Bomber by Len Deighton

It's about RAF's Bomber Command


« previous 1 3
back to top