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Old 09-25-2011, 10:56 PM   #1
flourish
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Nonfiction/fiction recs about WW1 & WW2

I'm looking for more books to read about both of the world wars as they're my favorite time periods. I enjoy fiction and nonfiction. To give you ideas of my interests some of my recent favorite reads have been Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum, Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, The Fall of Berlin 1945 by Antony Beevor, and the Regeneration trilogy by Pat Barker.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:23 AM   #2
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Lost in Shangri-La was pretty good
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:09 AM   #3
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I actually enjoyed The War in the Air; Vol. 1

http://www.manybooks.net/titles/rale...2628226-8.html

Unfortunately, the author seems to have died before completing any further volumes.

As to fiction, what I've found fascinating is some of the young adult fiction written during WW1. For instance

http://www.manybooks.net/titles/emer...3420834-8.html

While obviously not particularly graphic, it did have a couple of harrowing descriptions that I found surprising.

Also stuff like this, the "Air Service Boys"

http://www.manybooks.net/search.php?search=Air+Service

(There are a couple others like that).

Again, probably not the most realistic, but at the same time, authentic, because it's from the war itself, not written years afterward.

One of the posters here has kindly converted some pulps to e-book format. These are overly dramatic, but often written by people who were in WW1

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=131001

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=143181 (Lone Eagle - WW1 flying stuff)
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:12 AM   #4
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If you like, fantasy, Dale Estey's _A Lost Tale_ is an interesting and moving book:

http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Tale-Dale.../dp/0425071332

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Old 09-26-2011, 08:22 AM   #5
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In terms of non-fic, I'd rec John Keegan's histories of WWI and WWII.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:06 AM   #6
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Non-Fiction:

High Adventure by James Norman Hall - an account by a WW1 pilot.

Falsehood in War-time by Arthur Ponsonby debunks some of the propaganda myths perpetuated during WW1

Spike Milligan's war memoirs (starting with Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall) are very good

The One That Got Away tells the story of Franz von Werra, the only German prisoner of war to escape and return to Germany after being captured by the Allies

Inside the Third Reich is a memoir by Albert Speer, Nazi Minister of Armaments from 1942 to 1945. Obviously biased, but an interesting read.

Fiction:

I highly recommend A Sailor of Austria by John Biggins. It's about a WW1 Austro-Hungarian submarine captain. There are several books featuring Otto Prohaska, I'm currently reading the second (which is a prequel to Sailor of Austria), and which is also very good.

Das Boot (The Boat) is a very good novel about a WW2 German u-boat crew.

The Losing Role by Steve Anderson is an excellent novel about a German involved in Operation Grief, when Germans dressed in US uniforms worked behind US lines during the Battle of the Bulge.

Churchill's Queen by AJ Davidson. The blurb says "Fans of The Eagle has Landed and Foyle's War will enjoy this book". I haven't read Foyle's War but I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed The Eagle has Landed.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:32 AM   #7
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Haven't read it yet, but James R. Benn's Billy Boyle WWII series might be worth a look.

I just finished reading two mystery series set on the home front during World War II: Sandra Scoppettone's Faye Quick series (two books), and Kathryn Miller Haines's Rosie Winter series (four books). Faye is a PI in NYC, keeping the business running for her boss, who's been shipped out. Rosie is a struggling actress in NYC; in one of the books she's in the South Pacific on a USO tour. Both series have lots of period details.

For nonfiction, I recently noticed an interesting-looking title: Over Here! New York City During World War II, by Lorraine B. Diehl.

Last edited by Catlady; 09-26-2011 at 03:59 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 09-26-2011, 03:43 PM   #8
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Fiction WEB Griffins The Corp is about the Marine Corps in WWII.
Pacific Glory by P. T. Deutermann
Non Fiction I am reading Destroyer Squadron 23: Combat Exploits of Arleigh Burke's Gallant Force by Ken Jones.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:14 PM   #9
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Here are a few (some of these are available in print only); they are all excellent.

Barbara Tuchman - "The Guns of August" about the first month of WW1 - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...Guns_of_August

Barbara Tuchman - "The Zimmermann Telegram" about one of the triggering events for the U.S. entry into WW1 - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...rmann_Telegram

Niall Ferguson - "The Pity of War" for a somewhat less conventional view of WW1 - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...he_Pity_of_War

Stanley Weintraub - "Long Day's Journey Into War" - gives the context of the worldwide conflict on the weekend of the Pearl Harbour attack - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...urney_Into_War

Stephen Ambrose - US bomber crews in WW2 (George McGovern flew a B-24) - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/487638.The_Wild_Blue

Elmer Bendiner - "The Fall of Fortresses" - some of the worst B-17 missions in WW2 by a participant - a great book but in print only - http://www.amazon.com/Fall-Fortresse...7078386&sr=8-1


Modris Ecksteins - "The Rites of Spring" - the cultural impact of WW1 - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...tes_of_Spring_

Paul Fussell - "The Great War and Modern Memory" - the cultural impact of WW1 - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1..._Modern_Memory

Paul Fussell - "Wartime" - the immediate impact of WW2 on participants - (Fussell was wounded in combat) - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/154474.Wartime

Personal experiences:

Robert Leckie "Helmet For My Pillow" - written by a WW2 marine - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...litary_History

Eugene Sledge - "With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa" - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7..._the_Old_Breed

William Manchester - "Goodbye Darkness" - Manchester was a U.S. Marine sergeant in WW2, the book is about his rememberances of the places where he fought as he visits them late in his life - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...odbye_Darkness

Henri Barbusse "Under Fire" - what life was like for ordinary French infantry in WW1 - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48176.Under_Fire

Jaroslav Hasek - "The Good Soldier Svejk" - a satire about a Czech draftee in the Austr-Hungarian army on the Eastern Front in WW1 - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7..._Soldier_Svejk

Many more here -
WW1 - http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1...terature#48176

WW2 -
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1...wo_Non_Fiction
and
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/2...War_II_Fiction

Fiction -

The Richard Hannay novels about WW1 espionage are in the public domain - you can get them here - http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/sear...oads&query=285

James Jones - "From Here To Eternity", "The Thin Red Line" - Jones was an infantry private in the Pacific before and during the war - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3999.James_Jones
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:22 PM   #10
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Thanks so much for all the recs everyone! I'm gonna add all of these to my TBR list.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:26 AM   #11
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For fiction set (partly) in WWI, I enjoyed William Brodrick's A Whispered Name.

Non-fiction: probably hard to get hold of, but I've been impressed with everything I've read by New Zealand military historian Glyn Harper. I found his Massacre at Passchendaele utterly engrossing, as unputdownable as a good novel.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:58 AM   #12
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Non-fiction about World War II in Berlin: The Fall Of Berlin by Anthony Read and David Fisher

(http://www.amazon.com/Fall-Berlin-An...7139046&sr=8-2)
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:23 PM   #13
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Here are some more:


WWII;

The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer (fiction)

Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel by A. Anatoli (Kuznetsov)

WWI;

Covenant with Death by John Harris (fiction)

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (fiction)

The War in Eastern Europe by John Reed
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
WWI;

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (fiction)

Agreed and extended to recommend his other books which cover World War II and the years before..
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:18 PM   #15
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I had no idea Remarque had written other books. Shame on me!
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