13 August 2013

Top Ten Favorite Books With a War Setting

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. I heart lists!

So I thought this would be kind of an easy choice - I read loads of war books, and I didn't even restrict myself to one particular war.  And then I realised - what about fictional wars?  I could make a list for those too...or combine fictional and real...or just real.

Finally, after hours of pondering, I've decided to go with my Top Ten Favourite Books with a (non-Fiction) War Setting.

The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman #1) by Paullina Simons - because it had to be there.  No one should be surprised by this choice.

Inside the Gas Chambers by Shlomo Venzia - I've read a lot of WWII holocaust non-fiction but this is the one that always sticks with me.  If it wasn't horrific enough that he was in a concentration camp, he was also responsible for disposing of bodies....

Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer - I first read this book in my early teens and many times since.  I was scared when re-reading it earlier this year that it wouldn't live up to my memories, but I still love Elly and Will so much.

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque - I had this one on audio for a long time before I actually listened to it - it really is a war 'classic' for me.

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute - I remember seeing this book as a mini-series before I read the book, which doesn't often happen to me.  I think this book is one of my favourites because it's about strong women - who overcame huge adversity and still managed to keep themselves together.  Plus it's about Aussies - win!

A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous - Understated, shocking and so sad, A Woman in Berlin really opened my eyes to what happened to the people of Berlin at the end of WWII.

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes - I didn't think I would like this book nearly as much as I did - I thought the many characters would be confusing, and several times the military talk made me a bit sleepy, but overall it was such a rewarding book, even if it all seemed a terrible waste.

The Winds of War (The Henry Family #1) by Herman Wouk - Hugely epic, this book took me forever to read, but not because it was slow - because it's 900 pages of teeny tiny text!  Although it's pre-war, I love epic family sagas.

Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz - A recent read, but absolutely outstanding.  Probably the best WWII Holocaust novel that I've ever read aimed towards the YA market.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters - this book completely blew me away, and will definitely be one of my favourites for 2013.  I loved the mixture of paranormal, an awesome female heroine and the harsh, horrible reality of war and the Spanish Influenza epidemic along with the hauntingly perfect pictures.

That's my Top Ten Favourite Books With a War Setting.  Have you read any of these, or have any others you would recommend?


  1. I LOVED The Bronze Horseman. Such a good book!

  2. I don't think I've read any of those, but In The Shadow of Blackbirds is in my TBR list!

  3. *shakes fist at The Bronze Horseman*

    I still want to read the rest of these. *side-eyes them*

  4. All Quiet on the Western Front is easily my favourite ever war book. I love it so much. I really enjoy war fiction, so I'll have to check out some of these books, I especially want to read The Bronze Horseman, I've heard the series is really good.

  5. My list this week is favorite WWII/Shoah books, though I don't list any of the ones on your list. I started The Winds of War like 10 years ago, but never finished it. Someday I should go back to it, esp. since I also have the sequel War and Remembrance, along with Mr. Wouk's series about Israeli history after the War.

  6. I actually haven't read any of these. One war book that really stuck with me is called Two Rings. It's the memoir of a Holocaust survivor.

    My TTT.

  7. A Town Like Alice is just about my most favourite book ever. I think I re-read it every couple of years - and I listen to it regularly too. Great choices.

  8. Haven't read any of these but I really want to check out In the Shadow of Blackbirds. It sounds so great, and I've heard amazing things.

    If I chose books about real-life wars, I'd have to add Code Name Verity for sure!

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  10. I've read and really liked "The Bronze Horseman". I've also read "all quiet on the Western Front" and I think it's one of the strongest book I've ever read about war.

    I strongly suggest you to read Primo Levi's book, "Survival in Aushwitz" overall. Its original title could be translated as "If this is a man", which is part of a poem Levi wrote about the importance of remembering the Holocaust - a poem I really hope is translated in the English version, too, because to me it's one of the most poignant poetry ever written about Holocaust and the deep cruelty of humanity.
    Italian writers wrote a good amount of novels and poetry about WWII since we were (obviously) deeply affected by it. I hope you'll try to read some of their books :)



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