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Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: A World War II TBR List


As much as I love descriptive words, I'm just not feeling the TTT topic du jour—Top Ten Books With An Adjective in the Title. Instead, I'm going to swerve way off today's path and talk about something totally different. In sorting through all the many books on my shelves, trying to decide which to keep and which to donate in anticipation of my upcoming move, I've realized that I have quite a lot of books on one particular subject. Because of the state of the world in recent years, I've actually kind of avoided reading about it, so now I have quite the stockpile of books to read about...drumroll, please...World War II! Surprised? I doubt it. BBB regulars know I'm fascinated by this historical period. So, today, I'm going to list ten-ish (although I probably could have done 30) books about World War II that I want to read sometime soon.

If you're feeling list-y today, join in the TTT fun. Click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl for all the details.

Top Ten World War II Books I Want to Read  
- in no particular order -


1. The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer—Although Elzbieta Rabinek is careful to keep her true identity hidden, she's still wary of the German soldiers who have taken over her hometown. As their vengeance against her Jewish neighbors heightens, she watches with increasing fear and anger. When she befriends a nurse living in her building, Elzbieta's careful existence quickly turns into one ripe with danger and risk. Is saving the lives of Jewish children worth losing her own?

Rimmer's The Things We Cannot Say, which is set in the same year (1942) as The Warsaw Orphan but takes place in Russia, is also one I want to read.


2. Sisters of Night and Fog by Erika Robuck—This novel tells the tale of two women from different circumstances, both of whom have risked everything to work against the Nazi regime, whose stories converge in the Ravensbrück concentration camp.

Robuck's The Invisible Woman also sounds intriguing.


3. The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff—Helena and Ruth are sisters in war-torn Poland. As they struggle to care for their three younger sisters, they make a decision that puts all of their lives in danger. While helping a wounded American paratrooper is the right thing to do, it has dangerous unforeseen consequences for all of them.

I've read and loved a couple of Jenoff's World War II novels, but there are still a bunch on her backlist that I want to read.


4. Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook by Celia Rees—Now that World War II has finally ended, Britain has created the Control Commission for Germany. The organization hires British civilians to help rebuild the country and investigate war crimes. Bored with her provincial life, Edith Graham applies for a job with the commission, but soon finds herself acting as a spy for the Secret Service. While she's found the excitement she's been missing, it may just cost her her life.


5. The Bookseller's Secret by Michelle Gable—Based on the wartime experiences of real-life literary icon Nancy Mitford, this novel concerns a woman adrift who eagerly takes on the challenge of running a London bookstore while its owner is away. 


6. 81 Days Below Zero: The Incredible Survival Story of a World War II Pilot in Alaska's Frozen Wilderness by Brian Murphy—I always enjoy survival stories and this one sounds especially intriguing. It tells the true story of a routine flight gone horribly wrong. When their plane crashes, four Army aviators are killed, while one—a man from Philadelphia with no wilderness experience—is left alone in the freezing Yukon to wait for rescue. Or death.


7. The Night Train to Berlin by Melanie Hudson—As war rages all around them, Alex and Eliza meet by chance. The RAF pilot turned war correspondent and the war artist make a solemn vow to meet in Berlin once peace has finally been declared. Will their newly found love triumph in a time when nothing at all is certain?

Hudson's The Last Letter From Juliet, about a female World War II pilot, is also on my TBR list.


8. Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave—Although I'm not a fan of love triangles, this epic wartime romance sounds compelling. It features three people whose lives converge in an extraordinary time. As the war rages on, they'll experience friendship, love, devastation, sorrow, and triumph. 


9. The London House by Katherine Reay—Caroline Payne is shocked when a historian friend uncovers a scandalous secret about her British great-aunt. Can the woman really have betrayed her family and her country by running to Germany to marry her Nazi lover? Caroline can't believe it. Desperate to clear her great-aunt's name, Caroline travels to her family's ancestral home in London to learn the truth.


10. The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation by Rosemary Sullivan—Everyone knows the tragic story of Anne Frank and her family, but one question about their fate has never been answered: Who betrayed their whereabouts to the Nazis? Retired FBI agent Vincent Pankoke became obsessed with finding the answer. With the use of new technology, Pankoke and his team of cold case investigators pored over numerous documents and conducted scores of interviews, all of which led them to a shocking conclusion.

I eat up World War II books, but I know not everyone loves them for various and sundry reasons. What's your take? Do you love them? Loathe them? Which are your favorites? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned? What did you think? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I'll gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!

71 comments:

  1. I have so many real-life stories from my family involving WWII, but I have read a few. I think most people have read The Nightingale. I also loved The Julian Chapter which shared his grandmother's WWII experience.

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    1. Despite my keen interest in genealogy, I've actually heard very few of my family members' stories concerning WWII. My grandfather served, but he was completely traumatized by his experience and never talked about it. His brother died in the Bataan Death March. The war was definitely difficult on the family and for my great-grandmother especially.

      I do love THE NIGHTINGALE. I haven't heard of THE JULIAN CHAPTER. I'll have to look that one up. Thanks for the rec.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

      Delete
  2. How interesting that you have so many books centering on WWII in the queue! Enjoy.

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    1. I think it's because I've kind of avoided reading about the subject for the last couple years, so now they've piled up. Also because the subject always draws me in, so these are the kinds of books I tend to buy.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deb!

      Delete
  3. The Winter Guest sounds really good!

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    1. I agree! I've enjoyed a few books by Jenoff, so I am confident that this will be another excellent read from her.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

      Delete
  4. Great list! I love WWII books, but I can also get burned out on them. The London House and The Bookseller's Secret are on my TBR.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I hear you on that! That's actually one of the reasons my WWII TBR pile is so large right now. I've sort of avoided reading about the subject for a couple years (not that I haven't read ANY WWII books, just not nearly as many as I have in the past). The subject is so heavy that it's hard to read too many WWII books at once.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Kami!

      Delete
  5. Great twist on today's topic. I happen to be reading a WWII book right now, set in Texas! Girls of Flight City.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oooh, sounds interesting! I've read several books lately about people serving on the American homefront during the war. I'd never read much about that before and it's been fascinating.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Wendy!

      Delete
  6. What a great and fun list. I'm intrigued by almost all of these books, but especially Sisters of Night and Fog by Erika Robuck and The Bookseller's Secret by Michelle Gable.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. No matter how many WWII books I read, I'm still ALWAYS drawn to them. Of course, ANY book with the word "book" in the title is going to appeal :)

      Thanks for popping in, Rae!

      Delete
  7. WWII books are usually so good, but so sad. I have a hard time reading a bunch of them. I hope you find time to read and love all of these.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same! I definitely can't read them right in a row. Too much heaviness.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

      Delete
  8. WWII books aren't really my thing (I don't tend to like fiction that focuses on war regardless of what war or which genre) but these sound like some good picks. And I find it really interesting that so many of the covers use pictures of people facing away from the camera!

    My TTT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. War is a really heavy subject, so I can definitely understand not wanting to read about it. And, yes, the people looking away from "the camera" is a VERY popular trend in historical fiction! It's kind of funny to see how many of them there are out there and how similar they all look.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicole!

      Delete
  9. I also love reading books set during WWII. Thanks for helping me add to my TBR, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry/not sorry for adding to your TBR! All the books that get added to my already neverending list is definitely the worst and best thing about TTT.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jenni!

      Delete
  10. Have you read the Anne Frank book what did you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I haven't read it yet. I saw it at Costco a few weeks ago and it looked so intriguing that I just had to buy it. I'm such a sucker for WWII books!

      Thanks for stopping in, NickiMags!

      Delete
  11. Truthfully I don't gravitate towards this era. As a matter of fact, I like historical fiction on both sides, Victorian & earlier on one side and 1950s to present on this side. I could not even give you an exact reason why, unless it's as simple as I don't like to read war stories.

    But I'm happy for you that you have the dilemma of paring down your personal library of unread books. (I did this a few years ago and regret giving 99% of my books away at the time). If it's not too personal, are you making a local move, in which you could save some of your books?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely have certain historical periods that I like more than others. For instance, I rarely read anything set before 1800. I especially avoid ancient periods and even the Medieval era because those settings just don't interest me as much.

      So, yes, our move is local. The "new" house (we've actually owned it since 2004, but we only lived in it for a few years and it's been a rental since 2008) is only about 20 miles away. The problem isn't book transportation but book storage. The home I live in now is 5000 square feet, so there's plenty of room for books. The one I'm moving into is half that. Since the majority of my books (and I'm talking a collection of about 10,000—before the 1000 or so I've already donated) are ones I got free from the publishers (some requested, many not), I'm not attached to them so it's easy to pass them on. I'm planning to keep 500-1000 books, so it's not like I'm going to have to give up any of the volumes I really love or really want to read. Since my collection will continue to grow with review books and other acquisitions after the move, I also want to make sure I have room for new books :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Mia!

      Delete
  12. Kelly Rimmer has written some exceptional works of historical fiction, as has Kristin Hannah. I have a TON of WWII-ish books on my shelves too! Good luck on the sorting!
    My post: https://pagesandpaws.com/2022/03/22/ttt-10-ish-books-with-an-adjective-in-the-title/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Weirdly, the only books I've read by Rimmer have been contemporary novels. I'm excited to give her historicals a go. I do love Hannah's books, too.

      Thanks for popping in, Kristine!

      Delete
  13. I love historical fiction books, especially ones set in WW2. One of my recent TTT posts was actually about books with a theme of war and the book I'm currently reading is "Maman What Are We Called Now?" by Jaqueline Mensil-Amar, published by Persephone Books. It is the incredibly prolific and beautiful diary of a woman living in Paris under the occupation. It's amazing so far so highly recommend if you haven't already read it! I'm just a bit obsessed with Anne Frank and I definitely need to read "The Betrayal Of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation". Great post!

    My TTT: https://zbestbooks.blogspot.com/2022/03/top-ten-tuesday-7-books-with-adjective.html

    Z x (zbestbooks.blogspot.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, I'm going to go look up your post on war books. It seems macabre to enjoy that genre, but I really do, although I prefer more character-driven plots than those about the actual battles/fighting.

      I have not heard of MAMAN, WHAT ARE WE CALLED NOW? It sounds excellent. I'll definitely look it up.

      Thanks for stopping by, ZB!

      Delete
  14. I love WWII books and also have way too many. I don't know all of the ones on your list, so I guess I will need to add them to mine. Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook has been on my TBR for ages. Really need to read it as well.

    Happy TTT! Here's our: Ten Books to better describe your Wardrobe

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I love the premise of MISS GRAHAM'S! It just sounds fascinating. I'll get to it and these others one of these days. I hope...

      Thanks for popping in, Elza!

      Delete
  15. WWII isn't my favourite subject to read about, but these do sound interesting. Enjoy! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get it. Different strokes for different folks and all that!

      Thanks for coming by, Louise!

      Delete
  16. I rarely read WWII books, and completely avoid historical fiction from this era, since my father was a Holocaust survivor. The material is not just emotionally difficult, but a lot of it just feels ... icky to me, and are often problematic. When I do read books set in this era, they're strictly non-fiction and memoirs from actual survivors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you commented, Leah. I've heard your views on this subject before and I really appreciate your unique, insider's perspective. I can definitely understand how this genre can feel exploitative. It feels cold-hearted to even admit to enjoying books about WWII. How can a good person ENJOY reading about such evil and suffering? I think one of the reasons I prefer reading fictional versions is the distance it provides. However, I also appreciate what you said about the value of hearing someone's story told in their own words. Which memoirs would you recommend?

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leah!

      Delete
  17. Great list. I have read a lot of books on WWII as well but have not read any of these. I do own and plan to read The London House this year.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I hope we both enjoy THE LONDON HOUSE! I really like its premise; hopefully, its execution will be excellent.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

      Delete
  18. This is a great topic! I don't read a lot of WWII books, but a lot of these do sound intriguing.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I agree. No matter how many books about WWII I read, I always want to read more because they just sound so intriguing.

      Thanks for popping in, Lindsey!

      Delete
  19. I haven't read any of these but they sound great. I don't read a lot of WWII books because I have to be in the correct mindset since they can be loaded emotionally. I do read them from time to time and they are always such excellent reads though! I hope you get to these!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes, they can definitely be tough, emotional reads. I absolutely understand why some people avoid them completely. Even I can't read too many of them at a time because WWII is just such a heavy subject.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leslie!

      Delete
  20. I also have a fascination for WW2. I have read a lot of books set during this time. I also enjoy reading stories set during that time, but in England, stories about those left behind. An interesting list for sure, Susan.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I've actually been reading more of those kinds of WWII books as well - the ones about people on the homefront doing their best to survive as well as help those around them. Jennifer Ryan's books fall into this category and I have been especially enjoying them lately.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carla!

      Delete
  21. I love this list! The Betrayal of Anne Frank is currently on my bookshelf. In a weird twist, I got it for Valentine's Day from my husband. Ok, I picked it up but he paid for it for Valentine's Day.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!
    https://readbakecreate.com/10-colorful-book-titles/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. I thought that was kind of an odd V-Day gift, but I get it, I'd much rather get a good book than flowers or chocolates! Or a book PLUS chocolates. Now, we're talking...

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Pam!

      Delete
  22. And six out of ten fit the theme with somebody facing away on the cover 😉 There's so much to unpack on world war two that there's a seemingly neverending amount of books about it. Good luck, hope you can start making a dent in the list soon! ☺️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it funny how many hist-fic covers feature people looking away? I like this trend, but it is getting a *little* out of control! Ha ha.

      Thanks for popping in, Jennifer!

      Delete
  23. Wonderful list, it's amazing how many WWII books are out there (and how many have a woman walking away from the reader! Ha, ha). Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? There are TONS. I guess that means I'm not the only one who can't get enough of them!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

      Delete
  24. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and WWII fic is probably what I read the most of. That said, all of these titles are new to me so I need to check them out. I always feel a little strange saying I love WWII fiction, I guess because of all of the horrific things that happened, but what makes me love it are all of those inspirational stories about people risking their lives to fight Hitler and save as many Jews as they could.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Same! It seems macabre to say I like reading about WWII, but I do. I just find everything about that time period fascinating. And, yes, I love reading inspiring wartime stories, especially those that are based on real people and events.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Suzanne!

      Delete
  25. The Cold War Cook Book, The Bookseller's Secret and 81 Days Below Zero all appeal to me!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I hope we both enjoy these when we read them!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cath!

      Delete
  26. It's amazing how many books there are about WWII. I have read many of them but haven't heard of a single one of yours. I suppose it's the same the other way around.

    My TTT this week is good, bad, and ugly.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. There really are TONS of WWII books out there and seemingly more every day. I'm not complaining at all since I love reading them :)

      I am constantly learning about books I've never heard of from you, Marianne. Glad I could return the favor!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, my friend!

      Delete
    2. I think the main reason most of my blogger friends have never heard of my books is because they never made it over the big pond. Which is a shame and I'm happy to contribute to them being more widely known, even if only in a little way.

      Delete
    3. I'm glad so many international book bloggers participate in TTT so we can hear about books being published and read all over the world. So fun!

      Delete
  27. I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but it's definitely an interesting genre. Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. I always learn something new when I read hist fic.

      Thanks for popping in, Alicia!

      Delete
  28. Some excellent looking books. The Booksellers Secret has gone straight on to my list!

    I try to steer clear of war books because I do get emotional these days, but I have read a couple recently and really enjoyed them.

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely get why some people don't want to read about war. It's a sad, heavy subject. It is interesting how many bookish WWII novels have been published lately. I'm interested to see what they're all about.

      Thanks for stopping by, Emily!

      Delete
  29. Have you noticed how many of these covers...and other covers of WWII books...all show someone's back? I wonder who started that trend. It's funny, though. So many similar covers all about the same time period! :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. YES! It's a VERY popular cover trend for historical fiction, especially those set during WWII. Like I said above somewhere, I like these types of covers, but the amount of them is getting out of control. It would be nice to see some unique ones occasionally!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

      Delete
  30. This looks like a wonderful lineup of WWII stories. I love ho distinctive some of the covers are too!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I have high hopes for these books. We'll see how they all pan out for me. Inevitably, they won't ALL be amazing!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Greg!

      Delete
  31. This is one of my favorite themes! I've read a few books looking into the Frank family betrayal but I need to see if I've read that one. The Katherine Reay book is on my TBR and now I need to add Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook. I did try The Bookseller's Secret and it didn't work for me but I hope you enjoy it. Have you read The Last Bookshop in London? I really loved that one. If you haven't read it you might enjoy it too.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The Anne Frank book came out in January. I hadn't heard of it until I saw it at Costco. Other than Anne's diary, I haven't read much about the Franks so this one sounds really interesting.

      I actually have a copy of THE LAST BOOKSHOP IN LONDON on my shelf. I just haven't read it yet!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

      Delete
  32. Replies
    1. Thanks, Rajani! Have you published any new poetry on your blog? I'm headed over there right now to see...

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
  33. I've gotten a bit tired of WWII fiction in the last few months...seems like it's everywhere.

    The book on the Frank family's betrayal has me very, very curious. I wasn't aware of the project, so I'm going to look for that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely seems as if the WWII genre has exploded as of late. Of course, that means that all the stories start to feel the same and few really stand out. Nevertheless, it's a subject I'm always interested in and probably always will be to some degree.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

      Delete
  34. I don't read a lot of WWII books, but these sound interesting! Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Agreed. So far, I've only read THE LONDON HOUSE and it was just okay. Hopefully, the other ones are a bit more impressive.

      Thanks for popping in, Shaz!

      Delete

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