I’m looking for new ideas on WW1/WW2 stories!
Hi! I’m looking for new ideas on WW1/WW2 stories! Or really any historical fiction. I’ve loved Before We Were Yours, the Orphan Train, Lilac Girls, the Alice Network, and the Outlander series! I’ve just started the Nightingale and I also have the Book Thief. Any other ideas? Thanks in advance!! ?
Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy (from the 80s I think) and A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meisser (recent).
Diary of a young girl Anne Frank
Charles Todd’s Bess Crawford series for WWI, Charles Todd’s Ian Rudledge series for post WWI, James R. Benn’s Billy Boyle series for WWII.
Try this.A 16 yr old from the russian front to stalingrad and the battle for berlin.
The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin (historical fiction about Anne Morrow Lindbergh)
Transcription by Kate Atkinson.
Also City of Thieves by David Benioff (siege of Leningrad, fiction but based on the author’s grandfather)
This book is excellent.
I read it too. Good book.
I read a Maeve Binchy- set in WW2… Light a Penny Candle. About a young girl evacuated from London to Ireland…
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The Tattooist of Auschwitz
My Real Name Is Hanna
The tattooist of auschwitz!
Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan, From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon, We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter, War and Remembrance and Winds of War, by Herman Wouk, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Kristin Rogers me, too!
I have the librarian of Auschwitz, irena’s children, lilac girls.
I have all three as well. Of those my favorite is Lilac Girls.
Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy. Best WWII fiction I ever read.
Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear
Agree with this one!
Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks.
The Zone of Interestby Martin Amis
Ken Follet wrote 3 books beginning in WWI and ending at the fall of the Berlin Wall. They are EXCELLENT!
War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans
Night by Ellie wiesel
The bronze horseman trilogy
Mila 18 Leon Uris
Susan Elia MacNeal’s Mr Churchhill’s Secretary series
Code Name verity
Anne Perry has a wonderful WWI series, an arc mystery but 5 books Inthink that each have a mystery and reall brings trench war fare to horrible life
I loved The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg, and learned a lot about the WASPS in WWII.
The Madonnas of Leningrad was fascinating, a novel centering around the challenging efforts to save precious artwork in The Hermitage from Nazi plundering.
Fortunes of War by Olivia Manning…King Rat by James Clavell…Mila 18 by Leon Uris…The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje…Von Ryan’s Express by David Westheimer…Mister Roberts by Thomas Heggen…From Here to Eternity by James Jones…The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon…Empire of the Sun by J G Ballard…Catch-22 by Joseph Heller…Sophie’s Choice by William Styron…A Hero of France by Alan Furst…Mr. Churchill’s Secretary: A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia Macneal …The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel…The War Against Miss Winter (Rosie Winter Mystery #1) by Kathryn Miller Haines…Winter in Madrid by C J Sansom…Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher…Billy Boyle by James R Benn…A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway…Fall of Giants by Ken Follett…A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin…The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally…One of Ours by Willa Cather…
Wow, you are incredibly well read on the topic.
@Katrina I was born in 1953 so I have had many years to read about it. As I growing up I heard a lot about WWII from television and the movies. My father was a physician for the Veterans Administration and much of my childhood was spent actually living in quarters on a VA Medical Center so I grew up surrounded by WWII veterans. Much of the literature I starting reading as teen was written by WWII veterans who were the authors of the best selling books in the those days.
Born survivors by @Wendy
I loved the Book Thief. I think it’s a brilliant piece of writing, and loved The Nightingale as well. For something new and different – I wrote a true story of a Catholic Pole survives two concentration camps and goes on to live the American dream. We met by chance in 2002 and I wrote his story. I hope it’s ok to mention my own book. Thanks. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1633935205
Kate Atkinson wrote two wonderful books set in WWII: “Life After Life” and “A God in Ruins”. Two of the best books I’ve ever read. She’s an amazing writer. The stories are linked, but I’m not sure which one should be read first.
@Diane I think that Life After Life should be read first. ?
Not fiction, but for anyone who likes non-fiction I’d recommend the Nella Last books. Nella Last’s War, ” ” Peace and ” ” in the 50s
@Jane I have Nellas Last War on my TBR bookcase, didn’t realise there were more, thank you! Should they be read in order?
@Jo Best read in order. The Victoria Wood programme “Housewife 49” was also based on Nella’s writing x
@Jane I’ll look into it, thank you!
You’re welcome, enjoy! :-0
Elizabeth Wein’s books: Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire, Black Dove, White Raven
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks
Beneath a Scarlet Sky!
The invisible bridge
Love this book
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulkes is a must.
Strange Meeting by Susan Hill is short but beautiful
La’s Orchestra Saves the World, a stand alone title from the ever delightful Alexander McCall Smith …
The bronze horseman and the memory of us if you’re into historical romance.
The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley
Sarah’s Key, Winds of War , War and Remembrance, Pillars of The Earth, Far Pavilions, Shanghai Girls, Year of Wonders
Sarah’s Key was wonderful . I also enjoyed The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes.
I loved book thief and all the light we cannot see. The violin of Auschwitz was also good
The night watch by Sarah Waters.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Could not put it down. Read the whole book in one sitting. I’ve never done that. Deeply disturbing but no less compelling. Very intense, so prepare yourself. In my humble opinion, a must-read for anyone interested in WWII lit.
It’s in my TBR list: The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
@Erica I really enjoyed it. It’s a very different take on WWII fiction.
The Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawker.
I really loved Marge Piercy’s Gone to Soldiers. The character development was quite good and I felt it looked at WWII from different vantage points than I was used to reading.
I have decided to get it as an audible. I can hardly wait.
LOVED that book. Have read it several times.
I just read the tattooist of auschwitz and it was a good read, definitely dark
Also, Once We Were Brothers and Karolinas Twins by Ronald Balson
The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P Kiernan
The German Girl by Armando Lucas Carren
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys
The Race for Paris by Meg Waite Clayton
Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce.
The Ragged Edge of Night… it was a Kindle First Reads book for September.
I have Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks waiting on my bookshelf which I’m sure will be wonderful. But All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr was great. I gather the film rights have been sold so get in quick before the movie!
Those Who Save Us; All the Light We Cannot See; The War That Saved My Life; Night; The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Saga of the Century Trilogy: The Fountain Overflows, This Real Night, and Cousin Rosamund (WWI), The Summer Before the War (WWI), Crossing Stones (WWI), The Lost Crown (WWI) The Girl in the Blue Coat (WWII), The Guernsey Island Literary Society and Potato Peel Pie (WWII), The Hiding Place (WWII), Gone to Soldiers (WWII)
All The Light We Can Not See by Andrew Doerr
Beach Music…. one of my favorite books of all time
Did anyone mention Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy yet? WWI, several of the characters are real people but it is fictional
A Town Like Alice
Under A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
All the light we cannot see by Anthony doerr. One of the best books I’ve ever read.
Amazon Prime’s first reads came out today, and there’s a free historical fiction pick. Might want to check it out if you’re a prime member.
The Book of Negros is my favorite historical fiction book ever.
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
Loved the orphan train! There’s a trilogy called The Bronze Horseman series by Paulina Simons, it’s a historical fiction series based in the Soviet Union (don’t worry, it’s in English) and I absolutely adore those books! There’s also a series called Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati that’s a personal favorite, there’s a reference to Claire and Jamie in this series as the books take place in upstate NY at the same time Jamie and Claire are in NC.
@Allison & Brittany Smith, you are my soul sisters. We have the exact same taste in books. ?
Thats music to my ears! That being said, what’s your favorite series? Novel?
@Brittney Series – Outlander, hands down. Novel, I don’t know. The ones listed between Allison, you, and I cover most of them. I did like the, These is My Words trilogy. And if you read romance books, Elle Casey & Mariana Zapata are my favorite authors. I have to have some levity in my reading, especially with my love for WWll books.
Are either of you on Goodreads?
I do read romance on occasion, and I haven’t read either of those authors so I’ll add them to my TBR. I am not on goodreads, I had an account a log time ago and forgot the password and it was an old email address but I’m making a new one shortly.
@Chrissy I just got Goodreads!!
@Allison I need to find how to share my username.
Salt to the Sea. From Sand and Ash. The Bronze Horseman.
Bronze Horseman for sure!
All the light we can not see!
WWI- Daughters of Mars; WW II- Sophie’s Choice
We were the lucky ones
YES YES YES
I loved the Orphan’s Tale
Beneath A Scarlet Sky – Fictionalized but based on true story. Excellent book.
@Missy I am reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand right now. So far has been a good book, I am glad I know the U.S. and her allies won the war.
Letters to the Lost by Iona Gray
Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum is one of my favorites.
I strongly recommend The Morland Dynasty Series of novels by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. In particular Books 28 (see photo) to 32, which cover the years of the First World War as it impacted on an affluent family from Northern England. They are some of the BEST NOVELS I’ve ever read.
Once We Were Brothers
THE LAST CONVERTIBLE by Anton Myrer. A heartwarming novel that has as its focus, the WWII generation as represented by the Harvard Class of 1940 (which included a future President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy).
Once We Were Brothers
We Were the Lucky Ones
LONG ROAD TO BAGHDAD by Catrin Collier. The is Book 1 of a 3-novel series set in the Middle East during the First World War.
The .last Town on Earth.
HARDCASTLE’S OBSESSION by Graham Ison. This First World War novel is part of the Detective Inspector Hardcastle Series. The setting is London, September 1916. In the immediate aftermath of a German Zeppelin raid, a woman’s body is found among the rubble. Upon further investigation, it is determined that none of the tenants in the bombed-out building knew her and that, from inspecting her wounds, that it is likely she was murdered before the air raid took place.
All the Light We Cannot See
Dream When You Are Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg 🙂
BREAKOUT AT STALINGRAD by Heinrich Gerlach. This novel is based on the experiences of the author, who fought in the WWII epic Battle of Stalingrad as an officer in the Wehrmacht and was later captured by the Russians and spent 7 years in the Soviet Union as a POW.
Those are great books ?
Sarah’s Key, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Salt to the Sea
Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Flags of Our Fathers
I really loved Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. I like WWII novels and other historical fiction. I think this one is probably my all time favorite.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
THE LIGHT YEARS (Volume 1 of the Cazalet Chronicles) by Elizabeth Jane Howard. Volumes 1-4 are largely set in the UK and span the years 1937 to 1945. Absolutely LOVED this series. Elizabeth Jane Howard is deserving of a wider reading audience.
I really liked this series as well.its been years, but I remember how much I liked it.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Am in the middle of Winds of War.
History of Love by Krauss, Everything is Illuminated by Safran Foer
White Rose, Black Forest by Dempsey
I just finished Coming Home by rosamund pilcher…wonderful epic set during WWII
The Librarian of Auschwitz
LOST IN THE FLAMES: A World War II RAF Bomber Command novel by Christopher @Jory
I have heard the Tatooist of Auschwitz is very good.
Anne Perry has a five-book series on WWI. I enjoyed the entire series.
Sarah’s Key is a must read.
GONE TO SEA IN A BUCKET by David Black. This WWII novel focuses a look on the life of a young Royal Navy sailor in the submarine service during the early years of the War. Fascinating.
Anthony Doerr “All the Light We Cannot See”
The Room on Rue Amelie, Warlight, The Diplomats Daughter. All set in WW II. The Diplomats Daughter was set primarily in the Pacific theatre so it’s different than most. They’re all so good as are the other titles everyone is mentioning.
SOUTH TO JAVA by Vice Adm William P. Mack (USN ret.) & William P. Mack, Jr. This WWII novel is centered on the experiences of a crew of an old U.S. Navy destroyer during the early years of the Pacific War, culminating in the Battle of the Java Sea in 1942 (a decisive Japanese naval victory).
All Clear and Blackout by Connie Willis. EXCELLENT WWII!
Sebastian Faulks birdsong. A beautiful book, highly recommend!
Everyone Brave is Forgiven
ZERO OVER BERLIN by Joh Sasaki, Hiroko Yoda, and Matt Alt. A highly imaginative WWII novel in which Japan’s Mitsubishi Zero fighter plays a prominent part during the early years of the War in Europe.
Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family by Jenna Blum
BURDEN OF DESIRE by Robert MacNeil. An amazingly GOOD WWI novel set in Canada during 1917 and 1918. The novel is also partially based on a real historical incident.
Beneath the Scarlet Sky set in Italy and Secrets of a Charmed Life set in England, We were the Lucky Ones set in Poland. the Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. These were all excellent In my opinion.
A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell. Great characters and plot- deals with the Italian Resistance movement during WW2
THE PALE HOUSE: A Gregor Reinhardt Novel by Luke McCallin. A WWII novel of suspense set in the Balkans.
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer.
One of the best books I ever read about this era was Stranger at the Gates by Evelyn Anthony. I’m sure you could find it somewhere but it was written many years ago. The plot was a family hiding an American soldier in Germany. It was riveting! I used to have a paper book copy. I’m going to attempt to get a hard copy of it because I want it in my library. It should be a book for the ages because even though it was fiction it shows the atrocities that occurred during this evil reign of The Third Reich???
If you want a light series try Rhys Bowen’s, Her Royal Spyness series. For a more somber try Elizabeth George’s series that starts with Churchill’s Secretary.
The Baker’s Secret….loved it!
That was really good.
CITY OF WOMEN by David R. Guillham. A WWII novel set in Berlin.
The Power of One
The Spy Who Loved was really good!
THE YOUNG LIONS by Irwin Shaw. The classic WWII novel that portrays the experiences of ordinary soldiers.
You will loveThe Nightingale and The Book Thief. They were two of my faves.
The Summer Before The War
I liked All the light we cannot sea by Anthony Doer.
And if I remember correctly The night watch by Sarah Waters is also about the second world war?
Really loved “All the Light . . . “
The Bronze Horseman trilogy.
Of course there’s the WWI classic “All Quiet on the Western Front”
Shattered by @Christina
Tattooist of Auschwitz…
THE RED HORSE by Eugenio Corti. This WWII novel looks at the plight of Italian soldiers on the Eastern Front during 1942 and 1943. It’s loosely based on the author’s own wartime experiences.
try Simon Mawer Trapeze and The Glass Room both quite good
just finished Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson
“Resistance” by Anita Shreve. ” The Nazi Officer’s Wife” by Edith Hahn Beer.
THE BURNING BLUE by James Holland. Holland, a writer and historian, has crafted an incredible, poignant WWII novel, with the Battle of Britain figuring prominently.
The Alice Network!
Sorry!!! I should read the entire post before answering!!
It was such a good book!
SO GLAD YOU POSTED – This is my favorite time period!
Book Thief by Markus Zusac. Tales of the South Pacific by Michener.
I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who loves WW2 novels.
Water’s Edge, by Sara Gruen
So many great titles are listed above. I need to start a WWII list on Goodreads.
Commenting again. I recently read Code Talker by Chester Nez. It’s a memoir, I hope that’s ok.
Loved The Nightingale
The Diary of Anne Frank…but very sad
The Maggie Hope series by Susan Elia Macneal and the Billy Boyle series by James R Benns are both excellent series set during WWII
Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner.
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. Love this book. Also just finished The Tattoist of Auschwitz. Excellent book.
All the light we cannot see
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.
Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk
As Bright as Heaven (WW1)
Our book group invites the “guys” once a year. This year our selection is Beneath the Scarlett Sky .
Lisette’s List and The Perfume Collector.
The Lost Wife and Sarah’s Key are two favorites from 5-10 years ago.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Librarian of Auschwitz, The War Outside
The Paris Architect is a good WWII book
Ken Follet’s Century Trilogy is excellent if you like historical fiction!
City of Thiefs , it about the siege of Leningrad
A Very Long Engagement (WWI)
I know you have a lot of comments but please bear with one more ? I think Necessary Lies is one you would enjoy. Also, The Glass Castle and Water for Elephants.
I really disliked The Glass Castle.
@Alison lol then I take that one back?
I didn’t read Necessary Lie but I really liked the other two.
Goodbye is not Forever by Amy George and Al Janssen
The Daughters of Mars, Thomas Keneally. Based on nurses during WW1
I’d recommend The Gift of Rain and The Garden of Evening Mists both by Tan Twan Eng. Loved them very much, they’re very good WW2 historical fiction.
Beneath a Scarlet Sky, fictional account of a true story set in Italy during WW2. Quite the adventure!
I loved that book too!
THE CRUEL SEA by Nicholas Monsarrat. A classic WWII novel about the experiences of 2 Royal Navy warships on convoy patrols in the Atlantic and above the Arctic Circle.
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
FLIGHT INTO DARKNESS by Tom Neill. This book is a collection of short stories loosely based on the author’s experiences as a Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter pilot during the Second World War. The writing is absolutely first-rate.
This is a WWI book. Based in England.
All The Light We Cannot See was good. The Book Thief is brilliant, glad you have that. I read a book on World War two that is non fiction, but was also very good. Its called The Zookeeper’s Wife.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Seattle in WW2.
Loved this book also.
Irena Sendlers book
I just finished Life in a Jar the Irene Sendlers Project. Thought it was very good.
Love the Maisie Dobbs Series. Not only good mysteries but a better understanding of how WWI affected the people from England.
City of Women (can’t remember author), Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bojhalian, Ken Follett trilogy
Citizens of London, Is Paris Burning?
All Quiet On the Western Front
A really good novel. I read it some years ago and have also seen both the original movie adaptation (from 1930) and the 1979 TV adaptation, which starred Richard Thomas and Ernest Borgnine.
The Cartographer of No Man’s Land by P.S. Duffy
I highly recommend War Brides by Helen Bryan.
BLUEBIRDS by Margaret Mayhew. A heartwarming WWII novel about the experiences of a remarkable group of women in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in Britain from 1939 to 1945.
Jackdaws by Ken Follett is another excellent book.
CHRISTMAS AT WOOLWORTHS by Elaine Everest. This WWII novel provides the reader with a view of life on the home front in Britain.