January 27, 2021
World War 11 Reads
(including some Holocaust reads)
January 27th is International
Holocaust Remembrance Day
Meme from theisraelproject.org. In addition to the six million Jews, there were approximately five million others killed by the Nazis: gypsies, homosexuals, people with mental or physical disabilities, Jehovah’s Witnesses, resistance fighters, Poles and other Slavic peoples.
Those of us who read WW11 Historical Fiction have stories of the Holocaust and the suffering of the Jewish people burned into our hearts. On this day of remembrance, I’ve listed some of the most memorable WW11 books I’ve read. Some involve the Holocaust. some describe the efforts of others or how their own lives were affected, and others take place during WW11. This is NOT a list exclusively about the Holocaust even though we are remembering this horrific event in history today.
***Titles are links to my blog or goodreads reviews or affiliate Amazon links.
From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon
Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini
The Invisible Woman by Erika Robuck (ARC, Pub Date: 2/9/21)
The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P Kierman
The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas
The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke
The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton
The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
Young Adult (New Young Adult and Adult crossover)
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe
Paper Hearts by Meg Woviott
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris
(***Yes, I’m aware that Heather Morris has received criticism of her work in regard to historical facts, however, I still appreciated the stories.)
Living During WW11
The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin (ARC, Pub Date: 4/6/21)
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles (ARC, Pub Date: 2/9/21)
Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman
Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan
The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan
The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy
The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel
White Rose, Black Forest by Eoin Dempsey
Unbroken: A WW11 Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Red Sky Over Hawaii, The Lieutenant’s Nurse, The Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers all by Sara Ackerman
The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel
The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey
Room on Rue Amélie by Kristin Harmel
What titles can you add? I thought of adding Sarah’s Key, but I didn’t actually read it because I saw the movie. I know it’s a favorite for many histfic readers.
QOTD: Have you read any of these titles?
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
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***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.
Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.
Carol that’s a great list. Its an era in history I’m very much drawn to
Thanks! I’m amazed how many different angles stories can be told from!
This was a great post Carol and so important. I love reading WW2 books, and I have read a few on this list already, the others are all going on my reading list though!
Thanks Ellie! There are so many WW11 books! They can be heartbreaking and heavy. 💔
They can, but it’s so important to remember!
Yes it’s vital to remember! 🙌
Carol, this is a great thing to do – thanks for compiling it. I would add Mosaic by Diane Armstrong which tells the story of five generations of her Polish Jewish family. She was a child during the war. It is utterly fascinating, gripping and highly moving. We read it after a trip to Poland when our son was living there and also having met a wonderful couple in Wroclaw who were Holocaust survivors. I feel everyone should read this book!
Thank you so much for the recommendation Janet! I’ll definitely check it out!
Thank you Carol for posting this. More than you know.
You are very welcome! 😘
Excellent list. Have you read HEIDEGGER’S GLASSES by Thaisa Frank? If not, I highly recommend it. It is an extraordinary tale, beautifully written. Many thanks for all these wonderful recommendations.
Thanks! I appreciate the recommendation Barbara and I’ll definitely check it out!
It feels weird to say that I love WWII novels because it was such an awful period in history with so much hate, fear, violence, and death. Still, the stories really resonate with me. I’ve read a number of the books you’ve listed, but there are a lot on here that I haven’t, so thanks for this. I’ll definitely look up the new-to-me titles.
Thanks for commenting Susan! I agree that they are heavy and heartbreaking reads. But also so inspirational! Especially the stories based on real people.
I havent, I read a few nonfiction books but the holocaust as a fictional/romantic setting …. Idk
I just read an investigative one that was pretty good
My favs are ones based on real people! Code Name Helene for example!
Absolutely wonderful tribute, Carol💜
Thanks Jonetta! Taking some heat on Twitter from people who feel some titles are too generic WW11 and not specifically Holocaust…..I edited my first paragraph to explain the post better. Next year I will need to do better and only include Holocaust books on the list. 🤷♀️
This was a really beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it!
You’re welcome! 🙌
I have just finished Between Shades of Gray also by Ruta Sepetys, another excellent read. A moving list, Carol. ❤📚
Thanks Sandy! 🙌
Unfortunately, I haven’t read any of the mentioned books, but I will definitely be reading a few of these books this year immediately. Thank you so much for this post and this amazing list of book! 💖💕
You’re welcome! I hope you find a great read! Thanks for commenting!
This era is always so haunting but it’s still important to read about. I loved Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook but it takes place shortly after WWII
I haven’t heard of that title…I’ll look it up!
I’ve read so many of these! My daughter and I were just talking today about someday visiting a Holocaust museum.
I’ve been to the one in LA. A moving and unforgettable experience.
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