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Topic: War I & II era book titles

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Subject: War I & II era book titles
Date Posted: 5/18/2012 12:53 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 415
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Does anyone know of book titles or series that are from the era of War I & II? Or if you have some on your self let me know. Thanks

Last Edited on: 5/18/12 12:56 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/18/2012 6:46 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,727
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I can jump in with a few series for you.

James Benn writes a WWII series about Billy Boyle, a young Irish American cop who is sent to war and becomes a personal investigator for Eisenhower.  

Then of course, Charles Todd writes about WWI in A Test of Wills, the first in a series about Ian Rutledge, back home but unable to leave the war behind.

For a female lead character, try Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs.  Maisie goes to the front as a nurse during WWI.  

Oh, and Charles Todd also writes a war series with a female protagonist: Bess Crawford is also a nurse during WWI and manages to solve mysteries as well!


I'm sure some of the others here will think of something!  I don't have any of these books on my shelf, though.  I'm not sure what I have on my shelf anymore!  blush

Date Posted: 5/18/2012 8:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Csardas by Dianne Pearson is set during WWI & II, Hungary. Main characters/family is Jewish so that gives things a different viewpoint. She's also written one called The Summer of the Barshinkys. I enjoyed both, especially Csardas. If you like a focus on the Russian side of WWI, look at The Longest Winter by Daphne Wright, The Summer Day is Done by Robert T. Stevens, a Daughter of the Nobility Natasha Borovsky. There's a trilogy written by Ruth Solomon Freeman that's based on her family in Russia through their emigration to the US. Begins a bit earlier than what you are looking for, but I believe it does cover WWI. I tried the first one and lost interest, but I might try again one day. Series info here.  There's also the third book in Gwen Bristow's Plantation trilogy that begins prior to WWI. Set in Louisiana. Been a few years, but I think it could be read by itself. Don't let the used prices scare you, it can be found via interlibrary loan.

I'll keep on thinking, it's much too early and I haven't had my coffee yet cheeky

Date Posted: 5/18/2012 8:52 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,438
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When I read the opening post, I thought, "Oh, Honey ... don't ask the question if you can't stand the answer ... you're about to be flooded with more titles & ideas than you thought possible!"

For me, whenever I think of WW II, the first author that always comes to mind is Leon Uris. Armegeddon, Mila 18 & Exodus are all wonderful books! But they were written a long time ago & you may have already read them.

Another stand-alone book is City of Shadows by Ariana Franklin ... set in Germany during those scary years between WW I & WW II.

There will be more suggestions, Melissa ... we are a reading & sharing group!

Kelly P


Date Posted: 5/18/2012 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,156
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City of Shadows is an awesome read!  Do put it on your list.  Two that I have read this year are The Paris Wife and The Stranger's Child (WWI).  The former is about Hemingway's first wife and the war affects much of what occurs.  The latter is about a family and their lives are strongly affected by the war.  Both are good reads.  Another that I really enjoyed was called Losing Julia.  There are so many!  

Last Edited on: 5/18/12 9:19 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/18/2012 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
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yes Billy Boyle Series from James Benn

Also, Jeff Shaara has a WW1 book and 4 WW2 books that are good.


Date Posted: 5/18/2012 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2009
Posts: 1,180
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I don't usually read this time period but I have two that have stuck with me thru the years....

Normally a Regency/Georgian writer, Patricia Veryan wrote "Poor Splendid Wings" set in Britain.

And Sarah Patterson's "The Distant Summer" also set in Britain. 

Off to check out the Franklin-haven't tried her but I've wanted to.....

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 5/18/2012 11:32 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 43,903
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Anne Perry has a 5 book historical mystery series set in WW1 that is quite good. The Book Theif is set in WWII


A new one I just picked up is Mr Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal


Date Posted: 5/18/2012 5:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,438
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I second The Book Thief (Markus Zusak) ... wonderful book.

Also, Guernica (Dave Boling) & The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer).

And, someone help me: what was that one set in Moscow? Leningrad? after the Fall ... set in winter, sooo cold, very little food, two boys maybe? escaped the City & were trying their luck in the countryside? Is this ringing any bells? I really liked the book & it was very popular ... but the title &/or author are not coming to mind ...


Date Posted: 5/18/2012 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,513
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Kelly - do you mean "City of Thieves" by David Benioff? One of the best books that I read that year.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear is a mystery series that is set between the wars in England.  

Date Posted: 5/18/2012 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,438
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Mimi! Yes !! 

That is exactly the one I mean ... and I heartily 2nd the endorsement. Even though I couldn't immediately grab hold of the author or title, it is a book I really enjoyed & one that stayed with me for quite awhile after I had finished it.




Date Posted: 5/18/2012 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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There are also tags for these 2 time periods:

World War I

World War II


The Book Thief and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society get my votes too.

Date Posted: 5/18/2012 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2006
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Alan Furst writes many books set around WWII.

Date Posted: 5/18/2012 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,438
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I can't believe no one has mentioned The Winds of War by Herman Wouk, and its sequel War and Remembrance.  Great WWII book, and movie.


Date Posted: 6/6/2012 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2005
Posts: 66
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Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy is set during WWII. 

Also Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher.  Set in England starting before WWII and during.

Both are really good.

Last Edited on: 6/6/12 11:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/6/2012 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2010
Posts: 89
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I concur with The Guernsey Literary and Potaot Peel Pie Society - you can read it in very little time, but I enjoyed it immensely. I will also agree with the  recommendation of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series for World War I.

It is not Anita Shreve's usual genre, but I thought The Resistance was good.

Other books that were good: All Our Worldly Goods by Irene Nemirovsky, The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy,  

        The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust



Last Edited on: 6/6/12 1:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1