Thursday, November 11, 2010


 [In Canada, we call in Remembrance Day]
It is November 11th, known here in the U.S. as Veteran’s Day, formerly Armistice Day to remember the end of WWI but expanded to honor all veterans who have fought for their country, so …
Do you read war stories? Fictional ones? Histories? 

Suey posted a top 10 list of her favorite war stories, and as I commented on her post, I realized I had enough war stories to make a post of my own. I couldn't limit it to 10 either. I guess I mostly read fictional war stories set in real wars. I didn't include imaginary wars, like in the Chaos Walking series.


1. Rilla of Ingleside by LM Montgomery
More of a view of the Canadian homeland during the war, the Great War is a backdrop to the last of Anne's stories, as her children are living through it. One of my favorite in the series.
2. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
Not so much about the war, but England in the early 1930s is still full of characters dealing with the repercussions. Large flashbacks put the reader in the trenches in France.


1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
For those who like their war stories told in a slightly lighter tone, but still dramatic and utterly charming. Has anyone not adored this book?
2. Night Watch by Sarah Waters
A backwards look at the lives of several people during the Blitz in London. Great characters and unique look at life in London.
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Lisel is the star, but Death narrates. Death was busy in Germany during the 1940s.
4. Maus by Art Speigleman
A graphic novel memoir by the son of a Jewish survivor from Germany.
5. Stones From the River by Ursula Helgi
One of the fist and perhaps best of Oprah picks. I loved this story of a little person surviving in Germany. Also showed what life was like in Germany for everyday citizens trying to survive as well.
6. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
The background of Nemirovsky adds to the drama of this story written during the German occupation of France. Nemirovsky died before the war ended, which makes the stories she wrote even more dramatic.
7. Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst
For those who like thrillers, Furst sets this story in Greece, but helps Germans escape Germany throughout Europe. Furst writes many WW2 thrillers so this is just one of many of his.

 Civil Wars Around the World

1. The Cellist of Sarajevo by Stephen Galloway (Yugoslavia)
What is it like to live in an occupied state? 
2. Small Wars by Sophie Jones (Cyprus)
A British couple starts their married life on the occupied island of Cyprus. More of a study of a marriage and the small wars within it, even small wars in the world have large repercussions for their inhabitants.
3. The Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah (Sierra Leone)
Nonfiction account of a child soldier in Sierra Leone.
4. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria)
The Biafran war and all the atrocities of war are woven within one family and how war tears so many people apart.

Have you read any of these? Which are your favorite war stories? I feel like there are some books I've forgotten, especially about World War 1.