So I’ve decided that I would like to do a series of posts regarding my TBR pile/list. This won’t be a weekly feature; at the most it will probably be once every two weeks or, more likely, once a month. The posts will always be posted on a Thursday in accordance with the name.What I will do is choose a random topic or category and try to find books in my TBR list that fit the topic. I’ll write a post about what books I’ve earmarked as to-read the fit the theme and, if I have few in the way of books, ask for recommendations dealing with the topic. If anyone wants to suggest a topic for a post I would be more than happy! What originally gave me the idea for this feature is that I was looking through my TBR list and I realized how many books I had dealing in one way or another with war. Please note that these are not all the books on my TBR that deal with war in some way they are just a sampling that I felt were interesting or that stood out to me in some way. The books below all somehow deal with war either overtly or in a more subtle way. So: here’s the first TBR Themed Thursday!
The Shield of Three Lions by Pamela Kaufman
Crusades; 496 pages
This book seems like a lot of fun. Alix, a young girl, is the daughter of a baron but her family has been killed and their lands seized. Disguising herself as a boy she heads off to France to plead her case to King Richard the Lion Hart. She ends up becoming the king’s page and one of his favorites and accompanies him to the Holy Land to retake Jerusalem.
North and South by John Jakes
Civil War; 812 pages
This is not North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell! This the first book in a trilogy about the US Civil War. The story deals with two interconnected families; one from the South and one from the North. The books follow the families’ relationship with each other and how it changes with the onset and aftermath of the war. This trilogy seems to be fairly well-known and, although I have heard some negative things about it, I want to give it a try.
Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles
Civil War; 352 pages
This book tells the story of a young southern woman, Adair Colley, who is fleeing from the destruction of the war. Unfortunately, she is caught by Union forces and sent to a women’s prison where, she falls in love with her Union interrogator. When he is ordered to the front he sets her free and they promise when the war is over to meet in the South. Adair makes her way home, hoping he survives.
I must confess that I am a bit weary of this one as I don’t usually care for books that are too romance focused but I still want to give it a try.
Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy
World War II; 773 pages
I can’t wait to read this one! It tells the story of six women and four men and their lives during World War II. It covers a lot of areas, from soldiers and spies, US immigrants, and the underground resistance. It seems just up my alley!
The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies
World War II; 352 pages
I just love this cover! This book centers on Wales during the last few months of the war. It concerns a young girl names Esther. She lives in a small village where, on the outskirts, a German POW camp has been set up. One day she wonders over to the camp where she meets a young German prisoner. Of course, they fall in love. Once again I’m a little unsure about this one because of the romance I don’t like books that are two sappy or where people seem to fall in love in one day, but I am intrigued. It reminds me of Summer of My German Soldier which I read in eight grade for school. I actually checked out The Welsh Girl from the library once but I never got around to reading it before I had to return it. I’m hopeful that the next time I check it out I actually read it!
Well that’s it for fiction. I do have a few more on my TBR but they deal with the same wars or time periods so I decided not to post about them here. The ones above are the ones I’m most excited about reading. Looking over my list I realize that I have no novels at all dealing with the American Revolution, Vietnam, etc. Any recs?
This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust
Civil War; 368 pages
This is another one that really interests me. The Civil War caused casualties on a scale never seen before in the United States today it would be like loosing 6 million people. This, coupled with photographs that allowed the public to view the carnage daily from the newspapers, deeply affected the way citizens viewed death, dying, religion, and God. Instead of focusing on battles, dates, and generals, this book focuses on how the war affected the psyche of the American people.
Tomorrow to be Brave: A Memoir of the Only Woman Ever to Serve in the French Foreign Legion by Susan Travers
I can’t wait to read this one. Suan Travers tells her life story, from her English childhood, to her decision to join the French Free Forces at the outbreak of World War II, to her leading 2,000 men out of Bir Hakeim in North Africa over minefields and through German lines, her receiving of the Military Medal and the Legion d’Honneur, to after the war when she became the only woman ever in the history of the French Foreign Legion to serve as a regular officer.
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by William L. Shirier
World War II; 1,264 pages
This book, as the title says, tells of the rise and fall of Hitler and the Third Reich. I took a class in college on the history of the Holocaust and studied World War II several times in school but I still feel as if I only have a basic understanding of Word War II and Germany at that time. From what I can tell, this book on the history of the Third Reich is one of the most highly respected. I have no immediate plans to read this huge book but it is something that I want to, at some point, give my undivided attention to.
World War II; 288 pages
Denis Avey, 92 years old at the time of publication, tells the story of how he was captured and sent to a POW work camp where he worked alongside Auschwitz prisoners. Horrified at their stories, he twice managed to switch places with two of them and experience what truly was happening in the world’s most infamous concentration camp.
What It Is Like To Go To War by Karl Marlantes
General; 256 pages
Marlantes served in Vietnam. In this book talks about not only his own experiences, but the experience of war throughout history and how men and women are prepared or not prepared- for war and the realities of modern combat. Marlantes is the author of Matterhorn, a novel about the Vietnam War which I also would like to eventually read.
On retrospect, I seem to have next to nothing in regards to non-fiction books dealing with the American Revolution, World War I, or Vietnam. I am also interested in learning more about non-eurocentric wars, such as the civil war in Guatemala, the war in Sudan, etc. Does anyone have any recs?
Have you read any of these books? What’s books dealing with war are on your TBR?