#AtoZChallenge Stories From A Time of War – Winds of War and War and Remembrance

STORIES FROM A TIME OF WAR

THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN FICTION & NONFICTION

This month in the April A to Z Challenge, I am posting about books, fiction, and nonfiction that are about or set in the Second World War.  The war and the people who experienced it have stories to tell and these stories are so overwhelming they lend themselves to greatness.  I encourage you to sample some of these stories.  I promise you will not regret taking the time.  To help me develop an alphabetical list for this challenge, I used Goodreads.com.  Did you know that there are more than 883 fiction and 480 nonfiction books in this genre on the website’s Listopia as voted on by members?  That is a lot of stories and facts just waiting for us to explore.

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Well known for the two blockbuster television mini-series, these novels by Herman Wouk, the Winds of War and War and Remembrance, tell the saga of an American family caught up in the Second World War. In the Winds of War, the entire story of the Henry family and those who interact with them is set against the backdrop of World War II. There are evaluations of the war as seen from those involved and from a German officer’s writing. The story comes to a close as Pearl Harbor is bombed by the Japanese. The second book, War and Remembrance, continues the story from that point and follows with great fidelity the major events of World War II.  The novel begins with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and ends with the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima. All major battles on land and sea are covered. Japanese, American, and German war aims are fully explored and analyzed, including the development of the atom bomb and of the concentration camps. Domestic life in the United States during the war, the acute suffering of the Soviet people during the German invasion, and the collapse of the British Empire in the Far East all receive significant attention. As a result, the global dimensions of the war become the primary concern of the novel.

Television Promotion Winds of War 1983

Television Promotion War and Remembrances 1988

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Don’t stop there.  So many other books about or set in the time of war are available.  Here are a few links to Goodreads:

Wave of Terror by Theodore Odrach

Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (Out of the Hitler Time #1) by Judith Kerr

The Way Back to Florence by Glenn Haybittle

War of the Rats by David L. Robbins

With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene B. Sledge, Paul Fussell (One of the books used as a basis for the HBO television series, The Pacific)

We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of American Nurses Trapped on Bataan by the Japanese by Elizabeth M. Norman

The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944-45 by Stephen E. Ambrose

 

 

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#AtoZChallenge Stories From A Time of War – Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II

STORIES FROM A TIME OF WAR

THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN FICTION & NONFICTION

This month in the April A to Z Challenge, I am posting about books, fiction, and nonfiction that are about or set in the Second World War.  The war and the people who experienced it have stories to tell and these stories are so overwhelming they lend themselves to greatness.  I encourage you to sample some of these stories.  I promise you will not regret taking the time.  To help me develop an alphabetical list for this challenge, I used Goodreads.com.  Did you know that there are more than 883 fiction and 480 nonfiction books in this genre on the website’s Listopia as voted on by members?  That is a lot of stories and facts just waiting for us to explore.

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I just added Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II by Wil S. Hylton to my list of future reads.  Here is the description from Goodreads.com that makes me want to read this story.  In the fall of 1944, a massive American bomber carrying eleven men vanished over the Pacific islands of Palau, leaving a trail of mysteries. According to mission reports from the Army Air Forces, the plane crashed in shallow water—but when investigators went to find it, the wreckage wasn’t there. Witnesses saw the crew parachute to safety, yet the airmen were never seen again. Some of their relatives whispered that they had returned to the United States in secret and lived in hiding. But they never explained why.  For sixty years, the U.S. government, the children of the missing airmen, and a maverick team of scientists and scuba divers searched the islands for clues. They trolled the water with side-scan sonar, conducted grid searches on the seafloor, crawled through thickets of mangrove and poison trees, and flew over the islands in small planes to shoot infrared photography. With every clue they found, the mystery only deepened.  Now, in a spellbinding narrative, Wil S. Hylton weaves together the true story of the missing men, their final mission, the families they left behind, and the real reason their disappearance remained shrouded in secrecy for so long. This is a story of love, loss, sacrifice, and faith— of the undying hope among the families of the missing, and the relentless determination of scientists, explorers, archaeologists, and deep-sea divers to solve one of the enduring mysteries of World War II.

#AtoZChallenge Stories From A Time of War – Unbroken

STORIES FROM A TIME OF WAR

THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN FICTION & NONFICTION

This month in the April A to Z Challenge, I am posting about books, fiction and nonfiction that are about or set in the Second World War.  The war and the people who experienced it have stories to tell and these stories are so overwhelming they lend themselves to greatness.  I encourage you to sample some of these stories.  I promise you will not regret taking the time.  To help me develop an alphabetical list for this challenge, I used Goodreads.com.  Did you know that there are more than 883 fiction and 480 nonfiction books in this genre on the website’s Listopia as voted on by members?  That is a lot of stories and facts just waiting for us to explore.

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Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Can you remember a time you read a book and the scenes described were so vivid that you were almost there with the characters?  Did a story ever make you so angry, you don’t know how the world could have ever moved on from such attrocity?  That was what reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand was for me.  With a little time, I was able to put Louis Zamperini’s story in perspective and not develop a lasting permanent hatred of the Japanese; but I could see how anyone who experienced what he did would.  Somehow he survived and found a way to forgive.  If you have not read this book and you think you will, do not see the movie.  As movies go, it is OK but it doesn’t come close to doing the book justice.

Unbroken is the life story of Louis “Louie” Zamperini, an Olympic runner and military aviator in World War II (WWII). He survived being lost at sea and years of horrific abuse as a prisoner of war (POW) in Japan. While on a search and rescue mission in 1943, Louie’s plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Ultimately only Louie and one other man survived more than a month lost at sea. They were captured by Japanese troops and sent to POW camps in Japan. During the next two years, Louie endured physical and psychological torture at the hands of his captors. Finally liberated in 1945, Louie returned to America, where he married—and struggled with alcoholism and untreated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In 1949, through the ministry of Reverend Billy Graham, Louie became a Christian and began a full recovery from his emotional wounds, which included finding the strength to forgive his captors. He spent the rest of his life leading a nonprofit organization that helped at-risk boys and also worked as an inspirational speaker.

 

Another movie is being made that tells Louis story after he returned from the POW camp and eventually found redemption through the minstry of Reverend Billy Graham which is the second part of the book.  It will be entitled Unbroken: Path to Redemption and scheduled for release in October 2018.

#AtoZChallenge Stories From A Time of War – The Thin Red Line

STORIES FROM A TIME OF WAR

THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN FICTION & NONFICTION

This month in the April A to Z Challenge, I am posting about books, fiction and nonfiction that are about or set in the Second World War.  The war and the people who experienced it have stories to tell and these stories are so overwhelming they lend themselves to greatness.  I encourage you to sample some of these stories.  I promise you will not regret taking the time.  To help me develop an alphabetical list for this challenge, I used Goodreads.com.  Did you know that there are more than 883 fiction and 480 nonfiction books in this genre on the website’s Listopia as voted on by members?  That is a lot of stories and facts just waiting for us to explore.

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In The Thin Red Line published in 1962, James Jones tells a fictional account of the battle between American and Japanese troops on the island of Guadalcanal. In the narrative, Jones introduces the reader to multiple viewpoints from characters within C-for-Charlie Company.  These characters are the commanding officer Capt. James Stein, his psychotic first sergeant Eddie Welsh, and the young privates they send into battle. The descriptions of combat conditions–and the mental states it induces–are unflinchingly realistic, including the dialog. This is more than a classic of combat fiction; it is one of the most significant explorations of male identity in American literature.  Like, the first novel in the James Jones’ trilogy, From Here to Eternity, The Thin Red Line was also made into a film.

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Don’t stop there.  So many other books about or set in the time of war are available.  Here are a few links to Goodreads:

The Tin Drum (Die Danziger Trilogie #1) by Günter Grass

 

#AtoZChallenge Stories From A Time of War – Sarah’s Key

Feb 23, 1945, photographer Joe Rosenthal

This month in the April A to Z Challenge, I am posting about books, fiction, and nonfiction that are about or set in the Second World War.  The war and the people who experienced it have stories to tell and these stories are so overwhelming they lend themselves to greatness.  I encourage you to sample some of these stories.  I promise you will not regret taking the time.  To help me develop an alphabetical list for this challenge, I used Goodreads.com.  Did you know that there are more than 883 fiction and 480 nonfiction books in this genre on the website’s Listopia as voted on by members?  That is a lot of stories and facts just waiting for us to explore.

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As I write this, Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay is in my audiobook queue awaiting my finishing my current read.  I am really looking forward to this story.  It is currently number 10 on the Goodreads member list of best fiction about the Second World War so I think I will be pleased with my choice.


Paris under occupation seems to be a common theme in novels in this genre.  In this novel, Tatiana de Rosnay brings us a portrait of France in this time period and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.  It is July 1942 and in Paris, Sarah, a ten-year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family’s apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

I hadn’t heard of the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup or at least not that title before so let’s see what it is all about.

Now in the novel, it is May 2002 in Paris on the 60th anniversary of Vel’ d’Hiv.  Journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France’s past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl’s ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d’Hiv’, to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah’s past, she begins to question her own place in France and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

Sarah’s Key was release as a movie starring Kristin Scott Thomas in 2010′

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Don’t stop there.  So many other books about or set in the time of war are available.  Here are a few links to Goodreads:

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut  I was going to use this for my post as I had written about Dresden before which included reference to this novel.

Sophie’s Choice by William Styron

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi

Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Savaged Lands by Lana Kortchik

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

The Steel Wave by Jeff Shaara

Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942–1943 by Antony Beevor

Survival in Auschwitz (Auschwitz Trilogy #1) by Primo Levi, Stuart J. Woolf (Translator), Philip Roth (Afterword)

The Second World War: A Complete History by Martin Gilbert

Shinano!: The Sinking of Japan’s Secret Supership by Joseph F. Enright, James W. Ryan

Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Green (I remember this as a TV movie starring Christy McNichols).  Here is a blast from by tween years.

#AtoZChallenge Stories From A Time of War – The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

Feb 23, 1945, photographer Joe Rosenthal

This month in the April A to Z Challenge, you’ll read a common phrase in my posts.  This phrase is “this novel is one of the best stories I’ve ever read”.  The war and the people who experienced it have stories to tell and these stories are so overwhelming they lend themselves to greatness.  I encourage you to sample some of these stories.  I promise you will not regret taking the time.  To help me develop an alphabetical list for this challenge, I used Goodreads.com.  Do you know that there are 883 fiction 480 nonfiction books on the website’s Listopia as voted on by members?  That is a lot of stories and facts just waiting for us to explore.

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Considered the definitive book on Nazi Germany, foreign correspondent, and historian, William L. Shirer wrote what would become a classic.  In the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, we learn that Hitler boasted that The Third Reich would last a thousand years. It lasted only 12. But those 12 years contained some of the most catastrophic events Western civilization has ever known.  Having reported on the Nazis since 1925, William L. Shirer would eventually spend five years sifting through the mountain of evidence gathered from the Allied demand for unconditional surrender and before the Nazis could destroy their files.  No other powerful empire ever bequeathed such mountains of evidence about its birth and destruction as the Third Reich.  This book is a record of one of the most frightening chapters in the history of mankind.

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Don’t stop there.  So many other books about or set in the time of war are available.  Here are a few links to Goodreads:

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

River in the Sea by Tina Boscha

The Rising Tide by Jeff Shaara

Run Silent Run Deep by Edward L. Beach

Restless by William Boyd

The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang

Rommel: The Trail of the Fox by David Irving

Retribution: The Battle for Japan 1944-1945 by Max Hastings

Rommel: The Desert Fox by Desmond Young

 

#AtoZChallenge Stories From A Time of War – Quartered Safe Out Here

Feb 23, 1945, photographer Joe Rosenthal

This month in the April A to Z Challenge, you’ll read a common phrase in my posts.  This phrase is “this novel is one of the best stories I’ve ever read”.  The war and the people who experienced it have stories to tell and these stories are so overwhelming they lend themselves to greatness.  I encourage you to sample some of these stories.  I promise you will not regret taking the time.  To help me develop an alphabetical list for this challenge, I used Goodreads.com.  Do you know that there are 883 fiction 480 nonfiction books on the website’s Listopia as voted on by members?  That is a lot of stories and facts just waiting for us to explore.

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In Quartered Safe Out Here: A Harrowing Tale of World War II, George MacDonald Fraser provides an action-packed memoir of his experiences in Burma during World War II. Just 19 when he arrived there in the war’s final year, his story is a first-hand account of the camaraderie, danger, and satisfaction of service to one’s country. A substantial Epilogue, occasioned by the 50th anniversary of VJ-Day in 1995, adds poignancy to a volume that eminent military historian John Keegan described as “one of the great personal memoirs of the Second World War.”

#AtoZChallenge Stories From A Time of War – The Postmistress

Feb 23, 1945, photographer Joe Rosenthal

This month in the April A to Z Challenge, you’ll read a common phrase in my posts.  This phrase is “this novel is one of the best stories I’ve ever read”.  The war and the people who experienced it have stories to tell and these stories are so overwhelming they lend themselves to greatness.  I encourage you to sample some of these stories.  I promise you will not regret taking the time.  To help me develop an alphabetical list for this challenge, I used Goodreads.com.  Do you know that there are 883 fiction 480 nonfiction books on the website’s Listopia as voted on by members?  That is a lot of stories and facts just waiting for us to explore.

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The Postmistress by Sarah Blake is about the loss of innocence of two extraordinary women-and of two countries torn apart by war.  It is 1940 and the United States has yet to enter the war.  Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, does the unthinkable: She doesn’t deliver a letter.  In London, American radio gal Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the Blitz. One night in a bomb shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns from Germany and France, where she is to record the stories of war refugees desperately trying to escape.  The residents of Franklin think the war can’t touch them – but as Frankie’s radio broadcasts air, some know that the war is indeed coming. And when Frankie arrives at their doorstep, the two stories collide in a way no one could have foreseen.

The Postmistress is an unforgettable tale of the secrets we must bear, or bury. It is about what happens to love during war­time, when those we cherish leave. And how every story – of love or war – is about looking left when we should have been looking right.

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Don’t stop there.  So many other books about or set in the time of war are available.  Here are a few links to Goodreads:

The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman

Panzer Leader by Heinz Guderian

Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans Von Luck by Hans Von Luck

 

#AtoZChallenge Stories From A Time of War – The Orphan’s Tale

Feb 23, 1945, photographer Joe Rosenthal

This month in the April A to Z Challenge, you’ll read a common phrase in my posts.  This phrase is “this novel is one of the best stories I’ve ever read”.  The war and the people who experienced it have stories to tell and these stories are so overwhelming they lend themselves to greatness.  I encourage you to sample some of these stories.  I promise you will not regret taking the time.  To help me develop an alphabetical list for this challenge, I used Goodreads.com.  Do you know that there are 883 fiction 480 nonfiction books on the website’s Listopia as voted on by members?  That is a lot of stories and facts just waiting for us to explore.

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Today for the letter O, I bring you a very sad story, The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff.

It is a novel about friendship during the war and set in Germany and occupied France.  What do you think it would be like to travel with a circus during World War II?  This kind of life is presented so poignantly in The Orphan’s Tale. We meet two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival.  Noa is just sixteen-years-old when she finds herself pregnant from a German Soldier.  She has been cast out in disgrace by her family.  Through a program for unwed mothers, Noa is forced to give up her baby. All alone, she lives above a small rail station where she works as a cleaner to earn her keep.  She has seen the human trains that pass through.  One day Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp and is reminded of the child that was taken from her. The infants are dead or barely alive and Noa makes a choice that will change the course of her life.  She snatches one of the babies and flees.  It is the middle of winter and Noa falls sick and exhausted in the woods near the winter home of a German circus.  The circus clown finds her and brings her to their location.  Eventually, Noa joins the circus but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected.  This idea doesn’t go over well with the lead aerialist, Astrid.  She has trained her whole life and is resentful that she must teach this girl the craft practically overnight.   Astrid is hiding too for she is Jewish and it is illegal to hire Jews.  These two women, at first rivals, soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

Though it is a story mainly about the two women and not about a Russian circus, it brought to mind the Billy Joel song, Leningrad about a Russian circus performer.

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Don’t stop there.  So many other books about or set in the time of war are available.  Here are a few links to Goodreads:

Once An Eagle by Anton Myrer

Ordinary Men: Reserve Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher R Browning

Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths by Shigeru Mizuki

Once There Was A War by John Steinbeck

 

#AtoZChallenge Stories From A Time of War – The Nightingale

Feb 23, 1945, photographer Joe Rosenthal

This month in the April A to Z Challenge, I am posting about books, fiction and nonfiction that are about or set in the Second World War.  The war and the people who experienced it have stories to tell and these stories are so overwhelming they lend themselves to greatness.  I encourage you to sample some of these stories.  I promise you will not regret taking the time.  To help me develop an alphabetical list for this challenge, I used Goodreads.com.  Did you know that there are more than 883 fiction and 480 nonfiction books in this genre on the website’s Listopia as voted on by members?  That is a lot of stories and facts just waiting for us to explore.

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Recently I responded to a post on Facebook that someone posed the question, “What is the best novel you have ever read?”  If I had responded prior to reading today’s novel, my answer would have been something like To Kill A Mockingbird which had long been a very favorite of mine.  No The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah has forever surpassed as my favorite.

The Nightingale, published in 2015, tells the story of two sisters in France during World War II, and their struggle to survive and resist the German occupation of France.  These sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, are estranged from each other and their father and the book follows the two different paths they take.  Vianne, a schoolteacher who is married and has a child, must endure the drafting and subsequent capture of her husband Antoine, the occupation of France by the Germans after the Battle of France, and the struggle against starvation and cold for herself and her daughter.  Isabelle, the younger sister with no other family to protect, decides to take an active role in resisting the occupation.  Not wanting the spoil the story for readers, I’ll stop here.  It was wonderful to read and I couldn’t put it down.  It is soon to be a motion picture as well.

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Don’t stop there.  So many other books about or set in the time of war are available.  Here are a few links to Goodreads:

Night by Elie Wiesel

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard