Top 10 Books Set in War Time

Top 10 Sites I Visit that AREN'T About Books

It’s Tuesday again so The Broke and the Bookish are hosting Top Ten Tuesday.

This week it’s Top 10 Books set in… I’ve chosen to do top 10 books set in wartime because it’s something I read a lot of, and, it’s something I’ve been reading since childhood.

Links lead to reviews, pictures lead to amazon. In no particular order.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Judith Kerr, book, book cover

1) When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit- Judith Kerr is a semi-autobiographical book which features a Jewish family fleeing from Nazi Germany. It’s one of the first World War novels I can remember reading, although I read a lot around the same time (most notably Carrie’s War, Goodbye Marriane, Goodnight Mister Tom, The Peppermint Pig), and it’s the first of a series of three books.


Regeneration, Pat Barker, book, book cover


2) Regeneration- Pat Baker Pat Baker has written a fair few war novels (I’ve reviewed Double Vision on the blog, which is more modern) but the Regeneration trilogy is by far her best (of what I’ve read, anyway). It is set in a hospital where shell-shock victims are treated, with the aim of sending them back to the trenches


Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks, book, book cover
3) Birdsong- Sebastian Faulks this love and war story was a favourite of mine for a long time.




The shouting wind, linda newbery, book, book cover
4) The Shouting Wind- Linda Newbery, a favourite of mine as a teenager. All about a girl working for the RAF (as a sort of air controller) during WW2 who falls in love with one of the pilots. It’s the first of a series which follows three generations of a family, but it’s the best.



Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, book, book cover
5) Captain Correli’s Mandolin- Louis de Bernières this is another former favourite (The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts blew it out of the water). Not so much a war story as a story of love set in the time of war, beautiful.




Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet, Jamie Ford, book, book cover
6) Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet- Jamie Ford. This is one of the best war novels I’ve read recently, a recommendation from Judith. It tells the story of a Chinese boy, with a Japanese best friend who lives in America during the time of Pearl Harbour. It’s a side of the war which is more rarely covered.

Sarah's Key, Tatiana de Rosnay, book, book cover

7) Sarah’s Key- Tatiana de Rosnay As with The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Sarah’s Key is based on a less covered side of the war. This time in occupied Paris, and with rounding up of Jews there. It is heart wrenching.



Remembrance, Teresa Breslin, book, book cover
8) Remembrance- Teresa Breslin another book I read as a teenager, and it remains one of the best war novels I’ve read. Follows five young people through WW1, the most memorable scenes for me were with the young woman who became a nurse.



City of Women, David Gilham, book, book cover

9) City of Women- David Gillham is another one set outside the normal path. It’s all about resistance in Germany.

the almond tree, book, book cover

10) The Almond Tree- Michelle Cohen Corasanti the only one on my list which is not set during the world wars. This one is about the Israel/Palestine conflict, and it’s my recommendation of the moment.

Special mentions:Pegasus Falling: indie book about a paratrooper who ends up in a concentration camp, and his life afterwards.

Gone With the Wind: not strictly a war book, although it does feature the war of independence.


Filed under Memes, Top 10 Tuesday

40 responses to “Top 10 Books Set in War Time

  1. My husband makes fun of me because I love to read books set around WWII. You have several here that I haven’t read…my list grows ever longer! 🙂


  2. I love Linda Newbery’s work – haven’t come across this one though…thanks!


  3. Wow, tough topic. I never liked realistic books about wartime, they make me uncomfortable.

    My TTT


  4. You did war books too! That makes me very happy to find someone else who loves them as much as me 🙂 I will be adding some of these to my list of war books yet to read – City of Women and Remembrance sound brilliant.

    Here is mine if you fancied a look:


  5. I have to read Birdsong. My father has talked about it quite a bit in the past.


  6. If you love books on the Holocaust, I’d definitely recommend The Book Thief and Night.


  7. They are both on my wishlist, I have a tendency not to buy from my wishlist though.


  8. It is very good, Emma. It’s not my favourite Faulks though, that would probably be Engleby


  9. They make me uncomfortable too, but they make me think, and I like that. Plus I think it’s important to know. Thanks for visiting Ula


  10. Hi Lindsey. I’ve been reading them for so long I can’t even really remember when I read the first one! And I’ve read many more than those in my list


  11. It’s was the first of hers I read, Bruce, and I kept reading her for a long time afterwards.


  12. I went through a stage of being obsessed with wartime books but haven’t read many recently.


  13. Ellie, I mainly read them as a young teenager, but they are still favourites of mine, I find it difficult to resist a war novel if I see one


  14. Gone with the Wind counts, I think. It’d be one of my war picks anyway. Great list 🙂
    My TTT.


  15. Have you read Atonement? If not, you should!

    New WordPress follower 🙂

    Here’s my TTT

    Stop by my giveaway if you have a moment!

    Jess @ Such A Novel Idea


  16. Interesting chocies, having been to Israel I am particularly interested in reading The Almond Tree.


  17. I don’t really read war-themed books, but would totally get Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet the for the cover alone. So pretty! And the story sounds quite interesting as well 🙂


  18. Jess. No, I haven’t read Atonement, it’s on my TBR pile, and I’ve seen the film. I will get to it at some point (I am currently overwhelmed with review copies!)


  19. Jillyn, I loved Gone with the Wind. I sort of want to read one of the ‘sequels’ but I’m concerned they just won’t match up


  20. The Almond Tree is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I thoroughly recommend it.


  21. Cayce, the cover is beautiful isn’t it? Not especially reflective of the book though. It is quite a good access war novel, with a love story, and quite little war type violence. It’s more emotional.


  22. Oh man, I know that feeling 🙂 Glad you have it on your to-read list, it definitely would fit in that top ten!


  23. Isi

    I read a lot of books about wars and I haven’t read either of these!! I have Birdsong in my list, but I should check some of the others that have caught my attention. Thanks for the recommendations!!


  24. Birdsong is very good, Isi, and probably quite good for dipping your toe in because there’s a bit of a love story there too.


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  28. Anonymous

    A novel about love and friendship set in WWII: When Wars were Won. Everyone that reads it raves about it, yet this is the writer’s first novel. It’s available in both e-book and paper formats.


  29. Hal

    Perhaps one of the best novels written about war is WHEN WARS WERE WON, set in WWII. It’s all about love and friendship during wartime. It’s available on Amazon.


  30. Thanks, I hadn’t heard of that one but I will look into it 🙂


  31. Loved the list thank you very much. I cant read enough books covering the Great War and WWII. I loved the Pat Barker books – you read them and they leave a mark on you forever. I also like Elizabeth Elgin books. I am heading off to buy city of women. I am in two minds about Sarahs Key – the parts set in the War were heartbreaking. The coverage of her current relationship not so much. Oh and by the way, Gone with the Wind is written against the backdrop of the Civil War in America (the War of Independence was in 1775 whereas Gone with the Wind was about 100 years later set in 1860’s. )


  32. Hal

    Loving books set in WWII, try WHEN WARS WERE WON. I’ve passed my copy on to friends who also love the story. One friend has read it 3 times, another an incredible 4 times and still keeps finding something new in it. has it in Kindle. has it in paperback. While it’s set in the wartime SW Pacific it’s also about love and friendship. Too bad more readers don’t know about it.


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  38. Really enjoyed your list! I haven’t read most of these but definitely need to check them out. Thanks!


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