Tag Archives: war novels

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I’ve Given Up On


Top 10 Sites I Visit that AREN'T About Books

It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ from  The Broke and the Bookish is back today, this week is about books we’ve given up on.

I have a special rule after I almost gave up on Harry Potter the first time, I have to read at least 50 pages before I allow myself to give up, and often I do end up deciding it may not be the right time.

I’ve tried to pick books/authors which are well known, maybe you can convince me to try again?!

As always, in no particular order.

A Suitable Boy- Vikram Seth

I tried to read this very popular book when I was at uni. I persevered for a long time, and still have it on my shelves in the hope I will one day be able to find out what it is that made so many love it. I found it slow, and pretty hard going. I finally gave up on in when I spent a whole train journey picking it up only to shortly decide staring out a window was better entertainment.
The Hunchback of Notredame- Victor Hugo

I tried to read this one for The Rory List. Getting to 50 pages was difficult. It was rambling and mainly seemed to be complaining about Parisian architecture. I finally started getting interested in the story just before 50 pages, then Hugo went off on another waffling ramble and I threw the book across the room. It’s half the reason that Les Mis is still on my kindle unstarted.

Birds Without Wings- Louis de Bernieres

I have a strange relationship with Louis de Bernieres books. I found the first chapter of ‘Captain Correlli’s Mandolin’ really difficult but loved the rest of the book, I didn’t really like  ‘The Partisan’s Daughter’ until I’d finished it, ‘The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts‘ is one of my favourite books of all time, but the sequel I recently put to the side. ‘Birds Without Wings’ I technically put to the side, it’s still on my shelves, but I doubt I’m going to finish it as it’s not been touched since uni.

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights- Salman Rushdie

I was really excited when I got accepted to read ‘Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights’ on netgalley after I’d loved ‘Midnight’s Children’, and I really persevered with it. There were some elements that I liked but it just didn’t click and I found I was picking it up less and less.

Vanity Fair- William Makepeace Thackery

Another classic picked up from ‘The Rory List’. I do often find classics a struggle. With this one I didnt even manage my 50 page rule with this one because I had in my bag when a water bottle leaked, and I decided I was kind of glad so didn’t try and save it. I swear I usually look after my books better!

J- Howard Jacobson

I must admit I requested this one from netgalley because The Finkler Question had recently won The Booker. I’d never read any Jacobson before, and this one just didn’t click with me

Suite Française-Irène Némirovsky

This one sounds like it would be right up my alley. A book set in wartime, by a person who had actually lived it. Loads of people seem to have loved it, so it isn’t completely abandoned yet but it’s been sitting on my shelves waiting for me to pick it back up for years. When I did first try to read it I found it just a bit too long for the story to get started


The Colour Of Magic- Terry Pratchett

I really loved Pratchett’s Johnny books, and I’ve tried a few of his discworld novels over time but only ‘Mort’ really clicked with me. I tried Colour of Magic most recently so that’s why I picked it for this list.

 

The Loney- Andrew Mitchell Hurley

This is so recently abandoned that it’s still sitting by my bed. I probably will pick it back up as mainly I stopped reading it because whenever I look at it I get this song (below) stuck in my head (yes even though it’s Loney not lonely). Yeah it was getting annoying so I made sure I put down the book facedown and then just sort of didn’t pick it up again…yet.

Oh no! Now it’s in my head again!

 

Have you seen my giveaway of the awesome book ‘Yes Means Yes’? Click here to enter.

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Top 10 Tuesday: Lesser Known War Books


Top 10 Sites I Visit that AREN'T About Books

It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ from  The Broke and the Bookish is back today, this week is about lesser known genre books

I’m not really a genre reader, but I do read a lot of books set during war time so I decided to do Top 10 Lesser Known War Books.

As always, in no particular order and links are to my own reviews

Pegasus Falling- William E. Thomas

‘Pegasus Falling’ is an indie story written with Thomas’ own memories of fighting in WW2 as part of a parachute regiment, and including elements of stories about prisoners of war and those who spent time in concentration camps. ‘Pegasus Falling’ is the first in a series which continues with ‘It Never Was You’

The Shouting Wind- Linda Newberry

‘The Shouting Wind’ is a story of a woman who joins the WAAF during WW2. It was one of my favourite books as a teenager.

A Little Love Song- Michelle Magorian

Michelle Mogorian is better known as the author of ‘Goodnight Mister Tom’ (another good war novel) but ‘A Little Love Song’ is more grown-up. It is about a teenager who moves to the country during WW2 and falls in love. It’s probably more of a love story than a war story but some of the issues in it are to do with the war

The Almond Tree- Michelle Cohen Corasanti

‘The Almond Tree’ is an indie novel and is honestly one of the best war novels I’ve read. It takes part in occupied Israel and concerns the Israel-Palestine conflict. It follows a boy living in the area whose Father is arrested and has to become the man of the house overnight


Kommandant’s Girl- Pam Jenoff

Pam Jenoff is quite well known in some circles, and Kommandant’s Girl is probably her most famous, but I don’t think I’ve seen it reviewed on any other blogs. I was umming and ahhing over whether to include it. I decided to because it is marketed more as a romance book than a war book (which I disagree with). It’s about a woman in the resistance who has a mission which involves creating a relationship with a German Kommandant.


Remembrance- Theresa Breslin

Remembrance is about a woman who becomes a nurse during WW1


Goodbye Marianne- Irene N. Watts

‘Goodbye Marianne’ is the story of a Jew growing up in Nazi Germany and how she escapes on the Kindertransport. The Kindertransport is reason for the title, but it’s not the part of the book I remember the most

I didn’t quite make it to 10 this time (so many war books are well known!) but you can see more of my war book recommendations here

I’m always looking for new war books, any to recommend?

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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 for… my old post on books set in wartime has been one of the most popular in the lifetime of my blog, so I’ve decided to update it. Some of the books are the same, some have changed.

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.

 

5) A God in Ruins- Kate Atkinson follows the life of Teddy, a significant part of which includes him being in the RAF. Very emotive.

 

 

 

Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet, Jamie Ford, book, book cover
6) Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet- Jamie Ford 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. When I wrote the original version of this post I said that this was one of the best books set during wartime which I’d read recently, it still remains a firm favourite

 

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. Since writing the original version of this post I think I’ve come to appreciate Sarah’s key more, certainly parts of it stick rather significantly in my memory.

 

 

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.

 

 


9) The Book Thief- Markus Zusak sad bit also beautiful story of a girl living in Germany during WW2. The story is narrated by death and includes a hidden Jewish man amongst other things. The film is well worth watching too

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.

– Captain Correli’s Mandolin: More of a love story set during the war really.

The Kommandant’s Girl: about a Jewish woman in Poland during Nazi occupation who is hidden in plain sight and become the girlfriend of a Nzi Kommandant to help the resistance.

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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.

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