1. Die Brücke (The Bridge) by Manfred Gregor
“May 1945. Somewhere in Germany. Only a few days before the capitulation. Seven Hitler-youth, who’ve been stuck into Wehrmacht uniforms, are deployed to defend a bridge of no strategic significance, equipped with nothing more than a few carbines and bazookas. Abandoned by their senior officer, helplessly torn between a thirst for adventure and a confused belief that they must save the Fatherland, they take up the futile struggle just as the American tanks roll in.”
My dad recommended this to me knowing about my love for WW2 Historical Fiction, and told me it was one of the books that stuck with him his whole life. Can’t wait to get into it!
2. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
“Dr. Yury Zhivago, Pasternak’s alter ego, is a poet, philosopher, and physician whose life is disrupted by the war and by his love for Lara, the wife of a revolutionary. His artistic nature makes him vulnerable to the brutality and harshness of the Bolsheviks. The poems he writes constitute some of the most beautiful writing in the novel.”
Also about my other love – Soviet History and Russian Literature – my mum recommended this one. And, with one of my resolutions being to read more poetry, I think this one will do the job perfectly.
3. All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr | Currently Reading It
“Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.”
Even though I’m already reading this one, I thought it belonged here because I had been on the hunt for it since the beggining of last year! For now, all I can say is: Beautiful!
4. Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally
“During the Holocaust at the German concentration camp near Plaszow, thousands of Jews lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis. More than a thousand others would have been counted among the dead if not for a womanizing, heavydrinking, German-Catholic industrialist and Nazi Party member named Oskar Schindler.
One of the most remarkable narratives of the Holocaust, Schindler’s List masterfully recreates the daring exploits of Schindler, who used his enormous fortune to build a factory near the concentration camp and saved the lives of over 1,300 Jews. An absorbing, suspenseful and moving account of Oskar Schindler’s legacy of life, this is an unforgettable audio program.”
Of course I know this story, and of course I have seen the movie. But I think reading it will bring even more feelings that will make the experience 5 times better.
5. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
“Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close.
Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.
As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.”
I’m probably one of the few WW2 lovers that has yet to read “The Nightingale”. Finally bought it, so I’m ready!