I've recently been on World War Two reading theme ... and these are some of my absolute favourites! These books inspire me because no matter what happens in my life, I am going through nothing compared to what people went through during the Second World War.
If you like reading historical fiction, do yourself a favour and pop these on your to read list (if you haven't read them already of course!):
1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I cannot get over the beautiful descriptions of light in this book and the intricate weaving of the two stories is unforgettable.
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Narrated by Death and beginning in 1939, this novel is the story of Liesel's life. When she finds a book in the snow, called the Gravedigger's Handbook, this begins her obsession with books and reading ... she just needs to learn how to read first!
3. Suite française by Irène Némirovsky
This is the story of the Nazi occupation of France from 1940 onwards and the Parisians' response to the events as they unfold. Némirovsky was a French-Jewish writer originally from Kiev who died in Auschwitz in 1942. Her notebooks with the manuscript were kept safely by her daughters but Suite française was not published until 2004.
4. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
A love story set in the darkest of places ... Lale and Gita and their friends show the human side of the war and the extraordinary kindness the prisoners show to each other shines through.
5. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
A story of French women's resistance during the 2nd World War. I devoured this one in a weekend and would love read it all over again. It brought up lots of questions for me ... these people were determined to help others at all costs, even their own lives and the lives of their family. Then I look at the world today and wonder why we are so removed from helping others when there is no real cost to us and certainly not our lives.
6. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
This is the story of two boys and their lives during the Holocaust, one on either side of the fence and their unlikely friendship.
7. The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe; translated by Lilit Thwaites
Fourteen year old Dida Kraus was born in Prague. She was moved to the Terezín ghetto during the War and later moved to the Auschwitz 'family camp' where she takes on the job of Librarian of Auschwitz. You have to read it to believe it!
8. German Boy by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel
A unique perspective on World War Two, told from the point of view of a 9 year old German boy.
9. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
The heartbreaking story of 10 year old Sarah, whose family is taken by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup in Paris in 1942. Grab the tissues for this one!
10. All that I am by Anna Funder
Based on a true story, a group of writers and intellectuals (mostly Jewish) are involved in the resistance when Hitler comes to power in 1933 and end up leaving for safety in England to continue their work there ...
Have I missed one of your favourites? Please let me know in the comments or on our socials!