Top 10 Tuesday: Beautiful WWII Stories

Welcome back to Top 10 Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic is a fun one: Ten Books To Read If You Are In The Mood For [insert here].

Lately I have really enjoyed historical fiction novels, especially those surrounding WWII. These stories are not all happy and a lot of them have difficult or sad or tragic elements to them. But they are beautifully written, the language is profound, and the stories are memorable. So I thought I would focus on the top books to read if you are in the mood for beautifully written WWII stories.

On my WW II TBR:

The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank // Very excited to read this classic story of hope and hiding by a young Jewish girl in hiding during the war.

Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand // I recently had this book recommended to me and am intrigued by this story from the Pacific of ultimate survival.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys // A good friend of mine recently recommended this novel to me. It follows the untold story of Lithuanian refuges taken from their homes and forced to work in camps in Siberia under Stalin’s orders. I’m interested to learn more about this story.


The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom // A recent read of mine. I am blown away by her wisdom and incredible faith during her experiences in the resistance and in a concentration camp.  My review here.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein // I have actually only just started this novel for my neighborhood book group. When a British spy plane is shot down, the only survivor must decide what to tell the Gestapo and what is truth.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Anne Shaffer // Technically, this book takes place right after WWII, but it has the echoes of the war throughout. Written in letters, it follows a group of people during the war on the small island of Guernsey and how literature can affect us all.

The All Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg // This book is different than what I usually read but no less enjoyable. It jumps between time and place to piece together the story of the all girl filling station and a middle-aged woman living in the deep south in the present day. My review here.

Night by Elie Wiesel // I read this book first in high school and reread it since then. Although a short book, it includes profound insights about his experiences in the concentration camp, God, and humanity.

Remnants of Auschwitz by Giorgio Agamben // This is actually a collection of essays in which Agamben examines the writings of holocaust survivors and creates fascinating arguments about what it means to be human, how humanity can be taken away, and why survivors words matter. Not for the faint of heart, and not a novel, but moving and illuminating.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr // A masterpiece of incredible depth and poignancy. Following the story of two children over the course of the war, it builds to an incredible climax with the most beautiful language. My review here.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak // One of my favorite novels of all time. It follows the story of a girl learning to read in Nazi Germany and is narrated by Death. Intriguing, surprising, and compelling from start to finish.


16 thoughts on “Top 10 Tuesday: Beautiful WWII Stories

  1. gmrickel

    The Book Thief is one of my book club’s picks this month. It looks SO good, I can’t wait to start it! I’ve read Night and The Diary of Anne Frank several times. All the other titles are new to me. This is such a good list! My shelves are full of WWII history books but very few novels covering that time. This list will help me change that. Here is my TTT:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely list! Unbroken is an amazing book. I listened to the audiobook last year, and found it so moving. You have a few of my favorites on your list — The Book Thief, All the Light, and Code Name Verity. Have you read Rose Under Fire (also by Elizabeth Wein)? It’s also quite powerful, and a good companion to CNV.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I keep hearing such great things about Unbroken–seriously need to check it out! I’m glad we share similar favorites! And I haven’t read anything else by Elizabeth Wein. But I will definitely check that out when I am finished with Code Name Verity. Thanks for the recommendation!


  3. I love WWII books as well, and I would most definitely recommend “Unbroken.” I read and loved it years before the movie came out and have been singing its praises ever since. I’ve read several of these books but I somehow still haven’t gotten to “All the Light We Cannot See.” It’s a must-read in 2016 for me. I’m thinking about giving “Code Name Verity” a try too.

    Love this cover version of “Guernsey”! Hadn’t seen that one before. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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