So, as you might (or might not) know, I am obsessed with the second world war. And the books set during that time period. Now, I may not have read all of those books but I have read quite a few and I’d like to share my favorites among them. Note, that I love all these books equally except maybe the first one, which Is one of my all time favorite books. Ever. I’ll be starting with my fifth favorite and move towards the first one, guesses are always welcome.
5. Prisoner Of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
We follow Hitler’s niece ; Gretchen’s journey to the haunting discovery of her family that shakes her whole belief system.
What initially attracted me towards this beautiful creation, was it’s narration from a young girl’s point of view, relating to the same family that Hitler belonged to. It was absolutely thrilling to see him act as a father substitute, ‘Uncle Dolf’ and a lovable figure. Even though it’s fiction, some of the facts and figures were precise and true, which made it even more interesting and believable. It definitely has a different vibe to it, with a dab of gradual romance. Although it isn’t very emotional or eye opening, but it certainly does manage to hit the right target.
4. A Man’s Search For Meaning.
A man’s autobiography that captures the horrific cruelties done in the concentration camps, which will make you question humanity.
If you feel intimidated by autobiographies as I do, don’t worry, this is different and you’ll easily get into it. This book was painful to read yet I didn’t want to stop. I don’t know what to say more about it without giving away the content. However, I reviewed it last year on my blog. You can check it out here.
3. Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys
This book follows a the story of four characters that are seeking freedom on the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety to all.
I read this book recently and I was highly disappointed that I hadn’t picked it up sooner. It was tragic yet beautiful in so many ways. The writing was phenomenal and the story was laid out perfectly. It was more of a character driven story than a plot driven one, so we got to meet some very complex and interesting characters who fit to the equation of the book. All the relationships built in this were amazing with some very powerful and deep moments . This book will keep you on your toes, as you slowly delve more into the subtle mystery. And just for a record, I might have shed a tear or two.
2.The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The story of a young girl, narrated by death.
“Even death has a heart.”
“Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness.”
It has been two years since I read The Book thief but I somehow always get emotional only talking about it. I cried all through the last hundred pages. Everything in this book is genius. The characters, the plot, the words and the portrayal of death itself. Interesting, doesn’t even begin to describe even the side characters. I know I’ve talked about it on my blog more than a hundred times but I really need you to read this powerful story, which does not only gives a strong message but also implies that sometimes, books can be our safe haven, even in war. Read it, and obviously, when death narrates a story..you have to listen.
1. All The Light We Cannot See.
The story of a boy who dreams to become a scientist but is forced to go into the war, and a blind scarred girl protecting herself from the same.
“I wake up and live my life, Don’t you do the same?”
“Not in years, but today. Today maybe I did.”
There are two separate lives, with two different backgrounds and with two different situations. Yet, these lives are woven beautifully together. But trust me, this story has more to it than just that. It’s about owning your life, it’s about humanity, it’s about choosing your own destiny and most importantly, the light in all this darkness that we fail to see. The writing couldn’t have been more beautiful and lyrical. My thoughts are so incoherent, and I believe I’m doing such a poor job in explaining how essential this book is for you to read. You read certain books, you enjoy it, you fall in love with the characters and it sticks with you forever. This book managed to crush me, devastate me, make me cry and yet managed to make me see life in a hopeful way. I didn’t see the end coming, and my heart got heavier as I turned each page. It was haunting, in the best way possible. READ IT.
Have you read any of these? Did you love these as much I did or I’m just insane? Let me know below some of your favorite historical fictions. And please do recommend some more books set in WWII. P.S These can be heavy, be sure to read/ watch something lighthearted afterwards.