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      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     

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Many thanks for the replies. I already have the Barker triology in the house.

 

The previous thread was very helpful in generating options. Initially I'll follow up Citizen Soldiers, Band of Brothers and Gone to Soldiers.

 

Cheers to all.

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I have lots on WW2, not fiction though.

 

Here are the best 2 historical accounts I've read so far:

 

Laurence Rees- Auschwitz: you just can't stop reading even though every page has something heartbreaking. If you want to know what it was really like then you won't go too far wrong. Rees in general I find to be the most readable of the WW2 specialists.

 

Andrew Roberts- Master & Commander: this is one great, its the personal relationship between the big 4 leaders.

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We had a similar query a while ago. You will probably find one or two interesting titles in this thread. :D

I've now merged the two threads for ease of reference. ;)

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I've now merged the two threads for ease of reference. ;)

Well, if you're going to do the sensible Mod thing! :D I'm sure there's a really good reason I hadn't even come close to thinking about doing that.... I will have to get back to you with what that reason is. *sidles away whistling tunelessly*

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You should read Inside The Third Reich by Albert Speer.

Speer was hitlers architect and armaments minister, and he gives a great insight into the workings of the leadership of the Nazi party in Nazi Germany.

 

Great book.

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Some good World War II books (according to my boyfriend, who is a major military history buff) are:

 

Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose

Helmet for my Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific by Robert Leckie

With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene Sledge

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I would also recommend Charlotte Grey (the third in the War trilogy by Sebastian Faulkes)

 

Another excellent book is The Children of Freedom by Marc Levy - here is the blurb from Amazon:

 

A remarkable story of struggle and survival in World War II by France's No. 1 bestselling novelist Early in 1942, two young brothers join a Resistance group. All the members of the group are young, most of their families came from elsewhere in Europe or North Africa and all of them are passionately committed to the freedom of France and Europe. They find they are not welcomed by other French groups and thus Brigade 35 is formed. For most of them, their growing up, their falling in love, their sense of friendship and family are formed by their time with the group, and between moments of extreme danger and fear, a lifestyle of a kind of normality develops. But tragedy follows when the brothers are arrested, a number of members of the Brigade 35 are killed and a traitor is suspected. The tensions between former comrades and other Resistance fighters mounts and all this against the desperate hope that the invasion by the allies is really drawing near and will rescue them all.

 

My favourite so far of WWII books is "Fair Stood the Wind for France" by HE Bates.

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Alan Furst is a great starting point with several books of this ilk and I can highly recommend David Downing's trilogy 'Zoo Station', 'Silesian Station' and 'Stettin Station'. You might like Henry Porter's 'Brandenburg' as well :D

 

I've just finished reading Silesian Station by David Downing and, although it is the second in the series, I should now really track down the first one, Zoo Station. The stories centre around a British (turned American citizen for reasons explained in the book) journalist, John Russell in pre-war Berlin. Downing's knowledge of events leading up to War is second to none and Russell travels around eastern europe in search of headlines to send back to the West. There is also a very poignant sub-plot involving Jewish women who arrive at Silesian Station in Berlin to track down relatives, and who then disappear. It's well worth a read.

Edited by SueK

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You should read Inside The Third Reich by Albert Speer.

Speer was hitlers architect and armaments minister, and he gives a great insight into the workings of the leadership of the Nazi party in Nazi Germany.

 

Great book.

If you like self pitying whining how it wasn't his fault and he didn't know what was going on. Mind you there was a small piece in it that struck me as sad. After the war while they were in Spandau Hess was stocking up on lots of books but never read any, Speer asked him why and Hess replied that he was saving them for when he was left there alone. It just struck me as sad that Hess knew he was going to be the last one left and was building the mother of TBR piles to get him through the years.

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The story of the moment is The Battle of Britain (70th anniversary) and I've been watching the documentaries presently showing on TV - I find it fascinating. My Mum remembers watching the dog fights in the air when she was a little girl living in London.

 

Does anyone know any good, informative books on the Battle of Britain, either fiction or non-fiction that I could get my teeth into.

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Thanks for that Chrissy. That's interesting because last night on BBC2 was a drama/documentary called First Light based on the 92 Squadron which lost more men in the Battle of Britain than any other - Brian Kingcome was a squadron leader and a great hero in his team. I shall look out for that.

Edited by SueK

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Hey!

 

I was wondering if anyone knew of some good books set in the World War II era that may depicted what life was like for the people at that time period. It can be fiction or non-fiction, I really don't have any preference. I have read and enjoyed Night by Ellie Wiesel. Something similar would really tickle my fancy.

 

I hope you guys can help! :motz:

 

I don't know if you are still interested in WW2 books, but I'll anyway recommend the one.

 

Sadako wants to live by Karl Bruckner

It's about the girl from Japan. She lived in Hiroshima when was the A-Bomb dropped.

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This thread is going to prove very useful to me as this is my favourite period to read about, so this is getting bookmarked into my browser so that I can come back to it later after having a proper look round the forums :)

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Hello Honeygirl

 

I too read quite a lot of books on WW2 but not necessarily from the actual fighting point of view, more of the darker side of it like "Far to Go" by Alison Pick which is about the kindertransport that took jewish children out of Germany before the start of the war and such like. There is a book series you may be interested by David Downing :

 

1. Zoo Station (2007)

2. Silesian Station (2008)

3. Stettin Station (2009)

4. Potsdam Station (2010)

5. Lehrter Station (2012)

 

which, as the titles suggest, are based around Berlin leading up to and after the war.

 

Also the Bernie Gunther books by Philip Kerr are centred around Berlin at the same time.

 

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky or Charlotte Grey by Sebastian Faulkes are also worth looking at.

Edited by SueK

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One book (or pair of books) that I think fulfill what you are looking for Honeygirl:

 

Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis. They're a pair, but are one story simply split into 2 volumes.

I loved the story as well, but it is a huge read!

 

If you're looking for something non-fiction, then Juliet Gardiner's books on life on the Home Front might be what you are looking for: Wartime: Britain 1939-45 and The Blitz: The British under Attack. On the other side of the fence, a book on my TBR pile but yet to get to the top is Roger Moorhouse's Berlin at War: Life and Death in Hitler's Capital 1939-45; it's had very good reviews though.

Edited by willoyd

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Oh wow thank you very much SueK and Willoyd, I really appreciate these recommendations and sorry its taken me so long to reply but I've just not been online for ages.

 

I will definitely be looking into those Sue, as they sound like something that I will be very interested in. I'll search them out on Amazon tomorrow when I am less tired as my eyes are dropping right now!

 

Willoyd I have the Julia Gardiner series on my wishlist, and I shall look into the Roger Moorhouse book you mentioned. Also, its funny you should bring Blackout up as I just spotted it on Waterstones website yesterday and I fancied reading it, even though its fiction and I don't usually read that genre, I do think this one will be fascinating and now you've recommended it too, I shall be trying it, so thanks :) I did not know there was another book to go with it too so I will be looking for that one also.

Edited by HoneyGirl

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Its not really a WWII book its actually a book about the vietnamese I think and the labor camps there ... It's called First They Killed My Father and its a non-fiction

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I really really enjoyed The White Rabbit by Bruce Marshall. It is a non-finction book about an English soldier who fought for the French Resistance. It is really a gripping and breathtaking book, the first part is set in Northern France and Paris; we see the protagonist committed to organising some Resistance groups against the Nazis, and it is like having a look into the difficult, "underground" world of Partisans. The second part is set in Germany, in a concentration / extermination camp, and recounts the protagonist's desperate attempts of escape from the camp.

 

In three words, it is engrossing, breathtaking and heart-stopping :-)

Edited by rykketid

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