Readers' Favorite

June 6, 2011

5 Best Books

5 Best Books is hosted by Indie Reader Houston blog. This week's 5 Best Books is a category I love reading so I thought I would play. Here is my list of 5 Best Books ... that take place during war.

My All Time Favorite:

A Tale of Two Cities A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Set during the French Revolution, this is probably the first classic I truly fell in love with when we read an excerpt in my 9th grade English class. It is such a lovely love story. Full of heart and compassion, yet also deceit and angst. I shed a few tears with this novel, which I made a point of reading at least once a year through high school and college. I own a cloth bound copy of this book and it is one I truly treasure.

Recent Reads:

I picked up this book at a charity book sale. I liked the cover, but it was the fact it was set in a zoo during World War II that I chose to read it. I once worked as a zookeeper and often wonder what happens to zoos during war time. After reading a bit about the book, I learned that a lot of research had been done and much of the story is fact based. When I visited eastern Europe last year I so wanted to go to Warsaw Zoo, but Warsaw was too far from our other stops. My next trip to Europe has Poland on the agenda.

Another wonderful read set during World War II (it is my favorite war to read about). I started blogging just so I could share this book with other readers, so go back to the beginning of my blog to see my full review. I enjoyed this story because it wasn't told from the Allies point of view (which most WWII books I read are), but a German plantation owner. Again this book is based on real life accounts. The authenticity of the story is what puts it high on my list of books you should read.

A Series:

Really this whole Cold War era series could be on my list, but since that is too many and I have other great war set books I'll just list the one that got me hooked on the series. I love the Jack Ryan series. I think this might have been the first real adult books I really read. It is this series that hooked me on espionage/thriller novels. (I had always loved that kind of movies, but I guess there weren't a lot of YA titles in this genre). I never got tired of reading one of Clancy's Ryan series novel no matter how many he wrote. I kind of wish he would write another just so I can experience the thrill once more.

One From Childhood:

Another classic tale set during World War II. I think this book really made World War II come alive for me, you know, go beyond just words in a history textbook. It is probably also the book that peeked my interest in tragedies and dark fiction. I am always amazed at what the human spirit can endure and overcome.


  1. Excellent list - well worth the wait!

    I almost put A Tale of Two Cities on mine, but the Mexican book won out. I'm glad you have it here.

    I have The Zookeeper's Wife on audio, but I haven't listened yet. I've never even heard of Skeletons at the Feast. It's going on the TBR pile.


  2. This was a tough topic for me to list! I haven't heard of The Zookeeper's Wife, but it sounds really interesting to me. I included Anne Frank's Diary in my list as well!


  3. A Tale of Two Cities is a favourite of mine since school. Haven't heard of The Zookeeper's Wife or Skeletons at the Feast but would love to read them, esp. the latter as it has a German pov. Cold war is not my cup of tea so would give Clancey a miss. And it's high time I read the Diary.

    Interesting list.