Archive for June, 2011

After reading In the Garden of Beasts (Erik Larson), I became entangled in a WWII book bucket! I immediately started reading Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand), and when I finished that, I read 22 Britannia Road (Amanda Hodgkinson). I then read Once There Was a War (John Steinbeck) and then Hiroshima (John Hersey).  I am finally on the last book of my WWII book bucket – The Naked and the Dead (Norman Mailer). I think I have now exhausted my book bucket (for the time being, until I get stuck into one again), and once I finish my Norman Mailer, I will be able to move on to other topics!  My preferences, in order of most favorite to least favorite, of these books I recently read that fit into my WWII book bucket are:

  • Unbroken / Laura Hillenbrand / *****LOVE
  • In the Garden of Beasts / Erik Larson / *****LOVE
  • Hiroshima / John Hersey / ****Enjoyed
  • Once There Was a War / John Steinbeck / ****Enjoyed
  • 22 Britannia Road / Amanda Hodgkinson / ***AVERAGE

There are so many reviews of Unbroken out there that have been written that I won’t write another one here. All I can say is that it was INCREDIBLE and I would recommend it to anyone.  I re-read Hiroshima because I barely remembered reading it in high school, and I felt the need to re-read that experience after finishing Unbroken. The matter-of-fact style in which it is written is perfect for the story that it is telling. I was, however, very surprised at how difficult it was to buy a copy of the book on Amazon. I wonder if it’s not required reading for junior high/ high schoolers anymore? If it isn’t, it should be. 

Once There Was a War is a collection of short stories that John Steinbeck wrote while he was a war correspondent during WWII.  They are about nothing in particular, and each one is very different. Most of all, they try to describe the every day lives of the soldiers, and they do a good job of that. These pieces were originally published in newspapers and magazines as they were written, and this is a good compilation. Some are definitely better than others though, which makes it a bit slow-going at times. Others are laugh-out-loud funny, which makes it enjoyable at times!

The Naked and the Dead is a book about WWII in the Pacific… and I am finally exhausting my thirst for these WWII books! (See my full reviews of In The Garden of Beasts and 22 Britannia Road for my thoughts on those 2 remaining books)


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