Top Ten Books Set in World War II


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. For this week’s list I decided to pick the first ten books that came to mind when I thought of World War II historical fiction. I love historical fiction and World War II has always fascinated me. There are books that I love that aren’t on this list, but here are the ten that immediately came to mind…

In no particular order (book images go to Goodreads…)

The Book Thief- Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

I have so much love for this book. I know it divides a lot of readers, but I really do think it’s incredible. I think it’s a challenging read but an important one.

Sarah’s Key- Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's Key

I picked up this book totally by accident in a book store near my sister’s old house. I absolutely devoured this story. It broke my heart.

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas- John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Some might find this book to be overrated but I think it’s wonderful. Another heart-breaker that’s for sure.

The Bronze Horseman- Paullina Simons

The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1)

This book is set in Russia in the 1940s. I love this trilogy and whilst it is quite a hefty read I think it’s totally worth it. There’s such a beautiful romance at the heart of it even if there’s a lot of er.. intimate moments within the story.

Prisoner of Night and Fog- Anne Blankman

Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #1)

This is another book that I came across quite randomly. I really enjoyed it and its sequel as well. I thought it was stand-out in a very populated genre.

The Wrong Boy-  Suzy Zail

The Wrong Boy

I absolutely adored this book which features a Jewish girl named Hanna being sent to Auschwitz with her familt. Hanna plays piano for the camp commander and falls in love with the wrong boy…

Code Name Verity- Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity, #1)

Another book I adored. I absolutely love when books in this genre are a little different and I found this book to be quite a powerful reminder of woman’s roles in the war.

Hotel On The Corner of Bitter and Sweet- Jamie Ford

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

I know that this book has got really mixed reviews, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was a beautiful read. The plot does have a few flaws, but other than that I have nothing bad to say about it and I’d still highly recommend it.

Cross My Heart- Carmen Reid

Cross My Heart

I adored this book which, again, I didn’t expect to read or enjoy as much as I did. It’s centres around 15 year old Nicole as she watches Belgium be invaded by the Nazis. Nicole joins the Belgian resistance. Such a powerful book.

The Girl In The Blue Coat- Monica Hesse

The Girl in the Blue Coat

I read this book in August and immediately knew it would make a list like this. It’s a wonderful albeit sad story about a ordinary girl making courageous choices.

What did you do for your Top Ten list this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

59 thoughts on “Top Ten Books Set in World War II

  1. I absolutely love WWII fiction as well! I guess my favorite is The Nightingale by Kristin Hanna. Have you heard of it? 🙂

  2. I love this list! I have read most of the books here but I am putting Girl in the Blue Coat and Cross My Heart on my TBR pile since we seem to have similar book tastes.

  3. Prisoner of Night and Fog always gets my attention with that wonderful cover, and The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet has tempted me once or twice. 🙂 Have you read Letters from Skye? It’s set during WWi and WWII and the war is mainly the backdrop as it’s a romance, but it’s told all in letters and is quite good.

  4. Oh man – I love, love, love this list! I love books set in WWII and there are lots of them on your list I haven’t actually heard of! This stays open in a tab for future reference 😀 (When I finish checking out other TTT post, my tbr will increase once again with this!) 🙂

  5. A topic after my own heart. WWII is one of my favorite time periods to read about. You’ve come up with a great list, Chrissi. I’ve read and enjoyed a couple. The Book Thief, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, in particular. And then you mention a few I want to read but haven’t yet–like Sarah’s Key and Code Name Verity.

  6. Sarah’s Key!! I still have think of that story. Wow. I think Hotel is probably my all-time favorite coming of age story. I listened to it with my son when he was a freshman in h.s.–he still loves the book years later. I’ll be looking into some of these–World War II is a favorite topic of mine.

  7. I own The Bronze Horseman. I bought it a long time ago, when friends were pushing me to read it (because of my love of Outlander). I’ve never gotten around to reading it. I think I’m nervous.

  8. I really want to read the Bronze Horseman but not sure I have the heart! Totally agree with Code Name Verity and The Book Thief! I love Number the Stars, too

  9. I absolutely love WWII books. That is my favorite time period for historical fiction. And the only books on this list that I have read are The Book Thief and Code Name Verity. Both of those were incredible. The Book Thief is one of my all time favorite books. I think I need to check out the others on this list.

  10. I read a lot of books set during WWII but am happy to see many that I haven’t yet read! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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