Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #42

Thirteen books about World War II found in the Babystepper bookshelves

Some of these are more in-depth, and some are better for bathroom perusal. I've read most of them, though, and several more than once. A says I'm "obsessed with WWII". Maybe he's right. I did one of my high school term papers about intelligence work that prepared the Allies for the North African campaign (Operation Torch) and in college I did a huge year-long project on two fiction writers who wrote during and about the war. Is this in any way useful? Probably not. At least I know enough now
not to attack countries on both sides of mine. Hmmm. Probably wasn't really an option anyway.

I took actual pictures of my actual books instead of trying to find pictures online, to show that they really are mine and really have spent some time on the blue recliner that is the back-drop for all my fancy pictures. You'll notice that many of them are missing their book jackets. That is because I married a book jacket nazi (err, so to speak) and he can't stand to have book jackets around for some reason. He says they're pointless and redundant. (This is the man who keeps all the cases for his X-box and Wii games [even though we keep all the games in a cd wallet] because he might want to sell them someday and they'll sell better with the case) *sniff sniff* I smell a teensy-weensy double standard.

1. The War: A Concise History 1939-1945 by Louis L. Snyder - I'm not exactly sure how this is "concise" but I suppose the author was comparing it to the six volume set by Churchill mentioned below. I've read bits and pieces of this one, while researching my college project, but it's not really the type that you want to just sit down and read through in one sitting. A bit dry.

2. The Gathering Storm (Volume I) by Winston S. Churchill - These next three are just half of the above-mentioned six-volume work. I only have these three because I just happened to find them on (A site I highly recommend, btw) If any of you out there are thinking of spending lots of money on me for Christmas, I would love to have the last three books in this set, or even a complete set of six. You know, either way would be fine. Signed first-editions would even be fine. Just whatever.

3.Their Finest Hour (Volume II) by Winston S. Churchill

4. The Grand Alliance (Volume III) by Winston S. Churchill

5. WWII: The People's Story ed. by Nigel Fountain - This is one of those Reader's Digest coffee table books. I'm not too proud to say that I enjoy these books just as much as the more "scholarly" works. I love the pictures, of course, and this book particularly includes a lot of individual accounts both from soldiers and from the home front.

6. World War II: In Photographs ed. by Richard Holmes - This one too, as it says in the title, is mostly photographs. It does an excellent job of giving information too, and was made in association with the Imperial War Museum, so has many pictures I haven't seen in other places. (This book is pictured above with the next one.)

7. The War by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns - Yes, another coffee table size picture book. This one, however, is the companion to the Ken Burns series also titled "The War". It follows the war fortunes of four American cities and their citizens, so has a completely different approach than the others. If anyone else would like to spend, oh, lots, of money on me for Christmas, the video series and soundtrack would be great.

8. Children of the Storm: Childhood Memories of World War II ed. by Charles Perkins - OK, yes, this one has pictures too, but it's mostly, like it says, accounts of the war written by people who were children at the time. Very interesting, actually. I found this on a trip to Branson, MO with my college Bible study and was so excited. Yes, they thought I was a geek, thanks for asking.

9. Berlin Diary by William Shirer - This is, hands down, my favorite WWII book. I don't know why, really. Even my loving nerd husband makes fun of me for this one. You can see the book has been seriously used. I've read it three times at least. Shirer was the CBS correspondent for most of the time from 1934-1940 in Berlin and occasionally a few other European capitals. He was very astute and wrote about the climate and feeling of pre-war Germany very well. You get a real sense of being in the country.

10. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer - I can't believe I'd never read this before, since I love his Diary (above) so much, but it just never really hit me that it was written by the same person until my Uncle E mentioned it at Thanksgiving. It's a pretty hefty book, though. I'm on page 702 and the war hasn't even started yet. I mean, in Europe. Hitler hasn't even invaded Poland yet. Can we say "detailed"?

11. Secrets and Spies: Behind-the-scenes Stories of World War II by Reader's Digest - This was possibly the book that turned me on to studying WWII back in high school. It was published in 1964, so I would love to see it updated with new information now that time has revealed so much more. It just has lots of short stories about intelligence and resistance during the war, and lets face it, spies are just cool.

12. European Resistance Movements by Trevor Nevitt Dupuy (Col. U.S. Army, Ret.) - The top of this book says that it is Volume 15 in The Military History of World War II. I don't know what happened to the other 14 volumes, because I certainly never had them. I think I found this one at one of those stale cigarette scented used book shops back in college, that sells used furniture in the back. (I know this because our first kitchen table came from there, and it was a pretty cute little table, too.)

13. Paris- Underground by Etta Shiber - I honestly know absolutely nothing about this book, except that, apparently, it involves the underground movement in Paris. I'm sharp that way. I know it's about WWII because the little chain with a broken link logo on the front has tiny little red swastikas on it. I'll get around to this one someday, because I really am interested in the underground movements from this time period. I just, well, you know, don't like France very much. The more I study WWII the less I like them. (Not the people, you understand, the government and military, really.) Sorry if any of my readership are Francophiles... or Francos.

There, now, if you actually read all thirteen of those little snippets, you get a bloggity gold star and my sincere condolences er..congratulations.

Check here for more Thursday Thirteen.


ellen b. said...

OK, I'm impressed and if I ever need any info on WWII I know where to come running...

jenn said...

Which would you recommend for a first timer reading about the subject?

Happy tt!

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

I've never read any of these, but I used to watch WWII pieces on television. Some very interesting shows. Very well done. Have a great TT. :)

Jenny said...

Wow. Very interesting 13. :)

Attolia said...

Hmm...potential shopping list for Dad. :)

Nicholas said...

I've read the Shirer book (Rise And Fall...) a couple of times. Fascinating and necessarily long. I see your comment about it but remember that the Reich lasted 12 years, and fully half of those were before the war. This book was written in the early 1960s and I think has been superseded by some others but it's still worth a read. I'd also recommend John Toland's biography of Hitler.

The Churchill books are excellent. No wonder he won the Nobel prize for Literature with them.

Shesawriter said...

I feel so under-read! :-)

Happy TT!

My Thursday Thirteen is: 13 of the sexiest and/or most romantic love scene clips on film.

MJP said...

Now, about those book jackets... it pains me just to think about it...

SJ Reidhead said...

Very good list. I appreciate that you have books!

The Pink Flamingo

Natalie said...

I tried to read #10 before, but I had to give the book back before I could get into it. Someday though I want to read it.

My T13 post is up, come check it out if you get a chance. :)

damozel said...

My husband has most of these and has probably read all of them.

Your posting these reminds me to realize that we really DON'T have it so bad here and now---commercialization, anxiety, war, etc., etc. I think of the battle of britain and then I think how lucky I am for the constructive boredom of my life. Thanks for the reminder! The Flatland Almanack (Damozel)

Bloggers said...

What a great list! My hubby would love to read all of them.

baby~amore' said...

wow what a history buff you must be.

Sarah said...

You have a lot of History up on them there shelves~ I am not a big history buff...oh well! :) Thanks for stopping by!
I have another great contest up on my blog if you want to stop by to enter:

Happy TT~

Darla said...

This is fascinating. I've read a few books about WWII, but none of these. I'm going to put Berlin Diary on my to-look-for list. It's a topic I find very interesting, since I'm living in Germany, and my in-laws are all German. I get interesting stories from my MIL, who was a little girl during the war.

aftergrace said...

I'm going to have to check out #5 and #13, you're right-spies are cool. Hey, I happen to agree with A about the book covers. Hardly any of ours have covers either. I just find them in the way when I'm reading,and too many of them are bright, and shiny-they don't look uniform on my bookshelf. :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Wow. That's some collection!

Happy TT!


RE: Book Jackets

I usually remove them while I'm reading in order to keep the jackets pristine and crips, then replace them when I put the book back on the shelf. I've been told that this is entirely wrong and that the jackets are meant to be left on while you read in order to protect the book.

"They" are probably right, but BAH anyway!

I would recommend the WWII book Night by Elie Weisel. (not sure I spelled that correctly) It's a small book, but powerful.

Julie said...

These are all amazing books! I have read some really intense books about WWII written about the heroics of ordinary families in Europe. There's a brand new historical novel "Cottonwood Winter: A Christmas Story" by Gary Slaughter about life on the home front during WWII written from the perspective of some young boys who are trying to makes sense of the war in it's last year. I've used it to get my middle schooler engaged in the time period and the war. Just responding to the question about where somebody might start reading on the subject. Thanks for a great blog!