Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Some War Novels

     I was going to title this post "Best War Books" or something like that, but then I realized it would be really, really arrogant to assume that my little slapped-together list actually contained the very best books on a subject that has been so well covered by so many authors.  So I only hope to share a few of my favorite books about war with you; I can't promise they are the best.  
     War is terrible, but it sure inspires some wonderful books.

1. Dispatches by Michael Herr - I've never read a book like this before - it's very stream-of-consciousness and studded with historical and musical allusions (I actually made a playlist out of all the songs and artists that Herr mentions).  It's a mash-up of poetry, journalism (Herr was reporting on the Vietnam War), and novel that captures the chaos of war in a way that no standard narrative could.

2. Exodus by Leon Uris - Reading Exodus, which in simplest terms explores the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and Jewish persecution, was like deep-sea diving.  Completely immersing; dark and terrifying; at times overwhelming.  I think most readers emerge from this book with a more understanding view of the modern world.

3. Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien - A collection of short stories about the Vietnam War, born from the ruminations of a veteran.

4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - I've praised this book before and I'll do it again now.  It's more reflective than most war stories, probably because it takes place in the wake of a war rather than in the heat of one.

5. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - Hey, just because a war hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean that it can't be the focus of a brilliant war novel.  This science-fiction classic, whose companion I have already reviewed, is especially unusual because it focuses on how war affects those responsible for soldiers' lives, rather than its effects on the soldiers themselves.

Two books from this list, plus a pillow made from
the shirts of a veteran - my grandpa :)
     As I was making this post, I realized that I read lots of books related to war but not many that are traditional war novels - you know, a soldier narrating his experiences in battle.  I guess I'll have to read more of those and get back to you all.
     - Carly


  1. Definitely going to check these out, I have so many books to read that I've bookmarked from you! :D My most favorite war novels are from Erich Remarque, best is of course "All quiet on the western front"!

    1. Ooh, I've been meaning to read "All Quiet" for ages :P


Thank you for talking to me!! I wish you lots of good books and brownies!