What are the best novels set during World War II?

asked by Anonymous
240 contributors
30 solutions
  1. 43

    #1The Book Thief

    The Book Thief
    The Book Thief is a young adult novel by Markus Zusak set in Germany during the height of the Nazi regime which centers on a young girl named Liesel who is close to her foster parents, friends, and a Jewish fist fighter.
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  2. 37

    #2Eye of the Needle

    Eye of the Needle
    Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett is a spy thriller novel. This book is the author's first successful, best-selling novel and has earned an Edgar Award in 1979. The story is about the "The Needle" who knows the secret to Nazi victory.

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    Josefina Corona
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "I love this book! It is so thrilling. One minute I am disgusted and scared, the next I feel all romantic, warm and cozy. I feel like in someway this book is real. I mean, Everyone in love has to deal with a side of their significant other that may not be preferred. This is a great book! A must read! "
  3. 34

    #3Altar of Resistance (World War Two)

    Altar of Resistance (World War Two)
    Altar of Resistance is the second book of the World War Two trilogy written by Samuel Marquis, who is named as no. 1 Denver Post Bestselling Suspense Author. With over 300 pages, this book is published in 2017 by Mount Sopris Publishing.
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    Guillermina Sosa
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "If you're looking for a unique book in WWII, Altar of Resistance is a great choice. It will keep you up for hours wanting to read more and more. You'll find yourself rooting out loud for the heroes and cursing the villains. "
  1. 20

    #4The English Patient

    The English Patient

    The English Patient is a historical fiction novel written by Michael Ondaatje. This classic romance book won literary merits like the Man Booker Prize and Trillium Book award. It is first published in 1992. 

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    Lauren Little
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "I was completely enthralled by this novel, which was truly at times as uncomfortable and painful as ripping off a scab. It was like being forced to stare at something you wished you could look away from, but every part of your body and mind was compelling you to stay with it. I did not want it to end. I felt so invested in these heart-breaking broken characters. If two human drama does it for you, read this book. "
  2. 16

    #5Bodyguard of Deception (World War Two)

    Bodyguard of Deception (World War Two)
    Bodyguard of Deception is the first book of the World War Two trilogy written by Samuel Marquis, who is named as no. 1 Denver Post Bestselling Suspense Author. This book is published in 2016 by Mount Sopris Publishing.
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    Eugene Freeman
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "I am an avid reader of World War II related works, and so when looking specifically for a novel set during this period, I was pleasantly pleased with Samuel Marquis' Bodyguard of Deception. Some of the plot points were a little hard to believe, but just in terms of entertainment value and holding my interest, this novel does the job."
  3. 14

    #6Sarah's Key

    Sarah's Key

    Sarah's Key is a historical fiction novel by Tatiana de Rosnay which is about the life of 10-year-old Jewish girl named Sarah and then after 60 years, journalist Julia Jarmond unearths Sarah's story.

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    Tang Zeng
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "Sarah's Key will draw you in for sure. It's one of my favorites right now. It has made me laugh and cry."
  4. 12

    #7The Bronze Horseman

    The Bronze Horseman

    The Bronze Horseman is the first book in The Bronze Horseman trilogy. A story where Tatiana meets Alexander, a young officer of the Red Army who will fight against the Germans in the Leningrad siege. 

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    Philip Walters
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "GOOD"
  5. 11

    #8The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a historical novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Set in 1946, it tells the story of Juliet Ashton, a writer, and her correspondence with members of the titular society.
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    Thomas Holland
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "Truly entertaining and you will continue to think about the characters a long time after reading this book."
  6. 9

    #9The Nightingale

    The Nightingale

    The Nightingale tells the story of two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, as each of them fights their own battle for love, freedom, and survival in German-occupied France during World War II.

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    Ashley Ellis
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "This is a beautiful account of love and loss between 2 sisters during WWII, a must read if you like the time period and history. Beautifully put together."
  7. 6

    #10The Rising Tide (World War II)

    The Rising Tide (World War II)

    From the creator of classic historical novel Jeff Shaara now embarks on America's journey during the World War II in The Rising Tide. The novel was published on November 7th, 2006 by Ballantine Books.

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    Patrick Grant
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "I am a bit of a sucker for World War II stuff so take my review with a grain of salt. It was a fascinating but slow paced book about war. It wasn't a standard action war book, but a slow methodical novel about planning. I urge you to read it if you want a slow burn type novel."
  8. 5

    #11A Town Like Alice

    A Town Like Alice

    A Town Like Alice is a novel by Nevil Shute. Set during World War II, it follows the story of Jean Paget, who travels to the outbacks of Australia to look for the Australian soldier who saved her life. 

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    Tammy Simpson
    Written on April 29, 2018
    " A Town Like Alice was one of the first books that my friend told me about. She knew my love of history and first thought of me when she had read it. I liked it, but it was at times a bit hokey. "
  9. 2

    #12No Less Than Victory (World War II)

    No Less Than Victory (World War II)

    No Less Than Victory is the peak of glory for Jeffrey Shaara's creative retelling of an important part of history. This novel is the last book in the author's World War II series. The book was published on November 3rd, 2009 by Ballantine Books.

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    Charles Berry
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "I was never really into the World War II books really just because I felt like I was always learning about the war in highschool. This one however just seems a little unique in my opinion, and I really found myself wanting to continue reading the book. I don't want to give too much away other then this being a very interesting read."
  10. 1

    #13The Final Storm (World War II)

    The Final Storm (World War II)

    Jeff Shaara's The Final Storm shows a different perspective in his chronicle of novels on World War II. The book about the war in the Pacific was published on May 17th, 2011 by Ballantine Books.

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    Lisa Huang
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "Shara is an amazing story teller and this book is an amazing conclusion to his 4 story series. He provides multiple perspectives from the heroic Marines and proud Japanese soliders on the frontlines to the culmination of the bombing of Hiroshima. If you are interested in the stories of WWII than this is a must read, engaging and fast-paced, you can't go wrong. "
  11. 0

    #14Hhhh

    Hhhh

    HHhH is a historical fiction novel written by Laurent Binet which centers on the lives of Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis who are responsible for the death of Reinhard Heydrich, Othe Butcher of Prague. 

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    Sue Wu
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "I thought this novel was not only a wonderful read, but a piece of history. The setting just makes the book all that much better!"
  12. 0

    #15A Small Death in Lisbon

    A Small Death in Lisbon

    A Small Death in Lisbon is a thriller novel set in Portugal written by Robert Wilson. A Small Death in Lisbon was published on March 5, 2002 by Berkley Books.

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    Joshua Chavez
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "There are a lot of really good WWII books, so this is a difficult genre to judge. Fortunately, "A Small Death in Lisbon" gives me a lot to rave over. The book is set in Portugal, which isn't the typical locale of a WWII book, so that was nice. The thriller genre has found a new masterpiece here!"
  13. 0

    #16The Sniper's Kiss

    The Sniper's Kiss
    The Sniper's Kiss is an LGBT and war-themed book fused with historical fiction written by Justine Saracen, and was published on March 14, 2017 by Bold Strokes Books.
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  14. 0

    #17The General of the Dead Army

    The General of the Dead Army
    The General of the Dead Army is a European fiction book written by an Albanian novelist Ismail Kadare and was published on June 1st 2005 by New Amsterdam Books. It follows the story of a Italian general.
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    Samuel Macías
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "Ismail Kadare once said that what an author does not write is more important than what he writes. This was an art he had to master in his native Albania where he lived a curious life as a writer employed by the Stalinist government which nonetheless banned many of his works. The General of the Dead Army was his first book to attract international interest after publication in France in 1970. Starting with its part mythical style, everything in the book is shrouded in mystery, uncertainty and confusion. An Italian general is sent to recover the remains of the soldiers who died in Albania in WWII. He starts with great confidence and patriotic purpose - he is well prepared for the task and determined to restore the honour of the fallen. Soon the mission begins to flounder, they encounter hostility from the locals, the weather is miserable and the countryside they have to work in remote and inhospitable. The general becomes increasingly disorientated, he distrusts and is envious of his assistant and begins to fantasize about the dead soldiers. Gradually as alienation and loneliness take hold of the General's mind, the different strands of the story, at first blurred and incomplete, come into focus for the reader. The mission, in terms of the recovery of bodies is an almost total success, but ends in failure as the General discovers the truth about the celebrated Colonel Z - the last man he must locate, and the last piece in the macabre puzzle."
  15. 0

    #18The Madonnas of Leningrad

    The Madonnas of Leningrad

    The Madonnas of Leningrad is a standalone historical fiction novel written by Debra Dean which centers on Marina who is already losing her fight with Alzheimer's disease.

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    Doris Chapman
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "This book sounds like it would be heartbreaking, because of the backdrop of the war and the romance of the main characters. It does not seem that this book would have a happy ending, but will end in heart break and misery."
  16. 0

    #19The Man With the Golden Arm

    The Man With the Golden Arm
    The Man With the Golden Arm is a realistic drama novel for young adults and adults written by Nelson Algren and with the introduction from James R. Giles. It was originally published in 1949. It won the first National Book Award.
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    Diya Rodrigues
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "The book is so much better than the movie of course. If you are a fan of Frank Sinatra or Chicago you will find this book interesting. "
  17. 0

    #20Bitter Seeds

    Bitter Seeds

    Bitter Seeds is a fantasy science fiction novel written by Ian Tregillis. It was first published in 2010 by Tor Books under ISBN 0765321505. Bitter Seeds is the first book in the Milkweed Triptych series.

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  18. 0

    #21Under a Sardinian Sky

    Under a Sardinian Sky
    Under a Sardinian Sky is a historical fiction romance novel written by Sara Alexander. This Italian chick lit novel is first published in 2017 by Kensington Publishing Corporation. 
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    Kelly Montgomery
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "This is a lovely dramatic romance novel. I enjoy reading wartime romance when I'm on vacation lounging on the beach."
  19. 0

    #22The Naked and the Dead

    The Naked and the Dead

    The Naked and the Dead is a 1948 novel by Norman Kingsley Mayer. Drawing from the author's own experiences during World War II, this book tells the story of American soldiers who tried to reclaim an island from Japanese hands.

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    Dylan Perkins
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "The Naked and the Dead is a classic book that came from the after days of World War II. Written by Norman Kingsley Mayer, the book follows the journey of front line soldiers who are fighting for control of a Japanese island. "
  20. 0

    #23The True Story of Hansel and Gretel

    The True Story of Hansel and Gretel

    The True Story of Hansel and Gretel is a historical fiction book written by Louise Murphy. The True Story of Hansel and Gretel was published on July 29, 2003 by Penguin Books. 

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    Jordan Morrison
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "This is good book with lots of good reviews. It's story is great and worth reading."
  21. 0

    #24Hospital Of The Transfiguration

    Hospital Of The Transfiguration
    Hospital Of The Transfiguration is a historical fiction book written by Stanisław Lem and translated by William Brand. Hospital Of The Transfiguration was published on April 30, 1991 by Mariner Books. 
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    Edison Fan
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "This is definitely a more slow paced war story. I like the faster paced one's myself so I cannot recommend. Character and story progression is really slow "
  22. 0

    #25The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman

    The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman
    The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman is a historical fiction book written by Andrzej Szczypiorski and translated by Klara Glowczewska. The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman was published on March 21, 1997 by Grove Press. 
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    Johnny Griffin
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "A great and beautiful piece of fiction set during World War II. This is a sublimely written prose and simply amazing character development. This book is easy to get through and price accessible."
  23. 0

    #26The Spies of Warsaw (Night Soldiers)

    The Spies of Warsaw (Night Soldiers)
    The Spies of Warsaw is a historical spy thriller book written by Alan Furst. The Spies of Warsaw was published on June 3, 2008 by Random House. It is the tenth book in Night Soldiers Series.
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    Eugene Phillips
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "The Spies of Warsaw is an intriguing spy thriller that quickly becomes a page turner. As a part of the Night Soldiers series, the story is one that is massive and is fairly easily tapped into. Though it is best to start at the beginning of the series, The Spies of Warsaw does standalone as a great novel. I highly recommend this book!"
  24. 0

    #27The Things We Cherished

    The Things We Cherished

    The Things We Cherished is a historical fiction book written by Pam Jenoff. The Things We Cherished was published on July 12, 2011 by Doubleday.

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    Lily Fang
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "I love this book. The love in this story warms my heart. I just love it. If you love romance definitely read this book! "
  25. 0

    #28Cinderella's Dress

    Cinderella's Dress

    Cinderella's Dress is the first book in the historical fiction series with the same name written by Shonna Slayton which centers on the life of teenage girl Kate Allen. 

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    Jack Powell
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "This novel provides a historical fictional story of a girl who is just trying to make it during the 1940s era of New York. The fantasy element, explained as their family being the keeper of Cinderella's Dress, is a bit of a reach for me, but the story itself tells an engrossing tale of a young woman going through the hardships of having a family embroiled in the war while trying to find her way in life. More geared towards a younger female audience, it might be worth a read if this genre is a favorite of yours, regardless."
  26. 0

    #29The Race for Paris

    The Race for Paris

    The Race for Paris is a historical fiction written by Meg White Clayton. This historical fiction was published on August 11, 2015 by Harper. The Race for Paris was set on Normandy in 1944.

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    Javier Alvarado
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "I tried to enjoy The Race for Paris but I thought that the book fell short of its promise. The idea of a book about female wartime correspondents was interesting, but the situations were too contrived and 'just so' to make for an interesting read"
  27. 0

    #30The French Girl's War

    The French Girl's War

    The French Girl's War is a historical fiction book set in World War II written by Herb Williams-Dalgart. This holocaust fiction novel is published in  2014 by CreateSpace. 

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    Ishan Banerjee
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "When discussing the top novels set during World War II, The French Girl's War is a ubiquitous winner. This book excels in capturing all of the horror and information that occurred around the Holocaust in a fictional manner. Written by Herb Williams-Dalgart, this book is nothing short of a creative gold mine. This is a must read to anyone who loves a good fictional tale with a dab of history involved."

Summary

Best What are the best novels set during World War II
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1The Book ThiefBooks 43 Paid
2Eye of the NeedleBooks 37 Paid
3Altar of Resistance (World War Two)Books 34 Paid
4The English PatientBooks 20 Paid
5Bodyguard of Deception (World War Two)Books 16 Paid
6Sarah's KeyBooks 14 Paid
7The Bronze HorsemanBooks 12 Paid
8The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyBooks 11 Paid
9The NightingaleBooks 9 Paid
10The Rising Tide (World War II)Books 6 Paid
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