And No Birds Sang
By Farley Mowat
Why this book?
This book is a personal memoir of Canadian author Farley Mowat, who joined the Canadian Army and fought as part of the First Canadian Infantry Division throughout the Sicilian and Italian Campaigns in World War Two. It is a vivid testimonial to losing your innocence under fire, and it strongly personalizes the sort of history that sometimes seems impersonal when preserved in black-and-white documentaries and archived in massive coffee-table books compiled for curious dads. This book was a definite influence on me in the early stages of writing my book, helping me learn more about the day-to-day life of Canadian soldiers at the time–how they talked (and swore!), what they carried, and what they thought and felt after killing the enemy or seeing their friends killed. Highly recommended.
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