10 books like A Woman in Berlin

By Anonymous, Philip Boehm (translator),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like A Woman in Berlin. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Suite Française

By Irene Nemirovsky,

Book cover of Suite Française

I’ve chosen this book not just for the incredible picture it paints of German occupation, but for the story of its survival. Irène Némirovsky was a Ukrainian-Jewish author living in Paris with her young family until she was denied French citizenship and forced to flee to the French countryside. In July 1942 she was arrested during a period of vicious roundups by the Germans and transported to Auschwitz, where she died a month later from typhus. Irène’s two daughters were amongst the crowd that gathered daily outside the Hotel Lutetia in Paris, where returnees from concentration camps were processed after the liberation of France. Her daughter Denise kept the notebook containing Suite Française for fifty years before realising what it contained, and Irène’s masterpiece was finally published in 2004.

Suite Française

By Irene Nemirovsky,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Suite Française as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1941, Irene Nemirovsky sat down to write a book that would convey the magnitude of what she was living through, not in terms of battles and politicians, but by evoking the domestic lives and personal trials of the ordinary citizens of France. She did not live to see her ambition fulfilled, or to know that sixty-five years later, "Suite Francaise" would be published for the first time, and hailed as a masterpiece. Set during a year that begins with France's fall to the Nazis in June 1940 and ends with Germany turning its attention to Russia, "Suite Francaise" falls…


Savage Continent

By Keith Lowe,

Book cover of Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II

Keith Lowe is a brilliant researcher and this account of the after-effects of the Second World war on Europe makes for harrowing reading. When Europe was still shuddering from the war's destruction, the allies frequently behave brutally towards the vanquished Germans. The worst excesses, especially against women, were deliberately committed by the Russians followed by the French. This aspect of the war has mostly been overlooked by historians.

Savage Continent

By Keith Lowe,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Savage Continent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Keith Lowe's Savage Continent is an awe-inspiring portrait of how Europe emerged from the ashes of WWII.

The end of the Second World War saw a terrible explosion of violence across Europe. Prisoners murdered jailers. Soldiers visited atrocities on civilians. Resistance fighters killed and pilloried collaborators. Ethnic cleansing, civil war, rape and murder were rife in the days, months and years after hostilities ended. Exploring a Europe consumed by vengeance, Savage Continent is a shocking portrait of an until-now unacknowledged time of lawlessness and terror.

Praise for Savage Continent:

'Deeply harrowing, distinctly troubling. Moving, measured and provocative. A compelling and…


Alone in Berlin

By Hans Fallada,

Book cover of Alone in Berlin

Often overlooked by today's readers, this fine novel of 1940 Berlin by an author who never left Nazi Germany offers a realistic and touching portrayal of ordinary working citizens. A married couple whose life is upended by the loss of a soldier son encounters persistent Nazi propaganda discrediting their sacrifice. Inspired by actual historical figures, the protagonists courageously turn to modest acts of resistance, drawing the unrelenting focus of a Gestapo inspector determined to solve the case to further his career. Fallada's masterful storytelling and unforgettable characters will put you inside a righteous struggle to resist the oppressive state. This is a classic from an author who lived the place and time, and it shouldn't be missed

Alone in Berlin

By Hans Fallada,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Alone in Berlin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A gripping portrait of life in wartime Berlin and a vividly theatrical study of how paranoia can warp a society gripped by the fear of the night-time knock on the door.

Based on true events, Hans Fallada's Alone In Berlin follows a quietly courageous couple, Otto and Anna Quangel who, in dealing with their own heartbreak, stand up to the brutal reality of the Nazi regime. With the smallest of acts, they defy Hitler's rule with extraordinary bravery, facing the gravest of consequences.

Translated and Adapted by Alistair Beaton (Feelgood, The Trial Of Tony Blair), this timely story of the…


Primo Levi's Resistance

By Sergio Luzzatto,

Book cover of Primo Levi's Resistance: Rebels and Collaborators in Occupied Italy

The partisan experiences of Primo Levi—chemist, Auschwitz survivor, and writer—are researched and offered in gritty, thorough detail by Luzzatto. Levi, in his writings, alluded to incidents that occurred during his time as a partisan, and Luzzatto delves deeper into the motivations behind these events and the personalities involved. The Resistance in its early days, while being hunted by Nazis and their Italian allies, became a small force of its own making, using collective, military-style decisions and tactics, and meting out its own forms of justice. An important book to gain insight into the complexities of purpose within the Resistance, learn about the crimes and subsequent justice of members of Salò—the puppet government installed in northern Italy—and understand the influences on political alignments and fascism in the period beyond the war.

Primo Levi's Resistance

By Sergio Luzzatto,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Primo Levi's Resistance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

No other Auschwitz survivor has been as literarily powerful and historically influential as Primo Levi. Yet Levi was not only a victim or a witness. In the fall of 1943, at the very start of the Italian Resistance, he was a fighter, participating in the first attempts to launch guerrilla warfare against occupying Nazi forces. Those three months have been largely overlooked by Levi's biographers; indeed, they went strikingly unmentioned by Levi himself. For the rest of his life he barely acknowledged that autumn in the Alps. But an obscure passage in Levi's The Periodic Table hints that his deportation…


The Second World War

By Martin Gilbert,

Book cover of The Second World War: A Complete History

This 900-page history is a vivid account of WWII across all fronts. Though the research is meticulous and covers the length of the war, the explanations are clear and fascinating and the chronology makes it feel like a guided tour through time. Along the way, Gilbert interposes a human face and a very personal account, revealing upheaval and atrocities, but ensuring that there is a permanent record of those civilians, particularly Jews, who died without just cause. And the examples and conditions endured are at times difficult to read and heartbreaking. The book covers all aspects, from battle lines to partisan attacks, to numbers killed, to firsthand accounts, to Hitler’s inners circle, and more. This is an outstanding read and this book is just one of Gilbert’s many significant contributions as a historian.

The Second World War

By Martin Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Second World War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally published by Weidenfeld in 1989 and now available in paperback, a history of the Second World War, which looks at its political, diplomatic, military and civilian aspects.


The Fall of Berlin 1945

By Antony Beevor,

Book cover of The Fall of Berlin 1945

A bit dry and occasionally over-focused on rattling off official numbers and unit designations, The Fall Of Berlin is also a low-key horror novel. Surrounded on all sides by a massive Russian army hell-bent on revenge, the people of Berlin are caught between those invaders and their own leadership forcing them into a suicidal last stand. The scale of brutality is numbing; this is a battle fought without mercy by two adversaries locked in a death struggle.

The Fall of Berlin 1945

By Antony Beevor,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Fall of Berlin 1945 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A tale drenched in drama and blood, heroism and cowardice, loyalty and betrayal."-Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

The Red Army had much to avenge when it finally reached the frontiers of the Third Reich in January 1945. Frenzied by their terrible experiences with Wehrmacht and SS brutality, they wreaked havoc-tanks crushing refugee columns, mass rape, pillage, and unimaginable destruction. Hundreds of thousands of women and children froze to death or were massacred; more than seven million fled westward from the fury of the Red Army. It was the most terrifying example of fire and sword ever known.

Antony Beevor, renowned…


Bloodlands

By Timothy Snyder,

Book cover of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

A profoundly humane and different kind of history, setting the most exceptional and bloody period in all of human history in the context of two opposing, mass murderous regimes. It sets a new standard for how history should be written, not as cold operations divorced from cause but as causes and issues that are at stake in war driving decisions about operations and genocides. It is also notable for writing the history of the eastern front as a single, unified tale of the clash of ideas and power, and not just disjointed stories that only meet where the armed forces touched. 

Bloodlands

By Timothy Snyder,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Bloodlands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Americans call the Second World War "the Good War." But before it even began, America's ally Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens-and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war's end, German and Soviet killing sites fell behind the Iron Curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness.
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Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of…


Tried by War

By James M. McPherson,

Book cover of Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief

Abraham Lincoln is the subject of hundreds of books, but no historian has ever before explored his role specifically as Commander-in-Chief and how he not only grew into that role but triumphed at it. Well-read in military strategy and possessing a sophisticated grasp of strategy itself, Lincoln was all too often way ahead of his dithering generals who failed to take advantage of their successes with an eye toward bringing the war to an earlier conclusion. With a very hands-on approach, Abraham Lincoln persisted in pushing the army always to do more, to be more, while learning from battlefield mistakes in ways many of his generals seemed incapable of. Despite tragic losses and many missed opportunities, Lincoln never gave up or gave in, and never lost his compassion, either, for the soldiers in the field.

Tried by War

By James M. McPherson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tried by War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"James M. McPherson’s Tried by War is a perfect primer . . . for anyone who wishes to under­stand the evolution of the president’s role as commander in chief. Few histo­rians write as well as McPherson, and none evoke the sound of battle with greater clarity." —The New York Times Book Review

The Pulitzer Prize–winning author reveals how Lincoln won the Civil War and invented the role of commander in chief as we know it

As we celebrate the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, this study by preeminent, bestselling Civil War historian James M. McPherson provides a rare, fresh take on…


Darkest Hour

By Anthony McCarten,

Book cover of Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink

A nation at war, facing seemingly insurmountable odds, with much of Europe already conquered and Germany winning every battle, triumphant over all—leaving Britain isolated, its very survival now imperiled. Yet a solitary voice defies the inevitable. “We shall never surrender,” cries Winston Churchill.  Single-handedly, Churchill turns back the voices of defeatism, standing firm against all those both in and out of his government who wanted to sue for peace with Adolf Hitler. He was defiant to the end. This is a book about England’s darkest hour, when she stood alone on the brink of catastrophe, and about one man, Winston Churchill, whose courage, enormous strength of will, and clarity of purpose, saved Britain from disaster and arguably saved Western Civilization along with it.

Darkest Hour

By Anthony McCarten,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Darkest Hour as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER AND OFFICIAL TIE-IN TO THE AWARD-WINNING MOTION PICTURE STARRING GARY OLDMAN, WHO TOOK HOME BEST ACTOR AT THE OSCARS FOR HIS SUBLIME TURN AS WINSTON CHURCHILL.

From the prize-winning screenwriter of The Theory of Everything, this is a cinematic, behind-the-scenes account of a crucial moment which takes us inside the mind of one of the world's greatest leaders - and provides a revisionist, more rounded portrait of his leadership.

May, 1940. Britain is at war, European democracies are falling rapidly and the public are unaware of this dangerous new world. Just days after his…


Under a Dark Sky

By Lori Rader-Day,

Book cover of Under a Dark Sky

Eden Wallace’s husband is dead and she’s deeply phobic about the dark, but she’s going to take the northern Michigan vacation he planned for them anyway — at a "sky park" where there’s no light pollution at night to keep you from seeing the spectacular starry skies. The dream turns into a nightmare when she becomes the prime suspect in a grotesque murder and subsequently suffers unexpected torments.  Rader-Day delivers a fiendishly clever plot and there are truly superb twists along the way. This is finely wrought crime fiction with great psychological depth. The dialogue is natural all the way through, the characters are beautifully individualized, and the author deftly builds tension while taking us deep into the heart of Eden’s grief. All of that makes her eventual triumph over both circumstances and her crippling fear truly unforgettable.

Under a Dark Sky

By Lori Rader-Day,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under a Dark Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Anthony Award!

"Fans of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None will be riveted by Rader-Day's latest psychological thriller, which makes you question who you really know and trust and whether you should be afraid of the dark."-Library Journal, Starred Review

"A brilliant concept, brilliantly told!" --Jeffery Deaver, New York Times Bestselling Author

Only in the dark can she find the truth . . .

Since her husband died, Eden Wallace's life has diminished down to a tiny pinprick, like a far-off star in the night sky. She doesn't work, has given up on her love of…


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