100 books like Good Neighbors, Bad Times Revisited

By Mimi Schwartz,

Here are 100 books that Good Neighbors, Bad Times Revisited fans have personally recommended if you like Good Neighbors, Bad Times Revisited. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family

Rosemary Sullivan Author Of Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille

From my list on courage and putting your life on the line.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Villa Air-Bel, I wrote about an extraordinary man, Varian Fry. A journalist sent to France in 1940 with a list of 200 artists to save, he expected to stay 2 weeks. He stayed 15 months, establishing the Emergency Rescue Committee. By the time the Vichy police expelled him, he’d saved 2,000 people. Who has the courage to put their lives on the line for strangers? In The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation, I recorded how five people risked their lives to hide the Frank family until they were finally betrayed. Two of the helpers were sent to concentration camps.  It takes courage to resist Fascism. Would I/ we have that courage?

Rosemary's book list on courage and putting your life on the line

Rosemary Sullivan Why did Rosemary love this book?

Miep Gies was one of the people who hid Anne Frank, her family, and four friends in the Secret Annex in Amsterdam in 1942.

At great risk, four of Otto Frank’s employees secured food stamps from the underground and took care of the hiders for an astonishing two years and one month before they were betrayed. Gies’s book gives a real sense of what it was like to live under enemy occupation when it was impossible to trust anyone.

“We were no longer keeping silent. We had lost the habit of speech. Do you understand the difference?” she once said. She didn’t consider herself heroic for helping the Franks. “It was simple. You were asked. You said yes.”

By Miep Gies, Alison Leslie Gold,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Anne Frank Remembered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For the millions moved by Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, here is Miep Gies's own astonishing story. For more than two years, Miep and her husband helped hide the Franks from the Nazis. Like thousands of unsung heroes of the Holocaust, they risked their lives every day to bring food, news, and emotional support to its victims. From her remarkable childhood as a World War I refugee to the moment she places a small, red-orange-checkered diary -- Anne's legacy -- into Otto Frank's hands, Miep Gies remembers her days with simple honesty and shattering clarity. Each page…


Book cover of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

Ursula Wong Author Of Amber Wolf

From my list on WWII and Eastern Europe (that you may not know about).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Lithuanian-American with a Chinese name, thanks to my husband. Thirty years ago, I found papers among my uncle’s possessions telling a WWII story about our ancestral Lithuania. I had heard about it in broad terms, but I could hardly believe what I was reading. I spent years validating the material. The result was Amber Wolf, a historical novel about a war within the war: the fight against the Russian occupation of Eastern Europe. While many countries were involved in separate struggles, I focused on Lithuania and their David and Goliath fight against the Russian army. After all this time, the story still moves me.

Ursula's book list on WWII and Eastern Europe (that you may not know about)

Ursula Wong Why did Ursula love this book?

Bloodlands is a story about the dead. Using archives made available after the break-up of the Soviet Union, Mr. Snyder sheds light on both Stalin’s and Hitler’s brutality.

In a confined area that includes just eastern Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic countries, 14 million civilians died from the 1930s to the end of the war. Most were either starved or shot. Even more startling were the plans to kill millions more.

Stalin said, “a single death is a tragedy, a million deaths are a statistic.” Mr. Snyder reminds us of the tragedy.

By Timothy Snyder,

Why should I read it?

9 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…


Book cover of The Power of Forgiveness

Ellen Cassedy Author Of We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust

From my list on hope and understanding after the Holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ellen Cassedy explores the ways that people, and countries, can engage with the difficult truths of the Holocaust in order to build a better future. She researched Lithuania’s encounter with its Jewish heritage, including the Holocaust, for ten years. Her book breaks new ground by shining a spotlight on how brave people – Jews and non-Jews – are facing the past and building mutual understanding. Cassedy is the winner of numerous awards and a frequent speaker about the Holocaust, Lithuania, and Yiddish language and literature.  

Ellen's book list on hope and understanding after the Holocaust

Ellen Cassedy Why did Ellen love this book?

Eva Mozes Kor was ten years old when she was sent to Auschwitz. As a survivor, she became an eloquent – and controversial – activist on behalf of forgiveness.  Her book tells the gripping story of how she freed herself from the burden of hatred.  Not everyone will agree with her stance, but everyone will be challenged and moved by it.

By Eva Mozes Kor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Eva Mozes Kor was just ten years old when she was sent to Auschwitz. While her parents and two older sisters were murdered there, she and her twin sister Miriam were subjected to medical experiments at the hands of Dr. Joseph Mengele. Later on, when Miriam fell ill due to the long-term effects of the experiments, Eva embarked on a search for their torturers. But what she discovered was the remedy for her troubled soul; she was able to forgive them.

Told through anecdotes and in response to letters and questions at her public appearances, she imparts a powerful lesson…


Book cover of The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation

Ellen Cassedy Author Of We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust

From my list on hope and understanding after the Holocaust.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ellen Cassedy explores the ways that people, and countries, can engage with the difficult truths of the Holocaust in order to build a better future. She researched Lithuania’s encounter with its Jewish heritage, including the Holocaust, for ten years. Her book breaks new ground by shining a spotlight on how brave people – Jews and non-Jews – are facing the past and building mutual understanding. Cassedy is the winner of numerous awards and a frequent speaker about the Holocaust, Lithuania, and Yiddish language and literature.  

Ellen's book list on hope and understanding after the Holocaust

Ellen Cassedy Why did Ellen love this book?

Steinman reaches out across a cultural divide to seek out Poles who are pursuing the truth about the past, however painful, and recovering the history of their lost Jewish neighbors. She brings to life the ultimately healing process of Polish-Jewish reconciliation. Her journey changed her, and it will change you.

By Louise Steinman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A lyrical literary memoir that explores the exhilarating, discomforting, and ultimately healing process of Polish-Jewish reconciliation taking place in Poland today
 
“I’d grown up with the phrase ‘Never forget’ imprinted on my psyche. Its corollary was more elusive. Was it possible to remember—at least to recall—a world that existed before the calamity?”
 
In the winter of 2000, Louise Steinman set out to attend an international Bearing Witness Retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau at the invitation of her Zen rabbi, who felt the Poles had gotten a “bum rap.” A bum rap? Her own mother could not bear to utter the word “Poland,”…


Book cover of The Happiest Man on Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor

Karen McMillan Author Of The Paris of the East

From my list on World War II that may surprise you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an author from New Zealand, and I’ve always been drawn to the personal stories from WWII. I am interested in the moral and ethical decisions made by ordinary people in those extraordinary times. I often wonder if I would have made the right choices in the same situation. I gravitate towards reading books about the Second World War, especially books that include previously unknown information, view the war from a different angle, or offer a new insight. I’ve been fortunate to travel the world with my career, and my novel, The Paris of the East was inspired after visiting Poland on an author tour. I’ve also written other novels, non-fiction books, and children’s books.

Karen's book list on World War II that may surprise you

Karen McMillan Why did Karen love this book?

I am recommending this memoir for its beauty and kindness, which is even more extraordinary when considering this is Eddie Jaku’s story of being a Holocaust survivor. He tells the reader that "life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It’s up to you." These are powerful words from a man whose life was changed forever when he was beaten, arrested, and taken to a concentration camp. For the next seven years, he witnessed the worst of mankind, the horrors of the death camps, first in Buchenwald and then in Auschwitz, and then the infamous Nazi death march. He lost many friends and family. But Eddie survived with his spirit intact, determined to live his best possible life and be happy. A truly surprising and inspirational book.  

By Eddie Jaku,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Happiest Man on Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Eddie looked evil in the eye and met it with joy and kindness . . . [his] philosophy is life-affirming' - Daily Express

Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku made a vow to smile every day and now believes he is the 'happiest man on earth'. In his inspirational memoir, he pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story and sharing his wisdom.

Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It is up to you.

Eddie Jaku always considered himself a German first, a Jew second. He was proud of his country. But all of that changed…


Book cover of How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone

Douglas Weissman Author Of Life Between Seconds

From my list on feeling magical without actual magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with magical realism and stories that have a sense of whimsy after hearing my grandparents tell stories of their lives. They always embellished a bit, making a simple detail of a bread line or a penny found on the ground feel massive. Then I read Tom Robbins’s Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates. I didn’t understand at the time that the light touches of magic or moments that felt magical, even if not truly enchantment, were uplifting in stories both light and dark. I quickly fell under the spell and have placed elements of magic or whimsy in my own writing ever since. 

Douglas' book list on feeling magical without actual magic

Douglas Weissman Why did Douglas love this book?

On the surface, this book is about a person haunted by a single incident from their past but beneath the surface, How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone is a gorgeous meditation on the moments in life that affect us, big and small.

The novel has a heavy subject but the stunning turns-of-phrase and imaginative world our narrator shares can make even the mundane and lived-in reality feel like the fantastical summed up in my favorite line, "Missing someone, they say, is self-centered. I self-center you more than ever."

By Sasa Stanisic, Anthea Bell (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Aleksandar is Comrade-in-Chief of fishing, the best magician in the non-aligned States and painter of unfinished things. He knows the first chapter of Marx's Das Kapital by heart but spends most of his time playing football in the Bosnian town of Visegrad on the banks of the river Drina. When his grandfather, a master storyteller, dies of the fastest heart attack in the world while watching Carl Lewis's record, Aleksandar promises to carry on the tradition. However when the shadow of war spreads to Visegrad, the world as he knows it stops. Suddenly it is not important how heavy a…


Book cover of We Are All Migrants: A History of Multicultural Germany

Jannis Panagiotidis Author Of The Unchosen Ones: Diaspora, Nation, and Migration in Israel and Germany

From my list on the history of German, Jewish, and Eastern European migration.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for the topic of migration was kind of overdetermined, given that my grandparents were refugees, my father is an immigrant, and I have been on the move quite a bit myself. It might not have been a conscious choice to study something so close to home, but the more I think about it, the less likely it seems that this was all a coincidence. This personal dimension might also explain my choice of books, which all combine scholarly-analytics with deeply human perspectives on the topic of migration.

Jannis' book list on the history of German, Jewish, and Eastern European migration

Jannis Panagiotidis Why did Jannis love this book?

Histories of migration to Germany are often stories of problems and failure, of racism and troubled integration. This book does not negate these problems but consciously strives to develop a positive narrative of how migration–both emigration and immigration–is an integral part of German history.

Unlike most other scholars of migration, who envisage a post-national future of German society, Jan Plamper tries to develop a vision of positive national identification with a modern German nation that builds on the insight that “we are all migrants.” It is the last book the author, a dear friend of mine, wrote before his untimely passing in 2023 and will hopefully be his lasting legacy.

By Jan Plamper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Are All Migrants as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 2015, Germany agreed to accept a million Syrian refugees. The country had become an epicenter of global migration and one of Europe's most diverse countries. But was this influx of migration new to Germany? In this highly readable volume, Jan Plamper charts the groups and waves of post-1945 mobility to Germany. We Are All Migrants is the first narrative history of multicultural Germany told through life-stories. It explores the experiences of the 12.5 million German expellees from Eastern Europe who arrived at the end of the Second World War; the 14 million 'guest workers' from Italy and Turkey who…


Book cover of A Boy's Journey: From Nazi-Occupied Prague to Freedom in America

Chad Bryant Author Of Prague: Belonging in the Modern City

From my list on Prague and its hidden histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Prague has fascinated me my whole life. I first explored the city while an English teacher in the Czech Republic in 1993, shortly after the end of Communist rule there. I’ve been wandering Prague’s streets ever since, always seeing something new and intriguing, always stumbling upon stories about the city and its people. Below are some of my favorite books about a city that continues to surprise me. The author or co-editor of four books, I teach European history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Chad's book list on Prague and its hidden histories

Chad Bryant Why did Chad love this book?

I first met Peter here in Chapel Hill, and we became fast friends. A Holocaust survivor from Prague, Peter often spoke to my classes about his experiences. What made his talks so powerful was his ability to remember what it was like to be an eight-year-old boy living in a city under Nazi occupation, and to tell a story that is humbling, moving, and real. Never have I seen a speaker connect better with young people. Peter first became inspired to begin telling his story to students and others after confronting a Holocaust denier, and his many presentations laid the foundation for this book. Part history, part memoir, A Boy’s Journey is also a story about family and the need for tolerance and empathy in our world today. 

By Peter J. Stein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Boy's Journey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Peter J. Stein was a witness to history, a keeper of Holocaust memories and teller of its stories. He grew up the child of a Catholic mother and a Jewish father who was forced into slave labor and later disappeared. Nazi-occupied Prague was full of German soldiers everywhere and Peter’s loved ones vanished in mystery and secret. As a 12-year-old immigrant in America, he searched for a new identity that left his past behind.
But as Faulkner tells us, the past is never past. When, as a college professor, a group of students sought his help to challenge a Holocaust…


Book cover of The Passenger

Tessa Harris Author Of The Paris Notebook

From my list on WW2 novels featuring loners we love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a journalist for much of my life and have been passionate about history since I was a child. Ever since I visited a castle at age five, I’ve loved imagining the past and naturally ended up doing a History degree at Oxford. I love fact-based stories and am always meticulous in my research so that I can bring my readers with me on a journey of discovery. But what always brings history to life for me is focusing on the characters, real or imagined, who’ve made history themselves.

Tessa's book list on WW2 novels featuring loners we love

Tessa Harris Why did Tessa love this book?

Written in just four weeks, this book pulsates with fury and is all the more poignant when you know its young Jewish author died after his ship was sunk in the war.

Otto Silbermann is a Jewish businessman on the run as his world collapses around him, and he slowly realises his homeland is enemy territory. It’s chilling and devastatingly real.

By Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz, Philip Boehm (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Berlin, November 1938. With storm troopers battering against his door, Otto Silberman must flee out the back of his own home. He emerges onto streets thrumming with violence: it is Kristallnacht, and synagogues are being burnt, Jews rounded up and their businesses destroyed.

Turned away from establishments he had long patronised, betrayed by friends and colleagues, Otto finds his life as a respected businessman has dissolved overnight. Desperately trying to conceal his Jewish identity, he takes train after train across Germany in a race to escape this homeland that is no longer home.

Twenty-three-year-old Ulrich Boschwitz wrote The Passenger at…


Book cover of Cracking the Nazi Code: The Untold Story of Canada's Greatest Spy

Rosemary Sullivan Author Of Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille

From my list on courage and putting your life on the line.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Villa Air-Bel, I wrote about an extraordinary man, Varian Fry. A journalist sent to France in 1940 with a list of 200 artists to save, he expected to stay 2 weeks. He stayed 15 months, establishing the Emergency Rescue Committee. By the time the Vichy police expelled him, he’d saved 2,000 people. Who has the courage to put their lives on the line for strangers? In The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation, I recorded how five people risked their lives to hide the Frank family until they were finally betrayed. Two of the helpers were sent to concentration camps.  It takes courage to resist Fascism. Would I/ we have that courage?

Rosemary's book list on courage and putting your life on the line

Rosemary Sullivan Why did Rosemary love this book?

This is the real-life biography of a little-known Canadian from Nova Scotia, Winthrop Bell.

Bell worked as a spy for British MI6 in Germany. Bell understood that Hitler, an insignificant minion, rose to lead the Nazi Party because he served as a tool for extreme and powerful Nationalists who fashioned the genocidal program—the Holocaust.

As Winthrop Bell pursues the truth, the twists and turns of his often dangerous life are fascinating. 

By Jason Bell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cracking the Nazi Code as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The thrilling true story of Agent A12, the earliest enemy of the Nazis 

In public life, Dr. Winthrop Bell of Halifax was a Harvard philosophy professor and wealthy businessman. As MI6 secret agent A12, he evaded gunfire and shook off pursuers to break open the emerging Nazi conspiracy in 1919 Berlin. His reports, the first warning of the Nazi plot for WWII, went directly to the man known as C, the mysterious founder of MI6, and to prime ministers. But a powerful fascist politician quietly worked to suppress his alerts. Nevertheless, his intelligence sabotaged the Nazis in ways only now…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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