10 books like Inge's War

By Svenja O'Donnell,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Inge's War. Shepherd is a community of 8,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Spy Who Loved

By Clare Mulley,

Book cover of The Spy Who Loved: The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville

Mara Timon Author Of City of Spies

From the list on real-life, kick-ass female agents of WW2.

Who am I?

My mother instilled a love of books in me, and my father fostered my fascination with history – which meant that a good part of my formative years involved books, writing, and watching WW2 films. Years later, when a BBC documentary captured my imagination, I delved into the world of SOE’s female spies, binge-reading biographies and autobiographies. I was struck by their determination, dedication, resourcefulness – and in awe of their exploits. These women were heroes. When an idea for a story took hold, I followed one "what if..." after another until my first novel emerged. While City of Spies is fiction, I tried to stay as faithful as possible to history.

Mara's book list on real-life, kick-ass female agents of WW2

Discover why each book is one of Mara's favorite books.

Why did Mara love this book?

You might think that a daughter of a count and a runner-up for Miss Poland might not have what it takes to be a spy. You’d be wrong. Krystyna Skarbek was Britain’s first and longest-serving female special agent during World War II.  

When her native Poland was overrun, Krystyna and her husband sailed for London. She wasted no time in offering her services to the British against the Nazis, and the Secret Intelligence Service was happy to recruit this “flaming Polish patriot, expert skier, and great adventuress" who proved her intelligence, daring, and resourcefulness again and again.  Inspiring Winston Churchill to claim that she was his favourite agent.

The Spy Who Loved

By Clare Mulley,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Spy Who Loved as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In June 1952, a woman was murdered by an obsessed colleague in a hotel in South Kensington. Her name was Christine Granville. That she died young was perhaps unsurprising, but that she had survived the Second World War was remarkable. The daughter of a feckless Polish aristocrat and his wealthy Jewish wife, she would become one of Britain's most daring and highly decorated special agents. Having fled to Britain on the outbreak of war, she was recruited by the intelligence services long before the establishment of the SOE, and took on mission after mission. She skied into occupied Poland, served…


Double Cross

By Ben Macintyre,

Book cover of Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies

Stew Ross Author Of Where Did They Put the Gestapo Headquarters?-The False War & Vichy: Volume One A Walking Tour of Nazi-Occupied Paris, 1940−1944

From the list on the German occupation of France, 1940−1944.

Who am I?

I received my B.S. in geology and spent my career in commercial banking. How did I go from banking to becoming an author? I learned to write as a banker back in the “good old” days when the loan officer had to write their own credit memorandum. I enjoyed it so much I told myself, “One day, I'm going to write a book.” Then I found a book called Walks Through Lost Paris by Leonard Pitt. As my wife and I walked through the streets of Paris, I said, “I can write a book like this.” And so I did. We're about to publish our sixth book in an anticipated series of nine.

Stew's book list on the German occupation of France, 1940−1944

Discover why each book is one of Stew's favorite books.

Why did Stew love this book?

If you want to read about one of the most amazing operations of World War II, then this is the book for you. It is the story of the Allied double agents (five in particular) who successfully tricked Hitler into thinking the invasion of France would occur in a different location than planned. In my opinion, this book is enjoyable to read because of the five agents and their backgrounds, personalities, and how they went about tricking the Germans. One of the agents was used by Ian Fleming as a model for the James Bond character. Another agent was the only person in the war to have been awarded both the German Iron Cross and the British MBE. I have several favorite World War II genre authors and Ben Macintyre is one of them.   

Double Cross

By Ben Macintyre,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

D-Day, 6 June 1944, the turning point of the Second World War, was a victory of arms. But it was also a triumph for a different kind of operation: one of deceit, aimed at convincing the Nazis that Calais and Norway, not Normandy, were the targets of the 150,000-strong invasion force.

The deception involved every branch of Allied wartime intelligence - the Bletchley Park code-breakers, MI5, MI6, SOE, Scientific Intelligence, the FBI and the French Resistance. But at its heart was the 'Double Cross System', a team of double agents controlled by the secret Twenty Committee, so named because twenty…


Our Man in New York

By Henry Hemming,

Book cover of Our Man in New York: The British Plot to Bring America into the Second World War

Robert Hutton Author Of Agent Jack: The True Story of Mi5's Secret Nazi Hunter

From the list on secret wartime histories around WW2.

Who am I?

Robert Hutton is the author of Agent Jack, the previously untold tale of the surprisingly large number of British people who tried to help Hitler win World War 2. He spent a decade and a half following British prime ministers around the world for Bloomberg and now writes parliamentary sketches for The Critic while researching intelligence history.

Robert's book list on secret wartime histories around WW2

Discover why each book is one of Robert's favorite books.

Why did Robert love this book?

I have a vivid memory of opening the file on Britain’s efforts to bring America into the war, declassified only recently, and being astonished at the things that had gone on. Hemming’s book tells this amazing story and raises the ethical question of whether Britain’s end – defeating Hitler – was justified by its means – spreading fake news in the US and even interfering in its politics.

Our Man in New York

By Henry Hemming,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Our Man in New York as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A revelatory and wholly fascinating work of history. Superbly researched and written with gripping fluency, this lost secret of World War II espionage finally has its expert chronicler."
- WILLIAM BOYD

'Gripping and intoxicating, it unfolds like the best screenplay.'
NICHOLAS SHAKESPEARE

The gripping story of a propaganda campaign like no other: the covert British operation to manipulate American public opinion and bring the US into the Second World War.

When William Stephenson - "our man in New York" - arrived in the United States towards the end of June 1940 with instructions from the head of MI6 to 'organise'…


The Glamour Boys

By Chris Bryant,

Book cover of The Glamour Boys: The Secret Story of the Rebels who Fought for Britain to Defeat Hitler

David C. Dawson Author Of A Death in Berlin

From the list on historical gay heroes.

Who am I?

I’ve read a lot of books that feature gay characters. These characters often partition into two main groups: angsty men who are victims of oppression or illness, or camp stereotypes who provide the light relief. I prefer to read about heroes who happen to be gay. That’s why I started writing novels. My recent books are historical novels inspired by real gay heroes. The feedback I get from readers indicates that there are a lot of people who want the same as I do.

David's book list on historical gay heroes

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

The untold true story of how a group of gay MPs lobbied the British government to stop its policy of appeasing Hitler in the run up to WWII. It’s a book about patriotic heroes who are criminals in their own land because of their sexuality. It moved me deeply and inspired my own fictional thriller set in Berlin in 1933.

The Glamour Boys

By Chris Bryant,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Glamour Boys as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A STORY OF UNSUNG BRAVERY AT A DEFINING MOMENT IN BRITAIN'S HISTORY

'Superb' Stephen Fry
'Thrillingly told' Dan Jones
'Fascinating' Neil MacGregor
'Astonishing' Peter Frankopan

We like to think we know the story of how Britain went to war with Germany in 1939, but there is one chapter that has never been told. In the early 1930s, a group of young, queer British MPs visited Berlin on a series of trips that would change the course of the Second World War.

Having witnessed the Nazis' brutality first-hand, these men were some of the first to warn Britain about Hitler, repeatedly…


Outside Is the Ocean

By Matthew Lansburgh,

Book cover of Outside Is the Ocean

Rachel Swearingen Author Of How to Walk on Water and Other Stories

From the list on debut story collections to read cover to cover.

Who am I?

From childhood on, I’ve been drawn to storytellers, especially those who use their imagination to captivate and question. My favorite stories twist and turn, and throw light on the every day to reveal what is inexplicable, weird, wondrous, and often heartrending. My taste runs wide, and I could list dozens of favorite collections. Having released my own debut book of stories during the pandemic, I learned firsthand how difficult it can be to find readers for story collections, especially when those collections are published by smaller presses. For that reason, I’ve chosen five recent debuts from masterful authors I hope more readers will discover. 

Rachel's book list on debut story collections to read cover to cover

Discover why each book is one of Rachel's favorite books.

Why did Rachel love this book?

Outside Is the Ocean reads like a novel, with stories interlinked and main characters growing more faceted as you read. The book centers on Heike, who left her native Germany after the war to settle in America, and her son Stewart, who both loves her and yearns for freedom from the drama she creates. Lansburgh presents a fascinating portrait of Heike at various junctures in her life, with a small cast of characters orbiting around her. Be prepared to be drawn into Heike’s chaotic world as you read, and to oscillate back and forth between shock and empathy. This is a book about family and enduring bonds between mother and son. That it is so beautifully crafted only adds to the delight. 

Outside Is the Ocean

By Matthew Lansburgh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Outside Is the Ocean as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three days after her twentieth birthday, a young woman who grew up in Germany during World War II, crosses the Atlantic to start a new life. Outside Is the Ocean traces Heike's struggle to find love and happiness in America. After two marriages and a troubled relationship with her son, Heike adopts a disabled child from Russia, a strong-willed girl named Galina, who Heike hopes will give her the affection and companionship she craves. As Galina grows up, Heike's grasp on reality frays, and she writes a series of letters to the son she thinks has abandoned her forever. It…


A Stranger to Myself

By Willy Peter Reese, Stefan Schmitz (editor), Michael Hofmann (translator)

Book cover of A Stranger to Myself: The Inhumanity of War: Russia, 1941-1944

Edward B. Westermann Author Of Drunk on Genocide: Alcohol and Mass Murder in Nazi Germany

From the list on perpetrator motivation in the Holocaust.

Who am I?

Since I first began to study the events of the Holocaust in 1991, I became deeply engaged and committed to trying to understand why individuals engaged in the abuse and murder of their neighbors, fellow countrymen, and those deemed racially or politically inferior. In exploring this question, I drew in part on my own military experience to think about how a warped organizational culture and corrupted leadership emerged in Nazi Germany in which state-sponsored propaganda and ideological socialization combined to pervert existing moral and ethical norms and led many within the SS, police, and the German military to engage in genocide.

Edward's book list on perpetrator motivation in the Holocaust

Discover why each book is one of Edward's favorite books.

Why did Edward love this book?

Before being drafted into the German Army in 1941, Willy Peter Reese was a bank clerk who spent his time engaged in reading German literature and attempting to become a writer in his own right.

The memoir is a compilation of his journal entries as he reflected on his transition from civilian to soldier. Originally published in German, Reese’s journal demonstrates the way in which a relatively naïve and carefree intellectual became involved in the Nazi war of annihilation in the Soviet Union.

The transformation from a bookish, sensitive, and brooding teenager into a soldier who lost empathy for the people suffering under German occupation demonstrates how some German youth became actors and accomplices in the Nazi regime’s crimes.

A Stranger to Myself

By Willy Peter Reese, Stefan Schmitz (editor), Michael Hofmann (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Stranger to Myself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A Stranger to Myself: The Inhumanity of War: Russia, 1941-44" is the haunting memoir of a young German soldier on the Russian front during World War II. Willy Peter Reese was only twenty years old when he found himself marching through Russia with orders to take no prisoners. Three years later he was dead. Bearing witness to-and participating in-the atrocities of war, Reese recorded his reflections in his diary, leaving behind an intelligent, touching, and illuminating perspective on life on the eastern front. He documented the carnage perpetrated by both sides; the destruction that was exacerbated by the young soldiers'…


Life Can Be Cruel

By H.R.R. Furmanski,

Book cover of Life Can Be Cruel: The Story Of A German P.O.W. In Russia

Ken Scott Author Of Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell?

From the list on WWII prisoner of war.

Who am I?

I have studied WW2 and prisoners of war during that period for more than 20 years. They're very much the forgotten soldiers of war in my opinion. Few spoke of their treatment and brutality at the hands of the enemy, starvation, and the psychological effects that they lived with for many years afterward. Marriages fell apart, alcoholism was commonplace and many committed suicide, during a time where the term PTSD hadn't been invented. I've selected books that tell the story from several different perspectives. There were good and bad on all sides and for every ten stories of brutality and murder, there were another ten stories of good men and women who did their best to help the POWs survive.

Ken's book list on WWII prisoner of war

Discover why each book is one of Ken's favorite books.

Why did Ken love this book?

One of the most heartwrenching stories of POW books you will ever read. This time the author gives an honest yet horrific account of German POWs at the hands of their Russian captors after WWII. Not a book for the faint-hearted and has no happy endings. A story about how cruel mankind can be.

Life Can Be Cruel

By H.R.R. Furmanski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life Can Be Cruel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally published in 1960, this compact book tells the true story of a German soldier: from his early childhood during the First World War, through to his harrowing experiences on the frontline during the Word War II, culminating in his capture by the Red Army on 20 December 1942…

An astonishing first-hand account.


When Titans Clashed

By David M. Glantz, Jonathan M. House,

Book cover of When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler

Andrew Monaghan Author Of Russian Grand Strategy in the Era of Global Power Competition

From the list on Russia and why the Kremlin does what it's doing.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by different cultures. I started to learn Russian in 1998, and intrigued by the language, I began to study Russia more—delving into history and politics and then doing a PhD in Russian foreign policy. Ever since, trying to learn about and understand Russia has been my professional focus. Alongside books in Russian, these books are all to hand on my reference shelf, well-thumbed and marked up, as I try to write my own work. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have! 

Andrew's book list on Russia and why the Kremlin does what it's doing

Discover why each book is one of Andrew's favorite books.

Why did Andrew love this book?

The Great Patriotic War is central to Russian politics and thinking about international affairs today. It is important as a symbolic and political reference, but senior military figures often point to the war’s relevance to how Russia should think about war today. There are so many good books to read on this, but I think David Glantz is the doyen of Western historians of the Russian military, and this book is the ideal overview guide to understanding the trajectory and key features of the war: a concise but highly informative examination of one of the most catastrophic wars. Essential reading, I think, and shows why history is important to understanding where we are today.

When Titans Clashed

By David M. Glantz, Jonathan M. House,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Titans Clashed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On first publication, this uncommonly concise and readable account of Soviet Russia's clash with Nazi Germany utterly changed our understanding of World War II on Germany's Eastern Front, immediately earning its place among top-shelf histories of the world war. Revised and updated to reflect recent Russian and Western scholarship on the subject, much of it the authors' own work, this new edition maintains the 1995 original's distinction as a crucial volume in the history of World War II and of the Soviet Union and the most informed and compelling perspective on one of the greatest military confrontations of all time.…


Stalingrad

By Antony Beevor,

Book cover of Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege

Cathal J. Nolan Author Of Mercy: Humanity in War

From the list on how wars are won and lost.

Who am I?

I'm an award-winning teacher and writer who introduces students and readers to war in a profession that today is at best indifferent to military history, and more often hostile. That gives me a wry sense of irony, as colleagues would rather teach about fashion than fascism and truffles over tragedy. Having written a multiple award-winning book that covered 2,000 years of war, frankly I was sickened by how the same mistakes were made over and again. It has made me devoted to exploring possibilities for humane behavior within the most inhumane and degraded moral environment humanity creates; where individuality is subsumed in collective violence and humanity is obscured as a faceless, merciless enemy.

Cathal's book list on how wars are won and lost

Discover why each book is one of Cathal's favorite books.

Why did Cathal love this book?

Beevor has a rare gift of presenting war at the level of both the ordinary soldier and the generals and distant leadership making decisions both good and bad. His sources range from letters home, to diaries, to dispatches on both the Soviet and German side. He writes without flinching about the horrors of war, or too overtly playing the cheerleader as so many military histories do, to their detriment. 

Stalingrad

By Antony Beevor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This authoritative and well written book recreates the battle for Stalingrad that became the focus of Hitler and Stalin's determination to win the gruesome and vicious war for the Eastern front. A detailed examination of the most pitiless, and perhaps the most important battle in WW2 history. Focusing on the experiences of soldiers on both sides, driven beyond the limits of physical and mental endurance this work stands as a testament to human endeavour and to the vital role of the Soviet wareffort. This will be the classic book on the subject,


Towards the Flame

By Dominic Lieven,

Book cover of Towards the Flame: Empire, War and the End of Tsarist Russia

Adam Zamoyski Author Of Warsaw 1920: Lenin’s Failed Conquest of Europe

From the list on to truly understand the First World War.

Who am I?

Adam Zamoyski is a British historian of Polish origin. He is the author of over a dozen award winning books. His family originates in Poland. His parents left the country when it was invaded by Germany and Russia in 1939, and were stranded in exile when the Soviets took it over at the end of World War II. Drawn to it as much by the historical processes at work there as by family ties, Zamoyski began to visit Poland in the late 1960s. His interest in the subject is combined with a feel for its connections to the history and culture of other nations, and a deep understanding of the pan-European context.

Adam's book list on to truly understand the First World War

Discover why each book is one of Adam's favorite books.

Why did Adam love this book?

The outbreak of war was hastened, if not actually caused by, the fact that the whole of Central and Eastern Europe was governed by failed states. The Russian, German and Austrian empires had outlived their respective raisons d’être and, either unwilling or incapable of forging new ones through radical reform, hoped to justify their survival through the pursuit of success in the international arena, and ultimately through war. This is a brilliant account of the doomed attempts to reform the greatest yet most fragile of these states, and of the slow car-crash that ensued.

Towards the Flame

By Dominic Lieven,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

FINANCIAL TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2015

The Russian decision to mobilize in July 1914 may have been the single most catastrophic choice of the modern era. Some articulate, thoughtful figures around the Tsar understood Russia's fragility, and yet they were shouted down by those who were convinced that, despite Germany's patent military superiority, Russian greatness required decisive action. Russia's rulers thought they were acting to secure their future, but in fact - after millions of deaths and two revolutions - they were consigning their entire class to death or exile and their country to a uniquely terrible generations-long experiment…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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