100 books like KL

By Nikolaus Wachsmann,

Here are 100 books that KL fans have personally recommended if you like KL. 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: The Diary of a Young Girl

Johanna van Zanten Author Of The Imposter

From my list on how the Second World War affected regular people and their families.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child with older sisters, I read their books beyond my age level under the blankets with a flashlight in bed at night. I became a reading addict. Raised in The Netherlands with the Second World War casting its large shadow on our lives, I only became interested, after my parents were gone, in how people survived and had to find their courage under impossible circumstances. They would never talk about those occupation years. My search into history led me to find the answers.

Johanna's book list on how the Second World War affected regular people and their families

Johanna van Zanten Why did Johanna love this book?

I loved this non-fiction book, and reading it, I often broke down in tears, realizing this personal and innocent true teenage story was all leading up to the tremendous death of millions of innocent people.

This is the only Anne Frank book that I recommend to everybody from a young age. It is THE introduction to the real events of World War 2.

By Anne Frank, B.M. Mooyaart (translator),

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Anne Frank as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

With 30 per cent more material than previous editions, this new contemporary and fully anglicized translation gives the reader a deeper insight into Anne's world. Publication of the unabridged Definitive Edition on Penguin Audiobook, read by Helena Bonham-Carter, coincides.


Book cover of The Long Night: A True Story

Derek Niemann Author Of A Nazi In The Family

From my list on the Holocaust from a variety of perspectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Scottish writer who discovered at the age of 49 that my grandfather was an SS officer involved in the Holocaust. I wrote my book, A Nazi in the Family, to understand how a dark family secret could remain hidden for so long and I have spent the years since publication talking about my grandfather as an example of an ordinary man who turned to doing extraordinary evil.

Derek's book list on the Holocaust from a variety of perspectives

Derek Niemann Why did Derek love this book?

The author, a keen observer of behaviour under appalling conditions, has an astonishingly wise and humane attitude that bears him through both internment and concentration camps. I have a personal interest in this book, and the writer, because I am the speaking partner of his daughter Noemie Lopian, and we talk at synagogues, schools, universities, and public events to ask for kindness, toleration, and understanding.

By Ernst Israel Bornstein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Night lasted five years and eight days. Before the Night began, Ernst Bornstein was a precocious eighteen-year-old¬ who had an ordinary family with three siblings, two parents, and a large circle of friends and relatives. But in the autumn of 1939, decades of anti-Semitic propaganda turned into full-fledged violence. Bornstein's family was subsequently sent to Auschwitz where his parents and siblings were gassed to death. The Long Night is Bornstein's firsthand account of what he witnessed in seven concentration camps. Written with remarkable insight and raw emotion, The Long Night paints a portrait of human psychology in the darkest…


Book cover of East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity

Georgette F. Bennett Ph.D. Author Of Religicide: Confronting the Roots of Anti-Religious Violence

From my list on human rights that focus on religion.

Why am I passionate about this?

Between us, we’ve been in the interreligious relations business for a combined 50 years. We started working together when Jerry was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under President Barack Obama. In 2015, we were both invited by Prince Ghazi of Jordan to join other interreligious leaders to advance a UN resolution defining and taking a stand against religicide. That resolution never made it to the Security Council. But we joined forces to sound the alarm about religicide. We wrote our book in the hope of inspiring an international campaign to end this killing in the name of God – or being killed because of your God.   

Georgette's book list on human rights that focus on religion

Georgette F. Bennett Ph.D. Why did Georgette love this book?

This book relates the suspenseful and twisted path through which two of the world’s worst human rights abuses finally came to be recognized following World War II and the Holocaust. Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Jewish lawyer who lost dozens of family members in the Holocaust, led the campaign for genocide to be recognized as a crime under international law. The banner for crimes against humanity was carried by Hersch Lauterpacht. Although both men lobbied the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal to recognize the particular form of human rights that they espoused, they never actually met. But Sands makes it clear that genocide and crimes against humanity are based on fundamentally different, and at times, opposed concepts of human rights. One is focused on the rights of individuals and the other on the rights of entire groups. Sands’ book is one of the best analyses of the complexities of remaking international law,…

By Philippe Sands,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked East West Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017

SUNDAY TIMES TOP 10 BESTSELLER

When he receives an invitation to deliver a lecture in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, international lawyer Philippe Sands begins a journey on the trail of his family's secret history. In doing so, he uncovers an astonishing series of coincidences that lead him halfway across the world, to the origins of international law at the Nuremberg trial. Interweaving the stories of the two Nuremberg prosecutors (Hersch Lauterpacht and Rafael Lemkin) who invented the crimes or genocide and crimes against humanity, the Nazi governor responsible for…


Book cover of Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest for Justice

Michael S. Bryant Author Of Confronting the "Good Death": Nazi Euthanasia on Trial, 1945-1953

From my list on pondering the worst of the Nazis’ crimes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had a life-long interest in genocide dating back to my teenage years, when I read Simon Wiesenthal’s book The Murderers Among Us. Wiesenthal introduced me to the idea that governments sometimes murdered innocent people and could elude justice for their crimes. The question of human evil interacted with my theological interest in the problem of evil generally. Both genocide scholars and theologians were posing similar questions: how could people or God permit the occurrence of wanton evil when it was in their power to avoid it? And what should we do about genocide after it has happened? These questions launched my research into genocide and continue to fuel my study of this topic.

Michael's book list on pondering the worst of the Nazis’ crimes

Michael S. Bryant Why did Michael love this book?

In 2019 I published a review of Mary Fulbrook’s Reckonings in the journal HistoryThe review may have been the most laudatory I’ve written. Fulbrook’s study of the Holocaust and its noxious aftereffects lingers with me today. I’ve come to think of Reckonings as the War and Peace of Holocaust histories. Like Tolstoy’s epic, it paints on a sprawling canvas, exhausting the writer’s palette to portray the Holocaust as a searing multi-generational phenomenon. Reckonings does not approach the Shoah as most writers of the Holocaust do, namely, as a monumental but time-limited event. Fulbrook conceives of the Holocaust as a cancer that blights the victims and their families into the second and third generations. The radioactive fallout of the Shoah continues to the present day, poisoning people’s lives so deeply that no human response is adequate to deal with it. She upholds the tragedy of the Holocaust by refusing…

By Mary Fulbrook,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A single word - Auschwitz - is often used to encapsulate the totality of persecution and suffering involved in what we call the Holocaust. Yet a focus on a single concentration camp - however horrific what happened there, however massively catastrophic its scale - leaves an incomplete story, a truncated history. It cannot fully communicate the myriad ways in which individuals became tangled up on the side of the perpetrators, and obscures the diversity of experiences
among a wide range of victims as they struggled and died, or managed, against all odds, to survive. In the process, we also miss…


Book cover of Ashes in the Wind: The Destruction of Dutch Jewry

Deborah Hopkinson Author Of We Must Not Forget: Holocaust Stories of Survival and Resistance

From my list on World War II in Europe.

Why am I passionate about this?

The books I’ve recommended here range from scholarship, young adult historical fiction, literary fiction, and a good spy mystery—all set in World War II. I’ve read widely in the field since I’ve written several nonfiction books for young readers and teens about World War II. Along with We Must Not Forget, these include Courage & Defiance, about the Danish resistance, Dive!, about the submarine war in the Pacific, D-Day: The World War II Invasion that Changed History, and We Had to Be Brave: Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport. I’m currently working on a book about a 1945 POW rescue in the Philippines.

Deborah's book list on World War II in Europe

Deborah Hopkinson Why did Deborah love this book?

The late Jacob Presser (1899-1970) was a historian, scholar, and a Holocaust survivor himself. His wife was deported and died, and he survived by going into hiding He spent fifteen years researching the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and the plight of the Dutch Jews.

He speaks movingly of finding small scraps of paper, messages thrown from trains leaving Westerbork (an internment camp and later a transit camp in the Netherlands), noting that “Before me, hardly anyone has read them and, after me, they are locked into the archives and it’s possible nobody else will see them.” They awoke in him, he said, an awareness that one of the tasks of the historian is to “give the dead a voice.”

By Jacob Presser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Beginning in 1940, 110,000 Jews were deported from the Netherlands to concentration camps. Of those, fewer than 6,000 returned.

Ashes in the Wind is a story of murder on a scale never known before. It is a monumental history of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and a detailed and moving description of how the Nazi party first discriminated against Jews, before segregating them and finally deporting them to the gas chambers (a process fully outlined in the mass of administrative documents discovered by Dr Presser).

At a time when there are increasingly few survivors of the Holocaust, the eye-witness…


Book cover of Everyone Brave Is Forgiven

Deborah Hopkinson Author Of We Must Not Forget: Holocaust Stories of Survival and Resistance

From my list on World War II in Europe.

Why am I passionate about this?

The books I’ve recommended here range from scholarship, young adult historical fiction, literary fiction, and a good spy mystery—all set in World War II. I’ve read widely in the field since I’ve written several nonfiction books for young readers and teens about World War II. Along with We Must Not Forget, these include Courage & Defiance, about the Danish resistance, Dive!, about the submarine war in the Pacific, D-Day: The World War II Invasion that Changed History, and We Had to Be Brave: Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport. I’m currently working on a book about a 1945 POW rescue in the Philippines.

Deborah's book list on World War II in Europe

Deborah Hopkinson Why did Deborah love this book?

Chris Cleave’s fourth novel was inspired by memories of his grandparents and their letters during the war. The novel follows the lives and relationships of four young people in Britain during the early years of World War II. It also follows action on the island of Malta, a part of World War II history not as well known. It’s also a story of love, friendship, and surprising choices. A warning: Do not read ahead. The novel has an incredible last scene and you don’t want to ruin it!

By Chris Cleave,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everyone Brave Is Forgiven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Ian McEwan did this with Atonement, Sarah Waters did it with The Night Watch, and Chris Cleave does it too with Everyone Brave is Forgiven... A compelling and finely crafted novel.' FT

'An addictive, propulsive read' The Sunday Times

Summer Reading pick - Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
Top Ten hottest summer reads - Sunday Telegraph
Instant New York Times Bestseller
Evening Standard bestseller
'A cracker' Stylist, 10 Exciting Books in 2016
'His best book to date' Esquire, 10 best novels of 2016
Guardian Literary Highlight of 2016
Independent Best Book to read in 2016
Irish…


Book cover of Code Name Verity

Katherine Marsh Author Of The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine

From my list on historical fiction to read with middle schoolers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Not only have I written six critically acclaimed novels for middle-grade readers, including three historical fictions, I am the parent of a tween and teen who is always looking for great read-alouds and read-alongs for my own family. I am a firm believer that this is a valuable way to encourage literacy and love of story as I wrote in a recent, much-discussed essay in The Atlantic. Having lived abroad, including as an exchange student and camper in the Soviet Union and for three years in Belgium, I am also a huge believer in expanding our own as well as our kids’ knowledge of history beyond our own borders, cultures, identities, and perspectives. 

Katherine's book list on historical fiction to read with middle schoolers

Katherine Marsh Why did Katherine love this book?

Elizabeth Wein’s young adult novel about female friends and aviators during World War II has a jaw-dropping twist.

But it’s also a fabulous introduction to both the larger war-time history—including in England and France--and the history of women in aviation and military/ intelligence roles.

This story is a great choice for families with girls, who get to see themselves as heroines, fighters, and adventurers—roles traditionally reserved for male protagonists.

By Elizabeth Wein,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Code Name Verity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

'I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.'

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, Code Name Verity is a bestselling tale of friendship and courage set against the backdrop of World War Two.

Only in wartime could a stalwart lass from Manchester rub shoulders with a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a special operations executive. When a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France, she is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in…


Book cover of The World at Night

Victoria Weisfeld Author Of Architect of Courage

From my list on ordinary people in extraordinary situations.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I say I enjoy stories of ordinary people in extraordinary situations, I’m talking about characters who don’t have law enforcement or Special Forces training, who aren’t martial arts experts, KGB agents, or CIA officers. I like those characters too, but they typically engage my head, not my heart. Thrown into dangerous situations, “ordinary” individuals can show tremendous courage and quick-wittedness. I can easily put myself in their shoes and empathize with their plight, which gives me a real stake in the story’s outcome. If a story is well-written, the creative ways characters respond and the strengths they discover within themselves make them true heroes to me.

Victoria's book list on ordinary people in extraordinary situations

Victoria Weisfeld Why did Victoria love this book?

In the early days of World War II, a Paris-based film producer tries to carry on working as usual and ignore the Nazi occupiers. Given the chance to give some minor aid to the British secret service, he agrees, and with each step, he’s drawn deeper and deeper into danger. His best–and only—weapon is his wits. Maybe at first he doesn’t think he’s taking much of a risk. But, with hindsight, I know how precarious his situation is, and I’m silently begging him not to do it! Furst’s riveting spy tales are what first attracted me to stories about ordinary people in extraordinary situations.

By Alan Furst,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Paris 1940. The civilised, upper-class life of film producer Jean Casson ends with the German occupation of the city. Out of money and almost out of luck, Casson attempts to work with a German film company but finds himself drawn into the dark world of espionage and double agents. More used to evading jealous husbands than the secret police, Casson becomes a reluctant spy, torn between honour, patriotism, love and survival.


Book cover of Fania's Heart

Nhung N. Tran-Davies Author Of Ten Cents a Pound

From my list on to spark conversations between generations.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author, physician, mother of three, and an advocate for social justice in education. I came to Canada as a refugee from the Vietnam war when I was a young child. I love to write children's stories that convey the humanity in our lives. My books have been shortlisted for the Alberta Literary Award, Red Maple Award, and Blue Spruce Award.

Nhung's book list on to spark conversations between generations

Nhung N. Tran-Davies Why did Nhung love this book?

For many who have lived through war and conflict, traumatic memories are often kept buried to bury the painful memories. In Fania’s Heart, there are secrets of the tattooed number on Sorale’s mother’s arm. And there are secrets of why her mother had no sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, or grandparents. This book tells the true story of the crafting of a wonderful gift, created against all odds, within the confines of a prison camp. Curiosity about this secretive gift will spark conversations that are difficult, but necessary to remind younger generations of the courage it takes to survive atrocities.

By Anne Renaud, Richard Rudnicki (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fania's Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Ten-year-old Sorale discovers a tiny heart-shaped book among her mother’s belongings. Its pages are shaped like four-petaled flowers, upon which are written words in languages Sorale does not understand. Who wrote these words? Where did the heart come from? And why has her mother never mentioned this tiny book before?

Fania’s Heart reveals the true story of the crafting of this heart-shaped birthday card, against all odds, within the confines of Auschwitz, and of the women of immeasurable resilience, courage, and loyalty who risked their lives to create this gift for Sorale’s mother, their friend.


Book cover of Diary of Bergen-Belsen: 1944-1945

Joshua M. Greene Author Of Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig's Astonishing Journey from Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Wall Street Legend

From my list on Holocaust testimony.

Why am I passionate about this?

Joshua M. Greene is the author of a dozen Holocaust biographies that have sold more than a half-million copies worldwide. He sits on the board of Yale University Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies and has spoken on issues of Holocaust memory for such outlets as NPR and Fox News. His editorials on Holocaust history have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune.

Joshua's book list on Holocaust testimony

Joshua M. Greene Why did Joshua love this book?

The world knows about Anne Frank through her diary. Yet Anne Frank knew nothing about the Holocaust apart from reports on radio and glimpses of roundups through the window of her attic hideaway. She never lived long enough to write a second volume, which would have included her experiences in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen (where she died of typhus). In her diary, Hanna Levy-Hass provides us with a more realistic, first-hand account of the Holocaust as experienced by a young woman inside Hitler’s camps.

By Hanna Lavy-Hass,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Diary of Bergen-Belsen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A unique, deeply political survivor's diary of the author's final year inside the notorious concentra camp of Bergen Belsen. Levy-Hass, a Yugoslavian socialist and Jew, emerged a defiant survivor of the Holocaust. Her observations shed new light on the lived experiences of Bergen Belsen, and hers is the only diary of a socialist within the camps. Contains a lengthy introduction by Levy-Hass' daughter Amira Hass, journalist and award-winning author, which addresses the meaning of the Holocaust for Israelis and Palestinians today.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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