100 books like Piece of Cake

By Derek Robinson,

Here are 100 books that Piece of Cake fans have personally recommended if you like Piece of Cake. 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 Tally-Ho! A Yankee in a Spitfire

Melvyn Fickling Author Of Bluebirds

From my list on about the Battle of Britain (from someone with a lifelong fascination for it).

Why am I passionate about this?

It all started in the cinema of a seaside town in 1970 when, as a young boy, I sat open-mouthed in front of a sparkling Technicolour movie. Before my eyes, the very foundations of British life were defended from tyranny by dashing pilots riding in sleek, powerful fighter planes. The film, The Battle of Britain, instilled a life-long fascination with the events of 1940. Years later I discovered one of The Few had grown up in my hometown and was buried in our local graveyard. I started to research the life and times of this man and his story became the foundations of my first novel, Bluebirds.

Melvyn's book list on about the Battle of Britain (from someone with a lifelong fascination for it)

Melvyn Fickling Why did Melvyn love this book?

Art Donahue is the inspiration for my character, Gerry Donaldson, in my book, and Tally-Ho! is the book he wrote about his life while the Battle of Britain was still raging around him. Art was one of many Americans who volunteered at the risk of losing US citizenship, but as a fully qualified flying instructor he jumped the queue and very quickly found himself in a Spitfire cockpit flying into hostile skies with 64 Squadron. Donahue went on to fight in other theatres and write further on his experiences. Sadly, he did not survive the war, but this unique and vibrant document serves as a memorial and a celebration of a true American pioneer.

By Arthur Donahue,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tally-Ho! A Yankee in a Spitfire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Arthur "Art" Donahue was an American who volunteered to join the Royal Air Force in the early days of the Second World War. Flying a Spitfire in the Battle of Britain, he became the first American fighter pilot to fly in action in the Second World War, as well as the first American pilot to be shot down in combat during that war.

Tally Ho! Yankee in a Spitfire is Art Donahue's vivid memoir of his time as a Spitfire pilot during the Battle of Britain and the blitz. It reveals a man who was both brave and reflective. The…


Book cover of Eagle Day: The Battle of Britain

Melvyn Fickling Author Of Bluebirds

From my list on about the Battle of Britain (from someone with a lifelong fascination for it).

Why am I passionate about this?

It all started in the cinema of a seaside town in 1970 when, as a young boy, I sat open-mouthed in front of a sparkling Technicolour movie. Before my eyes, the very foundations of British life were defended from tyranny by dashing pilots riding in sleek, powerful fighter planes. The film, The Battle of Britain, instilled a life-long fascination with the events of 1940. Years later I discovered one of The Few had grown up in my hometown and was buried in our local graveyard. I started to research the life and times of this man and his story became the foundations of my first novel, Bluebirds.

Melvyn's book list on about the Battle of Britain (from someone with a lifelong fascination for it)

Melvyn Fickling Why did Melvyn love this book?

It might be a venerable classic, but it’s still in print for a very good reason. Collier focusses on the six weeks of 1940’s English summer when Great Britain was in extreme peril of defeat and subjugation. He relates the history of this pivotal moment using a rich tapestry of personal accounts and eye-witness testimonies of the real people who were involved in this epic struggle. We hear the voices of pilots fighting for their lives in the air, their crews grafting on the ground to keep the aircraft serviceable and the civilians who daily watched the frenetic dogfights that swirled through the sky above their towns and villages, duels to the death upon which the very fate of the nation depended.

By Richard Collier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the gripping story of the Battle of Britain; of some of the most fateful weeks in history.

Drawing on eyewitness accounts from both the RAF and the Luftwaffe, this is a compelling story of history in the making through an intensely fought battle, taking the reader into the heart of the action as told by those who fought and experienced it.

The book not only captures the often savage reality of the air battles over the Channel and southern England, but it also traces the true course of the Battle of Britain as it unfolded between August 6th…


Book cover of The Battle of Britain: Five Months That Changed History; May-October 1940

Melvyn Fickling Author Of Bluebirds

From my list on about the Battle of Britain (from someone with a lifelong fascination for it).

Why am I passionate about this?

It all started in the cinema of a seaside town in 1970 when, as a young boy, I sat open-mouthed in front of a sparkling Technicolour movie. Before my eyes, the very foundations of British life were defended from tyranny by dashing pilots riding in sleek, powerful fighter planes. The film, The Battle of Britain, instilled a life-long fascination with the events of 1940. Years later I discovered one of The Few had grown up in my hometown and was buried in our local graveyard. I started to research the life and times of this man and his story became the foundations of my first novel, Bluebirds.

Melvyn's book list on about the Battle of Britain (from someone with a lifelong fascination for it)

Melvyn Fickling Why did Melvyn love this book?

Historian James Holland is also a novelist, and it is that parallel writing talent that makes his history books as compelling to read as a thriller novel. In this history of the Battle of Britain he casts his net back to events in France, marking the beginning of the battle proper as early May 1940, two months before the officially recorded date. This presents the battle as a continuation of the wider events that caused it to be necessary. He widens his narrative beyond the desperate struggles of the fighter pilots to include the experiences of bomber command, the navy, the back-room boffins, and the politicians. The result is a highly readable and deeply satisfying account of one of history’s most important pivotal events.

By James Holland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking new account of the Battle of Britain from acclaimed Cambridge historian James Holland

The Battle of Britain paints a stirring picture of an extraordinary summer when the fate of the world hung by a thread. Historian James Holland has now written the definitive account of those months based on extensive new research from around the world including thousands of new interviews with people on both sides of the battle. If Britain's defenses collapsed, Hitler would have dominated all of Europe. With France facing defeat and British forces pressed back to the Channel, there were few who believed Britain…


Book cover of Spitfire

Melvyn Fickling Author Of Bluebirds

From my list on about the Battle of Britain (from someone with a lifelong fascination for it).

Why am I passionate about this?

It all started in the cinema of a seaside town in 1970 when, as a young boy, I sat open-mouthed in front of a sparkling Technicolour movie. Before my eyes, the very foundations of British life were defended from tyranny by dashing pilots riding in sleek, powerful fighter planes. The film, The Battle of Britain, instilled a life-long fascination with the events of 1940. Years later I discovered one of The Few had grown up in my hometown and was buried in our local graveyard. I started to research the life and times of this man and his story became the foundations of my first novel, Bluebirds.

Melvyn's book list on about the Battle of Britain (from someone with a lifelong fascination for it)

Melvyn Fickling Why did Melvyn love this book?

The book is well named. The Spitfire invokes a visceral response in most people, amplified in those that feel even the slightest cultural connection to the events that unfolded in the Kentish skies in 1940. Nichol centres his book on this emotional premise, conveying the feelings of the pilots who flew the Spitfire, including the ladies of the Air Transport Auxiliary, and the crews that maintained them. We learn about the development of this most beautiful of all warbirds and follow it into all the world’s theatres of war, a story expressed through the first-hand accounts of many veterans who flew and fought behind the roar of the Merlin. This is as close as most of us will come to being inside the cockpit of a Spitfire.

By John Nichol,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES NON FICTION BESTSELLER
WHSmith NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018

'The best book you will ever read about Britain's greatest warplane' Patrick Bishop, bestselling author of Fighter Boys
'A rich and heartfelt tribute to this most iconic British machine' Rowland White, bestselling author of Vulcan 607
'As the RAF marks its centenary, Nichol has created a thrilling and often moving tribute to some of its greatest heroes' Mail on Sunday magazine

The iconic Spitfire found fame during the darkest early days of World War II. But what happened to the redoubtable fighter and its crews beyond the…


Book cover of A God in Ruins

Patrick Larsimont Author Of The Lightning and the Few

From my list on WW2 brought to life through brilliant storytelling.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated with military history, added to which my interest in aviation after serving in Military Intelligence with the Air Force. After a career in advertising, I took to writing during lockdown. My novels uncover forgotten facts and histories, using real characters and their exploits and providing an interpretation of world war events from different perspectives, not just the victors. My recommendations bring the past to life, unpalatable as it might be, with vibrant characters, rich set-building, and beautiful period language, sentiments, and held beliefs. History and conflict, love, loss, tragedy, and forgotten memory are brought to life, full of visceral colour, but importantly always truthfully.

Patrick's book list on WW2 brought to life through brilliant storytelling

Patrick Larsimont Why did Patrick love this book?

This beautiful wartime novel is by one of my favourite authors and tells the story of a British WW2 pilot facing the deadly attrition rate amongst bomber crews, but is also a gentle soul and poet, who becomes a husband, father, and grandfather.

It is a tale as much about navigating the peace as it is about surviving the war, a future the beleaguered protagonist never expected to have. At times very funny and wonderfully observed, it is emotionally charged, sometimes tragic, but also heartwarming and uplifting.

With a diverse cast of characters, it is like my own stories where I believe only a large cast can do justice to the scale, tragedy, and epic impact of cataclysmic WW2. 

By Kate Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A God in Ruins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE 2015 COSTA NOVEL AWARD
A God in Ruins relates the life of Teddy Todd - would-be poet, heroic World War II bomber pilot, husband, father, and grandfather - as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.

This gripping, often deliriously funny yet emotionally devastating book looks at war - that great fall of Man from grace - and the effect it has, not only on those who live through it, but on…


Book cover of Blue Man Falling

Patrick Larsimont Author Of The Lightning and the Few

From my list on WW2 brought to life through brilliant storytelling.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated with military history, added to which my interest in aviation after serving in Military Intelligence with the Air Force. After a career in advertising, I took to writing during lockdown. My novels uncover forgotten facts and histories, using real characters and their exploits and providing an interpretation of world war events from different perspectives, not just the victors. My recommendations bring the past to life, unpalatable as it might be, with vibrant characters, rich set-building, and beautiful period language, sentiments, and held beliefs. History and conflict, love, loss, tragedy, and forgotten memory are brought to life, full of visceral colour, but importantly always truthfully.

Patrick's book list on WW2 brought to life through brilliant storytelling

Patrick Larsimont Why did Patrick love this book?

One of the books that got my writing about WW2 aviation.

Set during the Battle for France in 1939 it is the story of two very different RAF pilots, one a precise and reserved Englishman, the other an aggressive, volatile, and passionate American. Their methods and motivations for fighting the war couldn’t be more different but they develop an unlikely partnership and mutual respect during the chaos of France’s collapse and the Allies’ humiliation and defeat.

A work of dazzling action, humour, and historical accuracy, with vividly drawn wartime settings and well-developed, sometimes larger-than-life characters who are times endearing, frustrating, hugely funny, bleakly dark, and always well observed. A benchmark for me for everything that I’d want my own novels to be.

By Frank Barnard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blue Man Falling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In September 1939, World War Two is declared and Europe holds its breath. When will the Third Reich strike west across France and the Low Countries? For RAF fighter pilots patrolling the Franco-German border it is a bizarre time: one moment they are chasing an elusive Luftwaffe, the next ordering champagne in Paris. Then, in May 1940, Hitler launches Blitzkrieg and the Hurricane squadrons find themselves engulfed in battle. From the cockpit of a Hurricane fighter plane to the louche salons of Parisian society, Blue Man Falling follows the fortunes of two RAF pilots, an Englishman, Kit Curtis, and an…


Book cover of EO-N

Patrick Larsimont Author Of The Lightning and the Few

From my list on WW2 brought to life through brilliant storytelling.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated with military history, added to which my interest in aviation after serving in Military Intelligence with the Air Force. After a career in advertising, I took to writing during lockdown. My novels uncover forgotten facts and histories, using real characters and their exploits and providing an interpretation of world war events from different perspectives, not just the victors. My recommendations bring the past to life, unpalatable as it might be, with vibrant characters, rich set-building, and beautiful period language, sentiments, and held beliefs. History and conflict, love, loss, tragedy, and forgotten memory are brought to life, full of visceral colour, but importantly always truthfully.

Patrick's book list on WW2 brought to life through brilliant storytelling

Patrick Larsimont Why did Patrick love this book?

An intriguing dual-timeline novel about a bereaved modern-day tech CEO who discovers a link with a WW2 aircraft discovered in a Norwegian glacier.

A connection with her grandfather emerges, MIA since the war, and the Mosquito frozen in time. This is a complex tale of five intertwined lives, some modern, others in wartime, revealing the disparate views held at the end of the conflict and the horrors perpetrated by the Nazi regime.

It pits modern corporate greed and the cruel science of a warped ideology against the courage and often untold contribution of Canadian airmen and their moral determination to do the right thing. Like my own work, the novel unveils forgotten aspects of the past, shows that good shines through and still leaves an imprint on us today.

By Dave Mason,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"There were so many things flowing through my mind as I finished this story that I sat very still with my thoughts for the longest time contemplating what I just read.  Indeed, I had to settle with the story a bit before I could even attempt to do it justice with a review. One thing is certain, "EO-N" is a novel of distinction - impeccably written, every sentence captivating." - Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views

2019 Alison Wiley, a once-idealistic biotech CEO, is processing her new reality: she's the last bud on the last branch of her family tree. On…


Book cover of When We Fall

Patrick Larsimont Author Of The Lightning and the Few

From my list on WW2 brought to life through brilliant storytelling.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated with military history, added to which my interest in aviation after serving in Military Intelligence with the Air Force. After a career in advertising, I took to writing during lockdown. My novels uncover forgotten facts and histories, using real characters and their exploits and providing an interpretation of world war events from different perspectives, not just the victors. My recommendations bring the past to life, unpalatable as it might be, with vibrant characters, rich set-building, and beautiful period language, sentiments, and held beliefs. History and conflict, love, loss, tragedy, and forgotten memory are brought to life, full of visceral colour, but importantly always truthfully.

Patrick's book list on WW2 brought to life through brilliant storytelling

Patrick Larsimont Why did Patrick love this book?

A moving WW2 novel set in occupied Poland and beleaguered Britain.

A dual timeline tale of love, intrigue, and the terrible choices made in war, resistance, and collaboration, during occupation. It delves into the often-forgotten contribution of Polish airmen and female ATA pilots to the Allied war effort, the precarious relationship with the invader in conquered Poland, and one of the war’s darkest secrets, the fate of the Polish officer class and the atrocity of the Katyn massacre.

This dark story is of divided loyalties, lost loves, and outcomes that depend on a twist of fate, and fragile truth subject to interpretation, divided loyalties, and clashing ideologies. Beautifully evocative of the times and wartime places, it is a story to make you think of the choices you might have made. 

By Carolyn Kirby,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

England, 1943 Lost in fog, pilot Vee Katchatourian is forced to make an emergency landing where she meets enigmatic RAF airman Stefan Bergel, and then can't get him out of her mind.

In occupied Poland, Ewa Hartman hosts German officers in her father's guest house, while secretly gathering intelligence for the Polish resistance. Mourning her lover, Stefan, who was captured by the Soviets at the start of the war, Ewa is shocked to see him on the street one day.

Haunted by a terrible choice he made in captivity, Stefan asks Vee and Ewa to help him expose one of…


Book cover of The Last Tallyho

Tom Burkhalter Author Of Everything We Had: a Novel of the Pacific Air War November-December 1941

From my list on air war stories that put you in the cockpit.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read the books in my list decades before I started writing air war stories. My first novel was a sci-fi space opera about hot starpilots flying from what I called “spacecraft carriers” in an interstellar war. Over the years I’ve flown sailplanes, power planes, and logged time in the SNJ and the DC-3. Since I was never there, flying high-performance airplanes in combat, I try to read all the histories and memoirs and pilot’s manuals I can get my hands on, and study pictures of the people, time, place, and airplanes I’m writing about. 

Tom's book list on air war stories that put you in the cockpit

Tom Burkhalter Why did Tom love this book?

This book was the first adult air-war novel I read, and it pulled me right into the world of naval aviation in World War II.

The protagonist was young, fresh out of flight school and barely qualified to land on aircraft carriers. The author was a navy fighter pilot during World War II, and he put this youngster’s hands on the controls during some tough flying and fighting. After that, I was hooked!

By Richard Newhafer,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Twelve O'Clock High

Tom Burkhalter Author Of Everything We Had: a Novel of the Pacific Air War November-December 1941

From my list on air war stories that put you in the cockpit.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read the books in my list decades before I started writing air war stories. My first novel was a sci-fi space opera about hot starpilots flying from what I called “spacecraft carriers” in an interstellar war. Over the years I’ve flown sailplanes, power planes, and logged time in the SNJ and the DC-3. Since I was never there, flying high-performance airplanes in combat, I try to read all the histories and memoirs and pilot’s manuals I can get my hands on, and study pictures of the people, time, place, and airplanes I’m writing about. 

Tom's book list on air war stories that put you in the cockpit

Tom Burkhalter Why did Tom love this book?

This book came out a few years after World War II ended and became a movie and later a TV series.

I started watching the TV series when I was quite young, and in that impressionable time I was sure when I grew up I’d fly B-17s for General Savage and the 918th Bomb Group. This despite the fact that I was well aware of modern jet bombers like the B-52!

The book itself taught me a lot about what it’s like to command a bomb group during an air war. It contains one of the most detailed and exquisitely excruciating descriptions of a bomber mission ever written, in the present tense, as it was lived by the authors themselves, during their time with the 8th AF in 1943.

By Beirne Lay Jr, Sy Bartlett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Twelve O'Clock High as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Battle of Britain, France, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Battle of Britain, France, and presidential biography.

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Presidential Biography Explore 18 books about presidential biography