81 books like Shrapnel

By William Wharton,

Here are 81 books that Shrapnel fans have personally recommended if you like Shrapnel. 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 A War of Nerves: Soldiers and Psychiatrists in the Twentieth Century

Matthew Parker Author Of Monte Cassino: The Hardest Fought Battle of World War II

From my list on less-well-known books about World War 2.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a Brit growing up in the 1970s, I was obsessed with the Second World War as a heroic narrative and my country’s ‘Finest Hour’. Then I went out on the road and interviewed hundreds of veterans of the Battle of Monte Cassino and learned a somewhat different story…

Matthew's book list on less-well-known books about World War 2

Matthew Parker Why did Matthew love this book?

It was working with the author on this book that first put me on to Monte Cassino – the whole place was one massive nervous breakdown. Compassionate but utterly unsentimental, Shephard tells the story of the very different diagnoses and treatments for what was called Shell Shock, then Battle Exhaustion, then PTSD. At its heart is the military doctor’s dilemma – the incompatibility of his role as healer and his obligation to get men back to the front. Nowhere else have I read such a vivid account of the effect of combat on the minds of soldiers.

By Ben Shephard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A War of Nerves is a history of military psychiatry in the twentieth century-an authoritative, accessible account drawing on a vast range of diaries, interviews, medical papers, and official records, from doctors as well as ordinary soldiers. It reaches back to the moment when the technologies of modern warfare and the disciplines of psychological medicine first confronted each other on the Western Front, and traces their uneasy relationship through the eras of shell-shock, combat fatigue, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

At once absorbing historical narrative and intellectual detective story, A War of Nerves weaves together the literary, medical, and military lore…


Book cover of To Die in Spring

Matthew Parker Author Of Monte Cassino: The Hardest Fought Battle of World War II

From my list on less-well-known books about World War 2.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a Brit growing up in the 1970s, I was obsessed with the Second World War as a heroic narrative and my country’s ‘Finest Hour’. Then I went out on the road and interviewed hundreds of veterans of the Battle of Monte Cassino and learned a somewhat different story…

Matthew's book list on less-well-known books about World War 2

Matthew Parker Why did Matthew love this book?

German novelist Rothman tells the story of two young friends caught up in the death spiral of Nazism at the end of the war when they are forced to ‘volunteer’ for the Waffen-SS. Only recently translated into English, it is a masterpiece of precision and unsentimentality that packs a punch as brutal as almost any other war novel I know.

By Ralf Rothmann,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To Die in Spring as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The lunacy of the final months of World War II, as experienced by a young German soldier

Distant, silent, often drunk, Walter Urban is a difficult man to have as a father. But his son―the narrator of this slim, harrowing novel―is curious about Walter’s experiences during World War II, and so makes him a present of a blank notebook in which to write down his memories. Walter dies, however, leaving nothing but the barest skeleton of a story on those pages, leading his son to fill in the gaps himself, rightly or wrongly, with what he can piece together of…


Book cover of Four Soldiers

Matthew Parker Author Of Monte Cassino: The Hardest Fought Battle of World War II

From my list on less-well-known books about World War 2.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a Brit growing up in the 1970s, I was obsessed with the Second World War as a heroic narrative and my country’s ‘Finest Hour’. Then I went out on the road and interviewed hundreds of veterans of the Battle of Monte Cassino and learned a somewhat different story…

Matthew's book list on less-well-known books about World War 2

Matthew Parker Why did Matthew love this book?

Not strictly speaking World War Two, this rather strange miniature masterpiece by a French author is set during the Russian Civil War and tells the story of the friendship of four very different soldiers. It is very short – it only takes about two hours to read – but its perfectly-drawn themes of life stripped bare, of comradeship, survival, and futility will stay with you for a very long time.

By Hubert Mingarelli,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

LONGLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2019

'I am astonished by Four Soldiers. I have never read anything like it, yet it is one of those books you feel must always have existed, a classic of writing about the human condition... A small miracle' Hilary Mantel

1919. The Russian Civil War. It is the harsh dead of winter, as four soldiers set up camp in a forest somewhere near the Romanian front line. There is a lull in the fighting, so their days are filled with precious hours of freedom, enjoying the tranquillity of a nearby pond and trying…


Book cover of The Singapore Grip

John Burgess Author Of A Woman of Angkor

From my list on fiction set in Southeast Asia throughout time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first saw Angkor, capital of the Khmer Empire, in 1969 as a teenager and was bowled over by the place. I kept coming back as a journalist and author. They say you should write about things that truly crank your engine, and I found mine—imperial conquest, Hindu and Buddhist spirituality, astounding architecture, and the lives of the millions of people who inhabited and built the place. I’ve now written three non-fiction books and two historical novels set in the civilization’s twelfth-century peak. The novels are an effort to recreate life in the old days. They draw heavily on my years in Southeast Asia, experiencing what life is like in the present day.

John's book list on fiction set in Southeast Asia throughout time

John Burgess Why did John love this book?

I love how this novel veers between the comic (the preening self-importance of a British family that runs a trading company) and the tragic (death and mayhem as Japanese troops set Singapore on fire in 1942). Father cynically manipulates markets; daughter carries on with unsuitable men; approved suitor arrives from Europe to reveal himself as an idealist who spouts praise for the League of Nations. You’ll learn a thing or two about how colonial companies of the time built enormous wealth by squeezing it from impoverished plantation workers, and how the war turned everything upside down.

By J. G. Farrell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR ITV DRAMA, THE SINGAPORE GRIP IS A MODERN CLASSIC FROM THE BOOKER-PRIZE WINNING J.G. FARRELL

'Brilliant, richly absurd, melancholy' Observer

'Enjoyable on many different levels' Sunday Times

'One of the most outstanding novelists of his generation' Spectator

Singapore, 1939: Walter Blackett, ruthless rubber merchant, is head of British Singapore's oldest and most powerful firm. And his family's prosperous world of tennis parties, cocktails and deferential servants seems unchanging. No one suspects it - but this world is poised on the edge of the abyss. This is the eve of the Fall of Singapore.

A love story and…


Book cover of The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power

Leif Wenar Author Of Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World

From my list on why oil is a curse.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Stanford professor who became fascinated with oil and everything it does to for us and to us. For years I traveled the world talking to the people who know petroleum: executives in the big oil companies, politicians and activists, militants and victims, spies and tribal chiefs. Blood Oil explains what I learned and how we can make our oil-cursed world better for all of us. 

Leif's book list on why oil is a curse

Leif Wenar Why did Leif love this book?

Most of us believe that the Big Oil has politicians in its pocket, and that oil drives America’s actions in the Middle East.

Yergin’s terrific history shows that there’s so much more: oil has fueled the growth of empires, it has decided the world wars, it has made and broken some of the world’s biggest fortunes. (You might also like the TV documentary made from the book, narrated by Donald Sutherland.)

By Daniel Yergin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Written by the author of "Shattered Peace" and "Energy Future", this book brings to life the tycoons, wildcatters, monopolists, regulators, presidents, generals and sheiks whose struggle for oil has shaken the world economy, dictated the outcome of wars, transformed the destiny of Britain and the world and profoundly changed all our lives. Beginning with the first oil well of the 1850s and continuing up to Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, it is a story of greed, gumption nad ingenuity, all in pursuit of "the prize" - worldwide economic, military and political mastery through the control of oil. The book includes…


Book cover of Before the Court of Heaven

Joe Kilgore Author Of A Farmhouse in the Rain

From my list on WWII era that explore conflicts on the home front.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been enamored with the World War II era. It was a time that seems virtually non-existent today, where almost everyone in my country was on the same page. There seemed to be a collective commitment to the struggle. An agreement that this was indeed good versus evil. Of course, I’m sure its nostalgic allure is much greater for those of us who didn’t actually have to live through it. But the strength, perseverance, and everyday heroism it brought out in soldiers and civilians alike, deserves to be chronicled and remembered forever.

Joe's book list on WWII era that explore conflicts on the home front

Joe Kilgore Why did Joe love this book?

Most of this novel’s action occurs between World War I and World War II. It’s the riveting tale of a young German crushed by his country’s defeat and dedicated to doing something about it. He joins a network of assassins and aids in the murder of a high-ranking Jew in the Weimar government. Sent to prison, he meets a unique individual and begins an acute reexamination of everything he’s previously believed. This is a passionately compelling tale of one man looking deep within himself to make sense of what he’s done with his life. The author brings the times, as well as his characters vividly to life and makes this chronicle of redemption a supremely fulfilling read.

By Jack Mayer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Historical Fiction based on a true story of Weimar Germany and the rise of the Third Reich. Winner of 13 book awards.2017 Independent Press Award - Winner - Historical Fiction 2017 Independent Press Award - Winner - General Fiction 2016 IndieReader Discovery Award - 1st Place - Fiction2015 Nautilus Book Award Winner - Fiction - Silver medal2016 Readers' Favorite Book Award - Gold Medal - Fiction -Social Issues2016 Finalist - Grand Prize (Eric Hoffer Award) - Fiction2016 Honorable Mention (Eric Hoffer Award) - Commercial Fiction 2016 Finalist - First Horizon Award (Eric Hoffer Award) - Fiction 2015 Finalist - Foreword…


Book cover of The Winds Of War

J. Lawrence Graham Author Of Charlotte's War

From my list on understanding the roots of war and peace.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent the 1970s as an officer in the U.S. Navy UDT/SEAL Teams, giving me insight into the military aspects of peacebuilding. I have spent the last forty years researching and teaching international marketing and negotiations at USC and UC Irvine, after receiving a Berkeley PhD. I was also the director of the UC Irvine Center for Citizen Peacebuilding for ten years. I have published four books on international negotiations and all my ten books in print are on the topic of peace in families, neighborhoods, commerce, and international relations.

J.'s book list on understanding the roots of war and peace

J. Lawrence Graham Why did J. love this book?

The Winds of War is a powerful and intimate story about WWII.

It follows one fictional family through the buildup to the most devastating war in human history. The cultural and political details are most impressive. The writing itself is captivating. I have used it as a model for my own book.

Wouk’s work demonstrates the impact of war on families and establishes the importance of advocating for peaceful resolutions to global disputes.

By Herman Wouk,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Winds Of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II, which begins with THE WINDS OF WAR and continues in WAR AND REMEMBRANCE, stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers.

Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - the drama, the romance, the heroism and the tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very centre of the maelstrom.

"First-rate storytelling." - New York Times

"Compelling . . . A panoramic, engrossing story." - Atlantic…


Book cover of Women in Intelligence: The Hidden History of Two World Wars

Rayna Flye Author Of Secrets, Lies, and Sneaky Spies

From my list on female codebreakers, agents, and spies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I always wanted to be a spy, but as I scare easily and can’t keep a secret, it was never going to happen. My respect and fascination with the intelligence community has never abated however, and I will never pass up an opportunity to engage with spy-related content. From going to spy museums across the globe to attending lectures to watching the latest entertaining (and totally unrealistic) spy flick, I love it all. I channel that love into writing humorous spy novels that feature fun, fearless females and ripped-from-the-headlines scenarios.  

Rayna's book list on female codebreakers, agents, and spies

Rayna Flye Why did Rayna love this book?

Do I judge a book by its cover? Why yes, yes I do! And the moment I saw this gorgeous cover I put it right into my shopping cart, paid full price, and never looked back.

Luckily for me, Women in Intelligence happens to be an excellent book where the content more than matched the expectations I had from the fabulous artwork. Although there are a few familiar faces that appear, most of the women were completely new to me. Not the femme fatales of popular culture; these were patriotic women who often went unseen in the background.

I love that Fry truly delves into uncovering the unsung heroines of WWI and WWII, giving these quiet, determined women a chance to be recognized and to shine.

By Helen Fry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking history of women in British intelligence, revealing their pivotal role across the first half of the twentieth century

From the twentieth century onward, women took on an extraordinary range of roles in intelligence, defying the conventions of their time. Across both world wars, far from being a small part of covert operations, women ran spy networks and escape lines, parachuted behind enemy lines, and interrogated prisoners. And, back in Bletchley and Whitehall, women's vital administrative work in MI offices kept the British war engine running.

In this major, panoramic history, Helen Fry looks at the rich and varied…


Book cover of The Cross of Iron

Michael Dorosh Author Of Indescribable Ordeal: The History of the German 65th Infantry Division 1942-1945

From my list on explaining the experience of German soldiers in the Second World War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Canadian with bachelor's degrees in history and communications and over thirty-five years of experience in the Canadian Army reserves. My interest in the German Army of the Third Reich period has led to interviews with surviving veterans, visits to various battlefields, a successful YouTube channel, and involvement in military-themed hobbies such as war re-enactment and wargaming which in turn has led to the publication of many related books and magazine articles. Like all of us writing on the subject of Germans in the Second World War, I find it often poorly understood yet hugely compelling for its complex legal, historical, and moral aspects.

Michael's book list on explaining the experience of German soldiers in the Second World War

Michael Dorosh Why did Michael love this book?

With compelling characters and true insights into the historical period it is set in, I consider this the best novel of all time. The movie it inspired is a classic, but the novel delivers much more.

The characters are brought to life with realistic motivations, dialogue, and inner monologues. Heinrich's masterful changes of point of view and suspenseful chapter breaks still maintain my interest every time. 

I can't praise the book enough for its pure literary quality, and even though it is a work of fiction, it has a ring of authenticity about it. The author served in the same regiment his fictional Steiner character belongs to and based him on a soldier who lived through the real-world events Heinrich set his novel in.

By Willi Heinrich,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders

Mark Love Author Of Devious

From my list on contemporary cozy mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a contemporary mystery junkie. Realistic tales always grab my attention. A touch of romance never hurts. In college, one professor suggested the old ‘write what you know’ approach. I don’t know everything, but I know what I like. Mysteries! I thrive on distinctive characters, those who are willing to put every effort into getting to the bottom of the situation. Sharp, tight dialogue and descriptions are essential. Give me that, and I’ll be back for more. This is my passion. Come along if you want a thrill and a surprise or two. 

Mark's book list on contemporary cozy mysteries

Mark Love Why did Mark love this book?

This was my first experience with M.S. Spencer. To say she had me right away would be deadly accurate. The setting, the conflict, the characters, the mystery all flowed together so smoothly, I could easily picture myself propped in a corner of the room, watching everything play out.  

And I must confess that the Milo character has left an indelible mark in my memory. She’s one of my favorite players.

Several times I thought for sure I had figured out who was behind the murders. Of course, I was wrong, but that just kept me going. Spencer always delivers an engaging tale.

By M. S. Spencer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Milo Everhart is waiting out the rain in a pub when she is captivated by the handsome man next to her. Blocking the road to romance are two mysterious corpses who turn up in the tower of her Torpedo Factory Art Center. As if that weren't enough, a second crisis erupts—a proposal to gut her beloved art center.

Tristram Brodie, hard-driving lawyer and former Marine, is focused on his plan to convert the Torpedo Factory into a box store. He is drawn to the beautiful Milo, but their mutual attraction will be frustrated by both the murders and his intentions.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in World War 1, presidential biography, and Germany?

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