100 books like The Sacrifice of Singapore

By Michael Arnold,

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

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Judy: The Unforgettable Story of the Dog Who Went to War and Became a True Hero

Cecil Lowry Author Of Frank Pantridge MC: Japanese Prisoner of War and Inventor of the Portable Defibrillator

From my list on prisoners of war held by the Japanese during WW2.

Who am I?

My father was taken prisoner by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore on the 15th of February 1942. He spent three and a half years slaving on the Thai Burma railway. During my early years growing up, my father rarely talked about his experiences, and it wasn't until after he died in 1990 that I became interested in what he went through as a prisoner of war. Since then, I've spent my time researching the Japanese prisoner of war experiences and have read countless books on the subject. I myself have published four books and I consider myself one of the leading experts on the Japanese prisoner of war experience.

Cecil's book list on prisoners of war held by the Japanese during WW2

Cecil Lowry Why did Cecil love this book?

Judy was a beautiful liver and white English pointer, and the only official animal POW of World War 2 truly was a dog in a million. Whether she was dragging men to safety from the wreckage of a torpedoed chip or scavenging food for the starving inmates of a hellish Japanese prisoner of war camp, her unbreakable spirit brought inspiration and hope to men living through the 20th century's darkest days during their captivity. Judy's uncanny ability to sense danger matched with her quick thinking and impossible daring saved countless lives. She was a close companion to those who became like a family to her, sharing in both the tragedies and joys they faced. Her incredible story based here on the testimonies of the last few veterans who knew her is one of the most heartwarming and inspiring tales you will ever read.

By Damien Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The impossibly moving story of how Judy, World War Two's only animal POW, brought hope in the midst of hell.

Judy, a beautiful liver and white English pointer, and the only animal POW of WWII, truly was a dog in a million, cherished and adored by the British, Australian, American and other Allied servicemen who fought to survive alongside her.

Viewed largely as human by those who shared her extraordinary life, Judy's uncanny ability to sense danger, matched with her quick-thinking and impossible daring saved countless lives. She was a close companion to men who became like a family to…


Book cover of Echoes of Captivity 2020: In 1945, Far East Prisoners of War returned to their families. But their war was not over ....

Cecil Lowry Author Of Frank Pantridge MC: Japanese Prisoner of War and Inventor of the Portable Defibrillator

From my list on prisoners of war held by the Japanese during WW2.

Who am I?

My father was taken prisoner by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore on the 15th of February 1942. He spent three and a half years slaving on the Thai Burma railway. During my early years growing up, my father rarely talked about his experiences, and it wasn't until after he died in 1990 that I became interested in what he went through as a prisoner of war. Since then, I've spent my time researching the Japanese prisoner of war experiences and have read countless books on the subject. I myself have published four books and I consider myself one of the leading experts on the Japanese prisoner of war experience.

Cecil's book list on prisoners of war held by the Japanese during WW2

Cecil Lowry Why did Cecil love this book?

In 1941/2 the Japanese took more than 100,000 allied prisoners of war in the Far East. These prisoners were used as slave labour on the death railway and across the region. More than 1/4 of all prisoners died from starvation, overwork, torture, or tropical disease. These harrowing experiences in captivity have been chronicled in detail, but the story of what happened after they returned home has rarely been told. For many the war did not end in 1945 and for decades to come, former prisoners had nightmares and flashbacks. Their wives and families struggled to cope with damaged men who couldn't find the words to talk about their experiences. The echoes of captivity carried on right to the end of the survivors' lives and continue today in the lives of their children.

Book cover of Captive Memories: Far East Prisoners of War

Cecil Lowry Author Of Frank Pantridge MC: Japanese Prisoner of War and Inventor of the Portable Defibrillator

From my list on prisoners of war held by the Japanese during WW2.

Who am I?

My father was taken prisoner by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore on the 15th of February 1942. He spent three and a half years slaving on the Thai Burma railway. During my early years growing up, my father rarely talked about his experiences, and it wasn't until after he died in 1990 that I became interested in what he went through as a prisoner of war. Since then, I've spent my time researching the Japanese prisoner of war experiences and have read countless books on the subject. I myself have published four books and I consider myself one of the leading experts on the Japanese prisoner of war experience.

Cecil's book list on prisoners of war held by the Japanese during WW2

Cecil Lowry Why did Cecil love this book?

This book tells the story of the 130,000 men who were captives of the Japanese during World War Two. Food and equipment were minimal or non-existent, men died daily, many in agony from which there was no relief and yet in the midst of such horrors the human spirit steadfastly refused to be broken. Captives helped each other, intense bonds were formed, and selfless sacrifices made. Freedom for those who made it home after the war ended meant many things, home and family comfort of course, but also an adjustment for the loss of friendships and a difficult road to recovery for some.

The authors talked to many of these men and this is their story.

By Meg Parkes, Geoff Gill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Conditions for Far East Prisoners of War were truly hellish. Appalling diseases were rife, the stench indescribable. Food and equipment were minimal or non existent. Men died daily, many in agony from which there was no relief. And yet, in the midst of such horrors, the human spirit steadfastly refused to be broken. Captives helped each other, intense bonds were formed, selfless sacrifces made. Tools and medical equipment were fashioned from whatever could be found, anything that could make life more bearable. Resilience, resourcefulness, pride and camaraderie; these were the keys to survival. Freedom, for those who made it, meant…


Book cover of Japan at War 1931-45: As the Cherry Blossom Falls

Cecil Lowry Author Of Frank Pantridge MC: Japanese Prisoner of War and Inventor of the Portable Defibrillator

From my list on prisoners of war held by the Japanese during WW2.

Who am I?

My father was taken prisoner by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore on the 15th of February 1942. He spent three and a half years slaving on the Thai Burma railway. During my early years growing up, my father rarely talked about his experiences, and it wasn't until after he died in 1990 that I became interested in what he went through as a prisoner of war. Since then, I've spent my time researching the Japanese prisoner of war experiences and have read countless books on the subject. I myself have published four books and I consider myself one of the leading experts on the Japanese prisoner of war experience.

Cecil's book list on prisoners of war held by the Japanese during WW2

Cecil Lowry Why did Cecil love this book?

This book follows the course of the Empire of the Sun's ultimately unequal struggle against the great Allied powers. It provides the reader with piercing strategic and political insights which may debunk many of the enduring myths which encompass Japan's apocalyptic drive for hegemony in South East Asia. Why did Japan invade China? Was war with America and the British Empire inevitable? Why was the Japanese mobile fleet defeated so decisively at Midway. Why did the Japanese continue fighting with defeat was inevitable? Was its Emperor merely a puppet of the militarists? Why did the Japanese people acquiesce in the occupation of their homeland? 

This book tells the story.

By David McCormack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Japan at War 1931-45 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This fascinating history, recounted from both the American and Japanese perspectives, follows the course of the Empire of the Sun's ultimately unequal struggle against the great allied powers. Drawing on archive material, this new history provides the reader with piercing strategic and political insights which debunk many of the enduring myths which encompass Japan's apocalyptic drive for hegemony in Southeast Asia. Why did Japan invade China? Was war with America and the British Empire inevitable? Why was the Japanese mobile fleet defeated so decisively at Midway? Why did the Japanese continue fighting when defeat was inevitable? Was Emperor Hirohito merely…


Book cover of The Defence and Fall of Singapore

Malcolm H. Murfett Author Of Naval Warfare 1919-1945: An Operational History of the Volatile War at Sea

From my list on Asian theatre in the Second World War.

Who am I?

I lived and taught in Asia for over 30 years and love the place to bits. Leaving Oxford for Singapore may have seemed like a daring adventure in 1980, but it complemented my doctoral research and introduced me to a wonderful set of students who have enriched my life ever since. Asia has a fascination for me that I can’t resist. I have written and edited 15 books on naval and defence themes, much of which have been set in the Asian continent. An associate editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for the past 25 years, I am also the editor for the series Cold War in Asia. 

Malcolm's book list on Asian theatre in the Second World War

Malcolm H. Murfett Why did Malcolm love this book?

I have known Brian Farrell both as a colleague and friend for more than two decades but that isn’t the reason why his book on the fall of Malaya and Singapore appears on my book list. It does so because I believe it’s the best book on the subject that has been written thus far. I have read many and, in my opinion, none of them matches the quality and range of research, analysis, and insight that he brings to the subject. Moreover, he isn’t afraid to say it how it was. He doesn’t skulk about in the shadows but draws out where the problems were and who caused them. Anyone who knows Professor Farrell wouldn’t be surprised about that! He remains impressively scholarly and independent. 

By Brian Farrell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shortly after midnight on 8 December 1941, two divisions of crack troops of the Imperial Japanese Army began a seaborne invasion of southern Thailand and northern Malaya. Their assault developed into a full-blown advance towards Singapore, the main defensive position of the British Empire in the Far East. The defending British, Indian, Australian and Malayan forces were outmanoeuvred on the ground, overwhelmed in the air and scattered on the sea. By the end of January 1942, British Empire forces were driven back onto the island of Singapore itself, cut off from further outside help. When the Japanese stormed the island…


Book cover of Tanamera

Jana Petken Author Of The German Half-Bloods

From my list on great stories in WW2.

Who am I?

I am a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction. Writing Historical novels is not a job but a passion for me. I have studied, read, and written about historical periods from William the Conqueror in the 11th century to the end of WW2, and many other periods in between. I continually research, looking for my next historical story, but it would take more than one lifetime for me to study all the great historical fiction and non-fiction books out there. As a genre, historical fiction is making a comeback, and I’m happy to be part of the Genre’s resurgence.

Jana's book list on great stories in WW2

Jana Petken Why did Jana love this book?

This story is not only a history of Singapore and Malaya before, during, and after the war, it is also a beautiful love story and gripping family Saga. It’s a chunky book in which Noel Barber paints an indelible picture of pre-war colonial life in Singapore for both the colonials and the Malaysians.

Noel Barber brings to life the British defence build-up and the military and colonial administration’s mistakes, which led to the Japanese invasion. It was as though they could not believe the Japanese could or would invade their territory. The story is romantic and heart-breaking, as Noel Barber delves into family ties and the characters’ fight for survival.

I recommend this book for two reasons: I read a lot, yet this book has stuck with me for over twenty years, so it must have impacted me. Second, this author is no longer with us, so I think everyone…

By Noel Barber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Opulence. Invasion. Terror. And forbidden passion in 1930s Singapore.

'They were the golden days, when Singapore was as rich as its climate was steamy, its future as assured as it was busy. And those days were made even better when, as was inevitable, I fell in love with the Chinese beauty of Julie Soong and, against all unwritten canons of Singapore life, we became lovers.'


Book cover of Khaki Town

Karen McMillan Author Of The Paris of the East

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

Who am I?

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?

This novel is based on a true wartime story kept secret for more than seventy years. The story is set in March 1942, Townsville, Australia, after Singapore has fallen and Darwin has been bombed. The small town is transformed into a hub for 70,000 soldiers. But Australian troops begrudge the confident American soldiers, and there is growing conflict within the American ranks, and racial tensions are exposed. This compelling read is made even more poignant when you discover that it’s based on a mutiny that was covered up by the military. Khaki Town is a thought-provoking novel that will have you rallying against the injustices it exposes.

By Judy Nunn,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Warlight

Amanda Hale Author Of Mad Hatter, Volume 164

From my list on human relations in the altered reality of wartime.

Who am I?

The writing of Mad Hatter (my 7th book), was fueled by curiosity about WW2 and about my absent father. I emigrated to Canada as a young woman and pursued a career in the Arts – theatre, painting, writing. But only when I embarked on this fictionalized family story did I begin to uncover shocking family secrets as I pulled together threads of childhood memory, woven in with research material, trying to make sense of it all. Writing has literally saved my life, and Mad Hatter has liberated me in a manner I could never have predicted. I am an intense, passionate workaholic, writing in many genres, exulting in life's surprises!

Amanda's book list on human relations in the altered reality of wartime

Amanda Hale Why did Amanda love this book?

Since my own novel is set partly in post-war England, I was drawn to Ondaatje’s Warlight, which begins in 1945 London as the city is recovering from brutal bombing. Another hook for me was the youthful characters; my book is also populated with war-confused children. Ondaatje’s narrator, 14-year-old Nathaniel, recalls his youth with the benefit of adult wisdom. He and his sister Rachel are abandoned by their parents to the care of some eccentric and slightly dangerous characters. Their teen years are marked by many mysterious events and experiences, only beginning to clarify in retrospect. Do we ever know what’s really happening?

By Michael Ondaatje,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

**LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018**

An elegiac novel set in post-WW2 London about memory, family secrets and lies, from the internationally acclaimed author of The English Patient

It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women all who seem determined to protect Rachel and Nathaniel.…


Book cover of Coming Home

Rachel Hore Author Of The Hidden Years

From my list on making you fall in love with Cornwall again.

Who am I?

I’m a UK bestselling writer of historical fiction who has often used Cornwall as a setting. I wrote about a lost garden and a colony of Edwardian artists in The Memory Garden, about the Second World War in A Gathering Storm and The Hidden Years. My father was Cornish, which meant wonderful childhood holidays spent in the county. I fell in love with its breathtakingly beautiful landscapes - rugged cliffs, picturesque fishing villages, expansive sandy beaches where the sea thunders in. I’ve feasted on its history and legends, and on stories of danger, romance, and adventure set in the region. It’s fulfilled a dream to have written my own.    

Rachel's book list on making you fall in love with Cornwall again

Rachel Hore Why did Rachel love this book?

I often write about the Second World War, particularly the roles of women in it. Cornwall is another love, my father being Cornish.

The landscape and the culture have made a huge impression on me and when I read Coming Home I thought, yes, this novel was written for me.

It’s the coming-of-age story of Judith Dunbar. When still a young girl her mother leaves her with an elderly relative near Penzance in order to join Judith’s father in Singapore. After this relative dies Judith has to fend for herself, but is increasingly drawn into the orbit of the charismatic Carey-Lewis family of Nancherrow House. Through her relationship with them she experiences passionate love and betrayal as the storms of war are gathering on the horizon.

This novel completely absorbed me. 

By Rosamunde Pilcher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For Judith Dunbar, her first glimpse of Nancherrow, her friend Loveday's beautiful family estate on the Cornish coast, is love at first sight - after the rigours of boarding school it spells luxury. She falls in love, too, with all Loveday's family. They treat Judith as one of them. With their generosity and kindness, Judith grows from naive girl to confident young woman basking in the warmth of a surrogate family whose flame of love and affection burns brightly.



But it is a flame soon to be extinguised in the gathering storm of war. In the danger and deprivation of…


Book cover of The Piano Teacher

Jill Santopolo Author Of Everything After

From my list on love and music.

Who am I?

I’m Jill Santopolo, a novelist, editor, and mom who was born in New York and currently lives in Washington, DC. I’ve written Everything After, More Than Words, and The Light We Lost, which was the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick in February 2018. My books have been named to The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Apple, and Indiebound bestseller lists, and have been translated into more than 35 languages. I love Instagram and rarely ever use Twitter (but you can find me there, too)--and music makes my heart sing. When I was growing up I learned to play the piano, flute, and piccolo, and I loved singing and dancing.

Jill's book list on love and music

Jill Santopolo Why did Jill love this book?

Janice Y.K Lee marries historical fiction with music and passion in this epic story set in Singapore in the 1940s and 1950s. Like all the best historical novels, this book highlighted aspects of history not always discussed, and did it with a thread of beautiful music woven through the story. This book is all-consuming.  

By Janice Y. K. Lee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ambitious, exotic, and a classic book club read, 'The Piano Teacher' is a combination of 'Tenko' meets 'The Remains of the Day'.

Sometimes the end of a love affair is only the beginning...

In 1942, Will Truesdale, an Englishman newly arrived in Hong Kong, falls headlong into a passionate relationship with Trudy Liang, a beautiful Eurasian socialite. But their love affair is soon threatened by the invasion of the Japanese, with terrible consequences for both of them, and for members of their fragile community who will betray each other in the darkest days of the war.

Ten years later, Claire…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Singapore, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Singapore, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill.

Singapore Explore 35 books about Singapore
Franklin D. Roosevelt Explore 54 books about Franklin D. Roosevelt
Winston Churchill Explore 49 books about Winston Churchill