100 books like To Die in Spring

By Ralf Rothmann,

Here are 100 books that To Die in Spring fans have personally recommended if you like To Die in Spring. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ 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 Shrapnel

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?

Another link is that the highly-acclaimed author fought at Cassino. In my book, I tell how US servicemen in waterlogged fox-holes suffered terribly from ‘Trench Foot’. Wharton lifts the lid on how he and his fellow GIs did everything they could to get it as it meant being withdrawn from combat! Utterly unheroic, Wharton tells of the muddle, confusion, boredom, and exhaustion of frontline infantrymen – an account much closer to the stories I heard from veterans than almost anything else I’ve read.

By William Wharton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Author of such classic wartime novels as Birdy and A Midnight Clear, William Wharton was one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. However, he was also a very private man—he wrote under a pseudonym and rarely gave interviews—so fans and critics could only speculate how much of his work was autobiographical and how much was fiction.

Now, for the first time, we are able to read the author's own account of his experiences during World War II—events that went on to influence some of his greatest works.

These are the tales that Wharton never wanted to tell his…


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 Black Edelweiss: A Memoir of Combat and Conscience by a Soldier of the Waffen-SS

David Roman Author Of Geli Hitler

From my list on the batshit-crazy history of Nazi Germany.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a long-time correspondent for American media across the world. I reported on Europe and Asia for the Wall Street Journal, and on Southeast Asia for Bloomberg News. I was always fascinated by deep historical layers to be found in ancient societies like those of Europe, and the sometimes accurate clichés about European tribes and their strange customs; no European tribe is weirder than the Germans, for a long time the wildest of the continent and then the most cultured and sophisticated until they came under the spell of a certain Austrian. The twelve years that followed still rank as the most insane historical period for any nation ever.

David's book list on the batshit-crazy history of Nazi Germany

David Roman Why did David love this book?

Voss volunteered to join the elite Nazi forces as a teenager in 1943, when (unbeknownst to him) the war was already lost for Germany. His memoir of barely two years in history’s most notorious military unit will surprise many who are used to seeing SS members in Holocaust movies and memoirs; Voss was an infantryman who fought in Finland and later in the Western front, fully devoted to Nazi ideology until Germany was defeated and he saw the flip side of the coin. A very unique book.

By Johann Voss,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Originally written while the author was a prisoner of the US Army in 1945–46, Black Edelweiss is a boon to serious historians and WWII buffs alike. In a day in which most memoirs are written at half a century’s distance, the former will be gratified by the author’s precise recall facilitated by the chronologically short-range (a matter of one to seven years) at which the events were captured in writing. Both will appreciate and enjoy the abundantly detailed, exceptionally accurate combat episodes.

Even more than the strictly military narrative, however, the author has crafted a searingly candid view into his…


Book cover of Goebbels: A Biography

Debbie Rix Author Of The German Mother

From my list on WW2 books that will inform and inspire.

Why am I passionate about this?

My parents both fought in the Second World War – my father as a bomber pilot, my mother as a Wren.  Dad often entertained us at family mealtimes with tales of his wartime adventures – of how was shot down over Germany, captured, imprisoned, but finally escaped. My interest in the period grew from there, and my first ‘wartime’ novel The Secret Letter was in fact largely based on my parents experiences.  Since then, I have become increasingly fascinated by the period, with now a total of four novels set in WW2, culminating in my present book The German Mother.

Debbie's book list on WW2 books that will inform and inspire

Debbie Rix Why did Debbie love this book?

Joseph Goebbels was the Minister for Propaganda in Hitler’s Nazi Germany, and is one of the central characters in my latest novel. I recommend Longerich’s biography of this complex man in its own right, and not just because I plundered it for information when writing my novel.

Scholarly but written in a lively style, the book will appeal to anyone interested in what made the ‘master of the dark arts of propaganda’ tick. Drawing heavily on Goebbels’ own diaries (which run to an astonishing twenty-nine volumes), Longerich has written the definitive history of this complex and fascinating man, who was so attracted to Nazi ideology that he ultimately lost his soul to evil.

By Peter Longerich, Alan Bance (translator), Jeremy Noakes (translator) , Lesley Sharpe (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Joseph Goebbels was one of Adolf Hitler's most loyal acolytes. But how did this club-footed son of a factory worker rise from obscurity to become Hitler's malevolent minister of propaganda, most trusted lieutenant and personally anointed successor?

In this definitive one-volume biography, renowned German Holocaust historian Peter Longerich sifts through the historical record - and thirty thousand pages of Goebbels's own diary entries - to answer that question. Longerich paints a chilling picture of a man driven by a narcissistic desire for recognition who found the personal affirmation he craved within the virulently racist National Socialist movement - and whose…


Book cover of In the Ruins of the Reich

Keith Lowe Author Of Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II

From my list on the aftermath of World War 2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Keith Lowe is the author of several works on postwar history. His international bestseller, Savage Continent, won the English PEN/Hessell Tiltman Prize and Italy’s Cherasco History Prize. His book on the long-term legacy of World War II, The Fear and the Freedom, was awarded China’s Beijing News Annual Recommendation and was shortlisted for the Historical Writers Association Non-Fiction Crown. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Keith's book list on the aftermath of World War 2

Keith Lowe Why did Keith love this book?

There are dozens of excellent books about Germany and Germans in the wake of defeat – I could mention Giles MacDonogh’s After the Reich, or R.M. Douglas’s Orderly and Humane – but Douglas Botting’s book is by far the most engaging history of the subject that I’ve ever read. It was written in the 1980s, so it is not quite as up-to-date as the more recent histories, but what it lacks in cutting-edge research it more than makes up for in narrative immediacy. It is impossible not to be moved by Botting’s descriptions of postwar chaos, of orphans hiding in the ruins, of lawlessness, starvation, desperation and retribution. An absolute classic.

By Douglas Botting,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First published in Britain in 1985, In the Ruins of the Reich is a classic account of Nazi Germany after her fall to the Allies in May 1945. Douglas Botting concentrates on the defining events that took place in the period between the collapse of the Third Reich and the foundation of the new Germanys to create the prevailing atmosphere of a most unusual and little-charted time in history. This was a period when four of the strongest industrial nations to emerge from the Second World War attempted to work together to govern the once strong Germany, now prostate, impoverished…


Book cover of Berlin at War: Life and Death in Hitler's Capital, 1939-45

Alex Gerlis Author Of Agent in Berlin

From my list on to get a sense of Berlin under the Nazis.

Why am I passionate about this?

I worked as a journalist for the BBC for nearly thirty years: my writing of espionage novels set in Europe during the Second World War goes back to 1994 when I was covering the 50th anniversary of D-Day for the BBC. I became fascinated with the human stories behind big military events and especially the British deception operation that was so crucial to the Allies’ success. This led to my first novel, The Best of Our Spies. To ensure my novels feel as authentic as possible my research means I travel around Europe and I’ve also amassed a collection of maps and guidebooks from that period.

Alex's book list on to get a sense of Berlin under the Nazis

Alex Gerlis Why did Alex love this book?

This is another book that manages to paint a picture of what life was like in Berlin during the war.  Roger Moorhouse tells some fascinating stories, such as that of Paul Ogorzow, the so-called S-Bahn Murderer. The fact that a serial killer was operating around Berlin’s railway system was a dilemma for the authorities who tried and failed to lay the blame on either Jews or Poles. Ogorzow was eventually captured convicted of the murder of eight women and of attacking thirty-seven more during 1940 and 1941. The fact he was a Nazi Party member was a deep embarrassment and didn’t help him: he was executed just days after his conviction.

By Roger Moorhouse,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Berlin was the nerve-centre of Hitler's Germany - the backdrop for the most lavish ceremonies, it was also the venue for Albert Speer's plans to forge a new 'world metropolis' and the scene of the final climactic bid to defeat Nazism. Yet while our understanding of the Holocaust is well developed, we know little about everyday life in Nazi Germany.

In this vivid and important study Roger Moorhouse portrays the German experience of the Second World War, not through an examination of grand politics, but from the viewpoint of the capital's streets and homes.He gives a flavour of life in…


Book cover of The Ragged Edge of Night

Karla M. Jay Author Of When We Were Brave

From my list on WWII with stories we haven’t heard before.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to write stories of historical injustice, so this is mainly the genre I read. In recent years, many new novels merely rehashed the same theme, such as the horror show known as Auschwitz or the other camps. Although those are worthy of the people who died there, I’m always on the hunt for a fresh story that has never been told about those tragic years. 

Karla's book list on WWII with stories we haven’t heard before

Karla M. Jay Why did Karla love this book?

The book tells the story of a small village near Stuttgart during wartime when poverty, hunger, fear, and uncertainty plague every member of the community. Even in the face of unthinkable horrors, the characters perform amazing acts of love, faith, bravery, and sacrifice and ultimately find forgiveness and hope for the future. I really enjoyed the vivid look at the lives of the German Resistance members and what they were willing to do to sacrifice while hiding the marginalized and criminalized citizens the Nazis hunted. Beautifully written as well.

By Olivia Hawker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For fans of All the Light We Cannot See, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, and The Nightingale comes an emotionally gripping, beautifully written historical novel about extraordinary hope, redemption, and one man's search for light during the darkest times of World War II.

Germany, 1942. Franciscan friar Anton Starzmann is stripped of his place in the world when his school is seized by the Nazis. He relocates to a small German hamlet to wed Elisabeth Herter, a widow who seeks a marriage-in name only-to a man who can help raise her three children. Anton seeks something too-atonement for failing to protect…


Book cover of The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-1945

Mark Scott Smith Author Of Night Fire Morning Snow: The Road to Chosin

From my list on understanding America and her enemies in wartime.

Why am I passionate about this?

After retiring from academic medicine, I moved to the ocean and learned of WWII Japanese submarine and balloon bomb attacks on Oregon. With extensive research, consultation, and trips to Europe, Latin America, and Asia, I have now published three historical fiction novels on Amazon: Enemy in the Mirror: Love and Fury in the Pacific War, The Osprey and the Sea Wolf: The Battle of the Atlantic 1942, and Night Fire Morning Snow: The Road to Chosin. My website is intended to promote understanding of America and her enemies in wartime.

Mark's book list on understanding America and her enemies in wartime

Mark Scott Smith Why did Mark love this book?

Compiled from personal diaries and letters, wartime arts and entertainment, court records, military correspondence, secret police reports and Nazi propaganda ministry assessments, an Oxford professor of modern European history has written this engrossing account of the German military and civilian experience during World War II. Initial enthusiasm for the war effort during the early years of WWII, gradually gives way under the intense bombing of German cities, awareness of the regime’s genocidal activities and military losses on both fronts. In the final year of the war ordinary Germans, realizing the war could not be won, were simply determined to hold on until a just peace can be attained.

By Nicholas Stargardt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As early as 1941, Allied victory in World War II seemed all but assured. How and why, then, did the Germans prolong the barbaric conflict for three and a half more years?In The German War , acclaimed historian Nicholas Stargardt draws on an extraordinary range of primary source materials,personal diaries, court records, and military correspondence,to answer this question. He offers an unprecedented portrait of wartime Germany, bringing the hopes and expectations of the German people,from infantrymen and tank commanders on the Eastern front to civilians on the home front,to vivid life. While most historians identify the German defeat at Stalingrad…


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