100 books like Tonya

By Gregory “Pappy” Boyington,

Here are 100 books that Tonya fans have personally recommended if you like Tonya. 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 Chennault: Giving Wings to the Tiger

Daniel Ford Author Of Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942

From my list on the Flying Tigers.

Who am I?

I became enchanted with the Flying Tigers as an eighth-grader in 1945, and when our daughter needed a topic for her high-school history paper forty years later, I suggested the AVG. The books (including Olga Greenlaw’s) flooded into our house. Kate was a Harvard freshman the following year, her Chinese roommate gave me a rough vocabulary, and I flew to China and Burma to walk the ground and quiz the locals. In all the years since, I’ve never stopped learning about these men and their great moment in military history.

Daniel's book list on the Flying Tigers

Daniel Ford Why did Daniel love this book?

Like the Tigers themselves, their granite-faced commander was much glorified during the war and afterward, but he was a man with flaws. Claire Chennault lied about his age, among other things, and it wasn’t until Martha Byrd thought to examine the family bible that the record was corrected. Hers is the only reliable biography of the man who forged the fighter group that defended Burma and China in the early days of the Pacific War.

By Martha Byrd,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Born in rural Louisiana in 1893, Claire Lee Chennault worked as a teacher before joining the army and becoming a commissioned officer. This book provides a balanced portrait of a brave and controversial airman who commanded a training air force for Nationalist China.


Book cover of Tale of a Tiger

Daniel Ford Author Of Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942

From my list on the Flying Tigers.

Who am I?

I became enchanted with the Flying Tigers as an eighth-grader in 1945, and when our daughter needed a topic for her high-school history paper forty years later, I suggested the AVG. The books (including Olga Greenlaw’s) flooded into our house. Kate was a Harvard freshman the following year, her Chinese roommate gave me a rough vocabulary, and I flew to China and Burma to walk the ground and quiz the locals. In all the years since, I’ve never stopped learning about these men and their great moment in military history.

Daniel's book list on the Flying Tigers

Daniel Ford Why did Daniel love this book?

R. T. Smith was a Flying Tiger ace, credited with a fraction less than nine Japanese planes shot down. He also took some remarkable photos. Postwar he tried many things, including freelance publishing, and he had the happy inspiration of reproducing his wartime diary just as he wrote the words in 1941-1942, making it the only first-person account that hasn’t been edited for publication. Hard to find but very much worth looking for.

By Robert T. Smith,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of A Flying Tiger's Diary

Daniel Ford Author Of Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942

From my list on the Flying Tigers.

Who am I?

I became enchanted with the Flying Tigers as an eighth-grader in 1945, and when our daughter needed a topic for her high-school history paper forty years later, I suggested the AVG. The books (including Olga Greenlaw’s) flooded into our house. Kate was a Harvard freshman the following year, her Chinese roommate gave me a rough vocabulary, and I flew to China and Burma to walk the ground and quiz the locals. In all the years since, I’ve never stopped learning about these men and their great moment in military history.

Daniel's book list on the Flying Tigers

Daniel Ford Why did Daniel love this book?

Charlie Bond was a career aviator and retired as a two-star general, so his account is discreet and clearly edited for publication. But he was more serious than most of the buccaneers who joined the American Volunteer Group; he paid attention to what was going on at headquarters high and low, and he had a keen eye for his fellow pilots. History professor Terry Anderson provided the background, and R. T. Smith some of the photographs.

By Charles R. Bond Jr., Terry H. Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Flying Tiger's Diary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

" Draws aside the curtain of mythology and shows the AVG members--pilots, mechanics, nurses, and Chennault himself--as recognizable humans with a full spectrum of virtues and faults. Yet, the glory remains undiminished . . . A Flying Tiger's Diary is highly readable and is wholeheartedly recommended."—Military Review

The Flying Tigers, under the leadership of Claire Chennault, fought legendary air battles in the skies over Burma and China. This journal of ace pilot Charles Bond, now in its fifth printing, vividly preserves his experiences in aerial combat against the Japanese, all recorded within twenty-four hours of the action. It also documents…


Book cover of The Lady and the Tigers: The story of the remarkable woman who served with the Flying Tigers in Burma and China, 1941-1942

Daniel Ford Author Of Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942

From my list on the Flying Tigers.

Who am I?

I became enchanted with the Flying Tigers as an eighth-grader in 1945, and when our daughter needed a topic for her high-school history paper forty years later, I suggested the AVG. The books (including Olga Greenlaw’s) flooded into our house. Kate was a Harvard freshman the following year, her Chinese roommate gave me a rough vocabulary, and I flew to China and Burma to walk the ground and quiz the locals. In all the years since, I’ve never stopped learning about these men and their great moment in military history.

Daniel's book list on the Flying Tigers

Daniel Ford Why did Daniel love this book?

The beguiling Olga married an aircraft salesman named Harvey Greenlaw (among others) and with him was hired by Chennault for his pick-up AVG headquarters. She became a combination den mother and sex symbol for the Tigers in Burma, where she was charged with keeping the group’s “war diary.” When the Greenlaws came home in the summer of 1942, Olga brought a copy with her, and from it and her personal diary wrote this wonderful account of her year with the AVG. As with R. T. Smith’s facsimile diary, her facts check out, and I relied on her book while writing my own. Later, with her heirs, I edited a slimmed-down version so it would be more widely available.

By Olga Greenlaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Olga Greenlaw kept the War Diary of the American Volunteer Group--the Flying Tigers--while those gallant mercenaries defended Burma and China from the Imperial Japanese Army during the opening months of the Pacific War. Returning to the United States in 1942, she wrote The Lady and the Tigers, which Leland Stowe hailed as "an authoritative, gutsy and true to life story of the AVG." Out of print for more than half a century, the book has now been brought up to date by Daniel Ford, author of the prize-winning history of the American Volunteer Group. What's more, Ford explains for the…


Book cover of "Tex" Hill: Flying Tiger

Iris Yang Author Of Wings of a Flying Tiger

From my list on ordinary people who became heroes in WWII.

Who am I?

As an author of a trilogy about the Flying Tigers (a group of American pilots who fought the Japanese valiantly in WWII in China), I love reading wartime stories, especially WWII. I was very shy and fearful when I was young. It was because of my shyness and fearfulness that I fell in love with wartime stories. I looked up to heroes. I admired their courage and spirits. I read books about those extraordinary people so that I could be inspired by them and hopefully learn from them. Where else can you find more heroic stories than in wartime? As a writer, I write what I love to read: heroic tales with touching love stories.

Iris' book list on ordinary people who became heroes in WWII

Iris Yang Why did Iris love this book?

This is a well-written book about one of America's most famous fighter aces, a Flying Tiger. Flying Tiger is an endearment for the American Volunteer Group—a group of American pilots who fought the Japanese in WWII in China and changed the course of Chinese history through unparalleled valor.

As an author of three historical novels about the Flying Tigers, I read almost all the books on this subject.“Tex” Hill: Flying Tiger touched me the most. It inspired me to write my novels. Danny Hardy, an American pilot, a Flying Tiger, was created because of my love and admiration for Tex Hill, a man of courage and integrity, a true American hero.

By David Lee Hill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

2003 new copy, hard bound in dust jacket, 6x9, 318 pages, numerous illustrations & maps, bibliography, index. dust jacket color art work by John Shaw. Born the son of missionary parents in Korea, David "Tex" Hill has become one of America's most famous and beloved fighter aces. "Tex" Hill: Flying Tiger recounts his intriguing early life, standout career, and non-stop adventures of all kinds. Tex's story is inescapably intertwined with those of Claire Chennault, the famed 'Flying Tigers', and the nation of China, and this book weaves all three fascinating storylines into a masterful tapestry, certain to entertain and educate.…


Book cover of Baa, Baa Black Sheep

Nishi Giefer Author Of The Captured

From my list on Twentieth Century POWs.

Who am I?

As a western mystery writer, rancher, veterinarian, wife, mother, farrier, horse trainer, gardener, seamstress, pilot, homeschooler, tractor jockey, and all-around hand, I conclude that every experience in life is grist for the mill leading to settings, scenery, plots, and character motivations.

Nishi's book list on Twentieth Century POWs

Nishi Giefer Why did Nishi love this book?

The copy I read came from my dad’s collection. It was signed by the author. I don’t know how Dad knew Pappy Boyington, but years ago when Dad and I were walking through a throng of people at Oshkosh, Pappy broke away from a conversation with two very attractive women to wave and call Dad by name. A teenager at the time, I stood in utter shock and amazement while my dad talked planes with a legend. Though the book covers Pappy’s exploits before, during, and after World War II, a large segment is devoted to his time in a Japanese prison camp. One of his fellow detainees was Louis Zamperini, famous Olympic miler. 

By Gregory “Pappy” Boyington,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Here, in his own words, is the true story of America's wildest flying hero, of his extraordinary heroism, and of his greatest battle of all—the fight to survive.

The World War II air war in the Pacific needed tough men like Colonel Pappy Boyington and his Black Sheep Squadron. The legendary Marine Corps officer and his bunch of misfits, outcasts, and daredevils gave new definition to “hell-raising”—on the ground and in the skies. 

Pappy himself was a living legend—he personally shot down twenty-eight Japanese planes, and won the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. He broke every rule…


Book cover of House to House: A Soldier's Memoir

Darin Pepple Author Of Dodgebomb: Outside the Wire in the Second Iraq War

From my list on the Iraq War without fake Hollywood nonsense.

Who am I?

Being an Iraq War veteran and former Army officer, I cringe at the prevailing Hollywood cliché that stereotypes everyone that served in Iraq as Special Forces with crazy PTSD or being some broken human being. It’s apparent that popular movies and books on this war were produced without any veteran input, usually done by authors completely unfamiliar with the military and this region. I wrote my book Dodgebomb to insert reality into the narrative—that most servicemembers were regular men and women who expertly fought jihadists, rebuilt this country, and tried to instill democratic self-determination while reconciling impossible political and strategic goals that muddled completing the job.

Darin's book list on the Iraq War without fake Hollywood nonsense

Darin Pepple Why did Darin love this book?

This visceral infantryman’s memoir of combat in Iraq gives authentic firsthand details of clearing houses of jihadists in street fighting operations. Brutally descriptive about tactics, engagements, casualties, and the enemy, this book details the more conventional side of the war compared to the unorthodox counter-insurgency campaigns that dominated most of the conflict. House to House resonated with me because it showed how modern war can still devolve into bitter, bloody, Stalingrad-style engagements despite the existence of high-technology wonder weapons that are supposed to sanitize and civilize warfare.

By David Bellavia, John Bruning,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE CLASSIC SOLDIER’S MEMOIR FROM MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT STAFF SERGEANT DAVID BELLAVIA

“A rare and gripping account of frontline combat.”—LTG (Ret.) H.R. McMaster, author of Dereliction of Duty

“They used to say that the real war will never get in the books. Here it does, stunningly.” —Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq and Making the Corps

“To read this book is to know intimately the daily grind and danger of men at war.”—Anthony Swofford, New York Times bestselling author of Jarhead

One of the great heroes of the Iraq War, Staff Sergeant David…


Book cover of Against All Odds: A True Story of Ultimate Courage and Survival in World War II

Daniel P. Bolger Author Of The Panzer Killers: The Untold Story of a Fighting General and His Spearhead Tank Division's Charge into the Third Reich

From my list on American combat leaders in World War II.

Who am I?

I’m a combat veteran and longtime soldier trying to figure out my own wartime experiences by learning about what others did. Soldiers may join up for mom and apple pie and the grand old flag. But they fight for each other, and they follow leaders they trust. I tried to be one of those solid combat leaders. Since I had never been under fire before that day came, I endeavored to learn from—and write about—the lives of others who led soldiers in war. I’m still reading and still writing about battlefield leadership.

Daniel's book list on American combat leaders in World War II

Daniel P. Bolger Why did Daniel love this book?

This book made me think—and rethink—what I thought I knew about battlefield heroism. Nobody “wins” the Medal of Honor, nor is it “awarded.” It is earned under fire, often at the cost of one’s life and always in the face of ferocious hostile resistance. What sort of men do such deeds? Alex Kershaw knows. In Against All Odds, Kershaw tells the interwoven stories of Maurice Britt, Michael Daly, Audie Murphy, and Keith Ware, all combat key leaders in the 3rd Infantry Division during World War II.

By Alex Kershaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*The instant New York Times bestseller*

The untold story of four of the most decorated soldiers of World War II—all Medal of Honor recipients—from the beaches of French Morocco to Hitler’s own mountaintop fortress, by the national bestselling author of The First Wave

“Pitch-perfect.”—The Wall Street Journal • “Riveting.”—World War II magazine • “Alex Kershaw is the master of putting the reader in the heat of the action.”—Martin Dugard

As the Allies raced to defeat Hitler, four men, all in the same unit, earned medal after medal for battlefield heroism. Maurice “Footsie” Britt, a former professional football player, became the…


Book cover of True to You

Who am I?

I’m a romance writer who moved around often as a child. Whenever I started a new school, I’d bring a book with me. Even now, I always run errands with a print book and my Kindle as I’m a writer, wife, and mother of four. Two of my children have medical conditions, and I’ve spent time in various doctor and hospital waiting rooms. I’ve taken books into MRI booths where I’d read while my daughter underwent an MRI. I gravitate toward emotional romances that keep me entertained while possessing a thread of humor or something unique about them so I can lose myself in their world anytime, anywhere. 

Tanya's book list on books to read anywhere, anytime (especially while waiting for your child, your parent, the person ahead of you in line)

Tanya Agler Why did Tanya love this book?

I love books featuring strong chemistry between the two leads, and Nora and John’s chemistry leapt off the page. I also love series that have a strong family connection, and this is the first in a series with three sisters.

John enlists Nora’s help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and this inspirational romance pulled on my heartstrings. I loved John, especially as he was the type of hero who was silent and impactful. The book was well-written and had enough scenes revolving around food to make me hungry. John and Nora’s story stayed with me long after I finished turning the last page. 


By Becky Wade,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2018 Christy Award Book of the Year

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the…


Book cover of Saving Sycamore: The School Shooting That Never Happened

Peter Langman Author Of Warning Signs: Identifying School Shooters Before They Strike

From my list on how we can prevent school shootings.

Who am I?

I never wanted to study mass murder or violence of any kind. I was doing my internship for my Ph.D. in counseling psychology at a psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents when the attack at Columbine High School occurred. Within ten days of that attack, a 16-year-old boy was admitted to the hospital because he was viewed as a Columbine-type risk. I was assigned to conduct a psychological evaluation of him. Then another potential school shooter was admitted. And another. Seeking insight into this population and learning how to recognize the warning signs and prevent impending attacks has become my life’s work.

Peter's book list on how we can prevent school shootings

Peter Langman Why did Peter love this book?

This book is the remarkable story of a remarkable woman whose compassion for her students preventing a school massacre.

Unlike the other texts I’m recommending, this book will not tell you how to conduct threat assessments. It is an inspirational story that demonstrates the power of love and interpersonal connections to make our schools safer.

The bottom line is that the more that our schools are places where children feel that at least one adult cares about them, the safer they will be. This book portrays the kind of compassion that can save lives. 

By Molly Bradley Hudgens,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Power of Faith, Hope, and Relationships

On September 28, 2016, school counselor Molly Hudgens was in her office at Sycamore Middle School when a fourteen-year-old armed with a semiautomatic handgun and an additional magazine of ammunition came to her in the counseling department. His plan was to kill people on campus. He told Hudgens she was the only person who could talk him out of it. After ninety minutes of talking with the young man, and ultimately praying on her knees with him, he relinquished the gun with no shots fired and no lives lost.

In this memoir, Hudgens…


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