100 books like Yesterday's Soldier

By Tom Keating,

Here are 100 books that Yesterday's Soldier fans have personally recommended if you like Yesterday's Soldier. 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 The Things They Carried

Ryan A. Kovacs Author Of Create Destruction: Phase I

From my list on human choice & consequence.

Who am I?

I firmly live by the saying, “Where we are in life is a direct reflection of the choices we’ve made, or failed to make.” The theme of choice and consequence has not just been a way of living but the very trope in all my novels. The beauty in showing the process of making a choice, for my characters, in their stories, brings them to life. It forces the reader to step inside that decision tree, to analyze and predict the outcome despite the unknown. We are continuously propelled into the unknown and we make choices based on the notion of understanding what those choices will mean.

Ryan's book list on human choice & consequence

Ryan A. Kovacs Why did Ryan love this book?

Singlehandedly one of the greatest fictional books about war, Tim finds clever ways of imbuing readers with captivating characters.

Each short story gives insight into a war still misunderstood to this day.

As a veteran, I identify with the curious war stories and the unique character attributes displayed throughout them.

While cynical and the fictitious content questioned, The Things They Carried carries the weight of war and its lasting effects. 

By Tim O'Brien,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked The Things They Carried as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The million-copy bestseller, which is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling.

'The Things They Carried' is, on its surface, a sequence of award-winning stories about the madness of the Vietnam War; at the same time it has the cumulative power and unity of a novel, with recurring characters and interwoven strands of plot and theme.

But while Vietnam is central to 'The Things They Carried', it is not simply a book about war. It is also a book about the human heart - about the terrible weight of those things we carry through…


Book cover of Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

Robert Stewart Author Of No Greater Duty

From my list on duty and courage in peace and war.

Who am I?

I have been fortunate to write and publish three books on America’s service academies: two on the U.S. Naval Academy, and one on the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The two nonfiction books were appealing photographic and narrative presentations of academy life at Navy and West Point. The third, my debut novel happening at the Naval Academy, is an inspiring tale of moral courage and dedication to duty with war and peacetime conflicts. Each book was a rewarding creative project.

Robert's book list on duty and courage in peace and war

Robert Stewart Why did Robert love this book?

Matterhorn is one of the most memorable works of realistic fiction written about The Vietnam War. The author and a Marine infantry officer, decorated for valor during combat several times in duty tours in Vietnam, presents a striking story about the true nature of warfare. The Marines of Bravo Company with whom his protagonist serves present the sheer toil, strength of character, the cost of lost and wounded brothers, unique personalities, moments of weakness and courage, laughter and sadness, brothers-in-arms’ trust, and the will to literally survive until the battle ends and the next one begins. Matterhorn inspired me while I wrote my debut military novel.

By Karl Marlantes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fire Support Base Matterhorn: a fortress carved out of the grey-green mountain jungle. Cold monsoon clouds wreath its mile-high summit, concealing a battery of 105-mm howitzers surrounded by deep bunkers, carefully constructed fields of fire and the 180 marines of Bravo Company. Just three kilometres from Laos and two from North Vietnam, there is no more isolated outpost of America's increasingly desperate war in Vietnam.

Second Lieutenant Waino Mellas, 21 years old and just a few days into his 13-month tour, has barely arrived at Matterhorn before Bravo Company is ordered to abandon their mountain and sent deep in-country in…


Book cover of MP - A Novel of Vietnam

Larry L. Deibert Author Of Combat Boots dainty feet Finding Love In Vietnam

From my list on stories of Vietnam veterans.

Who am I?

My expertise with the topic is that I served for over 22 months in the army, where I learned many things people do not learn in normal life. I belong to several Vietnam veteran organizations, and I am the first president of the Lehigh Northampton Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Larry's book list on stories of Vietnam veterans

Larry L. Deibert Why did Larry love this book?

I recommend this book because my author friend, John Schembra, and I served together in Vietnam. He drew on his experiences to write a wonderful novel about the Military Police in Long Binh/Bien Hoa during the Tet Offensive in 1968, The reader is taken back to that war with believable characters, historical settings, and a great plot. Reading his book helped me write my story, set during the actual time we were there. He helped teach me how to write.

By John R. Schembra,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked MP - A Novel of Vietnam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As Vincent Torelli stepped off the plane at Bien Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam, in June 1967, he was almost overwhelmed by the stench in the hot, humid air. Drafted into the armed forces five months earlier, he still can't comprehend how he ended up in this place, now a Military Policeman assigned to the 557th MP Co. at Long Binh Post just outside Bien Hoa City.

His year-long tour of duty in Vietnam changes him from a somewhat naïve young man to a battle-hardened veteran. Through unlucky chance, Vince becomes involved in the ferocious '68 Tet offensive, barely surviving…


Book cover of Letters From Long Binh: Memoirs Of A Military Policeman In Vietnam

Larry L. Deibert Author Of Combat Boots dainty feet Finding Love In Vietnam

From my list on stories of Vietnam veterans.

Who am I?

My expertise with the topic is that I served for over 22 months in the army, where I learned many things people do not learn in normal life. I belong to several Vietnam veteran organizations, and I am the first president of the Lehigh Northampton Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Larry's book list on stories of Vietnam veterans

Larry L. Deibert Why did Larry love this book?

Randy was a military policeman with the 615th MP Company in Vietnam in 1967, The 615th patrolled the entire Long Binh complex, which was approximately 50 miles around, with over 30,000 men stationed on the post. His letters offered the reader an honest appraisal of the life of a Military Policeman 10,000 miles from home.

By Randy Mixter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Letters From Long Binh as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I boarded the plane to Vietnam at exactly midnight on January 1st, 1967. I was a 19 year old soldier with pen and paper in hand.
I began to write.
“Letters from Long Binh gives the reader an honest appraisal of the everyday life of an MP in Vietnam. Sometimes poignant,sometimes humorous, but always gripping, the book is written with a deep sense of respect for his fellow brothers-in-arms in a war-torn country.”

Lou Fantauzzi - Vietnam 1966-67


Book cover of We Won’t Go: Personal Accounts of War Objectors

Patrick Parr Author Of One Week in America: The 1968 Notre Dame Literary Festival and a Changing Nation

From my list on America in 1968.

Who am I?

I’m a literary historian and I love reconstructing times in the past with enough factual detail that a reader feels as if they are there with the characters, side-by-side. I didn’t start this way. In fact, I wrote fiction for over a decade. It was only after writing eight atrocious, tension-less, now-in-a-box novels that I realized the books I enjoyed reading most were in the history and biography sections of a bookstore. Still, I was undeniably affected by my years in the trenches of fiction writing. As you may see from my choices, I love reading material from writers attempting to check the pulse of the country at that time. 

Patrick's book list on America in 1968

Patrick Parr Why did Patrick love this book?

We Won’t Go is a treasure trove of primary document material combined with personal accounts of regular American citizens objecting to the war in Vietnam. Instead of understanding the issue at a surface level, the stories Lynd collected help us understand the kind of arguments objectors had not just with the government, but also with each other. “If we try to avoid arrest,” wrote one conscientious objector, “or are content to let our friends be arrested instead of ourselves, we hand over to the government the key to deter everyone by jailing a few.” Whether you agree or not, Lynd’s book will give you a variety of perspectives on the issue, along with the actual ‘conscientious objector’ application.

By Alice Lynd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Won’t Go as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the back of the book: "We Won't Go is a collection of accounts by men confronted with the dilemma of conscience which military service poses. In addition to the accounts of these war registers, We Won't Go contains the full text of the Seeger decision, a copy of the application for conscientious objector status, a selection of documents related to war crimes, and a list of sources of information for those who are faced with the problem of the draft."


Book cover of Tom O' Vietnam

F. Scott Service Author Of Playing Soldier

From my list on emotional conflict and post-war survival.

Who am I?

Living through the Iraq War compelled me to honestly challenge who I was, what I had believed in, and reshape who I am. One aspect to emerge from that is the belief that there is no good war. War is the worst of all endeavors, born from fundamentally weak minds that are blind to imagination and vision. But while I have had a passion for writing about war and speaking out against it, I feel it’s important for people to look beyond my work as just another veteran writing just another war book. In both of my books, the war is a character more than anything else. 

F.'s book list on emotional conflict and post-war survival

F. Scott Service Why did F. love this book?

Never in my life have I read a book that so closely echoed my heart and mind as an Iraq War veteran, unsettled wayfarer, and conscientious objector. It was a true reflection of my soul as I was searching for meaning within my own life and a fractured America. 

By Baron Wormser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Baron Wormser has done something important with TOM O' VIETNAM in the way that he has identified and precisely embraced a stunningly particular historical moment we casually refer to as 'Viet Nam,' as if the name was not a country but a dark shroud of moral collapse that hangs over us still. More remarkably, he has constructed this narrative from the point of view of a combat soldier, fighting in the American War in Viet Nam. Somehow there is a deep legitimacy to this soldier's story because Wormser has been excruciatingly precise in his consideration and use of details—what Hemingway…


Book cover of The Rescue of Streetcar 304

Richard E. Diller Author Of Firefly: A Skyraider's Story About America's Secret War Over Laos

From my list on or by pilots in Vietnam who experienced combat.

Who am I?

I am well qualified to speak of the Vietnam aviation experience because these things happened during my formative years as a pilot, and I was on the “front lines” of seeing and experiencing much of it. In addition, I keep up-to-date with it via reunions and reading stories told by other pilots, and I have met Kenny Fields, George Marrett, and Leo Thorsness.

Richard's book list on or by pilots in Vietnam who experienced combat

Richard E. Diller Why did Richard love this book?

This is an exciting book by Kenny Fields, a navy pilot who was shot down on his first mission. He came down near a North Vietnamese division in southern Laos and was on the ground for about 50 hours before he was rescued. The story is told from the perspective of the survivor. The NVA and Viet Cong troops had recently participated in the siege of Khe Sanh, and were back in the (for them) sanctuary of Laos.

By Kenny Wayne Fields,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rescue of Streetcar 304 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On 31 May 1968, Lt. Kenny Fields catapulted off USS America in his A-7 for his first combat mission. His target was in Laos, which at the time was `officially' off limits for US attacks. What the planners did not know was that Fields and his wingman were en route to a massive concentration of AAA gun sites amidst an entire North Vietnamese division.

Fields, who used the call sign`Streetcar 304', was the first to roll in, and he destroyed his target with a direct hit. Three AAA guns began to fire, but, following his wingman, he rolled in again.…


Book cover of Dien Cai Dau

Doug Bradley Author Of We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War

From my list on the Vietnam War that strike a different note.

Who am I?

Until today’s multiple catastrophes, the Vietnam War was the most harrowing moment in the lives of my fellow baby boomers and me. Drafted into the U.S. Army in early 1970, I spent 365 days in Vietnam as a combat correspondent. That experience changed my life, because as the Argentinian writer Jose Narosky has pointed out, “in war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” I have spent the past five decades trying to heal those wounds, writing three books grounded in my Vietnam experience, and have devoted my life to listening to the voices of our veterans, distilling their memories (often music-based), and sharing their words. 

Doug's book list on the Vietnam War that strike a different note

Doug Bradley Why did Doug love this book?

“I think of language as our first music,” notes the celebrated poet Yusef Komunyakaa. His collection of Vietnam poems, Dien Cai Dau (Vietnamese for crazy) fuses images, sounds, and sights from Vietnam into a fearful, lyrical symmetry. Born James Brown in rural Bogalusa, Louisiana, he served in Vietnam as a correspondent and editor of The Southern Cross, the newspaper of the Army’s 23rd Infantry Division (Americal). “The Vietnamese knew what was happening in the American psyche when it came to race,” claims Komunyakaa, “and sometimes they expertly played on it.” The poem “Hanoi Hannah” in Dien Cai Dau is a perfect example of this: “Ray Charles!” His voice/ calls from waist-high grass/& we duck behind gray sandbags./ “Hello, Soul Brothers. Yeah,/Georgia’s also on my mind…Here’s Hannah again…"

“That gets your attention when you’re out in the middle of nowhere,” astutely observes Komunyakaa.

By Yusef Komunyakaa,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Poetry that precisely conjures images of the war in Vietnam by an award-winning author.


Book cover of The Ravens: The True Story Of A Secret War In Laos, Vietnam

Thomas R. Yarborough Author Of A Shau Valor: American Combat Operations in the Valley of Death, 1963-1971

From my list on the Vietnam War (from an Air Force combat pilot).

Who am I?

A decorated Air Force combat pilot, Tom Yarborough served two tours in Vietnam as a forward air controller. After leaving the Air Force he was a professor and department chair at Indiana University and history professor at Northern Virginia Community College. His writing background includes the books Da Nang Diary, winner of the Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal for the best memoir of 2014, and A Shau Valor, a finalist for the 2016 Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award.

Thomas' book list on the Vietnam War (from an Air Force combat pilot)

Thomas R. Yarborough Why did Thomas love this book?

The Ravens were young Air Force pilots, all volunteers, who flew tiny Cessna O-1 Bird Dog spotter planes through heavy groundfire to identify targets and call in air-strikes during the top-secret war in northern Laos. Their mission was so secret that they wore no uniforms and carried no identification. Fed up with the bureaucracy of the war in Vietnam, these young FACs accepted the 50% casualty rates of what was known as the Steve Canyon Program in return for a life of unrestricted flying and fighting. Devoted to the CIA-sponsored hill tribesmen they supported, the Ravens did their job with extraordinary skill and raw courage. This is their story, brilliantly told in Christopher Robbins. Based on extensive interviews with the survivors, it is a tale of undeniable heroism, blending real-life romance, adventure, and tragedy.

By Christopher Robbins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Drawing on materials that were, until recently, classified, this account depicts the intense air war fought over Laos and profiles the "Ravens," the pilots who risked their lives in this little-known field of war.


Book cover of Phase Line Green: The Battle for Hue, 1968

William W. Stilwagen Author Of VIETNAM War SPEAK: The Distinctive Language of the Vietnam Era

From my list on the Vietnam War from a Marone who served there.

Who am I?

I served in Vietnam in 1969 carrying a radio on my back with the 12th Marines on the DMZ. In 1970, I was a door gunner with HMM-364 (Purple Fox Squadron) out of Marble Mountain. Beginning in 1996, I have led 68 tours for veterans, their family members, historians, active-duty military personnel, and others to the jungles, mountains, and battlefields of Vietnam. I currently serve as president and bush guide for the non-profit tour company, Vietnam Battlefield Tours. As an avid reader of non-fiction books on the Vietnam experience, this knowledge base has helped tremendously in my non-profit volunteer service.

William's book list on the Vietnam War from a Marone who served there

William W. Stilwagen Why did William love this book?

It is rare when an actual participant of a battle can produce such a chilling and accurate narrative that keeps a reader’s attention page after page. This was the Tet Offensive urban battle for the Citadel, a walled city containing a labyrinth of buildings and houses jammed around numerous narrow streets. This was city fighting at its worst. In the end, many thousands of the enemy lay dead.

By Nicholas Warr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The bloody, month-long battle for the Citadel in Hue during 1968 pitted U.S. Marines against an entrenched, numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force. By official U.S. accounts it was a tactical and moral victory for the Marines and the United States. But a survivor's compulsion to square official accounts with his contrasting experience has produced an entirely different perspective of the battle, the most controversial to emerge from the Vietnam War in decades.

In some of the most frank, vivid prose to come out of the war, author Nicholas Warr describes with urgency and outrage the Marines' savage house-to-house fighting,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Vietnam, the Vietnam War, and South Vietnam?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Vietnam, the Vietnam War, and South Vietnam.

Vietnam Explore 146 books about Vietnam
The Vietnam War Explore 223 books about the Vietnam War
South Vietnam Explore 14 books about South Vietnam