The most recommended military fiction

Who picked these books? Meet our 917 experts.

917 authors created a book list connected to military fiction, and here are their favorite military fiction books.
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What type of military fiction book?


Speaker for the Dead

By Orson Scott Card,

Book cover of Speaker for the Dead

Mark Landau Author Of The Miracle Revolution

From the list on fantasy/sci-fi saving, ending, and starting worlds.

Who am I?

Mark Landau has an MA in Linguistics and is an ordained Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Counselor. He has written eight books on meditation, healing, evolution, politics, sex, fantasy and saving our world, one musical play, and many songs, poems, and essays. After devoting a lifetime to healing and awakening himself, others, and the world utilizing therapy, meditation, energy, and bodywork, 12-step programs, Rebirthing, Shamanic Journey, Soul Retrieval, DNA Activation, and esoteric Hindu, Vedic, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Hawaiian and Native-American practices, he began developing his own meditations and healing modalities. He does individual healing sessions utilizing six modalities, teaches three new, evolution-boosting meditations for our times and lives in Santa Fe. 

Mark's book list on fantasy/sci-fi saving, ending, and starting worlds

Why did Mark love this book?

And since Speaker for the Dead, number 2 in OSC’s Ender series and another Nebula and Hugo Award winner, is my favorite of all his books, I must include it as well. After the great, terrible war, Ender disappears and many years pass. A mysterious figure, the Speaker for the Dead, arises to reveal the souls and redeem those who have passed on. I very much related to someone who really could grok the life of one recently deceased and speak to the survivors in a way that clarified, resolved, revealed, and redeemed the deceased’s entire existence for them. And the whole new, recently discovered world with a new intelligent race of beings again pulled me and the Speaker right into it. More than with any other author, I felt I was right there living and experiencing what the characters were. And, of course, the dynamic question of what…

By Orson Scott Card,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Speaker for the Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'There aren't too many recent sf novels we can confidently call truly moral works, but Speaker for the Dead is one. It's a completely gripping story.' - The Toronto Star

'Achieves and delivers more than almost anything else within the science fiction genre, Ender's Game is a contemporary classic' - New York Times on Ender's Game


Ender Wiggin was once considered a great military leader, a saviour for mankind.
But now history judges his destruction of an alien race as monstrous rather than heroic.

In the…


By Janie Crouch,

Book cover of Cyclone

Eliza Renton Author Of Faithful

From the list on featuring heroes to snuggle with on a cold night.

Who am I?

I'm an English writer now living in the wilds of Tasmania, Australia. My love of books began at school. I devoured the classics and couldn’t wait to audition for the lead in the next school play. Both my father and brother were in the military and I saw firsthand their love and duty for country, and family often with great cost to their mental health and wellbeing. I write stories about heroes like them and the women who win their hearts. Love takes courage. 

Eliza's book list on featuring heroes to snuggle with on a cold night

Why did Eliza love this book?

Another first-in-series story that falls squarely into the protective romance category with fierce alpha heroes and the women who win their hearts.

I love these larger-than-life heroes and Ms. Crouch effortlessly makes them believable, especially when you want to escape everyday reality. Not recommended on a regular basis, but something we all want to do at times, on holiday, at the weekend or simply after a rough day at the office.

I love the way Zac patiently and carefully rebuilds his shaky relationship with Annie. Guess I really am a sucker for the hard, in this case, very muscular frame, and the gooey center living inside the man.

By Janie Crouch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

He’d protect her from any threat… But what if the biggest threat is him?

Doctor Anne Griffin is back in Oak Creek, Wyoming only because she has no other options. Here, she was always the shy, stuttering girl, invisible to everyone. 

Except Zac Mackay. The very reason she left in the first place.

Zac’s years in Special Forces taught him survival skills, and he’s created a company—Linear Tactical—to teach those skills to others, so they never have to live in fear.

Then why is Annie, the last person he’d ever want to hurt, afraid of him? 

Zac’s determined to wipe…

The Blade Itself

By Joe Abercrombie,

Book cover of The Blade Itself

M. J. Kuhn Author Of Among Thieves

From the list on where no one is 'the good guy'.

Who am I?

I love a book where the good guys are pure-hearted and the bad guys are evil, but there's something so fascinating about a story where the lines of good and evil blur and bend. I firmly believe that everyone is the hero in their own story… and everyone is the villain in at least one other person’s story. My Tales of Thamorr duology features multiple heists and hijinks, and every member of our crew has plans to betray their fellows. My goal in writing stories where no one is the ‘good guy’ is to create a reading experience where you want to root for everyone and no one at the same time.

M. J.'s book list on where no one is 'the good guy'

Why did M. J. love this book?

In my opinion, any discussion of morally gray books and morally gray heroes is incomplete without the Lord of Grimdark himself, Joe Abercrombie.

The Blade Itself is the first book in the First Law trilogy. The story follows several points of view, including a murderous north man, a pompous soldier, and, my personal favorite, a snarky torturer. If you’re looking for a story where knights in shining armor win the day and the bad guy gets his just desserts, this isn’t the series for you.

But if you want characters so real they feel like they could walk right out of the page, expertly-paced action, and complex political machinations, check these books out! 

By Joe Abercrombie,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Blade Itself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.

Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain, shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

And Logen Ninefingers, an infamous warrior…

The Iliad

By Homer, Gareth Hinds,

Book cover of The Iliad

Martin Van Creveld Author Of The Privileged Sex

From the list on on war, full stop.

Who am I?

As a professor emeritus of history at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, over the years I’ve been widely mentioned as one of the world’s foremost experts on military theory and history. On these and other topics I have written 34 books, which between them have been published in 19 languages. I’ve also consulted with defense departments, taught and lectured all over the world, etc., etc.

Martin's book list on on war, full stop

Why did Martin love this book?

The Iliad is not a book on strategy. Nor on tactics, nor on logistics, nor on command and control, nor on any other individual aspect of warfare about which any number of lesser authors have written. An epic poem, it provides an unparalleled panorama of men (and, playing a secondary yet crucially important role, a few women) at war: the hope, the despair, the fear, the elation, the kindness, the rage, the horror, the love and the sex (which both increases the horror and to some extent makes up for it). All intertwined, and all pulsating along with the human heart. Probably written down around 750 BCE, but making use of much older material, for almost three millennia now it has been regarded not just as a classic but as the greatest classic of all. Unquestionably it will continue doing so for millennia more. 

By Homer, Gareth Hinds,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a companion volume to his award-winning adaptation of The Odyssey, the incomparable graphic novelist Gareth Hinds masterfully adapts Homer’s classic wartime epic.

More than three thousand years ago, two armies faced each other in an epic battle that rewrote history and came to be known as the Trojan War. The Iliad, Homer's legendary account of this nine-year ordeal, is considered the greatest war story of all time and one of the most important works of Western literature. In this stunning graphic novel adaptation — a thoroughly researched and artfully rendered masterwork — renowned illustrator Gareth Hinds captures all the…


By Ellen Kushner,

Book cover of Swordspoint

David B. Coe Author Of The Chalice War: Stone

From the list on fantasy that made me say ‘wow!'.

Who am I?

I have been writing fantasy professionally for more than twenty-five years, and have published novels of epic fantasy, contemporary urban fantasy, supernatural thriller, and (as D.B. Jackson) historical fantasy. I have devoted my professional life to the genre because I love writing about magic and the people who wield it. I believe fantasy novels should thrill and intrigue, but also touch our emotions, and carry us through narratives with beautiful writing. That is what I try to do with my books, and that is what draws me to the novels I have listed here. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

David's book list on fantasy that made me say ‘wow!'

Why did David love this book?

Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint is a sort of Renaissance-era, alternate-world, urban fantasy.

Intriguing, right? Our hero, Richard St. Vier, is a skilled and successful sword-for-hire, who plies his trade in the city of Riverside, where nobles often settle their feuds with duels.

In the course of the novel, he kills the wrong man and for the first time in his professional life, finds himself reviled rather than revered. The intrigue that follows draws Richard and his lover, Alec, into the court politics of the city as never before.

The story is riveting, and, of course, the writing is gorgeous.

By Ellen Kushner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. Even the nobles on the Hill turn to duels to settle their disputes. Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless- until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead a of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye . . .

Moon Brow

By Shahriar Mandanipour, Sara Khalili (translator),

Book cover of Moon Brow

Geoffrey Fox Author Of Rabble! A Story of the Paris Commune

From the list on fiction on revolutionary social change.

Who am I?

Chicago-born and now living in Spain, I was a community organizer in South America and the US before earning a PhD in sociology and becoming a college professor and author. I’ve written five nonfiction books and articles for publications including The New York Times, The Nation, Counterpunch, etc. Of my collection of short stories, Welcome to My Contri, the NY Times Book Review said that it “leaves us aware that we are in the presence of a formidable new writer.” In Rabble! I’ve called on my organizing experience as well as analysis and fiction to bring to life the actors in the first worker-run, self-governing society in the modern world.

Geoffrey's book list on fiction on revolutionary social change

Why did Geoffrey love this book?

Moon Brow describes the social tensions between ideals of freedom, religion, and authoritarianism that provoked Iran’s 1978 revolution, but only increased under Islamic rule. Amir, a formerly rich, wild playboy, flogged by the morality police after a drunken orgy, joins the army to escape shame and find meaning for his life in the brutal and futile 10-year war against Iraq. Commanding artillery in the borderland, he encounters the mysterious, sprite-like woman he calls “Moon Brow,” who, after an Iraqi shell maims him, becomes a magical force in his PTSD hallucinations. Her true identity will come as a rebuke for his comparatively pointless existence, while his sister’s spurning of her rich, pretentious suitor will be another rebuke, of his machismo. A brilliant evocation of the illusions that sustain violence.

By Shahriar Mandanipour, Sara Khalili (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From “one of Iran's most important living fiction writers” (The Guardian) comes a fantastically imaginative story of love and war narrated by two angel scribes perched on the shoulders of a shell-shocked Iranian soldier who’s searching for the mysterious woman haunting his dreams.

Before he enlisted as a soldier in the Iran–Iraq War and disappeared, Amir Yamini was a carefree playboy whose only concerns were seducing women and riling his religious family. Five years later, his mother and sister Reyhaneh find him in a mental hospital for shell-shocked soldiers, his left arm and most of his memory lost. Amir is…

Battle of Wits

By Stephen Budiansky,

Book cover of Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II

Mark Ciampa Author Of Security Awareness: Applying Practical Security in Your World

From the list on how to break things (encryption, passwords, etc.).

Who am I?

I have had the opportunity to write (I have written over 30 college textbooks on technology, most of them in the area of cybersecurity), study (my PhD dissertation was on cybersecurity), teach (I have taught at colleges and universities my entire career about technology, networking, and cybersecurity), and research (I have published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles) on the topic of cybersecurity. But I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the average computer user who struggles with how to protect their technology devices. This has helped drive my passion to focus on practical cybersecurity for everyone.

Mark's book list on how to break things (encryption, passwords, etc.)

Why did Mark love this book?

It is hard to underestimate the significance of code breaking during World War II. Without the work of dedicated mathematicians, linguists, and others the great conflicts such as the Battle of Midway and the German U-boat "wolfpacks" that sank over 13 million tons of Allied supplies could have easily been up for grabs. But due to the codebreakers the balance shifted to the Allies. And what is even equally impressive is that the Axis powers never knew that their encoded messages were being read. Stephen Budiansky traces how the codebreakers pulled off this feat while at the same time often battling within their own ranks about who should decode the message, how the messages should be used, and who should get the credit.

By Stephen Budiansky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Drawing from newly declassified documents, the author chronicles the story of codebreaking during the last world war, from cat-and-mouse games with Nazi U-boats to the invasion of Normandy.

Battle Song

By Ian Ross,

Book cover of Battle Song

Matthew Harffy Author Of A Day of Reckoning

From Matthew's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Rock star Writer Cowboy Viking Podcaster

Matthew's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Matthew love this book?

I loved how this book captured the feeling of what life must have been like in the Middle Ages.

What separates mediocre historical fiction from great historical fiction is a true sense of authenticity, and Battle Song has that in spades. The characters are deep and engaging, but their outlook on the world is not modern.

Surrounded by casual violence, and pervasive religious and racial bigotry, the hero, Adam de Norton has to navigate his way along a dangerous path from lowly squire at tournaments across Europe to a knight in battle in a bloody uprising on British soil in the book’s epic conclusion. I can’t wait for the sequel!

By Ian Ross,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A very promising historical adventure' - THE TIMES

'A terrific novel' - HISTORIA MAGAZINE


'There is a fury in England that none shall suppress - and when it breaks forth it will shake the throne'


Storm clouds are gathering as Simon de Montfort and the barons of the realm challenge the power of Henry III. The barons demand reform; the crown demands obedience. England is on the brink of civil war.

Adam de Norton, a young squire devoted to the virtues of chivalry, longs only to be knighted, and to win back his father's lands. Then a bloody…

Book cover of The Plot Against America: A Novel

Keith Madsen Author Of The Bridles of Armageddon

From the list on fiction about insurrection and threat to democracy.

Who am I?

I was raised in Kansas, a conservative, Republican state. My parents were conservative Republicans. We went to a fundamentalist church, where the minister preached about Revelation and warned against the dangers of “humanism”. He said the Bible predicted an end time where God would violently destroy the evil world. I have grown away from such ideas, but I understand the cultural milieu out of which such Christian extremism comes. Fortunately, I also learned from my parents the values of honesty and love for all people. Those values call me to look at today’s right-wing authoritarianism, and to find the hope that will lead us to something better. 

Keith's book list on fiction about insurrection and threat to democracy

Why did Keith love this book?

Recent authoritarian trends and attempts to re-establish white supremacy are not new in America.

In this novel, Philip Roth envisions an alternate history where Charles Lindbergh has defeated Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940 Presidential election. He then proceeds to collude with Adolph Hitler and seeks to establish anti-Semitism throughout the country.

The novel is based on the actual attitudes which Lindbergh had toward Jews and other minorities. Of course, this is not truly an insurrection. Still, it is a portrayal of how extreme right-wing attitudes can seek to rob people of our hard-won democracy.

I was raised with a deep respect for freedom for all people in this country. My family had several Jewish friends and we loved and learned from them.

By Philip Roth,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Plot Against America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'He captures better than anyone the collision of public and private, the intrusion of history into the skin, the pores of every individual alive' Guardian

'Though on the morning after the election disbelief prevailed, especially among the pollsters, by the next everybody seemed to understand everything...'

When celebrity aviator, Charles A. Lindbergh, wins the 1940 presidential election on the slogan of 'America First', fear invades every Jewish household. Not only has Lindbergh blamed the Jews for pushing America towards war with Germany, he has negotiated an 'understanding' with the Nazis promising peace between the two nations.

Growing up in the…

The Longest Echo

By Eoin Dempsey,

Book cover of The Longest Echo

JuliAnne Sisung Author Of Curse of the Damselfly

From the list on unconventional, courageous women.

Who am I?

When I was a child, my mother and I shared and discussed Zane Grey books. I loved his portrayal of the past and read every one. My obsession with historical fiction grew, and I wrote my first draft of Elephant in the Room at age sixteen. I’m stuck in the period between 1875 and 1940 because of the simplicity driving life as well as the complexity of larger events changing the world. Wilder, Steinbeck, Twain, all picked me off my feet and set me down in their shoes. I’m not able to remove them. I write about courageous women because we are, whether it’s expressed or is in waiting.  

JuliAnne's book list on unconventional, courageous women

Why did JuliAnne love this book?

Set in Italy during WWII, Liliana Nicoletti becomes involved in the partisan cause to save her country from the Germans. When her family encounters an escaped POW, she learns what it means to fight the Fascists who are destroying her community and joins the resistance.  

Her mother and sisters shot, mud and blood streaming over her face, she picks up the rifle she hadn’t used in years and vows to find her father. Realistic and horrific, the first half of the tale paints a picture of courage beyond what we imagine possible and of relationships formed from the tangled threads of love and need. After the war, angst mixes with hope as Liliana and James search for the men who slaughtered innocent people. Is justice or revenge driving her?

The author drew me into the story with vivid details and kept me on the edge of my seat with twists and turns. I cared…

By Eoin Dempsey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Against the backdrop of WWII-ravaged Italy comes a powerful and emotional novel of love, survival, justice, and second chances by the bestselling author of White Rose, Black Forest.

Occupied Italy, 1944. In the mountain regions south of Bologna, Liliana Nicoletti's family finds escaped POW James Foley behind German lines. Committed to the anti-Fascist cause, they deliver him to a powerful band of local partisans. But when the SS launches a brutal attack against the Resistance, Liliana's peaceful community is destroyed. Alone and thrown together by tragedy, James and Liliana fight together as Monte Sole burns. Forging an unbreakable bond, they…

The Covenant

By James A. Michener,

Book cover of The Covenant

Neville Sherriff Author Of Wings of Gold

From the list on making history come alive through storytelling.

Who am I?

Since a tender age I’ve been fascinated by history and the people who dwelled in and shaped those times. My first two writing awards – at 8 and 12 years of age – were for stories with historical settings. I devoured novels dealing with the past, walked the pages with characters who showed me a life and time of romance and danger and enormous challenge. Every piece of history I research drives me to create characters in my mind, to see how they would fare in those circumstances. Once they become alive to me, they use that background to write their own story. It's especially the lesser-known or “smaller” parts of history that intrigue me.

Neville's book list on making history come alive through storytelling

Why did Neville love this book?

Because it is about my own, complex country, South Africa, The Covenant is of special interest to me. Michener uses an array of characters from the various population groups to carry the story forward from prehistoric times to the turbulent 1970s, illustrating via storytelling the interaction and conflicts between these groups.

The novel received some criticism for inaccuracies, but I felt it did a sterling job of giving non-South Africans a greater understanding of South Africa and its problems, which remain prevalent to this day. An array of characters ranging from scoundrels to adventurers made this possible, taking us on this journey through history, exposing the reader to an understanding of the daunting ruggedness, beauty, and physical challenges which shaped the formation of this country.

By James A. Michener,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

James A. Michener’s masterly chronicle of South Africa is an epic tale of adventurers, scoundrels, and ministers, the best and worst of two continents who carve an empire out of a vast wilderness. From the Java-born Van Doorn family tree springs two great branches: one nurtures lush vineyards, the other settles the interior to become the first Trekboers and Afrikaners. The Nxumalos, inhabitants of a peaceful village unchanged for centuries, unite warrior tribes into the powerful Zulu nation. And the wealthy Saltwoods are missionaries and settlers who join the masses to influence the wars and politics that ravage a nation.…

Lily's Crossing

By Patricia Reilly Giff,

Book cover of Lily's Crossing

Charlotte Herman Author Of My Chocolate Year: A Novel with 12 Recipes

From the list on for children on WW2 at home and across the ocean.

Who am I?

I grew up on Chicago’s home front during WW2. President Roosevelt wanted everyone—adults and children—to do their part for the war effort. So we neighborhood kids formed a Victory club, where we marched around singing, “Let’s Remember Pearl Harbor,” and other patriotic songs. And though we had fun, we understood the meaning of the gold stars in the windows, and knew that terrible things were happening on the other side of the world. There are so many wonderful books set during this time period, and I can never read enough of them. These books, along with my memories, are what inspire me to write historical fiction of my own.

Charlotte's book list on for children on WW2 at home and across the ocean

Why did Charlotte love this book?

This is one of my all-time favorite children’s WW2 books set on America’s home front. The year is 1944, and Lily is off to spend another magical summer in Rockaway. The beach and the boardwalk, the swimming and fishing, and her friend Margaret are waiting. But the summer soon begins to fall apart. Margaret and her family are leaving for a town in Michigan where her father has a job in a wartime factory. And her own father reveals that he is about to work as an engineer for the army somewhere in Europe.

Loneliness sets in until Lily meets an orphaned boy named Albert, a Hungarian refugee who is spending the summer with relatives. Albert’s parents have been taken by the Nazis, and his sister, Ruth, is left behind in France. Lily and Albert have much to learn from each other, and much to share. This book tells a…

By Patricia Reilly Giff,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Lily's Crossing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This “brilliantly told” (New York Times) Newbery Honor Book gives readers a sense of what it was like to be on the American home front while our soldiers were away fighting in World War II.
As in past years, Lily will spend the summer in Rockaway, in her family’s summer house by the Atlantic Ocean. But this summer of 1944, World War II has changed everyone’s life. Lily’s best friend, Margaret, has moved to a wartime factory town, and, much worse, Lily’s father is going overseas to the war.
There’s no one Lily’s age in Rockaway until the arrival of…

A Long Petal of the Sea

By Isabel Allende, Nick Caistor (translator), Amanda Hopkinson (translator)

Book cover of A Long Petal of the Sea

Cinda Crabbe MacKinnon Author Of A Place in the World

From the list on multicultural stories set in exotic lands.

Who am I?

I grew up in Latin America (& briefly in Europe) and my connections and regard for the people, culture, and natural setting resulted in my novel, A Place in the World. I have lived in six countries and appreciate the experiences. I love languages and history and like to travel, at least vicariously with a good book. I hope you enjoy my book picks as much as I have! I am a writer, former university lecturer, and environmental scientist, with an MS in geology and a passion for botany. This background enabled me to weave aspects of natural science, as well as Latino culture, into my writing.

Cinda's book list on multicultural stories set in exotic lands

Why did Cinda love this book?

This story starts in Spain’s Civil War but immigrates to Chile. I have two reasons to be attracted to this book. First I grew up in South America and so am drawn to this setting, but second I had a writing mentor who was a small boy during the Franco regime. (I published his story in my blog.)

An exodus of thousands of Spaniards escaped into France and Cristian Zozaya was separated from his parents for years until they were able to immigrate to South America. His story echoes the beginning of Allende’s, except hers is about adult refugees in a marriage of convenience. The protagonists face trials in Chile with yet another dictatorship, but the ending is pleasing.

By Isabel Allende, Nick Caistor (translator), Amanda Hopkinson (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Long Petal of the Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_______________ THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER _______________ 'A powerful love story spanning generations... Full of ambition and humanity' - Sunday Times 'One of the strongest and most affecting works in Allende's long career' - New York Times Book Review _______________ On September 3, 1939, the day of the Spanish exiles' splendid arrival in Chile, the Second World War broke out in Europe. Victor Dalmau is a young doctor when he is caught up in the Spanish Civil War, a tragedy that leaves his life - and the fate of his country - forever changed. Together with…

The Time of the Doves

By Mercè Rodoreda, David H. Rosenthal (translator),

Book cover of The Time of the Doves

Jenny Jaeckel Author Of Boy, Falling

From the list on historical fiction by diverse women.

Who am I?

I am an award-winning author and illustrator who works in a variety of genres, including Historical Fiction. When historical fiction is well done it conveys times and events as they were lived and breathed by real people. Historical fiction by diverse women tells the stories of those consistently left out of the “historical record.” Human life is rich and diverse, and the stories belong to all of us, not just those who have historically had the power to control the cultural narratives. As a writer and student of history, it has been my pleasure to explore characters that are not often represented, characters that are ordinary for their times, and extraordinary as well. 

Jenny's book list on historical fiction by diverse women

Why did Jenny love this book?

The Time of the Doves is one of my favorite books of all time for its intimacy, immediacy, and unusual descriptive power. Natalia, a young woman living in Barcelona around the time of the Spanish Civil war, paints for the reader a vivid and seamless picture of her life from the inside out—her loves and losses, survival, the confusion of a world broken by chaos and violence and put back together again by perseverance and tenderness. A short but unforgettable read that I return to again and again.

By Mercè Rodoreda, David H. Rosenthal (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Time of the Doves - by Mercè Rodoreda - is the powerfully written story of a naïve shop-tender during the Spanish Civil War and beyond, is a rare and moving portrait of a simple soul confronting and surviving a convulsive period in history. The book has been widely translated, and was made into a film.

The Drifter

By Nick Petrie,

Book cover of The Drifter

Cam Torrens Author Of Stable: Someone is Taking Them...

From the list on suspense about veterans solving problems as civilians.

Who am I?

When I retired from the service, I wanted to be done with big decisions and just focus on family. I’d had enough war-zone drama. I’m drawn to stories where the veteran finds he/she just can’t do that. My protagonist in my debut, Stable deals with this. He’s overcome so much…the loss of his son, the loss of an aircrew, and years of depression. Now that he’s “back,” he just wants to lead a normal life. I wanted to show you can pull the veteran from the battlefield, but it’s hard to quell his or her desire to continue to serve—and the inherent conflict of service before self or family remains.

Cam's book list on suspense about veterans solving problems as civilians

Why did Cam love this book?

I highly recommend Nick Petrie's The Drifter and his follow-on books in the series.

The protagonist, Peter Ash, struggles with the debilitating effects of PTSD. Despite his desire to escape from society, he finds himself drawn back into it after the suicide of a fellow Marine. As he helps the man's widow with home repairs, Ash stumbles upon a shocking discovery that thrusts him back into a society filled with deceit and intrigue.

What makes this novel stand out is Petrie's sensitive and deep portrayal of Ash's struggle with PTSD. Ash's experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan have left him haunted by memories and struggling to adjust to civilian life. His white static, which he describes as a buzzing claustrophobia, is a constant reminder of the trauma he's endured.

But, as the reader will discover, Ash is a remarkably resilient character who is determined to do what's right—regardless of his personal…

By Nick Petrie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first explosive thriller featuring Peter Ash, a veteran who finds that the demons of war aren’t easily left behind...

“Lots of characters get compared to my own Jack Reacher, but Petrie’s Peter Ash is the real deal.”—Lee Child

Peter Ash came home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with only one souvenir: what he calls his “white static,” the buzzing claustrophobia due to post-traumatic stress that has driven him to spend a year roaming in nature, sleeping under the stars.

But when a friend from the Marines commits suicide, Ash returns to civilization to help the man’s widow…

For Whom the Bell Tolls

By Ernest Hemingway,

Book cover of For Whom the Bell Tolls

Paul Stuart Kemp Author Of Pharaoh

From Paul's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Writer Tattooist

Paul's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Paul love this book?

I loved the way Hemingway is able to describe scenes, characters, and emotions so effortlessly.

It is quite an old book now, so this has to be taken into account when reading it in a modern context, but as a writer I found it an amazing read which is why I bought it in the first place. It is the mark of a superlative writer when you find yourself engrossed in the story when you started out trying to dissect his prose and figure out just why he was so damned good.

Page after page of wonderful descriptions keep it fresh and visually attractive, where very real and very different characters drive the story forward.

By Ernest Hemingway,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked For Whom the Bell Tolls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by his experiences as a reporter during the Spanish Civil War, Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls tells the story of Robert Jordan, an American volunteer in the International Brigades fighting to defend the Spanish Republic against Franco. After being ordered to work with guerrilla fighters to destroy a bridge, Jordan finds himself falling in love with a young Spanish woman and clashing with the guerrilla leader over the risks of their mission.

One of the great novels of the twentieth century, For Whom the Bell Tolls was first published in 1940. It powerfully explores the brutality of…

Starship Troopers

By Robert A. Heinlein,

Book cover of Starship Troopers

Travis I. Sivart Author Of Silver & Smith and the Jazeer's Light

From the list on sci-fi that explode the concept of reality.

Who am I?

I’ve always believed a story should be world changing and epic on some level. Perhaps on a personal level, perhaps in the actual sense of world changing. Whether it’s for my readers of a short story, the players in a tabletop role playing game I’m running, or the arc of a novel. Some of these books help form that idea, and others supported it later in my life. I love it when a tale shakes my world—in addition to the world of the characters—and makes me question what I believe. With a doctorate in metaphysics and a love of fantasy and sci-fi, I’m always looking for ways to shake up my worldview!

Travis' book list on sci-fi that explode the concept of reality

Why did Travis love this book?

If you’ve seen the movie, then you’re familiar with about four chapters from what is a pretty short, concise book. The book does have the bugs and the war, but it also has so much more. This was one of the books I read when young that opened my eyes about the constant struggle of the Individual vs. Society, and how neither is correct. This exploded my concept of reality on a socio-political level, and has left me questioning everything since then.

By Robert A. Heinlein,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Starship Troopers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The historians can't seem to settle whether to call this one 'The Third Space War' (or the fourth), or whether 'The First Interstellar War' fits it better. We just call it 'The Bug War'. Everything up to then and still later were 'incidents', 'patrols' or 'police actions'. However, you are just as dead if you buy the farm in an 'incident' as you are if you buy it in a declared war.'

5,000 years in the future, humanity faces total extermination. Our one defence: highly-trained soldiers who scour the metal-strewn blackness of space to hunt down a terrifying enemy: an…

The War Nerd Iliad

By Homer, John Dolan,

Book cover of The War Nerd Iliad

Philip Matyszak Author Of Hercules: The First Superhero

From the list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans.

Who am I?

They say true happiness is finding something you love, and getting paid to do it, which makes me one happy bunny. Ancient history has been my passion, my hobby and my job for the past three decades, and I still wake up every morning looking forward to another day of it. Thanks to the internet I can study the classics and still hike in the mountains and kayak the mountain lakes of my corner of British Columbia. It doesn't get better than this.

Philip's book list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans

Why did Philip love this book?

Don't look for some high-brow version full of pseudo-Shakespearean language. Homer's story is a blood-and-guts tale (literally) of hard-bitten heroes, feuding among spiteful gods and bombastic military commanders. Try John Dolan's version from Feral house publishing, deliberately written as he imagined the story was first told – by soldiers sitting around a campfire exchanging yarns.

By Homer, John Dolan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

We recognize the names: Achilles, Odysseus, Zeus, and Apollo. We're taught that The Iliad is a foundational text of civilization. But who has really read the text? Until now, The Iliad was hijacked by academics and used to bludgeon schoolchildren as a boring-yet- mandatory reading.

Poet, novelist, essayist, and former teacher John Dolan revisits this ancient tale and restores it to its ancient glory. The Greeks and Trojans are still fighting. The gods are still interfering. But in Dolan's version, you'll be amazed at how funny, raw, and terrifying this doomed world of war really is. He strips away clunky,…

In the Likely Event

By Rebecca Yarros,

Book cover of In the Likely Event

Dianna Dorisi Winget Author Of A Country Kind of Love: A Huckleberry Ridge Romance

From Dianna's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Reader Dog Lover Hiker Hot tub connoisseur

Dianna's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Dianna love this book?

I write contemporary romance, so I’m always looking for great examples to model my stories after, and In the Likely Event is one of those “WOW” books that I ended up enjoying even more than I expected.

It’s about a young couple, Izzy and Nate, who first meet when the airplane they’re on ends up crashing only a few minutes after takeoff. Even though they ultimately go their separate ways, they never forget one another. Izzy goes into politics, and Nate ends up in the military.

Fifteen years later, they meet again in Afghanistan, right during the crazy, chaotic U.S. withdrawal. This is a love story full of suspense, heartbreak, and joy. It really kept me on the edge of my seat… right up to the wonderful, swoon-worthy ending. 

By Rebecca Yarros,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the instant New York Times bestselling author of Fourth Wing, Rebecca Yarros, comes a sweeping romance about the sustained power of chance encounters.

When Izzy Astor gets on a plane to go home, she isn’t expecting much. It’s the usual holiday travel experience: busy, crowded, stressful.

Then she spots her seatmate, who is anything but ordinary. Nate Phelan sports dark hair, blue eyes, and a deliciously rugged charm that Izzy can’t resist. Their connection is undeniable. Izzy never believed in destiny before, but she does now.

Just ninety seconds after takeoff, their plane goes down in the Missouri River.…

The Seventh Cross

By Anna Seghers,

Book cover of The Seventh Cross

Jay Geller Author Of The Scholems: A Story of the German-Jewish Bourgeoisie from Emancipation to Destruction

From the list on Nazi German and the Holocaust.

Who am I?

Jay Geller is a professor of history and Judaic studies and has published five books on the experience of the Jews in twentieth-century Germany. He has worked with secondary school teachers, religious communities, and museums to develop programs on the Holocaust, Nazism, and dangers of intolerance and radicalism. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale University.

Jay's book list on Nazi German and the Holocaust

Why did Jay love this book?

There are very few German novels about Nazi persecution written at the time it was taking place, but the Seventh Cross by Anna Seghers is among the very best. (Another is The Oppermanns by Lion Feuchtwanger, which shows the experience of a single, affluent German-Jewish family.) Seghers narrates the story of George Heisler, a communist who escapes from a concentration camp along with six other men. Can he reach freedom across the border before the manhunt catches up with him? Will anyone hide him or help him in a society wracked by fear, where friends no longer meet and strangers do not trust each other?

By Anna Seghers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'At once a suspenseful manhunt story and a knowing portrait of the perils of ordinary life in Hitler's Germany, The Seventh Cross is not only an important novel, but an important historical document. This new, unabridged translation is a genuine publishing event' - Joseph Kanon, author of 'The Good German' and 'Leaving Berlin'

'A masterpiece. Written in the midst of terror, but with such clarity, such acuity; Seghers is a writer of rare insight' RACHEL SEIFFERT author of A Boy in Winter

Seven prisoners escape from Westhofen concentration camp. Seven crosses are erected in the grounds and the commandant vows…