The best books about Normandy 📚

Browse the best books on Normandy as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Battle Diary: From D-Day and Normandy to the Zuider Zee and VE

Battle Diary: From D-Day and Normandy to the Zuider Zee and VE

By Charles Cromwell Martin

Why this book?

On June 6, 1944, Charles (Charlie) Martin was twenty-four and one of the youngest Company Sergeant Majors in the Queen’s Own Rifles. He was also one of the first Canadian soldiers to pile out of a landing craft onto Juno Beach in the face of heavy German machine-gun fire. From that day on the beach to when he was finally wounded for the first time on April 16, 1945, Martin was always at the forefront of the battle. While an excellent account of his combat experience, Martin also deeply examines the role of a Company Sergeant Major in leading and…

From the list:

The best books by Canadians on their World War 2 service

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Book cover of American Nightingale: The Story of Frances Slanger, Forgotten Heroine of Normandy

American Nightingale: The Story of Frances Slanger, Forgotten Heroine of Normandy

By Bob Welch

Why this book?

I confess to a passion for WW2 fiction and non-fiction, so this book was a no-brainer for me. Frances Slanger, a Polish Jew who immigrated and grew up in Boston, was the first nurse to due during the D-day invasion at Normandy. She left a legacy in writing that helps the author piece together her story and offer insight into what military nurses faced.

From the list:

The best books on wellbeing for nurses

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Book cover of Deadly Words

Deadly Words

By Jeanne Favret-Saada

Why this book?

A brilliant anthropological account of witchcraft in the Normandy countryside in the 1960s. If it sounds dull, believe me, it isn’t! Jeanne Favret-Saada started her study of magical beliefs among French farmers thinking that she might find some superstitious vestiges of the sort that were laughed at by Parisian intellectuals. Instead, she found a complex, shifting world of theories and suspicions, as gripping as any detective novel. As she was drawn into the world of witchcraft, Jeanne found herself believed to be able to lift curses and began to fear that she herself might have been bewitched.

Her book is…

From the list:

The best books on witchcraft in history

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Book cover of Armor

Armor

By John Steakley

Why this book?

While a lot of people look to Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers as the first book to tackle powered battle armor, and soldiers using them to fight aliens, Armor made a far greater impression on me and had me coming back to it again and again.

Felix is a volunteer in a war against the aliens nicknamed “ants,” and while he can’t stand the carnage and senseless loss of life, he’s also very, very good at combat. The first quarter of the book is like the Normandy invasion set on another planet, with amazing battles and acts of, if not courage,…

From the list:

The best science fiction and fantasy books with a ton of action

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Book cover of Shadow on the Crown: A Novel

Shadow on the Crown: A Novel

By Patricia Bracewell

Why this book?

As a writer fascinated by the period around 1066, I’ve long been intrigued by Emma of Normandy – a woman whose marriage to King Aethelred ‘the Unready’ and, after him, to King Cnut could be said to have started England on the path to the Norman conquest. It was a joy, therefore, to find this gutsy, involving, and utterly convincing novel about her life. Queen Emma is a woman who truly demonstrates that there has always – even in the seemingly most misogynistic of times – been space in history for determined women with the self-belief to step up and…

From the list:

The best historical novels with real-life female protagonists

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Book cover of The Guns of Normandy: A Soldier's Eye View, France 1944

The Guns of Normandy: A Soldier's Eye View, France 1944

By George Blackburn

Why this book?

Why two books instead of one. Well, because the two are equally excellent accounts that taken together span the combat service of a young Canadian artillery forward observation officer (FOO). The life span of many FOOs was short, the long antennas of the wireless sets they carried out front with the advancing infantry to call in artillery support were magnets for Germans snipers. But Blackburn beat the odds and survived to write this remarkably frank and honest memoir of eleven months of almost constant battlefield action. Over this course of a journey from Normandy through Belgium, the Netherlands, and into…

From the list:

The best books by Canadians on their World War 2 service

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