Since I live in Germany right now, I’ve been reading books that mention places I can visit. It’s quite the surreal feeling to read about walking up the hill to the Castle in Prague and then to actually walk the route mentioned. Some of these books are fiction, some non-fiction but they are all enlightening and interesting. For what its worth, I am only recommending books I have already read. This will be an ever evolving blog post. 🙂
The Liberator follows the story of a man named Felix Sparks, who was in the 157th Regimental Combat Team, from the beaches of Sicily; D-Day Italy to Nuremberg and the liberation of Dachau. This is a fantastic read for Americans visiting Italy and Germany.
Following the theme of War in Europe, The Dead and Those About to Die is a story of D-Day on Omaha Beach. I read this book on the drive to Normandy and it made the experience much more “real” for me.
The Tigers of Bastogne
I originally bought this book because my Grandad was part of a small little known unit attached to the soldiers who fought in Bastogne. This book mentions his unit, and I was hoping to discover information about the town in which he earned his Purple Heart. You’ll read stories from the 10th Armored Division that you have never read before. Read this ESPECIALLY if you intend to walk around the fox holes of Ardenne Forrest and trace the battle along the Rhine.
A surprising read for me, Beyond the Call is the story of a pilot’s secret mission on the Eastern front during WW2 to cross the line into Soviet lands and rescue downed American Pilots and escaped POWS.
The Nightingale is an Historical Fiction and I felt like every page was a true story. This is an intense story of two sisters who played their own role in Nazi-occupied France. HIGHLY recommended read.
The Hangman’s Daughter stories are set in southern Bavaria, near the Austrian border. If you are going to visit Garmish or the German Alps you will find these books take you back to a time when folks lived inside the castle walls, called on the Hangman to do their dirty work ,and had a fine line between superstition and religion. After reading “The Dark Monk” I could really picture what life would have been like to live in a small village. Read this before visiting Neuschwanstein Castle. (**I have only read the first two books of this series.)
Ya, ya, ya, it’s Historical Romance really. However, the story travels from Scotland, to Prague, to France and London and beyond. Reading Jamie and Claire describe Prague and then to walk those SAME streets *heart flutters* it was awesome. Plus, after reading these books, Scotland has moved to my #1 Bucket List trip while we live here.
This is a Holocaust story. There really isn’t a particular place mentioned in this book that you could travel to. However, the story blends the life of a Jew from Poland and an SS Officer. The Storyteller will keep you turning pages, and it might prep you emotionally to tour concentration camps or WW2 museums throughout Europe.
The History of Love
This one is a little different. It’s a story of a Polish man and his struggle to know he is alive after surviving the holocaust separated from his friends and the girl he loved. The book mixes the lives of many people. I’d call it a mystery-history-fiction if there was such a thing. I enjoyed getting a glimpse into the life of a Polish man who survived the Ghetto and lived to tell the tales.