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Staff Picks - World War II (Fiction)

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All items are shelved in the fiction section alphabetically by author's last name unless otherwise noted.

The Berlin Project (SCIENCE FICTION)
by Gregory Benford
Depicts an alternate history that considers what may have happened if the atomic bomb had been ready for use prior to the defeat of Hitler and was capable of saving millions of lives on the western front.

Billy Boyle (MYSTERY)
by James R. Benn
What’s a twenty-two-year-old Irish American cop who’s never been out of Massachusetts before doing at Beardsley Hall, an English country house, having lunch with King Haakon of Norway? Billy Boyle himself wonders. Back home in Southie, he’d barely made detective when war was declared.

In Farleigh Field
by Rhys Bowen
When a parachutist falls to his death on the estate of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is tasked with investigating at the same time one of the daughters takes a secret job at Bletchley Park.

Miss Burma
by Charmaine Craig
A prominent family navigates the traumas of war and political oppression in mid-twentieth-century Burma while trying to build a meaningful life in the face of forbidden love, colonialism, and the Japanese Occupation.

Pacific Glory
by Peter Deutermann
A thrilling, multilayered World War II adventure following two men and an unforgettable woman, from Pearl Harbor through the most dramatic air and sea battles of the war.

The Eleventh Man
by Ivan Doig
Two years after their university football team enjoys a record-breaking season, the players become caught up in the drama of World War II, including Ben Reinking, who chronicles the wartime adventures of his teammates for newspapers across the country.

The Arms Maker of Berlin
by Dan Fesperman
A professor of German history learns that his estranged mentor is arrested for possessing stolen World War II archives and aids the FBI in the search for missing documents in Berlin, where he crosses paths with an aging arms merchant.

Jacob’s Oath
by Martin Fletcher
As World War II comes to a close, Jacob, consumed with hatred, will not rest until he has killed his brother's murderer, a concentration camp guard called The Rat, which affects his newfound relationship with Sarah, another lonely Holocaust survivor.

Winter of the World
by Ken Follett
Continues the stories of five interrelated families who struggle with social, political, and economic turmoil in the mid-twentieth century, during which they witness the rise of Nazi Germany, the Spanish Civil War, and the horrors of World War II.

The Spies of Warsaw
by Alan Furst
In 1937 Warsaw, on the eve of World War II, intelligence operatives on both sides of the forthcoming struggle wage their own espionage battle in a world of betrayal, intrigue, and abduction. 

Catch-22
by Joseph Heller
Depicts the struggles of a U.S. airman attempting to survive the lunacy and depravity of a World War II base.

A Separate Peace
by John Knowles
Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

A Lily of the Field
by John Lawton
A novel set before, during, and after World War II follows the loosely parallel lives of an Austrian cellist, Meret Voytek, whose orchestra becomes part of the Hitler Youth, and Hungarian physicist Karel Szabo, who is recruited by the Americans to help build the atomic bomb.

The Naked and the Dead
by Norman Mailer
Portrays the contrasting personalities and nostalgic reminiscences of a group of WWII American soldiers engaged in a combat operation against the Japanese.

The Alibi Club
by Francine Mathews
Four very different women, brought together by chance, help to smuggle a brilliant scientist and his dangerous secrets away from Nazi control, in a thriller based on a little-known episode of World War II.

Trapeze
by Simon Mawer
During World War II Briton Marian Sutro is recruited for service in the Special Operations Executive, only to find that another secret organization wants her to infiltrate Paris to persuade a research physicist to join the Allied war effort.

The Distant Hours
by Kate Morton
Nearly 20 years after her family nurses a wounded enemy pilot back to health, London playwright Queenie attends the deathbed of her father and is haunted by memories of an unspeakable death and a heartbreaking disappearance.

Citadel
by Kate Mosse
Deep within the Pyrenees, a group of courageous and determined female operatives—codenamed Citadel—fight to liberate their home from the Germans while protecting an ancient secret that, if discovered by the enemy, could change the course of history.

Gaviota
by Erik O’Dowd
On the central coast of California during World War II, A Japanese submarine attacks California's fuel supply, firing shells from its deck gun at oil storage tanks along the Gaviota coast.

The English Patient
by Michael Ondaatje
At the end of World War II, the lives of four people--a young American nurse, her dying English patient, a handless American thief, and an Indian soldier in the British army--intertwine in a deserted Italian villa.

When the Emperor Was Divine
by Julie Otsuka
A story told from five different points of view chronicles the experiences of Japanese Americans caught up in the nightmare of the World War II internment camps.

The Auschwitz Escape
by Joel Rosenberg
Luc, a French pastor sent to Auschwitz for helping Jews, enlists the help of Jacob, a Jewish man sent to the camp after he tried to hijack a train bound for Auschwitz, to plan an escape from the death camp.

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir
by Jennifer RyanLetters and journals reveal the struggles, affairs, deceptions, and triumphs of five members of a village choir during World War II as they band together to survive the upheavals of war and village intrigue on the English home front.

No Less Than Victory
by Jeff Shaara
A fictional account of the Battle of the Bulge and the final months of the war imagines events from the perspectives of Eisenhower, Patton, Churchill, Hitler, and an assortment of young soldiers.

A Town Like Alice
by Nevil Shute
Tells of a young woman who miraculously survived a Japanese "death march" in World War II, and of an Australian soldier, also a prisoner of war, who offered to help her--even at the cost of his life.

Private Life
by Jane Smiley
As her husband's obsessions with science take a darker turn on the eve of World War II, Margaret Mayfield is forced to consider the life she has so carefully constructed.

The Girl from Venice
by Martin Cruz Smith
In occupied 1945 Venice, a fisherman rescues a Jewish woman on the run from the Wehrmact SS and chooses to protect her from the Nazis, a decision that leads them into a turbulent love affair marked by beauty and danger.

Last Orders
by Turtledove, Harry
A conclusion to the landmark World War II series explores the lives of everyday soldiers and civilians as well as historic leaders to consider the fallout of Chamberlain's alternate-world decision not to appease Hitler. See also by Turtledove: Coup D’Etat

The Night Watch
by Sarah Waters
A tale set in World War II London finds a rescue worker struggling for composure after a bombing, a young woman longing for her soldier lover, and a convict who watches a battle through the bars of his window.