2015 Reading List

DSCN0861I did this last year, it’s happening again this year. Hopefully I can actually make some good progress through this stack and I’ll be able to give you some good reviews come winter 2015.

GI BRIDES by Nuala Calvi and Duncan Barrett: a look into girls who married American soldiers during the Second World War. I can’t really say anything more about it than that, I love this kind of history and I’m hoping that this will be something to plough through when I’m not feeling up to reading about Eastern European politics.

THE SILENCE OF ANIMALS by John Gray: I got this from my partner, it looks like a series of essays on philosophy, apparently it’s anti-Humanism, so that should be pretty interesting to read.

THE SPY WHO LOVED by Claire Mulley: this is a biography of Christine Granville, I’m hoping that it’ll be as amazing as the biography of Vera Atkins that I read last year. Christine Granville worked as a spy during the Second World War and was murdered in 1952 in a London Hotel.

IRON CURTAIN by Anne Applebaum: I’m really looking forward to this, one of my favourite topics is Poland in the Second World War, but I have shamefully poor knowledge of what happened in Eastern Europe after the war.

WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION by Marina Oliver: most of the stories that I want to write are set in the past, so it can’t hurt to actually read a bit about writing. I’ve always been too scared to actually start a novel-sized work of historical fiction, it just seems too daunting for me. Hopefully reading up on the subject will give me some confidence.

GULAG by Anne Applebaum: As I said above,  I want to expand my knowledge of Eastern Europe under Communist control. One of my characters gets sent to a Gulag, so this is a subject that I really need to research.

WRITER’S GUIDE TO EVERYDAY LIFE IN REGENCY AND VICTORIAN ENGLAND by Kristine Hughes: I found this on Amazon and picked it up because I thought that if would be useful to have around. I basically view buying books as ‘building my own reference library’. There are loads of great books that I pick up purely for reference.

LAST POST by Max Arthur: this is First World War veterans talking about their wartime experiences, I picked this up because I thought it would be interesting to see what they went through and their thoughts on it.

WE WERE YOUNG AND AT WAR by Sarah Wallis and Svetlana Palmer: this is a bunch of accounts from children talking about what they experienced during the Second World War. I have no idea why I bought this… it was most likely because I’m an obsessive book hoarder… but hopefully it’ll be interesting.

NOAH’S ARK by Marie-Madeleine Fourcade: this is an account of the Resistance movement in France during the Second World War from someone who was at the heart of it. Ms Fourcade is a bit of a hero of mine and I managed to snag this copy on Amazon for a couple of quid, it’s now selling for about £50… so if this is amazing, I’m really, really sorry!


These are books that were featured on my ‘2014 Reading List’ but never got read…

THE VICTORIAN CITY by Judith Flanders: an exploration of Charles Dickens’ London, focussing on the lives of everyday people and poverty.

THE EAGLE UNBOWED by Halik Kochanski: put simply, this book details life within occupied Poland during the second world war.

FORGOTTEN VOICES OF THE SECRET WAR by Roderick Bailey: Another one in the ‘Forgotten Voices’ series, this focusses on the work of SOE during the second world war.

TESTAMENT OF YOUTH by Vera Brittain: for those of you who don’t know this is a pretty famous book written by Vera Brittain, a nurse during the first world war about her personal experiences. I’m waiting until I’m in a better mental place before I delve into this one.

TRUE WORLD WAR ONE STORIES foreword by Malcolm Brown: a collection of stories about life in the trenches, in 1930 the editor of Everyman Magazine requested accounts of the Great War, this is what he got.

BLIND FURY by Lynda La Plante: I’ve seen the rest of this series on TV but they don’t seem to be making the last one so I picked it up in a charity book shop for about 99p, I’ve never read any of her writing before but if the TV series is anything to go by I should love it. This is the only fiction book I have to read this year!

’til next time,

Wren x


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