When I decided to make this list, I could immediately see what a difficult task this was. I mean there are so many books one reads and I ended up liking so many of them, it is like a betrayal when I chose one over the other. But though books are full of feelings, I don’t suppose they feel self-pity, so here goes; (Clicking on the picture of book and a few other links, takes the reader to amazon’s website):
At number 5 is D-Day June 6 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II by Stephen E Ambrose. We read books and comics about the war, watch movies on the Normandy Landings and all this leaves us with a number of images and stories but you still want something definitive on the subject which doesn’t read like the encyclopedia. This book tells you the story of the D-Day landings from preparations through execution to the impact of this momentous military action. It is full of anecdotes such as the ones about the the Higgins boats and the LCTs; and about the calamity of gliders landing into hedgerows. The terror and tragedy of Omaha beach is overwhelming. The book celebrates the victory, but also gives detailed analysis of where, who and what went wrong. This book may answer at least some of your questions about the Normandy landings.
Leo Murray has been studying the psychology of combat and this book resulted because the military wouldn’t use it. The book presents some great insights on the psychology of battle and how the human mind reacts to violence in predictable ways, as the author puts it, the four f’s of fighting, fussing, freezing or fleeing. It is for people who are seriously curious about armed combat.
Fatima Bhutto writes about her family, her country and the eventful lives and violent deaths of the people closest to her and yet her humanity shines through the narrative. She doesn’t spare any names, however powerful they be today and courageously continues to reside at Clifton, Karachi. This is a very interesting read for all Pakistan watchers.
William L Shirer was in Germany during the pre-war years while the Nazis were consolidating their hold on the country. During World War II and afterwards, he was a broadcast journalist, based in Vienna but often traveled with the German troops. His book is the most reliable record of this piece of history and has been since it was first published in 1950.
My Number-1 Non-fiction book
Were so many things happening in America in 1927 or is it just Mr Bryson? This book is about Charles Lindbergh and Al Capone and countless colorful characters and its about America surpassing Europe and coming into her own. This book features here because it is worthwhile to spend time lazing with it on a weekend.