New in Nonfiction: Books on WWII

World War Two ended in Europe on May 7th, 1945. In the Pacific, Japan formally surrendered four months later, on September 2nd, ending the war in Asia. This year, as the world celebrated the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, numerous books on the history of the war were published.

In May, we posted a list of recently published books on military history and WWII in Europe. Here are some recent books about the Pacific front. 

Ian Toll’s Twilight of the Gods: War in the Western Pacific 1944-1945 is the final volume of the trilogy on WWII in the Pacific. It begins with a historical meeting between President Roosevelt and major American military leaders, during which strategy and tactics for the rest of the war against Japan were decided.

Other books in the Pacific War Trilogy by Ian Toll are Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 and The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944 (in print and ebook format). It took the author nine years after the publication of the first volume to finish the trilogy. 

All books were extremely well researched, informed by primary documents and official reports, and powerfully written; they have all earned high praise. You can read a New York Times review here.

Operation Vengeance by Dan Hampton (in large print and ebook format) recounts a very secret US operation to assassinate Admiral Yamamoto, a Japanese admiral who was a major force behind the attack on Pearl Harbor. The US Air Force pilots carried out this mission.

The author, a decorated combat pilot who served 20 years in the US Air Force and flew numerous combat missions, became a military historian and writer. He is very well-equipped to recreate the dramatic events in the air moment-by-moment.

The Race of Aces: WWII’s Elite Airmen and the Epic Battle to Become the Masters of the Sky by John Bruning (in print and ebook format) is another recent book about the battles in the Pacific theatre. In this one, a group of five American pilots, inspired and motivated by a legendary WWI pilot Eddie Rickenbacker, started a wild race for the title of America’s Greatest Fighter Pilot during combat against the Japanese air force.

Chris Wallace’s and Lesley Blume’s books examine the bombings of Japanese cities in August 1945. 

Wallace’s Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days that Changed the World (print, ebook, and e-audiobook) explores how and why the decision to use the weapon of mass destruction was made.

Blume’s Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed it to the World (print and ebook) is the story about the aftermath of the bombing, and about American journalist John Hersey, who gained access to Hiroshima in 1946 to see for himself and report on the horrible after-effects of radiation. You can read the New York Times’s splendid review here.

As always, all these titles are able to be checked out in multiple formats. You can acquire digital books through Overdrive/Libby using your library card. 

If you prefer books in print, you can reserve them for pick-up with our Curbside Service. Please carefully read our instructions on how to reserve titles and set up an appointment to pick them up, once all your items come in.

History: New Books on WWII

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, which ended in Europe on May 7th after Germany’s unconditional surrender, but was not officially over in Asia until September 2nd, when Japan formally surrendered in a ceremony aboard USS Missouri.

For history buffs, military history buffs, and WWII buffs, as well as those wanting to learn more about the previous major historical event that affected the whole world, we created a curated collection of new books:

The latest Eric Larson’s book is about Winston Churchill as the newly appointed Prime Minister in the early days of the war.

Though Churchill is the main character of this story, the book is more about the country and, especially, London and its denizens during the Blitz. The inclusion of witness accounts, taken from the diaries of those who tried to survive the horrors, lend a particularly chilling and poignant tone to the narrative. It’s on the NYT Bestseller List. Accessible as an ebook or audiobook

Sinclair McKay’s book is about the bombing of Dresden by Allied forces, which occurred in February 1945 and is considered one of the most controversial actions during WWII. Was it a war crime against German civilians or a calculated step to a victorious end?

The book was reviewed as “well researched, powerfully written and balanced.”

In the Pacific theatre, a group of five American pilots, inspired and motivated by legendary WWI pilot Eddie Rickenbecker, started a wild race for the title of America’s greatest fighter pilot during combat against the Japanese air force. Read about it in Race of Aces by John R. Bruning.

ebook format
ebook format
audiobook format

Martha Maccallum also writes about the Pacific and its battles, and the heroic and courageous men that fought them. Her book, Unknown Valor, is accessible as an ebook and audiobook.

The Battle of Normandy was the epic invasion by the Allied forces that marked the beginning of the end of war in Europe. Begun on June 6th,1944, it was known as D-Day.

Lately, a number of books were published on the incredible contribution of women to the war effort, and the role they played in the Allied path to victory. These are books about women who became spies and operated in Europe. True stories, based on exhaustive research, all these books gained much praise and became bestsellers.

As always, all these titles are available through Overdrive/the Libby app with your library card. Click the book covers above to access the titles in Overdrive.

Recommended Reading: “The War That Saved My Life” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is a children’s historical fiction book recommended for ages 9-12. It’s on Overdrive in an ebook and audiobook format.

Set in England during WW ll, this sometimes wrenching but hopeful story details a child’s journey from abuse and isolation to accepting love and personal fulfillment against great odds and a background of war.

Ada, ten, and her six-year-old brother live in a tiny apartment where Ada never goes outside, including never attending school, because her malicious Mam is ashamed of her daughter’s club foot. Deprivation and isolation from others are Ada’s life, until the German bombing. When urban children are evacuated to the English countryside for safety, both children end up on a farm taken care of by a woman with her own sorrows to cope with.

So begins a restart for Ada. She learns to read, to walk, and to ride a neglected pony. She learns to trust and accept love from an adult for the first time in her life. The war’s violence and danger is still near, as there is a busy military airstrip nor far from the farm. Looming also is the fact that their abusive mother may come back and take them away. Against this backdrop of worry and challenges, Ada finds the courage to enter life on new terms.