Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Memorial Day Reads

Leading Up to Memorial Day 2011
When making plans to attend Memorial Day observances and family gatherings, you might like to add one or more of the following books to your weekend agenda.  WWII titles are featured since veterans of this war are well into their 80s and 90s.

If you read the The Greatest Generation series by Tom Brokaw, you will no doubt appreciate The Last Good War : The Faces and Voices of World War II.

Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff "unleashes the exhilarating, untold story of an extraordinary World War II rescue mission, where a plane crash in the South Pacific plunged a trio of U.S. military personnel into the jungle-clad land of New Guinea."  Listen to an author interview courtesy of NPR.

Before Julia Child became a chef, she served in the OSS along with her husband, Paul, and Jane Foster, who turned out to be a Soviet spy.  Pair A Covert Affair with Julia's memoir, My Life in France. Author Jennet Conant's earlier book, The Irregulars : Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington, also reads like a thriller with plenty of who's who appeal.

The Long Road Home : The Aftermath of the Second World War by Ben Shephard explores the post-war refrugee crisis and what happened to the millions of people displaced by the war in Europe.

Alex Kershaw's The Envoy tells the "epic and heroic story of how Raoul Wallenberg out-dueled Adolph Eichmann and saved more than 100,000 Jews in Budapest from the Nazi death camps."  Pair this title with Schindler's List or the The Bielski Brothers

Surf's Up
Also consider visiting the Veterans History Project website, a project of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. The project "preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war."