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Adult Winter Reading Program: 1940s Titles

Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor by Newt Gingrich (1940s)
interesting read -- Added by jsa on 03/09/2014

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Murder in Retrospect by Agatha Christie (1940s)
This was a good book that I thought I figured out, but again was wrong. All the clues were presented well. M. Poirot investigates a murder that occurred about 20 year s earlier. He questions each eye witness, has them write what happened, and after reviewing everything provides a solution. The lesson learned from this book is somebody lies. I know that happens in all mysteries, but I get wrapped up in the story and forget it. -- Added by thewritejim on 03/09/2014

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Joy in the Morning
Joy in the Morning by P. G. Wodehouse (1940s)
More fun with Bertie and Jeeves! -- Added by Grier on 03/07/2014

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A Lesson Before Dying
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines (1940s)
Jefferson, a young black man, finds himself at the wrong place at the wrong time (two black acquaintenances try unsuccessfully to rob a liquor store; the white store clerk and the two robbers die). Jefferson is tried and convicted for murder and sentenced to death. In an unsuccessful attempt to save him, Jefferson's lawyer urges that he not be executed because he was too stupid to plan the crime. To execute him would be the same as executing a hog. Jefferson's godmother prevails upon the schoolteacher to visit Jefferson and make sure he knows he is a man, not a hog, before he goes to the electric chair. Will he succeed? Read the book and find out. -- Added by nancystahl on 03/05/2014

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Slaughterhouse Five Or the Children's Crusade
Slaughterhouse Five Or the Children's Crusade by Kurt Vonnegut (1940s)
This was my first Vonnegut book. I enjoyed the oddness and dryness of it. -- Added by Jean F on 03/03/2014

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The Death of the Adversary
The Death of the Adversary by Hans Keilson (1940s)
This was written partially while the author was in hiding during World War Two, and really does have the immediacy of a person in the moment. The adversary of the book, B, can be read as a thinly veiled hitler or other nazi leader, and the narrator as a young man whose life has been destroyed by the aims of the war. It's an unusual book and quite surprising. -- Added by Lmclevine on 03/03/2014

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The Book Thief
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (1940s)
Well written - I couldn't put this book down! -- Added by AF on 03/03/2014

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The Secret of Raven Point
The Secret of Raven Point by Jennifer Vanderbes (1940s)
Sobering story of a combat nurse trying to find her missing brother in Italy during WWII. -- Added by CindyW on 03/02/2014

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War and Remembrance
War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk (1940s)
Recommend. Somewhat contrived in my humble. The winds of war(the opening book) is much better. -- Added by Ecseitziii on 02/28/2014

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Blood of the Reich
Blood of the Reich by Mike Whicker (1940s)
This is the second book in a recently completed trilogy that blends well researched facts with some speculation to tell the story of a female German spy sent to Evansville, Indiana during WWII to gather intelligence on the landing craft that were being manufactured there. The characters are interesting and well developed and the story is exciting. Carmel Library has the first two books and I sincerely hope that they will add book 3 when it becomes available. -- Added by thebooklistener on 02/28/2014

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The Hiding Place
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (1940s)
True story of a family hiding Jews during the Holocaust. LOVE this book more every time I read it. :) It inspires me to do good and trust God with the results. -- Added by fisherslisa on 02/27/2014

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The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story
The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman (1940s)
Really interesting nonfiction book that opens up right at the time when Germany invaded Poland. The keepers of the Warsaw Zoo went to great lengths to save Jews from the Nazis, and their commitment to all of the zoo animals was remarkable. The audiobook format was especially nice because the narrator read many parts of the main character's journal entries in her accent. -- Added by crashweaver on 02/25/2014

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The Life of Objects
The Life of Objects by Susanna Moore (1940s)
This book is written from the viewpoint of an Irish girl living in Germany during World War II. Well read by Cassandra Campbell but I found it tricky to follow. The author switches from first to last names when introducing characters and I never did figure out if she actually revealed the fate of a supporting character (and I missed it) or if she just threw him into a laundry list of events that were recapped toward the end. I also took issue with two rather violent and disturbing scenes when most of the rest of the book was fairly innocent. -- Added by Mrs. K on 02/24/2014

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The Longest Winter
The Longest Winter by Alex Kershaw (1940s)
Alex Kershaw is a lay peoples historian. By that I mean even if you've never taken a history class, the book is exciting and stimulating. The first half of the book tell sets the personalities of the soldiers who made up the Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon, 394th Infantry Regiment, 99th Infantry Division. The second half of the book follows the platoon's painful odyssey through the hell of a succession of German POW camps. Survival in this environment of scant food, primitive sanitary conditions, and harsh treatment required as much courage and discipline as combat. Dysentery, frostbite, gangrene, and hepatitis were constant companions, and platoon leader Bouck was near death with hepatitis when finally liberated on April 18 - ironically by the 99th Division. It wasn't until their story became public that the Platoon received the recognition they were due. In 1980, platoon members were awarded four Distinguished Service Crosses (the Army's second-highest decoration for valor), five Silver Stars, and nine Bronze Stars with Valor Device. The unit also received a Presidential Unit Citation. Kershaw recounts the story of the I&R Platoon in dramatic fashion. Drawing largely on interviews with surviving members of the platoon, he puts a personal face on the action: whether on the hillside at Lanzerath or mired in the abject misery of the POW hovels. These were young Americans - platoon leader Bouck turned twenty-one during his captivity - green and ill-equipped for their mission. Yet, as Kershaw ably demonstrates, it is a mistake to underestimate American soldiers. Then. Or, now. -- Added by billrye on 02/23/2014

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Every Secret Thing
Every Secret Thing by Susanna Kearsley (1940s)
This thriller alternates between the 1940s and present day, moving from London to Toronto to New York to Lisbon to Washington, D.C. There are several secondary characters that make the complicated plot a little difficult to follow at times and a lot of twists--some of them a bit too coincidental. Overall, though, a good read for those of us who like WWII-era historical fiction. -- Added by CindyW on 02/23/2014

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