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Adult fiction: War

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The Guns Of Navarone

Author: Alistair MacLean

Publisher: Fontana Books (1973)

The classic World War II thriller from the acclaimed master of action and suspense. Twelve hundred British soldiers isolated on the small island of Kheros off the Turkish coast, waiting to die. Twelve hundred lives in jeopardy, lives that could be saved if only the guns could be silenced. The guns of Navarone, vigilant, savage and catastrophically accurate. Navarone itself, grim bastion of narrow straits manned by a mixed garrison of Germans and Italians, an apparently impregnable iron fortress. To Captain Keith Mallory, skilled saboteur, trained mountaineer, fell the task of leading the small party detailed to scale the vast, impossible precipice of Navarone and to blow up the guns. The Guns of Navarone is the story of that mission, the tale of a calculated risk taken in the time of war…

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The Leopards Of Normandy: Devil

Author: David Churchill

Part of a series: The Leopards of Normandy

Publisher: Headline (2015)

The fate of England hangs in the balance of a fight between brothers... In DEVIL, David Churchill writes with the immediacy of Conn Iggulden, the epic ambition of Bernard Cornwell and the plotting of CJ Sansom. The Leopards of Normandy trilogy tells the story of William the Conqueror in all its wild, intoxicating, unfailingly dramatic glory. The noble families of Europe are tearing themselves apart in their lust for power and wealth. Emma, Queen of England, is in agony over the succession to her husband Canute's throne ... while her brother, the Duke of Normandy's sons battle in the wake of his death. Robert, the younger son, has been cheated of Normandy's mightiest castle and sets out to take it by force. He emerges from a bloody siege victorious and in love with a beautiful - and pregnant - peasant girl. Robert's child will be mocked as William the bastard. But we have another name for him... Conqueror. David Churchill paints a world seething with rivalry and intrigue, where assassins are never short of work. The fight for the Royal Crown of England continues in the second and third books of the Leopards of Normandy trilogy, DUKE and CONQUEROR.

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The Librarian Of Auschwitz

Author: Antonio Iturbe

Publisher: Ebury Press (2019)

Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust. Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz. Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.

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The Nightingale

Author: Kristen Hannah

Publisher: Pan Books (2015)

Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her. As the war progresses, the sisters' relationship and strength is tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

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The Officer's Ward

Author: Marc Dugain

Publisher: Soho Press (2003)

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The Quiet American

Author: Graham Greene

Publisher: The Reprint Society (1957)

Set in French colonial Vietnam in the 1950's. On assignment in Vietnam, Fowler, a British foreign correspondent reports on the progress of the fighting between several warring factions trying to take control of the government and throw out the French. Fowler's life is a mess as he is a middle aged, opium addicted atheist in love with a young and beautiful Vietnamese orphan girl named Phuong. Into the intrigue and violence of Indo-China comes Joe Pyle. He is a young, idealistic, "quiet" American working for an economic development organisation sent to promote democracy through a 'Third Force', whose naive optimism begins to cause bloodshed.

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The Rage Of Achilles

Author: Homer

Publisher: Penguin (1995)

Excerpts from a brilliant translation of the world’s greatest war story Through the genius of Homer’s Iliad, the Trojan war and the rage of Achilles have fired imaginations and informed myth for nearly three thousand years. This timeless, powerful poem conveys the horror and the heroism of men and gods, wrestling with towering emotions amidst devastation and destruction, as they march toward an inexorable fate. The Rage of Achilles is taken from Robert Fagles’s translation of the Iliad, which is available in Penguin Classics with an introduction by Bernard Knox.

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The Red Badge Of Courage

Author: Stephen Crane

Publisher:

The Red Badge of Courage is a vivid psychological account of a young man's experience of fighting in the American Civil War, based on Crane's reading of popular descriptions of battle. The intensity of its narrative and its naturalistic power earned Crane instant success, and led to his spending most of his brief remaining life war reporting.

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The Tattooist Of Auschwitz

Author: Heather Morris

Publisher: Zaffre Publishing (2018)

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story behind one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust - the blue numbers tattooed on prisoners’ arms. When Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, was given the job of ‘Tätowierer’ in that terrible place - forced literally to scratch numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink - he used the infinitesimal freedom of movement that this position awarded him to exchange jewels and money taken from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive. If he had been caught he would have been killed; many owed him their survival. There have been countless books about the Holocaust, but none quite like this. Lale Sokolov understood exactly what was in store for him and his fellow prisoners and he was determined not just to survive, but to live his life to the full. Terrible though his story is, it is also one of hope and of courage. And, incredibly, it is a love story. Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale - a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer - it was love at first sight. His and Gita’s story, fact-checked against all available documentary evidence, endorsed by the son they never thought they would have and untold for over seventy years, will make you weep, but it will also uplift you. For here, in the very worst of circumstances, is the very best of humanity.

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The Things They Carried

Author: Tim O'Brien

Publisher: Flamingo (1991)

A sequence of stories about the Vietnam War, this book also has the unity of a novel, with recurring characters and interwoven strands of plot and theme. It aims to summarize America's involvement in Vietnam, and her coming to terms with that experience in the years that followed.

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