I am not the first one to admit that we have all gone through the “book phase”. By book phase, the obsessiveness of a genre or type of novel that consumes your reading life, and your TBR. I’ve had a few in my life: from Russian Literature to YA Fantasy to Thrillers, I have had them all. However, when is there a moment when the phase actually turns into preference or a favorite genre? I knew my YA Fantasy was just a phase because no matter how many times I try to finish the Red Queen or Throne of Glass series or (dare I say it) A Court of Rose & Torn series, I can’t. I binged through too many angsty heroines with magical gifts for one lifetime and I cannot go back. I TRIED guys, I really did, but I just can’t. I can’t do the ” will they, won’t they” plotline for another book, and then getting disappointed they haven’t gotten their act together by book 3, BOOK 3 PEOPLE!!! Also that the girls still have doubts about themselves or their abilities for 5 books, COME ON!! WHEN WILL IT END?! Ok rant over, but do not get me started on Mysteries or Thrillers, I could write 5 blogs long about thrillers and how they just keep coming up with more! But people love thrillers and YA fantasy, so they can have them! All yours!
Let’s go back to my question in the beginning, what is the difference between a phase & a preference? Preference is often something I come back to time & time again, without a shadow of a doubt. Preference would be historical fiction mysteries, Jane Austin adaptations, Russian Literature, and historical fiction IN GENERAL. The latest phase in my reading has been World War II novels – fiction, non-fiction, biographies, battle break downs; you name it and I’ve probably read it. I cannot get enough, I am obsessed! But the beautiful thing about WWII books is HOW MANY THERE ARE. You want a book about the Nazis? There’s a book. You want a book about the French occupation? Yep, got that too. You looking for a book about the Leningrad siege? You bet there is a book. A book about the Japanese occupation camps in California? Well.. duh. You can even go into books about the Holocaust, which took place during WWII, but you will need emotional courage for that one. There is everything when it comes to WWII, and I cannot get enough! I think this phase may turn into a preference, but it is still too early to tell. I am in the hight of my obsession, so when the time comes around to find a new book (which I have moved on to books about the Cuban Revolution), we shall see if I go back to WWII. (Spoiler alert, there is a 99% chance of that happening)
However, until the time comes to wander back into the world of Nazis, and spies, I will leave you with a short list of my favorites:
- Wunderland by Jennifer Cody Epstein – A story about two friends in the early years of Nazi Germany and what life is like for two people on different sides.
- Anything by Kristin Hannah – The Nightingale or The Winter Garden are my two favorites. The Nightingale is about French spies during the occupation or The Winter Garden is about the siege on Leningrad.
- All the Light We Cannot See by Laura Hillenbrand – A story about two lives during occupied France, one French & one German.
- Beneath a Scarlett Sky by Mark Silverman, this book is taking place in Italy during WWII.
- Maus I & II – A graphic novel about the Holocaust, where the Jews are mice and the Nazis are cats. A classic and it’s one of my favorites.
- The Winds of War & War & Remembrance by Herman Wouk – the collection that started it all. These two talk about a naval family in WII, stretching from both fronts, European & Pacific. I love them, my copies are beaten up for sure. Wouk did his research and they are hard to put down.
I know there are MORE that I am not mentioning, but these are my favorites. I didn’t even mention Night or In the Garden of Beasts or The Lost Girls of Paris or Suite Francaise or The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society or The Diary of Young Girl or Alicia or The Tattooist of Auschwitz or Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The List goes on, and on, there are also books I haven’t read yet, that are currently hanging out on my nightstand (The Hiding Place & City of Thieves). Also, all the non-fiction, and biographical books I haven’t even touched upon. So maybe this will become a preference for me, to reach for WWII novels like I reach for any Austin adaption, or this passion could just dry up as fast as it caught on.
Let me know what your current phase is, and would like to know what summer books you guys have on your TBR.