World War II Survival

Tales of suffering, endurance, and inspiration amidst a global conflict.



We Die Alone

By David Howarth


Jan Baalsrud was part of a Norwegian commando team ambushed in the Arctic by Nazi forces. The only survivor, he set out across the tundra with the Germans in pursuit. David Howarth—himself a former spymaster in the war—expertly tells the story of Baalsrud's desperate flight, and the heroic villagers who became his allies and saviors.




Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival,
Resilience, and Redemption

By Laura Hillenbrand


Hillenbrand, the author of the bestselling Seabiscuit, unearths the larger-than-life story of a young lieutenant and former Olympian whose plane goes down in the middle of the Pacific Ocean while on a rescue mission in 1943. Leaping sharks, a tiny raft, and starvation all frame the tale of Louis Zamperini's ordeal, and a life that proves extraordinary in many ways.



In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis
and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors

By Doug Stanton


America's worst naval disaster at sea left 300 men immediately dead and three times that number cast into the Pacific for nearly five days. When they were accidentally discovered, only 321 remained. A half-century after the catastrophe, Stanton uses freshly available documents and extensive interviews with survivors to answer the many questions left in its wake.



Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of
World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission

By Hampton Sides


Imprisoned for three years in a hellish POW camp in the Philippines, more than 500 American and British survivors of the Bataan Death March clung to life in some of the most grueling conditions imaginable. Sides, a columnist for Outside magazine, matches their harrowing story with a blow-by-blow account of how 121 elite Army soldiers marched 30 miles behind enemy lines to rescue them.



The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the
Epic Story of WWII's Most Decorated Platoon

By Alex Kershaw


Eighteen American men held off the brunt of Hitler's army during the Battle of the Bulge before being taken prisoner. The platoon would then discover that the horrors of combat paled in comparison to the trials awaiting them as POWs. It was only by banding together ever more tightly that this group—who became the most highly-decorated unit of the war—would ensure that each soldier made it home.


April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."