The girls of Atomic City : the untold story of the women who helped win World War II

From Eileen Effrat
Author:  Denise Kiernan
Title:  The girls of Atomic City : the untold story of the women who helped win World War II 
Recruited for jobs in a town that did not exist,thousands of women from 1943-1945 worked as factory workers, secretaries,custodians, nurses, chemists,and more in Oak Ridge.   Their employer,Clinton Engineer Works, only told these women their jobs  would serve to bring the war to a speedy end. Shrouded in secrecy, 75,000 workers toiled. Although many suspected something BIG was happening, few pieced together the true nature of their work until August 6,1945 when the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. For three years uranium was enriched at Oak Ridge and sent to Los Alamos for use in the “GADGET”.  For this book, the author interviewed hundreds of women. Most were high school graduates from farm families in rural towns, while some had college degrees in chemistry or statistics.   Kiernan focuses on the lives of nine women in particular. I found this book enlightening. This is a part of our history that few know.

The girl in the blue beret : a novel

From Eileen Effrat
Author: Bobbie Ann Mason
Title: The girl in the blue beret : a novel
A sixty year old World War II bomber pilot returns to France forty years later. His forced retirement as an airline pilot and the death of his wife lead Marshall Stone to embark on a new journey. Relocating to Paris, he intends to locate the men, women, and the girl in the blue beret who hid him and led him to safety over the Pyrenees after his plane crashed in occupied France. Inspired by the true experience of the author’s father-in-law, this is historical fiction at its best. The setting is authentic for both time and place. Mason’s knowledge of World War II is extensive. This is a story about war, survival, and courage.

not me

From adele gresser
Title:  not me
Author:  michael lavigne
two men are the active characters in this book,  father and son.  the father is in the hospital dying and tells his son, Michael to read a journal that the father had written  about his past life and not to judge him.  the father was german and became a bookkeeper of items stolen from the jews in Germany.  he was a lieutenant in the german army during world war 2. his job was called bookkeeping and he kept the records of all the things taken from the jews before they were murdered.  somehow he took a deceased jewish man,s identity with the idea when the time came he would get asylum when he told his captors that he was not a jew.  he was shipped to Israel where he was indoctrinated as a member of the survivors.  he even marked his arm with a number from the concentration camp he worked at.  he became a lieutenant in the palmach and was sent on missions where he eventually was shot and was recuperating in an arab hospital.  in the meantime he became infatuated with another isreali soldier, a woman.  they make a baby who dies when an explosive is detonated…mother and child dies.  the journal tells his son Michael about the father’s past.  it is unbelievable to “mikey” as his father called him.  he is torn between loving his father an admitted german per his journals and the upbringing of being jewish.  the book is sad because what happens to the relationship and the distorted history.  it was upsetting and yet engrossing.

The Snow Goose

From Margaret Mezzacapo
Author:  Paul Gallico
 The Snow Goose
This is a classic story that’s been around for quite a while. For some reason, I had never read it before. It’s short but compelling. You get a feeling about how it’s going to end, and I wished the ending had been different, but it all works and I’d recommend it for all audiences.

Unbroken, a WW 11 Airman’s Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

From Sandi Rosenthal 
Title:  Unbroken, a WW 11 Airman’s Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Author:  Laura Hillenbrand
This book is about an Olympian track star, Louis Zamperini, who was a pilot in the military during World War 11.  His plane was shot down in the Pacific and he drifted on a small raft for a few weeks enduring starvation, dehydration, extreme exposure to the elements and sharks. It was heart wrenching reading each page, but the devastation was just beginning. He landed on an island occupied by the Japanese and then endured a couple of years in a POW camp where he was treated sub-humanly, starved, savagely beaten, kicked, clubbed and broken physically and mentally. His post war years were damaged because of the treatment in the POW camp and at the hands of one particular sadistic guard. In the end he finds salvation and forgiveness. I found this book very difficult to read, the brutality kept on, page after page, and I couldn’t believe that he was alive after each torturous beating.

Unbroken

From Michele Szydlo 
Title:  Unbroken
Author:  Laura Hillenbrand
 This is a true account of a young lieutenant in WW II.  On the cover it says it’s a story of “survival, resilience, and redemption.”  It starts with his childhood, but the majority of the book tells of his struggles after his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean.  He’s an amazing man & this is a mind-boggling story, very well written.  It’s definitely worth reading.