If You Liked Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken

Posted by Aaron on

Laura Hillenbrand’s book Unbroken has been popular for its gripping story of wartime survival. It tells the true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic runner who survived a plane crash in the Pacific during World War II. After over a month at sea, Zamperini was captured by the Japanese and became a prisoner of war.

In 2014, a film adaptation of “Unbroken” was released. This month, the film received Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.

If you enjoyed the book or the film, here are 4 books of wartime survival that you might also enjoy. You can also visit our “Unbroken”-themed display at the Warrenton central library.

The Railway Man by Eric Lomax

In this classic memoir, Lomax recounts his experiences as a prisoner of war during World War II.

As a prisoner of the Japanese, Lomax undergoes privation and torture while being forced to help build the Burma Railway. After the war, he struggles with psychological trauma and embarks on a journey toward inner peace and reconciliation with the past.

book cover of We Band of AngelsWe Band of Angels by Elizabeth Norman

This nonfiction work tells the overlooked story of Army and Navy nurses caught in the war-torn Philippines in the early days of the United States entering World War II.

Nursing historian Norman draws from interviews, diaries, and letters to recount their experiences, from setting up field hospitals in the midst of devastating battles to three brutal years as prisoners of war after their provinces fell to the Japanese.

Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff

Journalist and history writer Zuckoff offers up an engaging true survival narrative that blends drama with humor. In 1945, three American service members survive a plane crash in a remote valley in New Guinea.

Zuckoff recounts the search and rescue mission as well as the survivors’ encounters with New Guinea tribesmen who, despite language barriers and cultural misunderstandings, turn out to be welcome friends.

Broken Jewel by David L. Robbins

book cover of Broken Jewel

This multilayered work of historical fiction recounts the real-life 1945 liberation of Los Baños internment camp in the Philippines.

Robbins tells the story through the eyes of three memorable characters, two civilian American prisoners of war and a Filipina woman forced into prostitution. Their emotionally gripping story of courage and grit brings an overlooked moment in history to life.

Becky, Adult Reference, Warrenton central library

Looking for more book lists and staff suggestions? Stop by the reference desk at your local library.  For online book lists published prior to Jan. 2015, visit Book Notes, our blog all about books.

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