My WWI Bookshelf!

Now, as an avid reader, I’m always on the lookout for new books to add to my collection. Having recently purchased a small stack of WWI books (mostly as a reward for when I finish my exams in the next few weeks) I thought about giving you all an insight into the slowly growing First World War section of my bookshelf!

The very first book I ever read about WWI was Regeneration by Pat Barker. It was one of those books that we had to study for AS-Level, and I was naturally predisposed to be a little wary of it at first – more for the fact that once I’ve studied a book, I tend to dislike it immensely on principle of having done it completely to death. However, I fell completely in love with this one and not least due to the amazing lessons that we had on it. This book, while not the most well-written tome in the world, and with a strangely dislikeable protagonist (Pat Barker that is not how you write a novel) was what started this whole thing off and I would never change it for the world. It is my eventual intent to write a separate post on each of these books, so for now I shall leave you with a list!

  • Six Weeks: The Short and Gallant Life of the British Officer in the First World War -John Lewis-Stempel
  • Boy Soldiers -Richard van Emden
  • The Last Fighting Tommy -Harry Patch (with Richard van Emden)
  • The First World War in 100 Objects -Gary Sheffield
  • The Road Home -Max Arthur
  • Forgotten Voices of the Great War -Max Arthur
  • All Roads Lead to France: The Last Days of Edward Thomas -Matthew Hollis
  • Regeneration -Pat Barker
  • Douglas Haig: Architect of Victory -Walter Reid
  • Goodbye To All That -Robert Graves
  • Wilfred Owen -Dominic Hibberd
  • Siegfried Sassoon: A Biography -Max Egremont
  • Siegfried Sassoon -John Stewart-Roberts
  • The War Poems -Siegfried Sassoon
  • The Wipers Times
  • July 1914: Countdown to War -Sean McMeekin
  • Mud, Blood and Poppycock -Gordon Corrigan
  • Sherston’s Progress -Siegfried Sassoon
  • Journey’s End -R.C. Sherriff
  • All Quiet on the Western Front -Enrich Maria Remarque
  • Birdsong -Sebastian Faulks
  • Parade’s End -Ford Maddox Ford
  • The Absolutist -John Boyne
  • War Horse -Michael Morpurgo¬†
  • Collected Poems -Wilfred Owen

There are of course others that I have read but do not own my own copy (Letters of a Lost Generation, Bloody Victory, Indian Voices of the Great War etc.) so my reviews will be on books that I own as opposed to ones where I read perhaps a mere chapter for an essay here and there.

There is of course, a whole other list of books that I would like to read/own, but that’s for another day!

How about you, do you have a favourite WWI book? What do you think to fiction set during the war?


Quick update!

First off, I have a much longer update in my drafts that I will post soon, but as a university student, my exams are currently looming so this blog has had to take a back seat for a little while so I can spend my time crying quietly in the library instead.

In short, there have been several WWI based things for me in the last month or so that I intend to update everyone more fully on when my exams have finished at the beginning of June (I only have three, but at the moment I feel as though I’ve still not got rid of that feeling of being completely burnt out after my A-Levels this time last year. Revision is really a bit of a slog).

  • I recently saw the play An August Bank Holiday Lark and really rather enjoyed it! It involved the portrayal of an idyllic village in Lancaster a few days before war was declared. I know that scenario has been done to death (though not always in Lancaster) but it was still very enjoyable.
  • I took a trip to Colsterdale with my uncle to see where the Leeds Pals trained in the dales; took lots of photographs and chatted to a local archaeology group
  • The search for more information about the lovely Mr. Henry Brook has ground to a halt at the moment as I’ve exhausted a lot of the free resources I have access to. However…

Now this last is a very, very big thing for me. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for several years now and it’s finally becoming a reality. I’ll be going with my uncle and nana, as she wishes to visit her uncle’s grave as its something she’s not had the chance to do before now either. Of course, I’m not yet sure what the rest of the trip will consist of, but I shall update when I know!
Finally, I bit the bullet and began watching The Crimson Field. Has anyone had any thoughts on this so far, and indeed about the BBC’s programming as a whole?

Is it too much, too soon? Quantity over quality or just right?