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Happy Memorial Day from Rather Be Reading!

military related book recommendations

Hello, friends! Happy Memorial Day from us here at Rather Be Reading!

Many times I excitedly look forward to Memorial Day because my husband gets the day off from work and — YAY! — we get to spend the day together BBQing with friends, BUT forget to really take a moment to pause and reflect on the meaning of the day. So instead of glossing over this holiday, I thought it might be fun to share two books with you that are somewhat reflective of today. Two books you most definitely, absolutely, positively must read. Got that?

rather be reading military book recommenadations

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Because we’re living in a time of war, many of us probably know of someone, even if not a close relative, that has joined the military. The idea of losing someone is terrifying. My brother frequently contemplates what he’ll do after he graduates from college and he often comes back to joining (I forget which branch he’s interested in). The thought is nauseating, yet there are so many men and women who dedicate their lives to this.

Travis was one of those people. He joined the Marines spontaneously to get away from his superstar-NFL-Superbowl-winning-father. His last year was spent in boot camp and fighting in Afghanistan. When he returned home, he carried the loss of his friend Charlie. He was suffering and broken, but too tough to admit that he had problems. That he was seeing images of Charlie everywhere – and that he was having conversations with those illusions. (Read more of my Something Like Normal review)

Recommended because it specifically deals with loss, is beautifully written, and is a refreshing look into the male psyche as the story is told from Travis’ point of view.

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I haven’t reviewed The Book Thief on Rather Be Reading, but man, oh, man, it’s a book that undeniably left an impression. Maybe it’s not an obvious choice for Memorial Day since it’s told from Death’s perspective, focusing primarily on the struggle to survive during World War II. But, maybe, if you’re like me you find yourself wondering how someone could be so evil, so vindictive, and want to so badly destroy a people, a country, and why so, so many people followed him to make that happen.

Memorial Day, to me, can be about remembering the people who were helpless, those who lost their lives to a war the world, for a long time, wasn’t aware was happening. Today is about being thankful for those who intervened, risked their lives, and put a stop to the madness — even if that meant risking their own lives.

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So, without me continuing to drone on and on, please pick up these two books. They’re fantastic — I guarantee it.
Happy Memorial Day!

May 29, 2013 - 2:15 pm

Alexa Y. - I’ve read and loved both of the books in this post. You picked well for books that suit this holiday! Just reading your thoughts on them both made me want to read them again, particularly The Book Thief.

May 28, 2013 - 11:44 pm

Wendy - I’ve heard good things about the Book Thief but haven’t had a chance to read it yet! I’ll definitely look into it!

May 28, 2013 - 7:47 am

Lucy - I’ve read ‘Something Like Normal’, but never got round to reading ‘The Book Theif’. I loved Something Like Normal, thought it was such a powerful and evocative book and certainly had me gripped.

Will have a look for The Book Thief and check it out. 🙂

May 27, 2013 - 2:39 pm

Bookworm1858 - I have actually read both of those books-that so rarely happens when people make recommendations. I am spending this Memorial Day with family and also making sure to squeeze in some reading!

May 27, 2013 - 12:01 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - I still haven’t read Something Like Normal, but I really want to! I think I purchase the ebook a while back which explains why I haven’t gotten to it yet… I tend to neglect my ebooks 🙁

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