Here and Now: The Virtual Book Pile

I’ve been umming and awwing for a while now about how I can share the books I’m reading with you all (Home Front Solution #15). I didn’t want to bore you all with huge paragraphs on each one but still wanted to let you know when I found something brilliant so I’ve made this virtual book pile! Each one I read that is worthy of a share, I will write a little review on here and if I hugely fall in love with one or want to talk a little more about it, I’ve link the entry here to a bigger blog.

This book pile includes any physical and audio book that fits with my Home Front Solutions so expect Home Front, sustainability, recipes, the wider war, growing, gardening and anything else that grabs me.

I’m continuously reading so as I read a new book I’ll add it to the top of the pile so to speak so keep checking back as this page will update quite regularily and please let me know of any recommendations you have in the comments below.

If one of these has piqued your interest and you want a read, and you can’t find it in your library or get to your local bookshop, please use to buy online. I’m not affiliated to them or sponsered by them, I just love their mission is to support local, independent book shops via online sales.

Without further ado, here is the pile…

The People’s War by Juliet Gardiner

I wouldn’t normally do a book as slim as this but I love collections of Home Front photographs and this is a really good set. I always find the background people are as fascinating as the foreground especially in crowd scenes and this book doesn’t disappoint and has also given me some great fashion ideas. A great book for inspiration or Home Front visual references. 6/10

How Britain Kept Calm and Carried On by Anton Rippon

This book is a giggle a page. It is a collection of funny stories collected from the 1970’s onwards, mainly about the Home Front and seems to cover all walks of life. I love hearing first hand accounts as you hear little tit bits about the Home Front that are too trivial to put in books, like failing knicker elastic and keeping your door open in a raid. My favourite stories include the chap who jumped through a bottomless boat, the old lady collected plague victim bones for salvage and when an air raid warden shouted down to a shelter asking if there were any pregnant women inside, with the response being “Give us a minute, we’ve only just got down here!” 8/10

Living on the Home Front by Megan Westley. Non-fiction.

One of my favourite books and a great way to get you inspired about the Home Front. Written as a diary of her experience of living each day with rationing and no TV with the beginning of each chapter giving a detail history and background of living through the war, including rationing and recipes. An excellent book of living history. 10/10

The Battle of Britain July-October 1940 by Matthew Parker

I don’t normally venture into the military side of WW2 but I do enjoy an oral account of history and the fact this includes diaries and letters of the soldier who didn’t make it as well as those who did and includes german viewpoints make this an appealing read. It’s amazing to see how close the Battle of Britian was to failure and also how half the time is was running on a wing and a prayer. 7/10

The Archers – Ambridge at War by Catherine Miller

This book is a little bit of heaven, The Archers and the Home Front all nicely tied together with a village mystery? I don’t think a better book could exist. Perfect for a little Ambridge back story and lots of WW2 farming chat. I really hope there is a sequel. 7/10

Yours Cheerfully by A J Pearce

A sequel to one of my favourites and even lovelier than the first. I loved meeting with the characters again and seeing how they all got on. It did have me thinking more about a woman’s war time lot especially when it came to pay and workers rights which sent me down a history rabbit hole (which I never mind). 8/10

Dear Mrs Bird by A J Pearce

A book to warm you to your cockles and if you’re anything like me, have you chatting in plummy WW2 tones and calling everyone you meet Bunty. A heart warming story of a girl finding herself through a job in a woman’s magazine with laughter and tears along the the way. 8/10

Don’t you know there’s a war on? by Jonathan Croall

A collection of 35 first hand accounts of life from the Home Front. I really enjoyed reading stories from people I wouldn’t normally have heard from, highlights being The Pacifist Prisoner and The Shelter Warden. Only downside is it can be a little dry at times. 7/10

Millions Like Us by Virginia Nicholson

One of the most comprehensive accounts of woman’s lives during the 1940’s. I love that this book goes past VE and VJ day to talk about women’s experiences in the post war years and all the challenges and joys that brought. If you’ve read other female war time diaries, you’ll be familiar with some of the faces you’ll read about. 10/10

Green Hands by Barbara Whitton

Part of the IWM Wartime Classics series, this is based on her own experience of being a land girl and is a perfect balance of the humour and camaraderie of the girls with the hardship of their work. Couldn’t put it down. 9/10

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

Not strictly war time but a really interesting look at society in the early post war years. I adore the TV programme but I think I love this book a little more. Very thought provoking about woman’s health and rights in the not to distant past. 9/10

Regeneration by Pat Barker

A fictional account of a real life encounter between an army psychologist and Siegfried after he had written his A Soilder’s Declaration and is had been read out in parliment. I don’t know what made me pick up this book as I’m not normally into WW1 or military matters but reading it opened up a part of history I had never thought about and I was instantly taken in. Brings up some interesting issues. 8/10

Here and Now

Hatty Harley View All →

I am a pink haired, list lover with a silver lining outlook on life and a passion for reviving history.

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