Memorial Day: best books for the holiday

May 25, 2012|By Dave Rosenthal

The Memorial Day weekend is a great time to pick up a book about the men and women who have helped preserve America's freedoms, and have fought for our country around the world. There are lots of great books on the topic, and some more personal readings such as diaries. For me, the one that resonates is a yellowed map and journal called "The Thunderbolt across Europe," which describes the route my dad's division, the 83rd Infantry, took in World War II. It led from the beaches of Normandy, across France, into Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge, and into Germany. He's not big on war stories, but I can occasionally wrest one from him -- like the time he and his two brothers managed to mneet up in Paris. This may be the weekend for another.

Here are some other recommendations:

-- "War" by Sebastian Junger, the account of an outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley.

-- "Unbroken," Laura Hillenbrandt's tale of World War II survival.

-- "The Killer Angels," Michael Shaara's fictionalized account of the battle of Gettysburg.

-- "The Things They Carried," Tim O'Brien's look back at a company in Vietnam.

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