Pinterest • The world’s catalog of ideas

I've got physical copies of and have read I think every Nevil Shute book, but I recently downloaded and re-read this, which I first read as a teenager. It's the story of an elderly man on holiday in France as war breaks out, and how he makes his way back to the safety of London with a ragtag collection of refugee children. In some ways it feels very naive: the writing style reinforces that, and with modern sensibilities it's very unlikely. But it's a compelling narrative, like all Shute's…

On the Beach by Nevil Shute - After a nuclear World War III has destroyed most of the globe, the few remaining survivors in southern Australia await the radioactive cloud that is heading their way and bringing certain death to everyone in its path.

Pied Piper by Nevil Shute. I was just 11 when I read this and suddenly the war was real to me. I went on to read many of Shute's novels, my favourites being On the Beach, A Town Like Alice and In the Wet

Surprise package found by a friend and a fresh breath of air for any fantasy/Sci-Fi fans. Written by a Blakes 7 and Dr Who contributor

The Iliad & The Odyssey by Homer -- both have stood the test of time; so much in The Iliad relevant to wars in our time.

Another lovely Linda Grant book that again looks at the effects of time on people. This is built around Alix, who has returned to Liverpool where her mother is dying and her brother's marriage is falling apart. She unexpectedly meets a man, who has his own demons from his past to deal with. This covers a lot of ground: Liverpool, Israel, Chicago, France, all vividly evoked. Wonderful book.

BBC reporter Ed Stourton has done some fine work throwing light on a particular aspect of the second world war in this book, which tells the stories of some of the people who escaped occupied France across the Pyrenees, and the people who helped them. As part of his research he walked the route, and that understanding of the hardships makes this all the more credible, and creditable.