The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman

This book won a Pulitzer Prize in 1963. I have read other of her books and I credit "A Distant Mirror" for igniting my love of reading history. For the most part, this book does a fine job painting a picture of the first month of WWI, left me needing more. I do give myself credit for the selfless forced march I took on to slog through to the end of this book. It is mostly compelling reading but it does bog down in parts.

It is a top down look from the perspective of the bumbling, weepy, arrogant idiots --oops my bad-- the fine moustachioed gentleman who were in charge of making goverment, diplomatic, and battlefield decisions.  

Since this book was writtten much more is known and much more has been written. Off to the trenches...

The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason

This novel follows a young Viennese medical student to the Eastern front during the winter of WWI in 1914. Even though he has minimal experience (ok basically none) there is already a severe shortage of trained medical personnel. He becomes the single doctor in a freezing, partially destroyed and deserted church that is serving as a field hospital. One nurse and a few orderlies. 

This book is one of the best books that I have read this year- a fantastic depiction of the ravages andthe travesties that was WWI. I will put this on my forever shelf and no doubt read it again. First though I am sharing it with friends. I will definitely read more from this author.

Hi! I'm Debbie. Here at Categorically Well-Read I give an extra layer to the reading life. Learn more about me, check out my current category of books, submit your own suggestion, or check out my latest post.