Saturday, November 10, 2018

Writers Gotta Read, Right? Veterans Day #WeekendReads

Veterans Day is celebrated on November 12 (the actual date being November 11), but why limit thinking about and honoring our veterans on just a single day? And how about reading a book (or two) that would help us learn more about and appreciate the men and women who have served and are serving their country?

The following lists offer some possibilities for you to consider. I'll start with mystery-related reads, since mysteries are "my thing":
  • Mystery Fanfare by Janet Rudolph salutes Veterans Day mysteries in this post, mentioning Jacqueline Winspear's series with protagonist Maise Dobbs (a World War I nurse veteran), as well as Charles Todd's two series featuring Inspector Ian Rutledge (post-World War I) and battlefield nurse Bess Crawford (World War I). You can read more of her suggestions here
  • A 2007 In Reference to Murder post by BV Lawson highlighting mystery series for Veterans Day includes the series by John D. MacDonald featuring Travis McGee, a Korean War veteran; Craig Johnson's series with protagonist Walt Longmire, a veteran Marine Investigator from the Vietnam War era; and Owen Parry's U.S. Civil War series with protagonist Abel Jones, a federal agent. Check it out for more recommendations, listed by historical era.
  • Mysteries in Paradise also has a long list of individual books for Remembrance Day/Armistice Day (honoring the end of World War I, which occurred 100 years ago on November 11, 1918). 
  • NOV 11th ADDENDUM: Here's another list from the CrimeReads blog: 9 Mysteries Set in the Immediate Aftermath of WWI. (A shout-out to the CrimeThruTime elist, where I spotted this...)
If you'd like suggestions that go beyond mystery-related reads, turn to Goodreads to view their Listopia Books for Veterans Day. First book on the list is the classic ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT by Erich Maria Remarque.

For me, the quintessential Veterans Day read is THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE by Stephen Crane (which I just found for Kindle for free right here).

I'll just add that my own Silver Rush series, set primarily in the year 1880, includes a number of veterans and other characters who continue to be deeply affected by the U.S. Civil War, even though it is 15 years in the past.

If you have any books to recommend that feature and/or honor veterans, we'd love to hear about them. Meanwhile, I plan to dive into Stephen Crane's novel and see if it's as good as I remember...



Ann Parker authors the award-winning Silver Rush historical mystery series published by Poisoned Pen Press. During the day, she wrangles words for a living as a science editor/writer and marketing communications specialist (which is basically a fancy term for "editor/writer"). Her midnight hours are devoted to scribbling fiction. Visit AnnParker.net for more information.

13 comments :

  1. Nice.

    I'd add the Ben Reese series by Sally Wright and the Billy Boyle series by James Benn. The latter is active duty in WWII but I can just see him back in postwar Boston.

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  2. This is a great list, Ann. I tend to read more general novels about these war periods than I do mysteries, so you (and Liz) have given me some new ideas for my TBR list.

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    1. Hi Pat! Do you have any favorite general novels that you'd like to mention? I'm always looking to broaden my reading horizons as well. :-)

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    2. Oh my. I joined the WWII group on Goodreads and doubled my TBR list in a matter of months. Most are nonfiction but there is a fiction thread.

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    3. Hi Liz! Ah! That sounds like a good group for this particular topic... I think I'll "take note" of it, but stay away for now. My TBR piles are TBR mountains!! ;-)

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  3. If you want to venture into really well-crafted Horror/Thriller, I recommend Koko by Peter Straub. It focuses on a tight group of Vietnam Vets who are forced to hunt down one of their own.

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    1. Ooooo, sounds intriguing! I'll check it out, Elle. Thanks!

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  4. Mystery Writers of America will keep my to be read pile toppling over.

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  6. Trying again here... I just added another list re: mysteries set in the aftermath of WWI. Here is the direct link: https://crimereads.com/9-mysteries-set-in-the-immediate-aftermath-of-wwi/

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  7. Wow, what a great list of books. Like others have mentioned, I must step carefully away from the lists, do not buy another book. LOL My TBR piles are mountains, too. I do, however want to recommend the books by Lee Child featuring Jack Reacher, once a a military policeman. And I do love the books by Craig Johnson.

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