Five Fall Favourites Day 3: Historical Non-Fiction!

Day three is here!! Which brings us to historical non-fiction! One of my favourite genres! I hope you’ve been finding lots of good, God-honouring books that will encourage you in your walk with God. πŸ˜€

Don’t forget that you can find more book recommendations by clicking on the button below!

There are certain things that make me feel like it’s Autumn, and wood smoke is one of them! Come join me around the bonfire and feel free to join in as we read aloud beneath the starry night sky! πŸ˜€

Five Fall Favourites: Day 3–Historical Non-Fiction

‘Til We Meet Again: A Memoir of Love and War by Ray and Betty Whipps with Craig Borlase

Ray and Betty Whipps both served in Europe during WWII: Ray as an infantryman under General Patton in the trenches of Normandy, Paris, and Belgium, and Betty as a field nurse in Cherbourg, France. The two met when Betty tended to Ray after he was injured in a mortar blast. Both strong Christians, the two bonded over their shared faith, and as Betty nursed Ray back to health, they fell in love and vowed to marry after the war. However, soon after Ray returned to his unit, he was captured by German forces and held captive in Stalag VII, Germany’s largest prisoner of war camp. It was there that Ray’s faith was put to the ultimate test as he endured the most horrific weeks of his lifeβ€”weeks marked by brutality, malnutrition, back-breaking labor, and near-constant death. The only thing that kept him alive was the dream of someday reuniting with Betty.

This is one of my favourite books! It reads like a novel (only it’s a true story) and the author’s writing is fantastic! πŸ˜€ It’s tastefully done–war is painted as horrible, but it isn’t too graphic. I’m not a romance reader, and there wasn’t anything in this book that I felt was really inappropriate or unnecessary (or at least not that I remember!!).

Children of the Storm by Natasha Vins

Young, school-age Natasha receives pressure from her teachers to give her unquestioning allegiance to the Soviet State. Anti-Christian sentiment dogs her family’s life as well. The Vins family faces imprisonment, humiliation, court trials, and loss of jobs as part of the persecution waged by their government. In her teen years, Natasha begins to see that doors close to those who remain faithful to Christ. Now she must count the cost and decide for herself whether she wants to pay the price. The autobiography of Natasha Vins.

I found this quite an eye-opening book as I’m not all that familiar with Soviet Russia. The writing itself was simplistic, but the content is well worth reading. Books like this make us ask ourselves what we would be willing to stand up for if we were faced with such pressure and persecution. Natasha herself was not immune to struggles and questions, so her journey is “real.” And the truth remains–under persecution God’s people flourish and grow. God’s Word will not be silenced!

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

At one time Corrie ten Boom would have laughed at the idea that there would ever be a story to tell. For the first fifty years of her life nothing at all out of the ordinary had ever happened to her. She was an old-maid watchmaker living contentedly with her spinster sister and their elderly father in the tiny Dutch house over their shop. Their uneventful days, as regulated as their own watches, revolved around their abiding love for one another. However, with the Nazi invasion and occupation of Holland, a story did ensue.

I’m sure people are already familiar with this book. But I wanted to include it on my list anyway. Yes, this is hard book. I didn’t “enjoy” reading it. But I’m so, so glad that I did. πŸ™‚ I read it many years ago as part of my schooling, and it’s stuck with me ever since. Parts are blatant, but I think we need to know (to some degree) just how horrible the Holocaust was. This book does a good job of painting an ugly picture without going way too far overboard. Even amidst the horrors of the concentration camps, God was faithful to Corrie and Betsie. And God’s faithfulness is the same today as it was then! What a blessing and encouragement. πŸ™‚

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a know God.

Corrie ten Boom

Out of the Depths by Edgar Harrell and David Harrell

The Inspiring Story of a World War II Hero’s Miraculous Survival at Sea

July 30, 1945–The USS “Indianapolis” and its 1,196-man crew is making its way toward a small island in the South Pacific. The ship is sailing unescorted, assured by headquarters the waters are safe. It is midnight, and Marine Edgar Harrell and several others have sacked out on deck rather than spend the night in their hot and muggy quarters below. Fresh off a top-secret mission to deliver uranium for the atomic bombs that would ultimately end World War II, they are unaware their ship is being watched. Minutes later, six torpedoes are slicing toward the “Indy” . . .

For five horrifying days and nights after their ship went down, Harrell and his shipmates had to fend for themselves in the open seas. Plagued by dehydration, exposure, saltwater poisoning, and shark attacks, their numbers were cruelly depleted before they were miraculously rescued. This is one man’s story of courage, ingenuity, and faith in God’s providence in the midst of the worst naval disaster in U.S. history.

Yep! We serve a compassionate, awesome God! The horrors of being in the ocean for five days and nights is very real, and this is another book that you won’t be quick to forget. God miraculously saved Edgar’s life and it’s a story worth being told. πŸ˜€ I found parts of it a little hard to get into as it goes into army talk and logistics a bit, but as a whole I enjoyed it.

Trapped in Hitler’s Hell by Anita Dittman with Jan Markell

“Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge until these calamities be overpast.” (Psalm 57:1)
Anita Dittman was just a little girl when the winds of Nazism and Hitler’s coming Holocaust began to blow through Germany.
Raised by her Jewish mother, she came to believe that Jesus was her Messiah at eight years old. By the time she was ten, the war had begun.
Trapped in Hitler’s Hell is the true account of Holocaust horror but also of God’s miraculous mercy on a young girl who spent her teenage years desperately fighting for survival yet learning to trust in the One she had come to love.

God’s people do not need to fear. God delivers. And if He does not deliver, He sustains. And if He does not sustain, He receives us into His everlasting arms – for He is sovereign! God be praised.

Trapped in Hitler’s Hell, Anita Dittman

In case you hadn’t noticed, I love books that are set in the WWII period (both fiction and nonfiction)! πŸ˜‰ What makes this book extra good is that not only is it a true story, but it’s about a Messianic Jew. πŸ™‚ The writing flows well and reads like a novel. I have to admit that I’m only part way through it, but what I’ve read so far is really good! πŸ˜€

Five Fall Favourites’ Giveaway
Open to international entries as well (international winner will receive ebooks instead of physical goods).

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I would really love to hear what historical non-fiction books you have enjoyed. πŸ˜€ I’m always on the lookout for more books in this genre!!

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18 responses to “Five Fall Favourites Day 3: Historical Non-Fiction!”

  1. I’ve read β€œThe Hiding Place,” but none of the othersβ€”BUT I WANT TO BECAUSE THEY SOUND AMAZING. WWII + Nonfiction?! Yes please!!!

    1. πŸ˜€ I have to agree with you there! Even though it was a horrible time in history, the stories are inspiring! You should definitely read them!

  2. Okay, I need all of these! Well, I have The Hiding Place (very popular today…which makes me feel terrible for not really enjoying it…)and Children of the Storm (as well as a film about her dad) but the others need to be on my shelf…;) I have read a story about Anita Dittman, but I want to read more!

    1. πŸ˜€ I’ve read a different book about Anita, too, but it was more aimed at younger children (Shadow of His Hand: A Story Based on the Life of Holocaust Survivor Anita Dittman by Wendy Lawton). I haven’t seen that film you mentioned, but new there was one about him. Was it any good? πŸ™‚

  3. These all look like wonderful book!

    1. πŸ˜€ I certainly think so!

  4. Hmm, it does appear as though you enjoy WWII books. πŸ˜‰
    I’ve only read “The Hiding Place” but “Til we Meet Again” sounds really good.

    1. Yep, I guess it does! πŸ˜‰ And I’m guilty as charged! πŸ˜€ I see that I’m not the only one recommending Til We Meet Again in their lists today! It’s a good book!!

  5. These sound like good books! I think the only one I’ve read is The Hiding Place, but I may add some of the others to my TBR. πŸ˜‰

    1. Oh! I hope you do! πŸ˜€ They are definitely worth reading!

  6. Rosalyn R. Avatar
    Rosalyn R.

    I love The Hiding Place!!

    1. It’s amazing to read of the the ten Boom sisters’ faith despite the hardships. And even more wonderful to read of God’s faithfulness. πŸ˜€

  7. I’ve read all of these but Children of the Storm and one of my best friends recommended that one to me when she read it! I absolutely love Ray and Betty’s story!!

    1. πŸ˜€ I guess I shouldn’t be surprised! I noticed that you had some of the same books as me in your posts! So do I, and it’s very well told.

  8. Erika Mathews Avatar
    Erika Mathews

    I’ve read Children of the Storm (I think! I’ve at least owned it.) and The Hiding Place, and I’ve heard Anita Dittman speak live. πŸ™‚

    1. That would have be such a wonderful opportunity! πŸ˜€ I’m so glad that her’s and others’ stories are being preserved and told!

  9. Rachel Taylor Avatar
    Rachel Taylor

    I’ve read The Hiding Place. Out of the Depths is one I would bet interested in.

    1. πŸ˜€ It’s a pretty amazing (and chilling) story! I can’t fully imagine just how horrible it would be to endure even one day in the ocean!

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