Kailana posted about her November Challenge. You see, November 11 in Canada is Remembrance Day. (Hmm I don't have a poppy yet...must get one soon.) In theory it is a day of honouring all those that serve in the Canadian military as well as to honour those who served in WWI, WWII, and the Korean War. (Canada did not officially fight in the Vietnam War although we did send 250 officers in 1973 to aid in the American withdrawal from the war - one Canadian life was lost in the effort.) I see it as more than that though...I see it as an opportunity to remember what it was like for the home-front. To reflect on how both of the World Wars changed the lives and roles of women. I remember the people who fought in Europe as part of the resistance. I remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust . To me, Remembrance Day is about that - remembering. Not only Canadian military personnel, but all Canadians. And to also remember those beyond our borders.
I'm not going to say that I absolutely am going to read the books listed below...I'm still feeling a bit burned from reading tasks this month. I want to reserve the right to ignore this list if I feel the need to. But in an ideal world this month I would read:
- Marching as to War - Pierre Burton (I love Pierre Burton...I've read about half of this book but I've never finished it - I believe I'm somewhere in WWII at the moment, it's been awhile since I picked it up). Canadian.
- The Women Who Wrote the War - Nancy Sorrell (I bought this a couple of years ago and never got more than a few pages into it...) US.
- A Woman in Berlin - Anon. (I had planned to read this in September but it caught me at a bad time...). German
- Villa Air-Bel: WWII, Escape and a House in Marseille - Rosemary Sullivan (Yes, I bought it at the IFOA...the more I thought about it in the days after the reading the more I wanted it - too bad I didn't buy it the day of the reading, I could have had it autographed...phooey!)
- Night Watch - Sarah Waters (I know, I know...I should have read this months ago. Shush.)
I'd like to finish at least two of them in November.You will notice two things...the first that the clear majority of these are non-fiction. I frequently prefer non-fiction to fiction when it comes to WWI and WWII. There are enough stories, real stories, that do not need embellishment (IMO). That being said, I'm not opposed to fiction set during these times - I've read some great fiction recently eg. Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden and of course one of my personal favourites, Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery (I actually looked for it this weekend and can't find my copy!).
Secondly most of these have to do with WWII. Much of my reading has gone that way, I think in part because I find it easier to find non-fiction WWII accounts then WWI accounts, particularly those concerning women. Not that there aren't women-centric accounts of WWI, I just have to look harder for them.
I could rant on more about this subject (hey, the focus of my history major was War and Society - of course I could rant on more), but I'll stop now or I may never shut up.
Update November 13: Finished A Woman in Berlin