The Zookeeper’s Wife | WWII

Human compassion and love overcomes the worst sort of circumstances, bridging the divide of religion, race, and country.

Poland: A History | Poland

The Poles are a surprisingly resilient people, weathering adversity and powering through the storms of history.

The Doll | Poland

I didn’t see this book as a failure of the class system, I saw it as a triumph over it.

Poland: A Novel | Poland

The enmity between Germany and Poland and Russia and Poland isn’t a 20th century thing. It’s been going on for centuries.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas | WWII

This book was horrifying in some ways and beautiful in others. In the end, it described war as something that engulfs all, not just adults, not just Jews, not just Nazis. It destroys everything.

Auschwitz | WWII

Every person should read this book because darkness needs to have a light shined on it; it should be acknowledged and discussed and known. 

Escape from Warsaw | WWII

This book was about what love and forgiveness can accomplish, about how it can rebuild. There’s good out there even within the depths of evil.

Natural Born Heroes | WWII

This book isn’t really about World War II or Greeks or fitness or even heroism. It’s about compassion, about love.

Gates of Fire | Greece

There’s something beautiful in the self-sacrifice of those Spartans laboring at the Hot Gates, knowing that they would die in the blood and horror of war. Doing it anyway for their families and their freedom.

Greece: A History | Greece

There’s something beautifully tragic about Greece—foreshadowed in the work of Euripides or Sophocles—that’s both enchanting and sad.

Spies of the Balkans | WWII

Costa Zannis is helped, and sometimes hindered, by a cast of characters who show that heroism is something that regular people can do on a regular basis during extraordinary circumstances.

The Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece | Greece

I picked up The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece by Nigel Rodgers on a whim. I thought, “Hm, this might be nice to thumb through.” Did I thumb through it? No. I read it, and it was quite the endeavor. Overview: This book starts with the Minoans and Mycenaeans, the precursors to the Greeks, and works…