Books for Memorial Day

Books that tell the story of those who served in the United States Armed Forces.

April 26, 2023

In honor of Memorial Day, we’ve gathered together a list of books that tell the story of those who served in the United States Armed Forces.

Looking for more? Check out our past Memorial Day lists: 2021

The library will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 29—so pick up your books ahead of time!



Hidden History Of Connecticut Union Soldiers by John Banks

Hidden History Of Connecticut Union Soldiers

John Banks

Join author John Banks as he shines a light on many of these forgotten Connecticut Yankees.

The Escape Artists by Neal Bascomb

The Escape Artists
A Band Of Daredevil Pilots And The Greatest Prison Break Of The Great War

Neal Bascomb

Presents the story of a group of downed Allied airmen who masterminded a courageous and ingenious breakout from Germany’s Holzminden POW camp.

A Bright And Blinding Sun by Marcus Brotherton

A Bright And Blinding Sun
A World War II Story Of Survival, Love, And Redemption

Marcus Brotherton

The New York Times best-selling author tells the true story of an underage solder who joined the Army at age fourteen and was sent to the Philippines after Pearl Harbor, where he became a prisoner of war.

Facing The Mountain by Daniel James Brown

Facing The Mountain
A True Story Of Japanese American Heroes In World War II

Daniel James Brown

Based on extensive interviews with the families of the protagonists as well as deep archival research, the New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat chronicles the special Japanese-American Army unit that overcame brutal odds in Europe

The Fighters by C. J. Chivers

The Fighters
Americans In Combat In Afghanistan And Iraq

C. J. Chivers

Traces the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through its most at-risk participants, offering insights into such events as the hunt for bin Laden and counterguerilla warfare in the mountains of the Korengal Valley.

The Commanders by Lloyd Clark

The Commanders
The Leadership Journeys Of George Patton, Bernard Montgomery And Erwin Rommel

Lloyd Clark

Drawing on letters, diary extracts, official reports and other documents, an acclaimed military historian explores the interconnected lives of three of the most important and consequential generals in World War II, recounting dramatic battles they developed on the ground and at headquarters, as well as the controversies that plagued them throughout their careers.

The Last Hill by Bob Drury, Tom Clavin

The Last Hill
The Epic Story Of A Ranger Battalion And The Battle That Defined WWII

Bob Drury, Tom Clavin

Filled with unforgettable action and characters, this incredible untold story of “Rudder’s Rangers,” the most elite and experienced attack unit the Army had, recounts how their objective to take Hill 400 led to a clash with the German Volks-Grenadiers, resulting in one of the bloodiest and costly ones of WWII.

The Immortals by Steven T Collis

The Immortals
The World War II Story Of Five Fearless Heroes, The Sinking Of The Dorchester, And An Awe-Inspiring Rescue

Steven T Collis

The story of the heroic actions of chaplains George Fox, Alexander Goode, John Washington, and Clark Poling of the Dorchester and steward’s mate Charles W. David Jr. of the Comanche in the aftermath of a German submarine attack during World War II.

Devil Dogs by Saul David

Devil Dogs
King Company, Third Battalion, 5th Marines From Guadalcanal To The Shores Of Japan

Saul David

“The “Devil Dogs” of King Company, Third Battalion, 5th Marines–part of the legendary 1st Marine Division–were among the first American soldiers to take the offensive in World World II–and also the last. Ordinary men from very different backgrounds, and drawn from cities, towns, and settlements across America, the Devil Dogs were asked to do something extraordinary: take on the victorious Imperial Japanese Army, composed of some of the most effective, “utterly ruthless and treacherous” soldiers in world history–and defeat it.

Half American by Matthew Delmont

Half American
The Epic Story Of African Americans Fighting World War II At Home And Abroad

Matthew Delmont

This history of World War II as told from the African American perspective looks at the bravery and patriotism of the one million black men and women who served in the face of unfathomable racism.

Unknown Valor by Martha MacCallum

Unknown Valor
A Story Of Family, Courage, And Sacrifice From Pearl Harbor To Iwo Jima

Martha MacCallum

In honor of the 75th Anniversary of one of the most critical battles of World War II … Martha MacCallum pays tribute to the heroic men who sacrificed everything at Iwo Jima to defeat the Armed Forces of Emperor Hirohito–among them, a member of her own family.

Thank You For Your Service by David Finkel

Thank You For Your Service

David Finkel

An award-winning staff writer for The Washington Post discusses the hardships faced by soldiers who have come home from service by following the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion originally depicted in his book The Good Soldiers.

Second Chances by Craig Grossi

Second Chances
A Marine, His Dog, And Finding Redemption

Craig Grossi

The author of “Craig & Fred” describes how his devoted canine companion and he visited Maine State Prison to work beside inmates who serve purposeful time in prison by training service dogs for disabled veterans.

Modern Warriors by Pete Hegseth

Modern Warriors
Real Stories From Real Heroes

Pete Hegseth

Presents inspiring stories from fifteen highly decorated members of America’s military, drawing on candid conversations to discuss what inspired them to serve, the realities of war, and the difficulty of transitioning back home.

Bridge To The Sun by Bruce Henderson

Bridge To The Sun
The Secret Role Of The Japanese Americans Who Fought In The Pacific In World War II

Bruce Henderson

The best-selling author of Sons and Soldiers tells the story of the Japanese American U.S. Army soldiers who fought in the Pacific theater while their families were back home in America held in government internment camps.

Brothers In Arms by James Holland

Brothers In Arms
One Legendary Tank Regiment’s Bloody War From D-Day To Ve-Day

James Holland

The acclaimed military historian focuses on the experiences of the legendary take unit, the Sherwood Rangers, during World War II and how they spearheaded one of the 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy.

Who Can Hold The Sea by James D Hornfischer

Who Can Hold The Sea
The U.S. Navy In The Cold War, 1945-1960

James D Hornfischer

Combining narrative history with high-seas adventure, this thrilling book brings to life the dramatic rise of the Navy’s crucial postwar role in a series of exciting episodes that include the controversial atomic bomb tests on warships at Bikini Atoll; the refinement of sonar and the developing science of undersea warfare.

Against All Odds by Alex Kershaw

Against All Odds
A True Story Of Ultimate Courage And Survival In World War II

Alex Kershaw

The bestselling author of The First Wave returns with the story of the four most decorated World War II soldiers, who fought in every major campaign and helped defeat Nazi Germany’ s finest troops.

The Women With Silver Wings by Katherine Sharp Landdeck

The Women With Silver Wings

Katherine Sharp Landdeck

With the fate of the free world hanging in the balance, women pilots went aloft to serve their nation. . . . A soaring tale in which, at long last, these daring World War II pilots gain the credit they deserve.

The American War In Afghanistan by Carter Malkasian

The American War In Afghanistan
A History

Carter Malkasian

The American War in Afghanistan is a full history of the war in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2020. It covers political, cultural, strategic, and tactical aspects of the war and details the actions and decision-making of the United States, Afghan government, and Taliban.

The Last Soldiers Of The Cold War by Fernando Morais

The Last Soldiers Of The Cold War
The Story Of The Cuban Five

Fernando Morais

Here is the story of political prisoners finally freed in December 2014, after being held captive by the United States since the late 1990s.

Inferno by Joe Pappalardo

The True Story Of A B-17 Gunner’s Heroism And The Bloodiest Military Campaign In Aviation History

Joe Pappalardo

A portrait of World War II’s only Medal of Honor recipient to receive a subsequent demotion traces the forgotten 1943 mission of pilot Maynard Harrison “Snuffy” Smith, who single-handedly saved his crewmates during the May Day Massacre.

Alpha by David Philipps

Eddie Gallagher And The War For The Soul Of The Navy Seals

David Philipps

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Philipps uncovers the shocking rise and fall of Eddie Gallagher, the decorated Navy SEAL accused of war crimes during his deployment to Mosul, the fellow SEALs who turned him in, and the court martial that captivated the nation.

Walking Point by Perry A Ulander

Walking Point
From The Ashes Of The Vietnam War

Perry A Ulander

This intimate memoir by an American GI who served in Vietnam offers a powerful narrative for readers with an interest in the effects of war and violence, American involvement in Vietnam and how trauma can be a catalyst for transformation.


Switchboard Soldiers by Jennifer Chiaverini

Switchboard Soldiers

Jennifer Chiaverini

In 1917, Grace Banker from N.J., Marie Moissec from France, and Valerie DeSmedt, originally from Belgium, are recruited as a telephone operators, aka switchboard solders, to help American forces communicate between troops as bombs fell around them.

Black Cloud Rising by David Wright Falade

Black Cloud Rising

David Wright Falade

Sergeant Richard Etheridge, the son of a slave and her master, must prove that his troops in the African Brigade are skilled and trustworthy as they raid the areas occupied by the Confederate Partisan Rangers in the fall of 1863.

Redeployment by Phil Klay


Phil Klay

A collection of short stories by a former Marine captain and Iraq veteran focuses on the complexities of life for soldiers on the front lines and after, exploring themes ranging from brutality and faith to guilt and survival in such stories as “After Action Report” and “Money as Weapons System.”

Missionaries by Phil Klay


Phil Klay

The National Book Award-winning author of Redeployment examines the globalization of violence through the interconnected stories of a U.S. Army Special Forces medic, a foreign correspondent, a Colombian officer and a militia lieutenant who navigate the realities of modern warfare.