Deb @ 1:36 am: It is November 11th, known here in the U.S. as Veteran’s Day, formerly Armistice Day to remember the end of WWI but expanded to honor all veterans who have fought for their country, so … Do you read war stories? Fictional ones? Histories?
I live in a country (Sweden) that has not been at war since 1814, so we of course do not have this special holiday. My first thought was actually to skip this question, but then I started thinking... ;)
I was born in 1955, i.e. ten years after then end of WWII. But even though Sweden was not directly "involved" in the war, there were still a lot of references to it in my early childhood; especially when visiting the grandparents.
At my paternal grandparents' house, for example, they still kept an old wallet filled with food ration coupons from the The War. I used to play with that. Grandma was also in the habit of saving things like used pieces of wrapping paper and string... Out of habit from The War, when things were hard to come by. I suspect that's also where my own father's habit of collecting everything, and throwing away nothing, came from. He was born in 1931, so grew up in the shadow of The War. Even if Sweden was not "in" the war, it was all around our country, and everyone and everything was affected by it. That much I think I always understood.
Among dad's few childhood books were some about Biggles - First World War pilot. I read those several times over when staying in that house. At my other grandparents' house there were books aimed at Young Girls; books which had belonged to my mother and my aunt. Those were often about young women who went off to work at some farm, or possibly as nurses, while the men went off to war... Yes. I dare say the War (one War or another!) was there in the background in a lot of books I grew up with; and in later reading too. Just think about it. Many a great love story has been set against the backgrond of a war. Gone With the Wind... The Sound of Music... In addition to Swedish, English and American literature I've also read quite a few French and Russian classics. Besides being in WW I and II those countries also had their own Revolutions. A few years ago, I read Tolstoy's War and Peace.
I mentioned The Diary of Anne Frank in connection with some other BTT question quite recently. One of my early favourites; many times read. Her diary is about being in hiding, while the war goes on outside. We know she later died in concentration camp. I've also read quite a few survivor's stories from the Jewish ghettos and concentration camps. And then of course there are countless fictional stories involving spies, and prison camp escapes, and rescue operations etc. I think the kinds of war stories I've been most interested in are "ordinary people" struggling to survive, though, rather than actual stories from "the front" and involving military strategy etc.
Then there is the Bible. It's full of accounts of war. And then there is the world of Fantasy... War against Evil, in endless varieties: The Lord of the Rings... The Chronicles of Narnia... Harry Potter...
So yes, I do read war stories. Fictional and historical. Not as particulary interested in warfare as such; but because war is part of human history and reality.