Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day encourages remembrance in a world scarred by genocide. 27 January marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, on this day we encourage you to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution of other groups and in genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The Holocaust threatened the fabric of civilisation, and genocide must still be resisted every day. Our world often feels fragile and vulnerable, and we cannot be complacent. Each year, on Holocaust Memorial Day people from across the UK come together to learn more about the past and take action to create a safer future. We have created a booklist – available on BorrowBox of books covering The Holocaust and genocide. The full list, which can be accessed here, includes more than 50 titles, most available as eBook and eAudiobooks

Three Sisters

Heather Morris

Based on the incredible true story of the Meller sisters, as told to Heather Morris the global bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka’s Journey. Three Sisters is her third novel, and the final piece in the phenomenon that is the Tattooist of Auschwitz series.

When Livia, the youngest of the three Meller sisters is sent to Auschwitz by the Nazis at the age of 15, her old sister, remembering a promise they made to stay together, no matter what, follows her there. 17-year-old Magda, who has remained at home to care for her mother and grandfather, is finally captured and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau too, where the three sisters are reunited and make a new promise to survive.

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook.

My Name is Selma

Selma Van de Perre

Selma van de Perre was seventeen when World War Two began. Until then, being Jewish in the Netherlands had been of no consequence. But by 1941 this simple fact had become a matter of life or death. Several times, Selma avoided being rounded up by the Nazis. Then, in an act of defiance, she joined the Resistance movement, using the pseudonym Margareta van der Kuit. For two years ‘Marga’  used a fake ID travelling around the country sharing information.

In July 1944 her luck ran out. She was transported to Ravensbruck, the women’s concentration camp, as a political prisoner. Unlike her parents and sister – who, she would later discover, died in other camps – she survived by using her alias, pretending to be someone else. It was only after the war ended that she was allowed to reclaim her identity and dared to say once again: My name is Selma. Now, at ninety-nine, Selma remains a force of nature. Full of hope and courage, this is her story in her own words.

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook.

First They Killed My Father

Luong Ung

When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Loung’s family fled their home and were eventually forced to disperse to survive. Loung was trained as a child soldier while her brothers and sisters were sent to labour camps. The surviving siblings were only finally reunited after the Vietnamese penetrated Cambodia and started to destroy the Khmer Rouge.

Bolstered by the bravery of one brother, the vision of the others and the gentle kindness of her sister, Loung forged on to create for herself a courageous new life. First They Killed My Father is an unforgettable book told through the voice of the young and fearless Loung. It is a shocking and tragic tale of a girl who was determined to survive despite the odds.

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook.

The Translator

Daoud Hari

As a Zaghawa tribesman in the Darfur region of Sudan, Daoud Hari grew up racing camels across the desert, attending gloriously colourful weddings and, when his work was done, playing games under the moonlight. But in 2003, helicopter gunships swooped down on Darfur’s villages and shattered that way of life for ever. Soon, Sudanese government-backed militias, attacking on horseback, came to murder, rape and burn. To drive the tribesmen from their lands.

When Hari’s village was attacked and destroyed, his family was decimated and dispersed. He escaped, and together with a group of friends roamed the battlefield deserts, helping the weak and vulnerable find food, water and a path to safety. When international aid groups and reporters arrived, Hari gave his services as a translator and guide. To do so was to risk his life, for the Sudanese government had outlawed journalists, punishing aid to ‘foreign spies’ with death. Yet Hari did so time and again. Until, eventually, his luck ran out and he was captured…

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook.

The Little Red Chairs

Edna O’Brien

The legendary Edna O’Brien’s tale of a mysterious stranger spellbinding an Irish village is ‘the kind of masterpiece that reminds you why you read books in the first place’.


When a man who calls himself a faith healer arrives in a small, west-coast Irish village, the community is soon under the spell of this charismatic stranger from the Balkans. One woman in particular, Fidelma McBride, becomes enthralled in a fatal attraction that leads to unimaginable consequences.

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook.

When The Hills Ask for Your Blood

David Belton

6 April 1994: In the skies above Rwanda the President’s plane is shot down in flames. In the chapel of a hillside village, missionary priest Vjeko Curic prepares to save thousands. Near Kigali, Jean-Pierre holds his family close, fearing for their lives. The mass slaughter that follows – friends against friends, neighbours against neighbours – is one of the bloodiest chapters in history. Twenty years on, BBC Newsnight producer David Belton, one of the first journalists into Rwanda, tells of the horrors he experienced at first-hand. Following the threads of Jean-Pierre and Vjeko Curic’s stories, he revisits a country still marked with blood, in search of those who survived and the legacy of those who did not. This is David Belton’s personal quest for the limits of bravery and forgiveness.

Available as an eBook and eAudiobook.

For more information on the Holocaust Memorial Trust please visit their website.

The Reader by Bernard Schlink

About the book

Schlink explores questions of guilt, deceit, betrayal and memory in this novel which traces the relationship between a German lawyer, Michael, and an older woman, Hanna, who was formerly a guard at a satellite camp attached to Auschwitz.

Reviewed by Biscuits, Books and Banter

Excellent book for promoting discussion. The concept is unusual and slightly disturbing but the writer does an excellent job in making it seem believable. Michael’s relationship with Hannah is very well written as the story and their ages go on.

Star rating: ***

Read this book

Request to borrow a reading group set

Kalooki nights by Howard Jacobson

Fixated on the crimes that have been committed against his people, Max Glickman is drawn into the family history of an old childhood friend. It leads him to one conclusion – there can be, and should be, no release from his Holocaust obsessions.

Review by Shipton Bellinger WI

Only 2  of 10 liked this book, many hardly starting it let alone finished. Writers do make the exploration of a social group into good novels bit I feel Jacobson failed to engage with his readers. A pity

Star rating: **

Read this book

Request to borrow a reading group set