Birdsong was kind of surprisingly, a lovely love story. It was also about family and really, the word I keep coming up with is love. There were some really dark war filled sections of the book but it fit and felt exactly what I imagine war feels like in anyone's life - uncomfortable, uncertain, dirty, dark.
All Quiet on the Western Front was really just a war novel. I walked away struck by the book - I really enjoyed it and at the same time, didn't enjoy anything about it. The novelist was a veteran of the war, so I can only imagine that the harrowing story, while fictionalized, is also taken from real experience.
Recommend them both. Really liked that I read them within a month span of each other as well.