16 May 2006

Books

I'’ve had a lovely time reading some different books for the last few days:

The Perfect Storm- First time I'’d read this one. Fascinating book. I think Julie wrote about this one, but I couldn't find it on her blog. I much preferred when he was writing about what really happened during that storm than trying to reconstruct what might have happened on the Andrea Gail and never really got into their story. I'd have loved to have heard more about Reeves'’ experience on the Japanese ship.

Dealing with Dragons- Quick one to read. I think Melissa wrote about this one, but like the previous book, I couldn't find it on her blog. A cheery and thoroughly unobjectionable book with a likeable heroine, although the plot was a bit contrived at the end. None of the other books in the trilogy appeared to be at the embassy.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
- This was actually the first time I'd read the diary of Anne Frank. It's one of those books that's assigned so often that people almost stop picking it up on their own accord (one reason why I generally dislike teachers assigning certain books). I very much liked it and thought it was well-written. I'’ve read a reasonable amount about the Holocaust and it was good to read this one also.

Anne brought up several times that she and her mother had two different outlooks when things got hard. Her mother'’s was to think of the people whose lives were harder than hers (and despite being Jews in hiding for two years in Amsterdam, there were millions of people who had it harder than the Franks did while Anne was writing) and Anne'’s was to think of all the good that was still her in life. Anne thought her mother was thinking about all the misery in the world and that she (Anne) was thinking about the goodness in the world. Personally, I think they were both getting at the same thing. When you think of the people who have it worse than you, it'’s easier to see what'’s going right in your life. Anne just skipped that step.

Anne Frank Remembered- This was written by Miep Gies, one of the Dutch women who helped hide the Frank family. I read this one right after I finished with Anne Frank and it was interesting to get a different perspective on what was going on and to fill out the story a bit. Miep is a likeable person and I am very impressed with all she did.

So who had it harder, those who were actually hiding or those who helped the people in hiding? Both placed themselves at great risk, as evidenced by the fact that many people who hid Jews were sent to concentration camps. The lives of both were controlled by the Nazis. Miep spent a lot of time making sure the families in hiding had enough food- no easy task during the war. I think she had a much greater responsibility. But at least she could do something instead of waiting and hiding.

5 comments:

  1. Perfect Storm was recently reviewed at Dave's Mormon Inquiry.

    Terrie Lynn Bittner posted briefly about Dealing with Dragons. You might know her as the LDS Editor at Bella Online and a Homeschooling advocate.

    I've never read the Anne Frank diary--I'm put off by it being assigned, just as you suggest. Yesterday this guy told my husband he used to live near the Anne Franke house in Amsterdam. They'd see American tourists in the area, puzzling over their maps and guides, and sometimes he and his mates would invite the the tourists in and show them around their own squat, pretending it was the Anne Franke house. But they felt bad when the Americans tried to give them money, so there's only eight to twelve American families who think they've seen the Anne Franke house but actually never have.

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  2. Never heard of Bella Online before. Interesting place.

    Anne Frank really was a quick read and worthwhile.

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  3. I read Anne Frank in high school, and frankly, reading about her life and ultimate death creeped me out. I couldn't get into it, though I agree it's a classic and well worth reading again. Think I might give it another try someday.

    I read "The Other Eminent Men of Wilford Woodruff" earlier this year... excellent. It's on the Deseret Book website.

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  4. I very much enjoyed The Other Eminent Men too. I'll have to borrow it from my mother again the next time I'm in the US.

    Thanks for stopping by, naddin j.

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  5. I adored Anne Frank. I was about the same age as she when I was (you guessed it) assigned to read it. But it really spoke to me.

    On the other hand I read The Perfect Storm just as it was released, before the hoopla actually. Then again with the movie coming out. The wierd thing was *seeing* the film on an in-flight movie on our way to Hawaii. *That* freaked me out.

    Not to worry, the return trip in-flight movie was "Castaway". lol

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