My dear friend Jo Castro from Lifestylefifty asked if I would write a post about my five great reads and only five, good idea as I’d never shut up and this would be the longest post in history.
Hi Jo, here is my five top reads. I hope you find some inspiration here, though I do warn you that my readings aren’t for everyone.
I have discovered that I like fact-fiction. I think that is what most books are, however some more than others. When I waffle on about a great book to my friends they sometimes look on in horror and cover their ears. Okay so that reaction leads me to the think that readers don’t like a specific content or is a confronting reading for them, I do get it. Just as I won’t read rape scenes or watch movies with that content, they disturb me and make my skin crawl. Reminding me how vulnerable we are.
Labyrinth of Lies
I like books that I can learn from. I have a fascination though I hope not a morbid one regarding concentration camps from the second world war.
- The shame
- The humiliation
- The torture
- The Experiments and the many despicable acts that shall never be forgotten, by all sides
I have read a few novels and seen a few films; the last one gave an insight into both sides of the story (Labyrinth of lies). Regardless, wrongs can never be righted can they? I am just floored at the human spirit and survival skills, how much can the human race take? Unfortunately not that much has changed through the years, clearly wars are a money making machine, and greed for power is never ending.
I read a book by the recently deceased Eli Wiesel called ‘Night’, about his experiences as a prisoner in Auschwitz and the Buchenwald concentration camps. No disrespect to Eli but I found the book centred on him and his feelings and I didn’t learn too much. At the same time I read a book that I nicked from my dad (runs in the family) called ‘I am Alive by Kitty Hart’. I learnt a great deal from Kitty, from how the Nazi’s went about destroying a race, from the ghetto’s they made to the conditions and life in the camps.
- The gas chambers
- The fight for survival
- The tortured train journey
- The hard labour
- The despicable experiments
- The starvation
- The dirty tricks the Nazi scum played on their prisoners and the dreadful jobs the prisoners were forced to do
I’m horrified by how they threw live babies into fires and much much more, Kitty also explains in detail what she saw and it’s not for the faint hearted, a ghastly part of our worlds history. I have googled and you can buy the book from Amazon and others. May that history never be forgotten, and we are now in danger of those concentration amp survivors dying from old age, I hope not from their injuries they sustained at the hands of the Nazis, and so their memories will die with them. My copy is a first run from 1961, very precious.
I have recently finished Caroline Brothers, ‘The Memory Stones’, a remarkable telling of the disappearance of approximately 500 children during the Argentine (70’s-80’s) revolution. The Grandmothers of the plaza de Mayo have recovered 119 of these missing babies and children. Some of the babies were born in detention centres, where here their parents are tortured, their babies stripped from them, or where children stolen from families are given to members of the security forces and their friends. A story of a family’s troubled journey and determination to find their daughter and granddaughter. I don’t want to give too much away. The writing is beautiful, exquisite, and I hope to read more of her. Caroline has a PhD in history and has worked as a foreign correspondent and a journalist.
A popular book that I took a while to begin to read (idiot) ‘All The Light We Cannot See’, by Anthony Doer. A magical book about a little blind girl called Marie-Laure set during the Second World War in France. The Nazis are hunting her father as he has something they need, on the run they hide out in a mansion of a family member. You know what happens don’t you, father goes missing and the girl hides and against all odds survives. Don’t walk to the bookstore, RUN.
I have one more to complete my top 5 and that would be a book by Hannah Kent called ‘Burial Rites’. I screamed out loud at the end of this book at what I felt was the injustice to the end of Agnes Manusdottir’s life in 1829. I don’t think she murdered those two men, others who have read it though do. The journey and the story is based on facts and captured my imagination. Hannah Kent is about to release another book this month and I have tickets to the Perth launch. You bet I’m a little bit more than excited.
My 5 book journey is at an end, till next time……