Three Book Recommendations: Erik Larson, Anne Frank, and Elie Wiesel

threearrowsAlthough I’ve read only one of these bookings, I know someone who has read all three.  He said they are all great especially “In the Garden of Beasts” and “Night.”  It was too important for me to pass up not recommending them, given we currently live in a time when it’s become all too easy to attack other people based on their beliefs whether religious or something else.  I’ve found freedom of speech having a fine line.  It always comes down to whether the action of someone promotes harmonious integration with as many people as possible for me.  I understand it isn’t easy when life’s reality is in front of you.  Sometimes you have to be not so nice in order to take care of your own well-being.  You don’t want to be perceived as a pushover as much as you don’t want to be regarded as an asshole, but if the current political debating occurring across the U.S regarding immigration and economy says anything, now is not the time to close your eyes.  I admit I’ve been doing some of this because it’s easy for me to get annoyed and angry over certain things happening and not happening, but we live in a world where we are all impacted.  Sometimes I need to mentally divorce myself and go into a kind of seclusion.

threearrowsA varied society with varied people with radically different views brings varied chaos.  The only thing I can do is speak from my own experiences and beliefs.  I used to reside in the black and white areas, but now I also am able to see the gray too.  Some of my hardcore beliefs have changed and while I didn’t write this to have a political debate on social media, I’ve been known to argue certain aspects one might find under the expansive political umbrella.  My roommate and I are quite different in some areas and surprisingly closer in others.  It’s much harder when polar opposites come face to face.  This is what I believe is going on right now in the U.S. and elsewhere: the battle between  the conservative ideology (rooted in all kinds of phobia and discrimination) versus liberal ideology (rooted in extreme progressiveness and also intolerance).  I don’t see much purpose for either one, but I’m not the one who’s going to change these people to shift more to the middle.  History appears to be repeating itself and with this in mind, find your own footing as best you can in a society of many and try to pick as many people up instead of kicking them down.

In the Garden of Beasts is a non-fiction book about William E. Dodd, American ambassador to Nazi Germany in 1933.  He speaks of the time when Hitler and his regime spreads his sinister plan across Germany first, hoping for European domination.  I have yet to read this book, but look forward to it.  I know of others who have read Erik Larson and said he’s an excellent writer.  The first publication date was 2011 by Crown and is 448 pages in length.

The Diary of a Young Girl is a non-fiction book about Anne Frank’s process of coming to age, in a way, during a time when certain groups were being exterminated.  This version includes more of her identity and the conflicts she had with her mother.  It still captures her feelings and emotions as she hides from the Nazi soldiers in Amsterdam when all she wanted to do was live a normal childhood in the 1940s.  The first publication date was 1995 and is 340 pages in length.

Night is a memoir book about Elie Wiesel’s time as a teenager.  He writes about the fear, death, and survival during his time in Auschwitz and Buchenwald.  He writes from the heart, as painful and frightening as it is, so others can understand what it means to survive nightmare after nightmare.  It’s a reminder that humanity can be cruel, but also kind.  The first publication date was 2006 and is 120 pages in length.



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