Nose in a book

As long as I can remember I’ve been a bookworm.
My school holiday highlight was going to the local library to get as many books as I could carry and I always had difficulties in only picking 10 to take home.

Frequently bed time reading time would include the phrases “just one more chapter” and “don’t turn the light out yet!”

So yesterday when I bumped into something in the kitchen and my partner said “why don’t you get your nose out of that book and watch where you’re going”, I immediately replied “yes Mum” out of habit.

I took advantage of knitters block and spent almost all weekend with my nose in 3 books, read in quick succession.

Diary Of A Young Girl or The Diary Of Anne Frank has been on my to read list for a long time.
With the announcement this week that Neutral Milk Hotel are reforming (and coming to Australia squee!!!) it rekindled my original interest in the book.
It has been well documented that their album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea could be based around Anne Frank’s writing. I had Holland, 1945 swirling around my head whilst I was reading.

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After reading it I spent the next few hours looking at Wikipedia articles about the same topic.
I am the first to admit that my knowledge of history is pretty terrible so I am trying to rectify that with my reading this year.

What struck me most was how well she wrote and how well she knew herself.
I don’t think I was that mature and self aware until I was much, much older.

Still on that vein I went looking for more to read on that subject and I found Adolescence in Auschwitz by Regina Frankel

Although not as well known as Anne Frank, her recollections and experiences have been documented and exist now as a gruesome memoir. It was a challenging read even with some details being left out, but I felt it was important to finish it.

I was particularly struck by one quote by Joseph Stalin “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.”

I’m not going to say too much more about these two books mostly because its very difficult, conflicting, and I need to be a better writer to articulate my feelings clearly enough to do these events justice.

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After those two I needed something a little lighter so my dreams wouldn’t be haunted by the experiences of those two remarkable women.

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella fit the bill nicely.
It’s an easy to read story about a girl who loses her engagement ring, and then finds a mobile phone which becomes her lifeline.
It’s the sort of book I usually read, and I do own a lot of her novels.
It’s a bit formulaic but her characters are relatable and fun.

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Now to decide what to read next?

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15 thoughts on “Nose in a book

  1. Many years ago, when I started high school, the highlight of end of term was that we were allowed to borrow from the school library during the holidays. Such a step up from primary school 😉

    I read The Diary Of Anne Frank in my late teens. To this day, there are things that stay with me from the book. Firstly, Anne’s maturity, given her age. Second, very difficult to understand how humans could be persecuted like that and how people doing the persecuting could be so full of hate.

    1. Seconded.
      I almost want to read an autobiography of a German guard or someone in that position of power to try and understand. But I don’t think I could ever understand.
      There are a lot of feelings which I can’t articulate well.

  2. Q – Love this post. Both my husband and I are bookworms! Heaven was the day a bookmobile route started in our neighborhood when I was 9. No longer did I have to depend on my parents to drive me to the library for books. LOL! And, my daughters and I LOVE Sophia Kinsella. We all have Kindles so we can share books.

  3. I’ve always wondered how much Diary of Anne Frank was edited prior to publication. I look at my diaries written at that age and I can’t imagine publishing them without a little bit of work to clean up grammar and style. This is not out a desire to look like a better teenage writer, but just to make them readable.

    I seem to recall hearing that the family withheld certain parts of the text. Does anyone else know more about this? I could swear that there was an article about this recently.

    Do any of you use Goodreads?

    1. The prefix of the version I read went into this in a lot of detail. There were 3 version. The first unedited one. Then Anne, after hearing that someone was going to publish a collection of diaries after the war she herself went through and cleaned up the grammar and fleshed out some situations. There were also some comments that she made about herself and her writing.
      Then once she died her father put together the memoir and left out a few sections on her sexuality and that were critical about the family. After he died in 1980 the trust was allowed to publish it fully as Anne intended.

      I only discovered goodreads when doing this post (but it’s blocked at work – I just grabbed the links). Is it any good?

      1. Very interesting!!! I may have to go back and read it again as I am not sure which one I read. It would be interesting to compare them, too.

    2. Otto Frank, Anne’s father, was the sole survivor of all who hid in the annexe, and he lived until 1980. I read where he withheld some of the more personal parts of the diary, eg: where Anne writes about physical changes she was going through as well as parts he thought too mundane for readers. Then there was an article which said he approved those missing passages for printing in later editions.

      It must have been very difficult for him to read through his daughters diary after her death, but he worked hard to save the building they hid in from being demolished. It is now Anne Frank House.

      1. It is unimaginable how difficult it must have been to read her account of things. It would have been so horrific to have to live in such a way and to be powerless to change life from this abuse for his children and family. I can’t imagine the courage of the people who hid the Jews at this time in history as it put their lives in as much risk and their families. Sometime life takes unimaginable courage. One only hopes that at these times people find that courage.

      2. I am always amazed by people who put their own lives at risk to save others, such as those who sheltered Anne and her family. I can only think that it is the sense of right and wrong, the basic good of those people, who could not stand by and condone what was happening.

      3. I think God leads them and they have the faith to follow His lead of right and wrong instead of the evil that is going on around them. Very frightening some of the horrific things that are still going on in the world with no one yet figuring out how to stop them.

  4. I also once read the diary of Anne Frank but a really long time ago. Since I live in the Netherlands, I also visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam during a school trip.

    1. Wow that would have been fascinating.
      Because Australia is so far away from everywhere we didn’t really learn a lot of European history at school (a bit of English being a colony) but it must be really nice to be able to drive for 10 hours and not still be in the same state.

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