Upcoming Blog Tour

You might remember a recent review of a Holocaust based book that I put up. Go read it again. Here!

I’m very excited to announce that the author Matt Freese, who by the way, is a very interesting gentleman with many things to talk about, is going to stop by my blog. He will have written about a topic I have posted to him and will also be answering a few questions. The tour runs from January 12th- February 13th, 2015 and I will be participating in January, hurray! I really enjoy finding out from authors what makes them tick and I hope you lot will stop by too.

About the book: “A weirdly wonderful short story collection exploring the Holocaust from diverse perspectives in literary styles ranging from gothic and romantic to phantasmagoric.”

I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust is a varied collection of stories: inmates in death camps; survivors of these camps; disenchanted Golems complaining about their designated rounds; Holocaust deniers and their ravings; collectors of Hitler curiosa (only recently a few linens from Hitler’s bedroom suite went up for sale!); an imagined interview with Eva Braun during her last days in the Berlin bunker; a Nazi camp doctor subtly denying his complicity; and the love story of a Hungarian cantor, among others.

 Title: I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust

Author: Mathias B. Freese
Genre: Literary Fiction
Formats: Paperback & eBook
Published by: Wheatmark
ISNB: 9781627871617
Pub. Date: Sept. 14, 2014
Number  of pages: 252
Content Warning: 18+ for graphic violence
Purchase at: Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com

Other than that, good friends, Happy New Year 2015! Have a great one. And as always, thanks for sticking around in 2014 🙂


My Kaleidoscope … a review

There are many reasons to read books based on the holocaust. Most importantly, it is a piece of very important world history. Nothing before it was as we know it, nothing that came after will ever be the same. How can we as humanity, choose to shut out parts of history that are unpalatable? No one shuts out men landing on the moon… Why then, would you shut out genocide? Is it too unpleasant? Perhaps too far removed? I think we understand ourselves best by understanding where our surrounding came from. Right, now that was good to have that rant. It was a result of me finding out that apparently reviewers turn down books about the holocaust.
Anyway, Shari has merely retold her great grandmother Emma’s story. So as an author, her contribution is minimal, she is just the messenger, which is how a memoir should be. Sort of like Otto Frank’s publishing of Anne’s diary. Now, Emma was not a little girl so obviously this book is from an adult perspective. Which is good in a way that it makes it easier to read because the author is on the same plane or even the same place in life. However, it is even more horrific because the author, the victim, truly understands what’s going on around them. There’s no childhood filter, no blissful ignorance, and no father/mother figure to look up to. Emma Fuchs was a truly inspiring woman, back in the day she was a good businesswoman, and back in the day she also watched as it was taken away from her, along with her husband.
I will not try to process in words what people had to go through in concentration camps and the like. I cannot even imagine the cruelty that man can mete out to man. But it is through these real tests of absolute hardship that heroes like Emma emerge. She survived, and what’s more, gave up everything to forge a better future for her daughter by emigrating. It is a beautifully written book. I would recommend it as a new year read, for it will serve you well in a time of some retrospection and introspection.

The Book Thief … a review

I have heard so so much about this book since the longest time and so, when I picked it up, I was sure I’d love it. I didn’t know then that the book had been on the New York Times Bestseller list, not did I know that there was a movie, due to hit screens on 15th November. All of this I found out while I was reading the book. All I knew was that it had received rave reviews, that it was narrated by Death, and it was Nazi Germany.

Liesel Meminger, the book thief, is taken in by the Hubermanns who live on Himmel Street. In a novel that symbolises everyday objects, books, an accordion, a window, a street, different characters come alive. All of them battling a fear – fear of the world, fear of getting caught, fear of showing compassion, and fear of living and loving. As Liesel adjusts to life on Himmel Street, she must slowly grow up, she must face up to a cruel world, that will eventually take everything away from her.

Google the book for reasons why it is a must read. However, read on to find out why i didn’t like it. This is not to say that I wouldn’t recommend it; I would, but it is not one of the best ever books as people have made it out to be.

1. It is narrated by Death. Okay, innovative, I agree. But it is only ‘cool’ for the first ten chapters or so, after that, it just becomes normal narration. The Death signature sort of disappears through large parts of the book and then reappears in other bits.

2. I do not like the amount of swearing in the book. It is a way for Rosa Hubermann to demonstrate her acceptance, affection, fear, grief, everything. It put me off. It made me want to skip scenes where she was speaking any sentences riddled with abuses and slangs. She is a brilliant woman, kind and caring, but her verbosity was just annoying.

3. It felt like a very long book. For a large part in the middle, I felt like nothing was happening. I loved the bits where the family hides a Jew, but anything surrounding it was just faff.

For a lovely father-daughter relationship book, read it. For a general everyday life during the war account, read it. So, as far as Nazi Germany themed books are concerned, I will stick to Anne Frank or even Between Shades of Grey.

Teaser Tuesday (October 08)

My teasers:

“Hans Hubermann’s story was a little like that. when I found it amongst the book thief’s words, I realized that we passed each other once in a while during that period, though neither of us scheduled a meeting.”

From 34% (Black Swan 2007) of The Book Thief.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!