Friday 56, September 16, 2022

Welcome to Friday 56! Hosted by Freda’s Voice, you turn to page 56 or 56% in any book or reading device and pick a sentence that grabs you.

GROWING UP, we talk about it at home. The Shoah (Holocaust) entered my life through a second-grade teacher in Jewish day school who began telling us the horrific memories she couldn’t forget. When I shared these memories with my parents, they acknowledged that yes, they had happened, but didn’t elaborate. At nine, I read Anne Frank’s diary, and then a raft of movies and books on the subject seemed to be everywhere. As a Jewish child, I became completely immersed in them.

As an adult, there came a point where I stopped reading these books and seeing movies or plays. I could see them without reading them, feel them without knowing them. What concerns me more these days is not so much the Holocaust–terrible though it was–but the way we live now, and where the it left us.

For me, this leads to my older sister.

As a child, she experienced anti-Semitic taunts and cruelty from other kids in her neighborhood where she and my parents lived until she was five. The children tied my sister to a tree, calling her a dirty Jew and forcing her to eat dirt and rocks. She was not even four when this happened and can’t tell the story now without crying. Listening, I want to cry too.”

Crooked Lines by Jenna Zark

The above quote is taken from page 57 of Crooked Lines. Reading this I wanted to cry too. I added more than a paragraph here because this scene really affected me. Kids can be cruel, but you know they were getting this stuff from their garbage parents. Children aren’t born racist or bigoted — it is a learned behavior. And you know this little girl isn’t the only child to have suffered such bullying.

How this type of stuff is still happening in the US is disgusting. Didn’t our grandfathers fight and DIE to STOP Nazis? Why do we allow Neo Nazis to exist? Why do we allow racism and bigotry to thrive? In Austria, where I live now, it is LITERALLY AGAINST THE LAW TO BE ANTI-SEMITIC. In Austria, where Hitler is from, Holocaust deniers go to jail for TEN YEARS. Just uttering an anti-Semitic statement can land a person in jail for 1 to 10 years.

In America? Where we fought against Nazis? People argue for freedom of speech. It’s just disgusting.

That this happened to a four year old girl breaks my heart.

I am learning so much from this book and am looking forward to reading the rest.

Friday 56, September 9, 2022

Welcome to Friday 56! Hosted by Freda’s Voice, you turn to page 56 or 56% in any book or reading device and pick a sentence that grabs you.

I wake, heart racing, skin cold and damp. My eyes snap open on a dark room, jumping from an unfamiliar door tot he outline of a window to the snoring lump beside me.

Libby. The relief is intense and immediate, an ice bucket dumped over me all at once. The whirring of my heart starts its signature post-nightmare cooldown.

Libby is here. Everything must be okay.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

The above quote is taken from page 56 of Book Lovers. At this point in the story, Nora and her sister Libby are on vacation in the small town of Sunshine Falls, the location of Nora’s client’s best selling romance novel. We have some background on the sisters — their mother died when they were young, leaving Nora to take care of her younger sister Libby, sacrificing her dreams in the process. Nora has some unresolved grief surrounding their mother’s death, and it sometimes manifests itself in nightmares.

Libby insisted on this vacation to get away from her husband and children for 4 weeks — Libby is pregnant again and just wanted some “me time” before the baby is born. There must be something going on with Libby and her husband but we don’t know what it is yet. Nora, the workaholic has been roped into going because she feels guilty for not being there for Libby in the recent past — and feels that there is a distance growing between them.

I’m very interested to see where this is going.

First Chapter, First Paragraph, Tuesday September 6, 2022

It’s First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday! Hosted by Socrates Book Reviews this is where you share the first paragraph of one (or in my case sometimes several) of the books that you are currently reading.

When books are your life–or in my case, your job–you get pretty good at guessing where a story is going. The tropes, the archetypes, the common plot twists all start to organize themselves into a catalogue inside your brain, divided by category and genre.”

Book Lovers by Emily Henry