Daily Archives: April 27, 2014

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Today we remember the millions murdered 70 years ago. They were murdered not because they committed any specific crimes, but because they were who they were.

Jews, Gypsies, Communists, Homosexuals. They were all murdered because they chose to be true to who they were, instead of conforming to the society around them.

We say never again, but history continues to repeat itself.

Bosnia, Darfur, Syria. Millions of people are still murdered simply because of who they are, because of hate and prejudice.

Some might say that we don’t need to talk about the Holocaust anymore, that we have learned from the past.

We have not learned from the past.

We will continue to say never again, until we can finally say never again.

 

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Hannukah In America- This Candle Did Not Last Eight Days

On a whim, I decided to take out from the library, Hannukah In America, Diannes Ashton’s book about the history of the celebration of Hannukah in the United States.

She explores not just the celebration within the United States, but the origins of the holiday in Ancient Israel. The story of Hannukah is the story of the Maccabees, religious Jews who led a rebellion against the Hellenic invaders and reclaimed the temple for their people.

This book could be interesting. The story of the celebration of Hannukah is the story of the Jews in America, how they survived and thrived. I found the book to be boring. There is a way to write a history book that appeals to the reader and brings the history to life. Ms. Ashton does not do this. It reads like a college history book, the type of reading that is done because it has to be done, not because the book is interesting to the reader.

I was hoping that this book would be enlightening and interesting, but sadly, it is not.

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Five Books That Every Woman Should Read

I’m a life long bookworm. I’ve many books, some good and some bad. But there are some that represent certain markers in my life, that I believe that every woman should read at least once in her life.

Little Women By Louisa May Alcott

Alcott’s Civil War era novel is timeless.  It is the story of the four March sisters: sensible Meg, tomboy Jo, shy Beth and wild child Amy.  Their father is away, serving in the Union Army. Jo wants to be a writer, but finds herself constricted by the rules of her era. Her best friend is the boy next door, Laurie.  It is a novel of growing up, of what it is to be a sister and have a sister.  The first time I read this book, I was in junior high school and it was the gateway book to what would become a very happy obsession with books and classic literature.

Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen

I could not write about important books that have impacted my life and not write about Pride and Prejudice.  For the initiated, it is the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy and how they overcome the pride and prejudice that each has to find their life’s partner in each other. Yes, it is a love story, but there are so many human qualities to the novel.  Making mistakes, falling in love,  accepting your flaws and your partner’s flaws.  It’s no wonder that after 200 years, it still holds up.

Jane Eyre By Charlotte Bronte

Some might describe Charlotte Bronte’s iconic character as being born under an unlucky star.  Jane is an orphan, raised in her deceased uncle’s home by a wicked stepmother like aunt and treated like sh*t by her cousins. At the age of ten, she is taken to Lowood School, where the headmaster is cruel to the students. Eight years later, she takes a position at Thornfield Hall, where she is governess to the ward of the mysterious Edward Rochester.  Despite all of the obstacles that would keep most people down, Jane has courage, strength and follows her heart, even when she is tempted not to. Which is something we all need to remember.

The Feminine Mystique By Betty Friedan

This book is nothing short of earth shattering. Published in 1963, it was controversial in it’s day. Friedan’s exploration of the hypocrisy of what was considered to the be feminine ideal completely changed the world.  This book is instrumental in starting the second wave of the feminist movement and allowing future generations to enjoy the rights and achievements that Friedan’s generation would have never dreamed of.  My generation would not have what we have without this book.

Fear Of Flying By Erica Jong

Jong’s literary doppelganger, Isadora Wing is traveling with her husband to a work conference in Vienna.  She is in her late 20’s and at the point in her life where she is still questioning who she is and what she wants out of life. The character is an open book to the reader, emotionally and sexually. The openness of the character’s sexuality may shock some, but is the overall openness of the character is more shocking. That a female writer in the early 1970’s, would write so openly about what it is to be a woman and to be a woman of a certain age.  I read this book for the first time several years ago and I knew her instantly. This is a must read for any woman between the age of 25 and 30.

 

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Filed under Books, Feminism, Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice