Years ago I used to participate in Top Five Wednesday all the time. Then I abandoned the blog and the channel. Recently I’ve been more interested in the topics, but this is a really old meme, so at this point there’s a whole lot of repetition. But when I find a topic I like, I’ll go ahead and participate. I have no idea who is running it anymore, but you can find the Goodreads group here.
With today’s topic I chose five books that are commonly assigned in schools, and that I believe should continue to be.
The Diary of a Young Girl
Anne Frank’s diary during WWII is one of the most read works of the 20th century, with good reason. It provides the child’s perspective during that dark time.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee’s great American novel. The story gives insight into the Deep South in the US in the post Civil War era. Though the country had moved forward, nearly 100 years after the war it was still slow going.
The shortest book of the bunch. Elie Wiesel’s most known work tells of his time in Auschwitz. It’s a brutal, honest, and heartbreaking read.
This book still influences the vampire genre today. It’s the epitome of good vs evil and man vs monster. As you read you cannot help but pull for the group to defeat the Count.
Malcolm Gladwell doesn’t write mediocre books. This one tells the story of successful people. So often we hear about or see targeted ads that claim to have the secret to riches or success. This book shows the secret is hour after hour after hour of hard work.
What are some of your favorite assigned reading books?
President Trump has more than his fair share of critics. And one group is inundating the new president with books. I said I’d write a letter to him with some book recommendations, but why write a letter recommending books when I can just send them!?
So I’ll do it. I’ll send a handful of books with short notes off to the White House. The odds of him ever seeing the books or the notes are incredibly unlikely, but I think it’s worth the few dollars it’ll cost me. It isn’t much different from calling your representative or senator. You won’t have them on the other end of the line, but your message will be heard by someone.
I encourage everyone to grab a book, write an inscription, and send it off to the White House. I know for certain I’ll be sending Night, To Kill a Mockingbird, and a copy of the US Constitution.
I’m no presidential scholar, but I can’t think of any president who was more literary-minded than President Obama. It’s a bit of a far cry from Trump. President Obama quoted Atticus Finch in his farewell address. But it appears more likely with each passing day that Trump has no desire to be friendly toward the arts.
So I wanted to do something different today. Y’all know we can write letters to the president. I want book recommendations. I want y’all to tell me what you would recommend that President Trump read as he embarks on his journey as President. ANY book. I plan on sending a letter to the White House with every recommendation.
I’ll start. I’ll recommend Night by Elie Wiesel. To show him that nothing good comes from persecuting a group of people. What would you recommend to President Trump?
Immediately after quitting my job at Half Price Books I got to reading. I finished this book over a month ago, but I’ve been too busy to make a video.
Night is the autobiographical account of Elie Wiesel’s experience during the Holocaust. The book is just over 100 pages long, but not a single page is wasted. There’s no fluff or filler. There’s no dramatization. It’s simply the retelling of what happened to him.
He takes the reader on a journey no man or woman should have ever taken. He describes a feeling of hopelessness that most simply can’t comprehend. He describes losing his faith. Most importantly, he holds nothing back. The events described are brutal, terrifying, and beyond humanity. No detail is spared because to do so (in my opinion) would be to take away from those who didn’t make it out of the camps. The story of the Holocaust must continue to be told in this manner. We can’t afford to lighten up on the details. Every person who experienced the Holocaust deserves better.
My takeaway from the book is rather simple. Anne Frank’s diary has given millions of people a look at what it was like to be persecuted and in hiding during this dreadful period. Night has given millions of people a look into the lives of those forced from their homes into camps like Auschwitz.
Both stories need to be told. Both books should be required reading for every high school student in the world. Why? Because the Holocaust is an important world event, but there’s more to it than that. These students are going to be politicians, world leaders, military personnel, and voting citizens. It’s important they understand the evil humans are capable of so that when the time comes to act against a group or regime or leader, there’s no hesitation.
I surely hope you’ve read Night by now, but if you haven’t I believe it’s a book more than worthy of your time.
The book satisfied the requirement on my reading challenge to read a book by an author I hadn’t read before.
When I quit my job at Half Price Books recently I had a tough choice to make. I could either buy all of the books I wanted before my employee discount was no longer valid or I could just forget about them. I of course chose to buy.
This is the result. There were so many I couldn’t get them all in the picture for the thumbnail. Ha!
Elie Wiesel died yesterday at the age of 87. I immediately realized there are countless ways to describe this man. Survivor. Activist. Advocate. Nobel Laureate. Author. And the list goes on and on. He impacted the world and affected people like few before him ever have. Today the light shining over humanity is just a little bit dimmer than yesterday because we’ve lost one of our greatest voices.
Elie Wiesel will not be forgotten, not in my lifetime and hopefully not ever.
I said yesterday I wouldn’t share any more videos from the new channel on here, but I didn’t anticipate such a force (and author) dying. So here are my full thoughts on the life and death of Elie Wiesel: