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review 2018-05-09 21:40
The Librarian of Auschwitz - Antonio G. Iturbe,Lilit Zekulin Thwaites
THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ by Antonio Iturbe, translation by Lilit Thwaites
 
I wanted to love this book. It is the true story of a 13 year old girl, imprisoned at Auschwitz Concentration Camp, who protects the few books that have been smuggled into the camp.
 
The infamous Doctor Mengle and other well-known Nazis and Resistance workers play supporting roles in what should have been a fascinating and terrifying look at man’s inhumanity to man. Instead it is almost boring.
 
The writing is flat, perhaps a problem with the translation. The characters have no life to them and so the reader is not engaged.
 
Well researched, with a postscript and “what happened to them” appendix that gives the reader the results of the bravery of the resistance workers and prisoners and the cruelty of the Nazis, the book could be a source for history buffs and casual readers.
 
However, as it intended for young adults, the book simply cannot be recommended because of the uninteresting writing. 2 of 5 stars

 

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review 2018-03-12 14:27
The Librarian of Auschwitz / Antonio Iturbe
The Librarian of Auschwitz - Antonio G. Iturbe,Lilit Zekulin Thwaites

Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.

 

I enjoyed this book quite a bit, but I must admit that I was hoping for more. The story itself is fascinating and that’s what kept me reading. The writing was pedestrian, which was a disappointment. Still, I would recommend the book to those looking for an inspirational story concerning Auschwitz.

The narrative closely follows Dita Kraus, a 14 year old girl in the Auschwitz family camp and her experiences as the keeper and protector of eight forbidden books. I was interested that one of them was a history text by H.G. Wells, as I have been cataloguing a large collection of Wells’ writing during my work hours. I was also glad to see that they had several people that they designated as “living books” because they could tell certain stories (one woman could recount The Count of Monte Cristo). The concept of living books has recently been used at our city’s public library, so I was thrilled to see an example of the history of the practice.

If this time period and setting are interests of yours, I would recommend this book.

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text 2018-03-09 16:22
Next books due at the library
The Librarian of Auschwitz - Antonio G. Iturbe,Lilit Zekulin Thwaites
Dunbar - Edward St. Aubyn
Victoria And Abdul: The True Story Of The Queens' Closest Confidant - Shrabani Basu
Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World - Noah Strycker

I'm over halfway through The Librarian of Auschwitz, so will finish it this weekend without fail.  The story is fascinating, though the writing is pedestrian.

 

Dunbar is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, the retelling of King Lear.  I'll at least make a start on it over the weekend.

 

Looking ahead, I'll hope to start Victoria & Abdul.  I saw the movie version last year and really enjoyed it. 

 

And, as temperatures here finally begin to warm up to the freezing point (we may get to +3 C today), I'm getting the itch to go birding.  Hence Birding Without Borders to get me fired up for the new birding year.

 

Have a fabulous weekend, friends!

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text 2018-02-04 17:15
Il male di vivere senza via d'uscita.
La lucina - Antonio Moresco

Ben scritto, sono sincera. Ma troppo pesante, pedante e ridondante.
Il male di vivere senza via d'uscita.

 

“Perché c’è tutto questo sottobosco cattivo?” mi domando. “Che cerca di avviluppare e di cancellare e di soffocare gli alberi più grandi? Perché tutta questa misera e disperata ferocia che sfigura ogni cosa? Perché tutto questo brulicare di corpi che cercano di prosciugare gli altri corpi suggendoli con le loro mille e mille scatenate radici e le loro piccole, forsennate ventose, per dirottarne su di sé la potenza chimica, per creare nuovi fronti vegetali in grado di annientare tutto, di massacrare tutto? Dove posso andare per non vedere più questo scempio, questa irreparabile e cieca torsione che hanno chiamato vita?”

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text 2018-01-24 19:16
The Librarian of Auschwitz - Antonio G. Iturbe,Lilit Zekulin Thwaites
THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ by Antonio Iturbe, translation by Lilit Thwaites
 
I wanted to love this book. It is the true story of a 13 year old girl, imprisoned at Auschwitz Concentration Camp, who protects the few books that have been smuggled into the camp.
 
The infamous Doctor Mengle and other well-known Nazis and Resistance workers play supporting roles in what should have been a fascinating and terrifying look at man’s inhumanity to man. Instead it is almost boring.
The writing is flat, perhaps a problem with the translation. The characters have no life to them and so the reader is not engaged. Well researched, with a postscript and “what happened to them” appendix that gives the reader the results of the bravery of the resistance workers and prisoners and the cruelty of the Nazis, the book could be a source for history buffs and casual readers.
However, as it intended for young adults, the book simply cannot be recommended because of the uninteresting writing.
 
2 of 5 stars

 

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