First line: An American agent met with a Russian agent one bright summer morning when the world was collapsing in the face of Nazi terror, p. 1 ProlFirst line: An American agent met with a Russian agent one bright summer morning when the world was collapsing in the face of Nazi terror, p. 1 Prologue.
The fate of Dmitri Shostakovich was bound up with the fate of Leningrad from the time he was a child, p. 11.
It's strange, but I've somehow managed to read 4 books in the last couple months all set in WWII that have given me a deeper, more personal view of the war.
Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad biography Salt to the Sea historical fiction The Boys Who Challenged Hitler nonfiction Anna and the Swallow Man historical fiction with hints of fantasy
Through these 4 books it has struck me, more than ever, that our collective history is full of people making other people subhuman. What terrifies me is that in our world today this is still happening. Why? How? Wimpy questions to a big issue.
Anderson weaves a powerful discussion about art throughout his book. He shares a Shostakovich quote about art, "I think an artist should serve the greatest possible number of people. I always try to make myself as widely understood as possible, and if I don't succeed, I consider it my own fault," p. 76. Another artist, Arnold Schendberg, said this about art: "If it is art, it is not for everybody, and if it is for everybody, it is not art," p. 76.
I have new respect, and awe for the arts and their effect on us. It's like reading a book. Reading forms a relationship with the author. Their ideas come through the words on the pages to the brain center where ideas are housed. Sometimes the ideas greet one another as long lost friends, embracing, or skeptical, suspiciously standing back. Sometimes ideas wage war against one another, and other times the mind becomes quiet like a child sitting down to listen to a grandmother tell a story. Art is like that. Characters, setting, mood, tone, plot, theme.
When we read tales of atrocity, we all want to be the one who stood firm, who would not bend, who shouted the truth in the face of the dictator. It is easy for us all to imagine we are heroes when we are sitting in our kitchens, dreaming of distant suffering, p. 117. What would I become in a 900 day siege in a city trapped with 2.5 million other people?
Lidiya Ginzburg, a writer, wrote they "didn't believe that the inhabitants of a large city could die of hunger. . . . On hearing of the first cases of death amongst their acquaintances, people still thought, Is this the one I know [dying]? In broad daylight? In Leningrad? With a master's degree? From starvation?" p. 222.
Pages 287 -288 are painful to read among many difficult pages.
Other things I want to remember in the future: Poet Olga Berrgolts Poet Anna Akhmatova Gogol's short story "the Nose" is referred to on p. 61 and is referred to in another book by Eugene Yelchin called Breaking Stalin's Nose.
First lines: They came to California to ruin a man. Not to kill him, not literally. But the next best thing, p. 1.
Sheinkin delivers a disturbing, weFirst lines: They came to California to ruin a man. Not to kill him, not literally. But the next best thing, p. 1.
Sheinkin delivers a disturbing, well-paced, and only-what-you-need-to-know account of the Vietmam War in Most Dangerous. I will never doubt whether or not I should read his books.
Daniel Ellsberg wants to do what's right for his country and in the beginning of his career he believes that involves the U.S. going to war in Vietnam. As Ellsberg continues to delve deeper into political and military scenes, his belief in what's right changes. So, he has a plan, 7,000 pages of top secret documents, and a very slow copy machine.
In a Subdued voice, Kissinger said that history would one day rank Nixon among the great presidents. "That depends, Henry, on who writes the history," p. 315....more
While reading this book I pondered about the audience it was intended for. This would be a great book for a young and young at heart adventurer. Together they can listen to the wonderful folk song Stan Rogers wrote and sang (see link above) and then see the lyrics woven into the tales of men past who tried to find a route through Canada's waters to Asia. A great book to snuggle under warm blankets and enjoy the brilliant colors and large illustrations together.
When you and your little explorer, or just yourself, finish reading go and watch this great video made by the illustrator Matt James. http://www.mattjamesillustration.ca/a... If that doesn't inspire you to follow your passions I don't know what will. Okay, seriously, if that video doesn't ignite the passion fires then check out the video I linked to the review of Leo a Ghost Story. ...more
Favorite lines: If there is a lesson to this book, that may be it - not that everyone should go out and try to cure the world, but that all our livesFavorite lines: If there is a lesson to this book, that may be it - not that everyone should go out and try to cure the world, but that all our lives are richer for having purpose, for pursuing something larger than ourselves p. 5.
Proper medical treatment couldn't be effective, Farmer believed, without serving a patient's other needs: basic education, habitable housing, clean water, food security, and hope for a better future p. 37.
She [Ophelia Dahl] lay in bed thinking, "I just want to do something better than him. For a moment" p. 87.
First line: Ben found freedom flying over ramps on his bike; at age seven, I found freedom exploring the California desert on foot. p.1
I had never heaFirst line: Ben found freedom flying over ramps on his bike; at age seven, I found freedom exploring the California desert on foot. p.1
I had never heard of Ben Underwood, before Reading . I'm glad that I know of him now. He seemed like a enthusiastic, charismatic kid who found joy and happiness in life.
This was Sync's week 9 audiobook selection and the theme was matters of faith. certainly did discuss faith. The author's faith as well as her son's faith. I didn't find this particularly preachy, or trying to witness to me the reader, but what did strike me was the feeling that the author was giving a confession. I don't know much surrounding the author and her son's life and death. Did people accuse of her of profiting from his death? Or using his illness as a means to gain exotic trips and connections with famous people? The book reads as if this is the case and the author is trying to explain why she chose to make the choice she did.
Audio book was good, but not the best recording I've listened to.
I'm not sure the target audience is middle school, but I think some students would be more interested in reading this personal account of the holocausI'm not sure the target audience is middle school, but I think some students would be more interested in reading this personal account of the holocaust than others. ...more
I bought this graphic novel through a Scholastic teen book order and assumed the target audiencFirst line: "Can you swim?"
strong language and violence
I bought this graphic novel through a Scholastic teen book order and assumed the target audience was teens. After reading the novel I'm seriously questioning whether or not it's appropriate for 8th graders. I always struggle with this. If it were my own son or daughter I would be okay with them reading the book. Yes, there is strong graphic language, but it fits with the setting and historical context. That's important. I also know that I would have many conversations with my child. I cannot guarantee any similar discusses will happen with other students and their parents. Does anyone else have thoughts? Thanks! ...more
I must be related somehow to Thomas Jefferson since we both love books so much! I enjoyed learning that In Jefferson's time, books were commonly soldI must be related somehow to Thomas Jefferson since we both love books so much! I enjoyed learning that In Jefferson's time, books were commonly sold unbound. The pages were then taken to a bookbinder, who stitched and covered the book in the way the owner wanted.I had no idea! Jefferson also instructed people when certain subjects should be read, such as, science in the morning, history in the afternoon, and then stories in the evening. It is now my mission to visit the Library of Congress and set my eyes on his collection that was the beginning of the Library of Congress!
Thanks for the recommendation Kelsey. You were right. I did like this book. ...more
An eccentric artist whom I knew nothing about. I love the color and shape of many of his pieces of pottery. I think this biography about George E. OhrAn eccentric artist whom I knew nothing about. I love the color and shape of many of his pieces of pottery. I think this biography about George E. Ohr would be an excellent book for a reluctant reader. He was a hoot to read about, and one could argue if his tactics were a hindrance or useful. ...more
An amazing 'real' woman whom more children and adults should know.
Every year children are assigned to read and write a paper on someone in history. FoAn amazing 'real' woman whom more children and adults should know.
Every year children are assigned to read and write a paper on someone in history. For some reason Lincoln is the first to disappear off the library shelves. Perhaps it's because there are almost a billion books published about him. But, for the child who approaches my desk and says, "I dunno who I want to write about", Rachel Carson will be the first name I exalt. ...more