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message 1: by Jen (last edited Mar 26, 2018 07:17PM) (new)

Jen | 1608 comments Mod
April 12 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. April is also home to one of the major Jewish holidays, Passover.

So this month will be dedicated to Jewish awareness, with the focus being on culture and heritage (since spirituality was the focus of January's perspective.

The books selected are the following

1. Black Box
2. Survival in Auschwitz
3. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
4. Austerlitz

Which book will you be reading?


message 2: by Tracy (new)


message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann Dank | 11 comments The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi


message 4: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 557 comments Jen- is Survival in Auschwitz on the list under a different title?


message 5: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 3967 comments Mod
Tracy wrote: "Jen- is Survival in Auschwitz on the list under a different title?"

I am not Jen but it is "If This is Man".


message 6: by Jen (new)

Jen | 111 comments I'll nominate Austerlitz, which I am long overdue to read.


message 7: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 557 comments Kristel wrote: "Tracy wrote: "Jen- is Survival in Auschwitz on the list under a different title?"

I am not Jen but it is "If This is Man"."

Thanks Kristel!


message 8: by Diane (new)

Diane Zwang | 1218 comments Mod
Survival in Auschwitz has been on my list for a long time so I will read that one. I have no new nominations.


message 9: by Liz M (new)

Liz M | 194 comments Jakob the Liar by Jurek Becker


message 11: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1608 comments Mod
And the winner is...

Austerlitz. Congrats to Jen for nominating the winning book.


message 12: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1361 comments I should have waited! I have a copy of Austerlitz! It still might come up as a TBR, though.


message 13: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 436 comments I'll be reading Kavalier and Clay. I have that on Kindle and Audible. I haven't read any of the books for the March perspective, although I got Wild Swans from the library fully intending to read it. Hopefully being able to switch between reading and listening will help me in April!


message 14: by Liz M (new)

Liz M | 194 comments I've read all four of these. I might read a different book by a Jewish author, we'll see.


message 15: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 557 comments I’ll read Austerlitz. And maybe throw in something by Roth. Or Singer. Or Auster. Or Perec.


message 16: by Diane (new)

Diane | 2022 comments I will read Survival in Auschwitz and Austerlitz. I have read both Black Box and Cavalier and Clay and enjoyed them both.


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments I found copies of Survival in Auschwitz and Austerlitz so will read these two.


message 18: by Jenni (new)

Jenni (sprainedbrain) | 71 comments I think I will read Black Box and Austerlitz... I can get them both from the library.


message 19: by Gail (new)

Gail (gailifer) | 1273 comments I can get Black Box and Survival at Auschwitz from the Library so will plan for that. I have read Cavalier and Klay and loved it. It is on my ‘to read again’ shelf but that will have to be another month.


message 20: by Paula (new)

Paula S (paula_s) | 220 comments I have Black box on my randomized list; I'm not sure how I want to use it. I might end up reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay for this challenge.


message 21: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 282 comments I’ve read Austerlitz and don’t recall liking it. Maybe I should try it a second time. Kavalier and Clay is on hold, I may not get it in time. The other two aren’t available as ebooks, so I’ll have to see if they have paper copies that might arrive in time.


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments I just finished my first choice -- Austerlitz. I am off to post my review.


message 23: by Gail (new)

Gail (gailifer) | 1273 comments I just finished Black Box and posted a review.
I really enjoyed the book's insights into family dynamics within a 1970's male dominated conservative Israeli culture. In the book there is a juxtaposition of a liberal academic intellectual who fought with merit in the Israeli wars and a very conservative religious zealot who has never hurt a fly. It is within the written correspondence between these two that Oz captures so much of the Israeli culture. These two do not argue their positions but describe their lives and the beliefs stemming out of their lives which in some ways is more informative than if they did just argue their political positions. In regards Judaism, there were insights into that also but not in a heavy handed way. There was a description of the Torah as simply "doing the right thing". And then of course, all the characters disagree on exactly what the "right thing" is. I think the largest reflection of the Jewish culture, traditions and character in the book came through clearest in the love of the word. They clearly all had a wonderful relationship to words. Even the son, who is extremely poorly educated, had a way of communicating that reflected unique word choices. And Iliana, the wife in the book, was gifted in her ability to manipulate emotions through her writing.


message 24: by Diane (last edited Apr 05, 2018 12:21PM) (new)

Diane | 2022 comments I read Austerlitz for my first book and posted a review. It is about a young boy who is separated from his family when sent to the UK via the Kindertransport. He later learns about his heritage and sets off to find his estranged family.


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments Gail wrote: "I just finished Black Box and posted a review.
I really enjoyed the book's insights into family dynamics within a 1970's male dominated conservative Israeli culture. In the book there is a juxtapo..."


I just picked this one up from the library. I am going to try to squeeze it in.


message 26: by Diane (new)

Diane | 2022 comments Black Box is free if you have Kindle Unlimited.


message 27: by Diane (new)

Diane | 2022 comments I read If This Is a Man (Survival in Auschwitz) as my 2nd challenge book and posted a review. Difficult content, but a book everyone should read, nevertheless.


message 28: by Diane (new)

Diane Zwang | 1218 comments Mod
Primo Levi, 'Italian citizen of Jewish race' a holocaust survivor. This is his story.

“It was my good fortune to be deported to Auschwitz only in 1944, that is, after the German Government had decided, owing to the growing scarcity of labour, to lengthen the average lifespan of the prisoners destined for elimination; it conceded noticeable improvements in the camp routine and temporarily suspended killings at the whim of individuals.”

“...goods wagons closed from the outside, with men, women and children pressed together without pity, like cheap merchandise, for a journey towards, nothingness, a journey down there, towards the bottom. This time it is us who are inside.”

“Then for the first time we became aware that our language lacks words to express this offence, the demolition of a man”.

'...Until one day there will be no more sense in say: tomorrow.'

This is the first book in a trilogy written by the author about his survival in a concentration camp, I plan on reading all three. This book a mere 173 pages packs a punch. Like Night by Elie Wiesel, the author eloquently describes his capture, journey, survival and liberation from a concentration death camp. I found the last chapter, The Story of Ten Days, to be particularly impactful. An important story to read and one I would recommend.


message 29: by Jenni (new)

Jenni (sprainedbrain) | 71 comments I read Austerlitz for my first diversity challenge book this month. I posted a review in the Other Reviews thread. I'm also planning to read Black Box - my hold just came in from the library.


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments I finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay for my second book this month. It was a really good read == posted a review.


message 31: by Gail (new)

Gail (gailifer) | 1273 comments I finished Survival in Auschwitz and posted a review as a reply to Diane's review on the book under the 1001 reviews heading.
I agree with Diane that it is an amazing book and give it 5 stars because of its ability to have the reader feel the full range of human emotions.

"To destroy a man is difficult, almost as difficult as to create one: it has not been easy, nor quick, but you Germans have succeeded. Here we are, docile under your gaze; from our side you have nothing to fear; no acts of violence, no words of defiance, not even a look of judgement."


message 32: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 3967 comments Mod
I finished the Primo book. I’ve read both of his books. There was many great statements about humanity in this book. I will past my review in the 1001 Reviews soon.

I liked the comment above that Gail notes and would add the author’s observation of how difficult it is to die that he makes in the end.


message 33: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 436 comments Kelly wrote: "I finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay for my second book this month. It was a really good read == posted a review."

I'm still reading this. Or rather, listening to it. It's over 26 hours long! I might have to switch to the kindle if I want to be done this month. But the narrator is doing such a great job, I want to stick to the audio.


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments Leni wrote: "Kelly wrote: "I finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay for my second book this month. It was a really good read == posted a review."

I'm still reading this. Or rather, list..."


I listened also and agree about the narrator. I am one of the crazies who listens to all books at double speed.


message 35: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 436 comments Kelly wrote: "I listened also and agree about the narrator. I am one of the crazies who listens to all books at double speed."

Yeah, I can't do that. I process audio much slower than writing. I even like having subtitles when I watch TV. But I'm considering sitting down with the Kindle and just boosting the audio up to my reading speed. Seems like the NY dialogue at least should be faster than he reads them. lol


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments Leni wrote: "Kelly wrote: "I listened also and agree about the narrator. I am one of the crazies who listens to all books at double speed."

Yeah, I can't do that. I process audio much slower than writing. I ev..."


I often read and listen at the same time. I seem to get the most out of book when I do that. It is triggering both the auditory and the visual that way.


message 37: by Diane (new)

Diane Zwang | 1218 comments Mod
Kelly wrote: "Leni wrote: "Kelly wrote: "I listened also and agree about the narrator. I am one of the crazies who listens to all books at double speed."

Yeah, I can't do that. I process audio much slower than ..."


I can relate Kelly. I had to read and listen to the audio for The Lord of the Rings series. I did not really like it and the only way I could make sense of the story was to listen to the audio and read.


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments Do we have information on May yet?


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments Do we have information on May yet?


message 40: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1608 comments Mod
I will be posting the selections later today


message 41: by Leni (last edited Apr 25, 2018 03:56AM) (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 436 comments I may not finish Kavalier & Clay by the end of the month, but I am very happy that this challenge spurred me on to finally give the book a go. I was a bit skeptical after reading Wonder Boys, which I didn't care for, but Kavalier & Clay is a very different experience. There have been parts where I couldn't stop, and now I'm at a part where I want to go back to the previous chapter and then put the book in the freezer (like Joey in the TV-show Friends did when a book got too distressing for him). But since the book is on my phone and kindle, that's probably not the best idea.

I am doubly distressed because it seems to me that history is in the process of repeating itself. Not copying itself, there are changes to the script, but repeating enough that I see the parallels. I feel a need for Joe Kavalier's spare handkerchief, the one he keeps in his breast pocket for comforting distressed women. And where is the Escapist of our time?


message 42: by Gail (new)

Gail (gailifer) | 1273 comments Kavalier and Clay is a great book which I would like to read again. Glad you are appreciating


message 43: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1361 comments I read Black Box and will post my review in other 1001 books


message 44: by Dree (new)

Dree | 243 comments I finished Survival in Auschwitz, today. It was just as depressing as I expected, but more interesting.


message 45: by Dree (new)

Dree | 243 comments I can't find the April discussion thread, so I will just post here. I found Survival in Auschwitz to be very interesting--Levi does an amazing job of showing, repeatedly, the ways the inmates just kept going. He says how they would insist they would not/could not take any more cold/hunger/etc and could always attempt an escape. But very few did. They kept going, waiting, trying, to survive, n the hope that something better would come. That kind of resilience amazes me (though how much is an innate physical way of surviving that no one can control? he also mentions how no one minded actual waiting--because waiting meant you weren't working). The ingenuity he describes I also found fascinating--the making of spoons, the stealing of items (like Alberto's file trick), the manipulating the rules to come out a tiny bit ahead.

I too intend to read the next 2 books in the trilogy--the next one, about Levi's reentering Italian life, sounds especially interesting.


message 46: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 282 comments I succeeded in taking out several of these books from the library but didn’t get to them (or the BOTM). It’s been a bit of a fail of a reading month! I think because the last half is where the time pressure gets me to start and instead my parents showed up for my fortieth birthday as a surprise and so we did a lot of kid-centred activities with them instead. May May be better ;)


message 47: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 282 comments I finally got to If This Is a Man and it was a devastating read.


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