- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Teaser Tuesday Books - One Woman's War
Teaser Tuesday is a great way for serious book lovers to share their current reading lists with other bookish types. I've participated for only two weeks and already my list of interesting books is growing. This meme is hosted by Miz B over at Should be Reading . Sometimes you read a book that has been made into a film, which can be a real bonus if you love the book. That's the case for my selection this week. I read the book and then was able to see the film on Netflix Instant Play.
Teaser Tuesday rules:
--Grab your current read,
--open to a random page,
--share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on the page,
--be careful not to include a spoiler,
--share the title, author and, if you like, a brief synopsis to help other TT participants decide if they want to read your book, and
--post your link in the comments on Miz B's webpage.
A Woman in Berlin
Eight Weeks in the Conquered City, A Diary
"Damn this to hell! I say it out loud. Then I make up my mind.
No question about it: I have to find a single wolf to keep away the pack. An officer, as high ranking as possible, a commandant, a general, whatever I can manage." p. 64
Synopsis: In April 1945, Berlin fell to the Russian army. For four months a young German woman, a reporter and traveler before the war, kept a daily diary of her life and that of other residents in their bombed out apartment building. The anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity--craven, hungry, manipulative, sharing and neighborly whenever possible. More than anything, the diary reveals how civilians interacted with their foreign occupiers--especially the women who suffered unspeakable indignities and violence--including mass rapes of thousands of women regardless of age or infirmity.
This diary is amazing because it is free of self pity, expresses no political views, and absent of overt emotion. This matter-of-fact account is even more chilling when you think that the author was not even 30 years old and surviving--barely--on her own, subjected daily to physical violence at the hands of many soldiers, hunger and forced labor. The author required that her publisher keep her identity secret because of the violent public reaction to the diary as dishonoring German women and embarrassing their men for not being able to protect them. She died in 2001.
Here is the film trailer for the U.S. release in mid 2000. Like the book, the film shows us what it was like for Anonymous to survive from day to day in a rubble of a city:
The Los Angeles Times wrote, "Let Anonymous stand witness as she wished to: as an undistorted voice for all women in war and its aftermath, whatever their names or nation or ethnicity." A Woman in Berlin is not an easy book to read or film to see, but I'm glad that I did.