World War II books have always been a passion to me, and especially books that cover the Holocaust. I am an avid reader, and feel that my continual reading of Holocaust-related books will keep me focused on remembrance, courage, love and loss, identity, displacement, assimilation, socialization, trauma, and the appalling and horrific events that consumed individuals, both in those who were murdered, and the after-affects and after-effects of survivors and their families.
Here is a list of some of the books I have recently read, that deal with World War II and the Holocaust:
The Wartime Sisters by Linda Cohen Loigman
Ashes in the Snow by Ruta Sepetys
All That Is by James Salter
The Taster by V.S. Alexander
A Brief Stop On the Road From Auschwitz by Goran Rosenberg
In His Father’s Footsteps by Danielle Steel
The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict
News of Our Loved Ones by Abigail DeWitt
*Diary of Anne Frank
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow… And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
The bareness of winter lingers into spring
trees still unclothed, no sign of buds, blossoms
Snow patches cling to mountains, brownness hovers
Beauty exists in the realm between then and now
within bared trunks, branches, and nature’s quietude
illuminating my heart, my soul, with awe and joy.
“I think the most important quality in a birdwatcher is a willingness to stand quietly and see what comes. Our everyday lives obscure a truth about existence – that at the heart of everything there lies a stillness and a light.”
-Lynn Thomson, Birding with Yeats: A Mother’s Memoir
“There is an unreasonable joy to be had from the observation of small birds going about their bright, oblivious business”
-Grant Hutchison, The Complete Lachlan
I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.
-Henry David Thoreau
I took the above photo a while ago. I loved watching the pelicans glide gently on the lake, and walk up onto the grass for a short respite, sitting near double breasted cormorants.
A wonderful bird is the Pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week!
But I’ll be darned if I know how the hellican?”
― Dixon Lanier Merritt
The photo above depicts an old drawbridge, and was taken in Portland, OR.
This bridge will only take you halfway there
To those mysterious lands you long to see:
Through gypsy camps and swirling Arab fairs
And moonlit woods where unicorns run free.
So come and walk awhile with me and share
The twisting trails and wondrous worlds I’ve known.
But this bridge will only take you halfway there-
The last few steps you’ll have to take alone.
I took the grainy photo, above, through my bedroom window, a few days ago, of a robin redbreast. Robins are usually associated with the coming of spring. I found it a bit odd to see it flitting about in the snow, before it lighted upon a porch step to eat the worm it found. There were several robins running about, looking so adorable in their movements. I love seeing them run here and there.
You have learned, like Sir Proteus, to wreathe your arms, like a malcontent; to relish a love-song, like a robin redbreast.
-William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1590s), Act II, scene 1, line 16.
Welcome, welcome, little stranger,
Fear no harm, and fear no danger;
We are glad to see you here,
For you sing “Sweet Spring is near.”
-Louisa May Alcott, “To The First Robin,” 1840
Robin redbreast on the ground,
Pecking, hunting all around
For a tasty worm or slug
Or a creeping, crawling bug
A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage