BRODECK by Philippe Claudel

There are many reasons we read: for enlightenment, escape, education, and in some rare instances, to confront ourselves with truths and insights we never would have encountered otherwise.

BRODECK is one of those rare instances. It is, quite simply, one of the best contemporary books I have ever read. And I have read a lot.

August 10, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Allegory/Fable, Literary, Translated, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

DAY AFTER NIGHT by Anita Diamant

The narrative focuses on four Jewish women, all Holocaust survivors, all Atlit inmates, all from extremely different backgrounds, who wait for their release from the camp and the freedom to, hopefully, begin new lives as pioneers on kibbutzim, (collective farms or settlements). Anita Diamant writes, “Not one of the women in Barrack C is twenty-one, but all of them are orphans.”

May 30, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Israel, Reading Guide

DAY FOR NIGHT by Frederick Reiken

Frederick Reiken’s DAY FOR NIGHT is an astonishing and magical book filled with mystery, history and compelling narratives. At its center is a supposed occurrence during the Holocaust wherein 500 of Lithuania’s most educated and cultured jews were slaughtered by the Nazis. The novel is comprised of several linked narratives, each one told by someone else. At first it is difficult to see how these narratives are connected, but as the story unfolds, the reader is able to recognize the connections. They unfold beautifully like a field of flowers. Multiple plots and subplots meld together to create an indelible whole.

April 26, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Contemporary, Literary, Unique Narrative

ANNE FRANK: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife by Francine Prose

Francine Prose, in ANNE FRANK: THE BOOK, THE LIFE, THE AFTERLIFE, takes a comprehensive look at an individual who, more than six decades after her death, remains an iconic figure all over the world. Prose considers THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK to be “the greatest book ever written about a thirteen-year-old girl.” After rereading the diary as an adult, she concludes that it is not merely “the innocent and spontaneous outpourings of a teenager,” but rather “a consciously crafted work of literature,” one that Anne revised thoroughly, hoping to reach a wide audience someday.

October 1, 2009 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Non-fiction

THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

THE BOOK THIEF is one of the best novels that I have read. Author Markus Zusak’s storyline is both sad and wonderful, as it deals with Germany during WWII and the Holocaust. His memorable characters have tremendous depth, and the plot is extremely original. However, what makes this book so extraordinary is the author’s writing, which, at times, is more poetry than prose. I frequently found myself reading passages of the elegantly written narrative aloud.

May 19, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Facing History, Germany, Reading Guide, Unique Narrative, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS by John Boyne

John Boyne’s novel, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS is outstanding. It is beautifully written with a most powerful storyline. Nine year-old Bruno is an innocent, carefree boy growing up in Berlin during WWII. He has three “Best Friends For Life,” and wants to be an explorer when he grows up. Bruno lives in a beautiful mansion, complete with gardens and servants, along with his older sister Gretel, their lovely mother, and their father, a high ranking SS officer.

May 19, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Germany, World Lit