Thursday, April 23, 2009

Secret Diaries

I've been reading this book recently:

It is an incredibly moving volume of stories recorded by children who experienced unimaginable horrors. They are 'tales of fear and courage, of tragedy and transcendence.'

What I found interesting was that many of these children had a sense that they were putting their experiences on paper expecting that someone, somewhere, at some time, would read them -- even though many of these children were also convinced that they would not live beyond their childhood years because of the horrors they were enduring (and many of them didn't).

It is, indeed, quite remarkable to read how their diaries, written industriously on scraps of paper, in the covers or down the margins of old books, well-hidden from enemy eyes, were somehow discovered, preserved, and ultimately published in some form or another, decades later.

I have learned so much from the remarkable wisdom expressed in these diaries - about human nature (both the good and the evil), about how children process and survive terrible trauma, about being thankful for life and wanting to make the most of it while I can, about the enduring element of faith.

More than anything, I want my grandchildren to read these diaries, so that they can learn by them. My grandchildren -- who want for nothing, who have no comprehension of hardship, never mind of living in ghettos, being chased down by Nazis and seeing their parents shot to death, or of hiding in bomb shelters and wearing gas masks, or of dying gruesome deaths -- need to read about what other children have lived through and be thankful that they haven't.

Maybe they need to read these diaries in preparation of what lies ahead for them in this world. I don't know. I just know they need to read them.

I keep a journal....have done for about 15 years. I don't write in it daily, but what goes into it comes from the deepest part of me. So it's not something I would ever want anyone to read while I am alive.

But I can't help having this overwhelming feeling, every time I write in it, that there will come a day, long after I'm gone, that someone, somewhere, will be reading what I've written and will benefit greatly by it.

How about you? Do you keep a journal? What do you write in it?

Do you have a sense that maybe you are writing for a future generation? That sometime in the future, after you are gone, someone will read it and be grateful for what you have written?

Monday, April 6, 2009


I came across an interesting site today called LibraryThing.

You might like to join; I probably will. I'd sure rather do this than Facebook (books are much less demanding and far more entertaining).

{Update: I joined this evening. Looking forward to all this site has to offer!}

There I found this interesting post and wanted to share it with you.

The BBC apparently believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books listed here:

How many of these books have YOU read?

I have marked in bold the ones I have read
in italics the ones I am in the process of reading,
and in blue the ones where I have only seen the movie.

Recently I have determined to read more of the 'classics' -- But I can see by this list that I have a long way yet to go!

Why don't you copy and paste the list into your comment, and in some way mark those you've already read, the ones you are in the process of reading, and the ones you've only seen as a movie -- so we can compare with each other.
Then, go here to check out the site and see how over 50 others responded on the site...makes for interesting reading in itself!
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - read some, but not others...
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy.
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth.
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt.
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

That makes 23 I've read; 1 I am in the process of reading and I have seen 4 as movies. I think the BBC was quite incorrect in their assesment.

How about you??