Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Two books re-read

At the recommendation of a book club friend who gave me Change of Heart by Jodi Piccult to read, I began reading it.  Shortly into the book, I realized that I had read it before.  But, I didn't remember the exact ending, so I got caught up in the story and read the whole book again. I reviewed the book here on this blog on February 13, 2009, so if you are interested in it, just put the title into the search box in the upper right of my blog and it will take you to it.  It's a good story.

I also re-read Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. Such a powerful book.  Mr. Frankl Man's Search for Meaning to look at how the prisoners dealt with their imprisonment.
wrote the book in 1959.  The book is about how men found meaning to their lives during their time in the concentration camps during WWII.  Mr. Frankl was in four different camps during the war.  He was a Jewish psychiatrist who married in 1941.  In 1942, he, his wife, his parents were deported. In the end, Mr. Frankl's parents, brother and his wife died in the camps.  His only close relative who survived the war was his sister, who had left Austria for Australia.  He wrote

Near the very beginning of the book, the author wrote:

"It is easy for the outsider to get the wrong conception of camp life, a conception mingled with sentiment and pity.  Little does he know of the hard fight for existence which raged among the prisoners.  This was an unrelenting struggle for daily bread and for life itself, for one's own sake or for that of a good friend."
 "We who have come back, by the aid of many lucky chances or miracles-whatever one may choose to call them-we know: the best of us did not return."

The book is full of stories and examples of how the men survived, or didn't, as the case may be. And the author offers what he believed to be not necessarily how survival was possible, but how to find meaning in one's survival or in one's death.  It is a deeply moving book.

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