On January 26, 2020, sports legend Kobe Bryant and his oldest daughter, Gianna (13) died in a helicopter crash on the way to Gianna’s basketball game. Click here to read the Variety article. When Kobe retired he wrote The Mamba Mentality about his strategic view of the game and how it should be played combined with a score of intimate pictures of Kobe in the game. On this tragic day, The Mamba Mentality: How I Play is a look at one of the great minds of the game.
In Adventures of an American Girl in Victorian London by Elizabeth L. Banks, it’s 1892, an American journalist named Elizabeth Banks launched the ultimate social experiment. She lived side by side with the people of Victorian England working in all manners of jobs from street sweeper to maid for some of the most demanding matrons in London. She also posed as an heiress to get the perspective of the elite. Adventures of an American Girl inLondon was originally published in 1894.Continue reading Adventures of an American Girl in Victorian London by Elizabeth L. Banks
Alonzo Fields started working in the White House in 1931 and was the head butler for the four Presidents — Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower. My 21 Years in the White House by Alonzo Fields is a look through the eyes of a man keenly aware of the unique position he held and with nearly unlimited access at crucial points in U.S. history and his encounters with the world leaders that visited. Continue reading My 21 Years in the White House by Alonzo Fields
A freak accident with a tree limb stopped Heidi’s perfect globetrotting life. As her life suffered a domino effect from the dissolution of her marriage to the hurt of betrayal, Heidi hit the bottom and struggled to rise back to the top. When all balls drop, can things ever be right again?
I Don’t Believe God Wrote The Bible by Gerald Freeman is the second book in his memoir series. After nearly dying of a drug overdose, Gerry Freeman sets out on a voyage of self-discovery by hitchhiking Europe. Gerry finds that no matter how far he runs, there are things he simply cannot escape. Join a man in the late 80s running from his demons through adventure and odd jobs.
Primo Levi was a twenty-five-year-old chemist living in Turin, Italy when he was arrested as an “Italian Citizen of Jewish Race” and deport to Auschwitz. Survival in Auschwitz chronicles the ten months that Levi spent in the death camp and the triumph of human spirit that kept him alive.
January 27, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Levi was one of only twenty survivors in his transport of 650 prisoners. His memoir “If this is a Man” was first released in his home country as a limited run in October of 1947. The version that I read was translated in 1958 by Giulio Einaudi.
[easyazon_link asin=”0684826801″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Survival In Auschwitz[/easyazon_link] is a dispassionate account of the Holocaust and Auschwitz Death Camp in a way that seems perhaps a bit odd for an account written a mere few years after the author’s experience. At first I thought that perhaps the removal from the subject was due to the translated text. [easyazon_link asin=”0684826801″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Survival In Auschwitz[/easyazon_link] reads awkwardly at points as though there really isn’t a translation for certain things. As the book progressed, I came to believe that the objectivity of Levi in the work perhaps highlights the suffering that its subject must have experienced. [easyazon_link asin=”0684826801″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Survival In Auschwitz[/easyazon_link] reads a bit like a victim having to leave the body emotionally to survive a nightmarish experience. Levi’s experience was raw and brutal. He doesn’t describe events in a graphic way but manages to still convey the awfulness of the experience. In the time he was in the camp, Levi didn’t see himself as a man but a slave.
There is always a fragility of life in accounts we hear of the concentration camps. Levi is able to work and he’s sent immediately to perform hard labor in the camp. Anyone who couldn’t work was immediately put to death and if a person became ill they would be sent to a very short-term infirmary where they’d either improve or be sent immediately to the gas chambers.
[easyazon_link asin=”0684826801″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Survival In Auschwitz[/easyazon_link] is not a book designed to horrify the reader but to inform. Levi, as an author, doesn’t read as a man who is looking to inspire his audience with his brave perseverance in horrific odds. Levi instead reads as a man who never wants us to forget. The Holocaust is something that happened to him. He was not a religious man and didn’t consider himself a Jew but he was labeled as such and for that label was sent to slavery, degradation and almost certain death. In Levi’s eyes, he regained his humanity when he was sent to the infirmary for 10 days and spared a march that would have surely killed him.
Levi’s bravery to write such a work and so soon after the experience astounds the reader. Ten months must have seemed a lifetime to this 25-year-old as he saw cruelty and hate and people dying every day. The people that Levi described as emaciated and broken can be viewed in historical footage of the Liberation of Auschwitz. Levi doesn’t seem to hate the Germans in his narrative and the minimization of them seems to be something of a dehumanizing of them. They are the faceless mass. They are the uncertain evil gobbling the souls of those around him.
[easyazon_link asin=”0684826801″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Survival In Auschwitz[/easyazon_link] is well written, poignant and simply an important work of nonfiction. Please, take a moment to remember today the 4.1 million people who died at this horrible death camp.
You can read an excerpt and buy Survival In Auschwitz by Primo Levi on:
This memoir by Scott Terry describes growing up in the 1970s, in a home ruled by a tyrannical step-parent and a restrictive religion. Readers follow Terry to adulthood and through his personal struggle with his beliefs and sexuality.
In Shadows, Skeletons and a Southern Belle by Jilda Leigh, the author tells her own story of mental disorder and depression and encourages readers who feel like they can’t go on with a look into her depth of despair and the light she found at the end of the tunnel.
The Funky Butts: An Unauthorized Autobiography by The Blade is the story of the rise and fall of a fictional band in the pre-grunge and early MTV era. The Blade tells the story of Marathon Man, Slinkmaster and M.C. Mike rising from the ashes of Denton, Texas to a National stage and then realizing that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
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