Books. Opinions. Good times.

Posts tagged ‘literature’

Holocaust literature

Ug, sorry guys.  I haven’t been reading much lately; the sun’s come out so I’ve been out and about as much as possible – my energy levels increase dramatically as the amount of sunshine I get increase.   Also, I’ve been spending way too much time finishing series on Netflix instead of reading.  Oops.

This isn’t a book review.  It’s a rant/ask for suggestions.

One of my friends made a Holocaust joke last week. I hate Holocaust jokes.  They’re never okay and I seriously doubt they’ll ever be okay. I don’t know how one can think of the Holocaust without being at least tinged by horror and a peculiar sort of grief. Nobody laughed, I told her it was too soon (it will always be too soon), and she called us all overly sensitive. Except when 5 people (one of them Jewish, now that I think about it) don’t laugh…usually it’s just not that funny.  Okay, done ranting.

But I am fascinated by Holocaust literature.  Something about the horrors of it fascinates me.  That it could happen, that people actively worked to make it happen, boggles my mind. The depth and breadth of emotions evoked when trying to conceptualize genocide are worth exploring, if only to find the courage to stand up for injustice when you see it.

With all that said, I’m starting The Business of Genocide, a book looking at the middle managers of Hitler’s regime.  The paper pushers, accountants, and other seemingly ordinary white-collar workers who made the logistics of committing genocide possible.  I also have Schindler’s List, which I may read next if I can take it.

Any favorite Holocaust literature out? Fiction or nonfiction, what books do you find particularly compelling and why? What do I absolutely have to read in order to get a better understanding? Leave a comment below!

Female Love Interest

I’m currently reading The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss’ sequel to The Name of the Wind.  I’m about halfway through it and I’m really enjoying it – I’ll write a review when I’m done – but first, a quick rant.  (Avast, mateys! Mild spoilers abound!)

Denna, the main character’s love interest, is driving me crazy.   She is mysterious and beautiful.  And mysterious and beautiful.  And  – oh look, she picked up a hobby relevant to the main character and did a stupidly generous thing for Kvothe, the main character and has a moment of deep insecurity in the second book, in addition to continuing to be mysterious and beautiful.   (A moment, mind you.  Not a developed theme or anything.  Just a completely predictable “beautiful-girl-who-seems-to-have-it-all-together-is-actually-vastly-insecure” moment.)

Arg! Seriously, Rothfuss? Seriously?! You have this intelligent, headstrong, complex daring main character who is having these fantastic moments of character development and all you can think of for a girl worthy of his love is – mysterious and beautiful? There’s not exactly a windfall of well-developed female characters in these (massive) novels, but, hell, any of the others would make a better love interest than Denna.  I feel I could easily replace her with whatever stereotype springs to mind when I say “mysterious, beautiful” lady and it would not detract from either the story or the love plot at all.

I can’t even give her credit for street smarts because 1) extremely stupid moment of generosity mentioned above.  Look, all I’m saying is if you’re constantly depending on others’ good will to support yourself, you often find yourself in straits, and you come into a huge windfall of money, don’t spend it all on a boy. And 2) she is being incredibly naive and gullible as it pertains to other mysterious people.

This is the only part of the book I sincerely dislike. But, oh, how much I dislike it! Please, people, if you’re going to make your books all about one character who’s amazing and super-intelligent and brave, ect., ect., can you take some time to write a love interest that seems realistically intriguing and engaging as a person?  Beauty and mystery are no basis for a relationship.