The Tattooist of Auschwitz

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov’s experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions. 

 

I quite enjoy historical books.  It is always interesting to see things from the point of view of people who lived during the time.  This book does not disappoint. It sets out the hardships endured, the cruelty encountered but it also shows how the prisoners were able to keep a flicker of hope alive.  A first hand accounting of the life (good and bad) of a prisoner tasked with tattooing new prisoners. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

The Handmaid’s Tale graphic novel

Everything Handmaids wear is red: the colour of blood, which defines us.

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships. She serves in the household of the Commander and his wife, and under the new social order she has only one purpose: once a month, she must lie on her back and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if they are fertile. But Offred remembers the years before Gilead, when she was an independent woman who had a job, a family, and a name of her own. Now, her memories and her will to survive are acts of rebellion.

I read this novel many years ago which definitely helped to understand this graphic novel.  I’m not sure how much one would really understand of this book without the background provided in the novel.   This book illustrates a very different world from what we live in, the extreme that could happen. Did I enjoy it – no. I didn’t enjoy the book the first time and the graphic novel did not change my opinion.  Maybe this is because it goes against everything that I believe the world should be. I believe in equality, all people being equal, and the world depicted in this book is the polar opposite.

Two Can Keep a Secret

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.  The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

I enjoy a good psychological thriller so this book fit the bill.  This book has a number of twists and turns which keep the reader guessing as to who done it.  There are a few under stories going on as well but they fit well with the main mystery. I highly recommend this book to all readers.