As you guys know, I don't read a ton of books for myself...and when I do, I prefer real-life accounts, nonfiction, self-help, scriptures, that kind of stuff. There is so much that I don't know, so if I've got my nose in a book, it's mostly because I desperately want to know how to do something.
One of my best friends in college has read everything ever printed and watched every TV show ever produced. I don't know how she did it! She is like a sponge. I could give a million reasons for why I don't read with a passion like so many others do but I won't. It's just how I am...or how I have been...always busy "doing" or "writing" or playing a sport...and not prone to sitting still to read a book.
Last week, while I was at the library looking for baby name books (smile) I spotted the book "Treasures From the Attic" on the shelf below the baby names shelf, and I became very curious. It is a compilation of thousands of letters and family history information from the family of Anne Frank. This collection was discovered by a family member in the late-80's/90's I believe. And since I have always been drawn to reading original documents and such, I was drawn to this book.
It was so beautiful. I loved reading the amazing poetry that members of Anne Frank's family (grandparents' families, cousins, etc.) wrote back and forth to one another. I have always been a letter-writer, and I have longed to have that kind of interaction with members of my own family to not much avail. But then again, who even writes letters anymore? (Cheery!)
Anyway, I had just read another memoir prior to reading this book (Angela's Ashes) and there was a stark contrast between the two families described in each book. One family was poor in every way and ignorant on top of that. The other family was loving to each other in every way, and had a love of learning and beauty. It is no surprise that a family heritage like this could produce an "Anne Frank". (Note to self.)
Halfway through reading "Treasures From the Attic", I realized that I really needed to read The Diary of Anne Frank (finally!) in order to get the full picture. (Yes, I never read that sweet book either!) Anyway, I really enjoyed reading the writings of the young Anne Frank. I have always heard people talking about it, and from that I thought I knew what the book was about.
Surprisingly, the book had very little to do with Nazis. (And thank goodness, they don't deserve the spotlight anyway!) Instead, it was a rare look into the heart of a child becoming a young woman...and such a wonderful reminder of what I too felt and wrote about in my many journal entries when I was her age!
As Eleanor Roosevelt writes in the introduction "These are the thoughts and expression of a young girl living under extraordinary conditions, and for this reason her diary tells us much about ourselves and about our own children. And for this reason, too, I felt how close we all are to Anne's experience, how very much involved we are in her short life and in the entire world."
Because the book "tells us much about ourselves and about our children," I found it to be a very useful gift to me as a mother and as I work with the young women at church. And I am thankful for it. Oh, to someday meet the sweet Anne Frank! What a gift she gives to the world.
Anyway, "Dear Kitties" of the world, as you have probably noticed, I have very little time for writing these days...and even less time to polish the thoughts that I do write! Even now, the kids are starting to tear the house apart, and we haven't tackled any chores this morning. Such is the life of a summer vacation mom! Have a great day! And thanks for reading!
PS - I am by no means recommending the book "Angela's Ashes"...just so you know. Although it was mostly enjoyable and heart-wrenching, the ending was especially degenerate and proved why I don't waste time reading stuff that is so unenlightening...although at times it is hard to figure out which books are best until you've invested so much time into them!!