Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Importance of Elie Wiesel



Elie Wiesel passed away over the weekend - the Independence Day holiday weekend here in the States - and in some ways that was a fitting time for a man such as he to pass from the world that he tried so hard to make a better place.  In the picture to the right, Mr. Wiesel is on the second bunk. There is a man with a white cap on and another man, leaning up on his elbow and you can then see Mr. Wiesel peeking around the edge of that man.

Mr. Wiesel will be mourned and missed by all. In 1960, his memoir, Night, about his time in a concentration camp at the age of 15 was published, rocketing him to fame.  He continued, throughout the course of his life, to write about religion and humanity as a result of his experiences in that Concentration Camp during World War 2. In his writings and his life, he fought against atrocities perpetuated against  people and never let people forget what had happened to him at the ages of 15 and 16 while he was imprisoned. He touched the lives of thousands if not millions of people and will continue to do so even after his death.

Thank you Mr. Wiesel. May you rest in peace. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker



This book came highly recommended to me by a number of co workers and other people that have since assumed a very special place in my life. I read during a period in my life that was particularly trying and it really, really hit home, additionally helping me overcome the stressful thing in my life. This book is a primer on violence written by someone who has a tremendous amount of personal and professional experience in dealing with violence. This book singularly changed MY life as far as my personal and intimate relationships go and I am forever indebted to the book and its author for the role it played in changing the course of MY life.

In short, this book is a brilliantly written discourse and analysis of various, common forms of violence. The reader is given many different perspectives during the course of the analysis - from the victim's perspective, the investigator's perspective and other outsider's perspective - in order to demonstrate to the reader that patterns exist that can lead us to predict violence or, at the very least, to trust our basic, gut level instincts. This book was thought provoking and well thought out. DeBecker uses case studies effectively in attempting to convince the reader of the truth and accuracy of his arguments. It was very, very well thought out.

In my life, shortly after reading this book, I had contact with an old friend relatively shortly after reading this book.  At the time, I had just come out of a difficult personal relationship and wasn't looking for anything. In talking to him, my instinct was to just ask this person out and see where it went.  I'm very, very glad that I did because I'm the happiest that I've been for a while and all because I trusted what my instinct was telling me.

My Education by Susan Choi

I admit it: I have a thing about academic novels.  And by that, I  mean novels that occur on campuses and are about characters that are ent...