The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank

Friday, February 13, 2009

I've heard from a few people who have had trouble with the comments section, so for those of you who are computer challenged the way I am, here's a quick tutorial on the comments section:
Go to the end of each entry and click on the word comments. Scroll down until you see a box that says Post a Comment. Write your comments in the box, and put your name at the end of the comments. Then when it tells you to choose an identity, click on anonymous. Then click on publish comment. If you've done everything correctly it should say that your comment has been saved and is awaiting moderation.

Now for the books to vote on for the 20th:

I haven't read enough biographies yet this year - and after reading about Designing Women finally being released on DVD this year, I was feeling in an 80's sitcom kind of mood. I decided to refresh my memory on 80's sitcoms because I didn't want to give you only options from my favorite shows, so I googled it and found this site which lists TV shows by decade:

Here are the options for February 20th -

Delta Style: Eve Wasn't a Size 6 and Neither Am I by Delta Burke

Here We Go Again: My Life in Television by Betty White

Fatherhood by Bill Cosby

Couplehood by Paul Reiser

You can vote on this book until the 19th - and you can still vote on the book for the 18th (up until the 17th) and the book for the 19th (up until the 18th). Don't forget to put your vote in a separate comment from your regular comments because I won't be publishing your vote until after the winning books are revealed.

Today's book: "Peter Van Pels hid in the attic with Anne Frank and died in the camps just before liberation. But what if he survived, forged a new identity, and came to the U.S. after the war? Feldman imagines the young immigrant, who denies his Jewishness and his horrific past, marries, raises a happy family, and succeeds in business. He reveals his identity to no one, including his Jewish wife, and he never speaks of the Holocaust cruelty he witnessed. But when the Diary, edited by Otto Frank, is an international bestseller, followed by the play and the movie, Peter can no longer suppress his survivor guilt, his fury at the exploitation and cover-ups, and his traumatic breakdown."

I bought this book because I enjoy Ann Rinaldi books (historical fiction), and I thought it would be similar. I think I enjoy Rinaldi's writing style better than Feldman's - but this book wasn't bad. It was worth reading once, but not something that is bookshelf worthy.

Another reason why I bought this book was because of the title, which was also the reason why Kara picked it for today. An interesting title gets me every time. I also have in my to-read, books with titles like: I Love You Like a Tomato, The $64 Tomato, Fat Girls in Lawn Chairs, My First Five Husbands - how could I not buy books with titles like that. I'm not sure why I keep buying books with the word tomato in the title - in fact, I'm kind of shocked there are even two books in the world that have the word tomato in the title. Maybe my subconcious has decided that if I can't eat tomatoes (I'm allergic) them I'm going to read about them. So tell me dear readers, have you ever read any books that have the name of a vegetable in the title? I sense a crazy book quest in my future - to find a book that has the word cucumber in the title.

I really have nothing fun and light hearted to say about this book. I've been known to make a ton of inappropriate jokes in my life, but even I have my limits. I do have some random, pointless observations though:

The main character, Peter, mentions some physical symptoms he has been having - and I instantly start play literary doctor. Thanks to years of reading books about illness (thank you chronic illness for that one - as if I really needed one more weird quirk), I've now deluded myself into thinking that reading about illnesses is just as good as going to medical school. So now, whenever I read a book with characters who have health problems, I always try to diagnose them. In Little Town on the Prairie, Carrie kept experiencing symptoms of weakness, heart palpitations, exhaustion, paleness - and I instantly had two thoughts: 1. I'm so glad I wasn't born 100 years ago, before many of today's chronic illnesses were recognized and treated, because I would have been the person that others talked about in whispered tones as having a "delicate constitution" - either that or they would have said I was "crazy in the head." 2. Carrie clearly had a thyroid problem. - I read books that were written a hundred years ago and think to myself, "Allergies. It was clearly an allergy - she should have never eaten that cake." or "Don't send her to the attic, she'll never recover from her Vitamin D deficiency that way." - I feel vindicated when I come to page 21 and realize that Peter's symptoms were from a thyroid problem. What a sad little life that I lead, that correctly guessing the illnesses of characters in books makes me this happy. I'm simple that way.

Later in the book, Peter talks about how some words are round and full - like the word home - and some are more slippery - like the word house. I've never thought of words in this way - not the slippery part anyway - I think of it more in terms of harsh words and gentle words. I can't stand harsh words like purse, lady, and moist. I think the word moist is the worst one of all - I have yet to hear anyone say that word without it sounding disgusting and conjuring up images of mildew on a dirty, public bathroom floor. Just so I won't feel like a total freak, tell me what your least favorites words are dear readers - or am I the only one who thinks the sound of certain words is like nails on a chalkboard?