Friday Book Club: When Books Went to War
What are you reading this week? Anything you recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to?
I’m reading WHEN BOOKS WENT TO WAR, which is a quite moving account of the programs to get paperback books to American soldiers in World War II. Right now, I am at the point where the author is telling about all the soldiers grabbing a paperback to get them through whatever they had to get through–they would dump all kinds of things before they’d abandon that paperback. Soldiers reading as they fought seasickness and waited to land at Omaha Beach, for example. Wounded soldiers in ditches, reading as the only way to handle the wait while bombardments continued that might hit them any time.
It’s quite sobering and moving, and gives a whole new interpretation to our much more lighthearted “Desert Island Keeper” status for books. (I mean…what book would you want to have in your pocket, for something like that? I think for me it would be something like THE LORD OF THE RINGS, something fantastical enough to help me escape, but full of courage against darkness.) Some favorites among the soldiers where A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, FOREVER AMBER, Kate Porter’s short stories.
So…I guess my book is a sad book, in it’s way, or at least a sobering one, but it’s actually very moving, too.
What are you reading? Anything you recommend? I’m looking forward to the new recommendations from those of you who’ve just joined us, too! 🙂