While Hannah though her post was dull because she couldn’t come up with a book that makes her happy, I think my Day 5 post might be dull because of the book I’ve chosen. But like I said to Hannah, this is our blog; we’ll be dull if we want to.
So, my Day 5, book that makes me happy is Paradise Lost by John Milton. Yawn, right?! WRONG! This book is crazy amazing. Crazmazing. It taught all writers since that time how it’s done. Yes, it is based on the Bible, but this book came from the imagination of Milton and brings up topics, explanations, and details that are “omitted” in the Bible, leaving a huge gap for people like Milton and Dante to come in and fill in details that have had a HUGE affect on the way our present society views the entire Christian religion. The reason this book makes me so happy is not only because of the massively interesting subject matter and evidently masterful writing, but also is because of the fact that this book reminds me of a simpler time in my life. A lot of time, research, and lengthy reports were focused on this work back in my college days. I had a teacher who was so enthusiastic about this work and it really rubbed off on many of her students. I wrote an entire paper on the HUGE importance of Milton’s bravery to write Paradise Lost in a way that shares the blame between Adam AND Eve instead of just Eve, which was completely unorthodox during his time. This book had a huge impact on society and trying to explain to people why it is super cool and not super lame makes me really happy!
So, Day 6 asks the opposite question. What book makes me sad? That answer is equally easy. Night by Elie Wiesel is so powerful and meaningful, but I was a mess after the first paragraph. I was a religious studies minor in college so this book was assigned in my Judaism class. Now, I’m largely of German descent, so the Holocaust and all things Jewish have always filled me with an odd emotional combo of fascinated guilt. I’ve been told by my Geegaw that our ancestors were out of Germany before the late 1920’s, but one cannot help but wonder whether your own family members could have taken part in one of the most devastating occurrences in history. Because of this haunting thought, I have always tried to learn as much as I can about Jewish customs and history, and Night is one of the most informational, horrifyingly detailed accounts I’ve ever read. Elie Wiesel is one of few known people who survived the tragedies in Germany,(he was at Auschwitz, I believe) and he made it his life’s mission thereafter to tell his story and make it known to the entire world what happened there. He tells about being herded through the concentration camp, separated from his family, the (to-be-expected ) poor conditions of his living quarters, and watching as the people he knew and loved died one by one. It tears my heart apart just thinking about it. I highly recommend everyone reads this book, if for no other reason than to have a better understanding of what humans are capable of doing to others based on insignificant differences, and mostly so that we can all be aware and try our hardest to prevent persecution like this form happening today. It still happens, maybe not here in America, but people are dying at the hands of self-righteous, closed-minded humans every day, and the more we know, the more we are able to join together in opposition of this hard truth.
If you take anything from this blog, I want you to read that book. Don’t read it in a public place, at least not on an iPad. If you’re weeping uncontrollably in a Starbucks with a hard copy, at least the people around you will see what you’re reading and will know why you’re a mess; on an e-reader, you’re just that psycho in the corner. No matter how you read it or where or if you look like a fool, you must read this book. You’ll be a better person for it, believe me. Having a better understanding of world cultures can only make you better.
Please tell us your answers, give us your feedback, and everyone have an amazing weekend!