"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Monday, April 29, 2013

April Books

A Year in the World by Frances Mayes  -- pleasant enough book, but not my favorite; I did think often "oooh, I'd like to go there!"  Too bad I don't travel more

Posted on Facebook: 

"How glamorous Ed looks in his Italian tuxedo, his 'smoking' as it's called by Italians who frequently leave off the second word of an imported term: basket, instead of basketball, night instead of nightclub."  -- Reading this just now in A Year in the World by Frances Mayes made me remember my conversation the other night about why some of us call knit hats "toboggans."  It must be our Italian ancestry!  Toboggan hat becomes plain old toboggan.

Ten Green Bottles by Vivian Jeanette Kaplan -- "The true story of one family's journey from war-torn Austria to the ghettos of Shanghai"  -- really interesting book especially when the family finally moves to Shanghai thrives, then the Japanese take over and they have to move to the ghetto where they adapt and thrive (somewhat) and THEN the Americans bomb their area while trying to win the war - ah!!

The Oasis: A Memoir of Love and Survival in a Concentration Camp by Petru Popescu --  I really enjoyed this tale of a couple who met in a work concentration camp towards the end of World War II and how they experienced life there and beforehand; it was interesting to read some Jewish rituals as Blanka thought back on her growing-up years; now I want to read the story of this author as he escaped Communism in Romania  (got it at the library 4/25, and will read soon)

MASH: An Army Surgeon in Korea by Otto F. Apel, Jr, MD and Pat Apel -- really interesting book about the MASH units in Korea. I enjoyed reading about life in Korea from a doctor's perspective. He shared funny parts, and many amazing parts about how they worked to keep people alive. I was brought to tears thinking of how hard they worked on soldiers who, quite frankly, seemed lost causes or too far gone to save.  But they did!

One time he was talking about their need for blood, and how "the occupation army in Japan appealed to the Japanese people to give blood for Americans fighting in Korea.  Long lines of Japanese stood outside the blood bank in Tokyo....The blood was flown from the U.S. Medical Laboratory in Tokyo to the blood bank in Korea and helicoptered to the MASH units.  An interesting quirk arose at this point. Japanese blood contains less of the Rh-negative factor than the blood of people of European origin. Therefore, Japanese blood could not be used to treat Americans. Japanese blood was used only for Koreans or other Asians. But it did allow doctors or nurses to use other blood for Americans and thus maintain adequate levels of blood in the medical facilities."  (pg. 140)

They learned the importance of patients getting up and walking as an aid to healing. Also, the importance of antibiotics - and more widespread use of them was "tested" on these ailing soldiers.

Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 by Madeleine Albright  -- If you are interested in Czech history especially during World War II, you may like this book.  It also talks a bit about Bohemia, Czech and Slovak breaks and the rise of Communism in this section of the world.  Of course Ms. Albright talks about her family's experiences during these years which makes it even better.

War Torn: Stories of War from the Women Reporters Who Covered Vietnam  -- this book is a collection of accounts by 9 women; I enjoyed the variety of experiences, and especially enjoyed the account of the lady who adopted two daughters from Vietnam and went back years later with one of them

Outwitting the Gestapo by Lucie Aubrac -- this book tells the story of a group of French resisters during the time Germany occupied France during WII; it's told from the point of view of Lucie - and covers 9 months of her life; pretty interesting book