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Related Reading for Sunday, July 7

Our library in Hewett Centre is open every Sunday after service during Coffee Hour, and now the Library Team will be offering related reading lists based on the topic of Sunday service. Here is their list for the upcoming June 30 service.

VanU library books related to this Sunday’s sermon:

Our library in Hewett Centre is open every Sunday after service during Coffee Hour, and now the Library Team will be offering related reading lists based on the topic of Sunday service. Here is their list for the upcoming service.

VanU library books related to this Sunday’s sermon:

1. A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster, by Rebecca Solnit, 2009, 155.9 SOL [Why is it that in the aftermath of a disaster, people suddenly become altruistic, resourceful, and brave? Award-winning author Solnit explores this phenomena, looking at major calamities from the past 100 years].

2. Widening Circles: A Memoir, by Joanna Macy, 2000, 921 MAC [The well-known eco-philosopher, Buddhist scholar, and deep ecology activist/teacher Joanna Macy recounts her adventures of mind and spirit in the key social movements of our era. From involvement with the CIA and the Cold War, through experiences in Africa, India and Tibet, to her encounter with the Dalai Lama and Buddhism which led to her life-long embrace of the religion and a deep commitment to the peace and environmental movements, Macy’s autobiography reads like a novel as she reflects on how her marriage and family life enriched her service to the world].

3. Man’s Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy, by Viktor E. Frankl, 1984, 150.19 FRA, [From the Julian Fears Library. Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Based on his own experience between 1942 and 1945 while in four different concentration camps, including Auschwitz, and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful].

4. Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust, by Malka Drucker, 1992, 940.53 BLO [Malka Drucker and Gay Block spent three years visiting 105 rescuers (who saved Jews marked for death during the Holocaust) from ten countries. Block’s full-page color portraits accompany each narrative, inviting us to look at these men and women as they are today, people whose faces resemble our own. Would we act as they did? In their own words, forty-nine of the rescuers present a vivid picture of their lives before, during, and after the war as they grapple with the question of why they acted with humanity in a time of barbarism and whether they would do it again. Their stories – infused with the deep memory that engages a terrible past – are unforgettable. This details how they smuggled Jews out of the ghettos; worked in resistance movements; forged passports and baptismal certificates; hid Jews in cellars, barns, and behind false walls; shared their meager food rations; secretly disposed of waste; and raised Jewish children as their own. A landmark volume that includes maps, historic photographs from family collections, and a comprehensive introduction by Malka Drucker, this book makes a vital contribution to our understanding of the Holocaust, of the complex factors that made some people refuse the role of passive bystander, and of the profound psychological and ethical issues that still perplex us. When asked about the prospects for acts of moral courage today, rescuer Liliane Gaffney told the authors: “It’s very difficult for a generation raised looking out for Number One to understand it. This is something totally unknown here. But there, if you didn’t live for others as well as yourself it wasn’t worth living.” For Jan Karski, however, the legacy of the rescuers is one of affirmation: “Do not lose hope in humanity.” In the end, what is perhaps most striking about the rescuers is their modesty and simple humanness; yet, as Cynthia Ozick concludes in the Prologue, “It is from these undeniably heroic and principled few that we can learn the full resonance of civilization.”].

5. The Greatest Generation Speaks: Letters and Reflections, by Tom Brokaw, 1999, 940.548 BRO [Large print book, in memory of Marguerite (Dee) Kelsey. The book pays affecting tribute to those who gave the world so much, and who left an enduring legacy of courage and conviction, with it collecting the vast outpouring of letters Brokaw received from men and women eager to share their intensely personal stories of a momentous time in America’s history. If we are to heed the past to prepare for the future, we should listen to these quiet voices of a generation that speaks to us of duty and honor, sacrifice and accomplishment].

6. Letters from the Lost: A Memoir of Discovery (Our Lives: Diary, Memoir, and Letters Series), by Helen Waldstein Wilkes, 2010, 940.53 WAL [Gift of Arthur Hughes, with it being autographed by the author. Helen Waldstein and her parents escaped from Prague, Czechoslovakia on March 15, 1939, as the Nazis closed in, so only letters from their extended family could reach Canada through the barriers of conflict. The Waldstein family received these letters as they made their lives on a southern Ontario farm, where they learned to be Canadian and forget their Jewish roots. Helen read these letters as an adult, with this changing everything. With her past refusing to keep silent, Helen followed the trail of the letters back to Europe, where she discovered living witnesses who could attest to the letters’ contents. She has interwoven their stories and her own into a compelling narrative of suffering, survivor guilt, and overcoming intergenerational obstacles when exploring a traumatic past].

7. Kiss the Red Stairs: The Holocaust, Once Removed, by Marsha Lederman, 2022, 940.531809 [Donated and signed by the author. This tells Marsha’s parents’ stories of loss and survival, with the book being a compelling memoir of Holocaust survival, inherited trauma, her divorce and discovery that will reassure readers as they navigate their own monumental change].