And now I will make my case for a family book group. 

Do me a favor and take a look around you.  Go ahead.  I won’t start again until you take a





So, who lives in a vacuum? 

No one right?  For one thing, it would be rather cramped inside and for another the dust allergies would be killer!

Okay, so I’m not actually talking about your Hoover, Bissell, or (you lucky souls) Dyson. 

I’m talking about the world around us.  We don’t exist in a vacuum – people, places, events, external forces impact each of us.  Things are happening all around us that influence our choices, decisions, and actions. 

And all of that – that will be history one day. 

Our family isn’t notable and will not be written about in the history books – we’re certainly no Kennedys – but they lived in historical times.  To gain a better appreciation of our family, we need to understand the world and times that our ancestors lived in – whether it was Philadelphia in the 1920s, Germany in the 1930s, or the suburbs in the 1960s. 

 As an archivist and a personal hoarder of all things paper, I am saddened to tell you that aside from one known letter, Max and Anna didn’t leave us with any primary source material.  No heart-warming love letters, no rambling diaries, no notes to tell us about their lives, the times in which they lived, their history.  But I have some things in store that I hope will make up for that. 

To complement those things, I thought, well, why not form a book group.  We could all read the same book about a specific time period so when I started blogging about it, we’d all be on the same page and maybe have a better understanding of the people in our past. 

Or I can just do all the reading and tell you about it. 

But…if you’re interested, consider reading the following so that you’re ready for our adventures in March –

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larsen
Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski
I Will Bear Witness:  A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933-1941 by Victor Klemperer

That’s right, people – we’re going back to Germany.


Listen, I realize that I haven’t exactly blogged the family stories in any type of chronological order.  I’m sorry if that’s bothersome but it’s my process.  And you never screw around with someone’s process. 



09/29/2016 1:08am

Books are like true friend when relatives or friends leave us due to our misfortune, they do not desert us. As good books leave good impact upon soul, bad books may mar our character. Therefore, we should be very cautious in the selection of boos and shun bad books from our life.


Erik Larson's "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" is such a masterpiece. This is actually the best non-fiction novel I've ever read. This book will literally take you to the real world of living in the World War II era. There are also some portraits included in this book and that's what makes it more interesting. Larson's style of writing is so compelling and very detailed which made me love this book. I'm surprised that you're into this kind of book too.


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