Today while waiting for a friend to get her hair cut I picked up an old issue of O Magazine. I do not usually read this type of stuff, but it was better than looking at pictures of hair that never look like that on me!
In O Magazine I found a section called Reader's Corner. There were actually some pretty interesting looking books listed. So I grabbed a post it and started writing down titles. Here are the ones I found!
A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous
For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. "With bald honesty and brutal lyricism" (Elle), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. "Spare and unpredictable, minutely observed and utterly free of self-pity" (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject--the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity.
A Woman in Berlin stands as "one of the essential books for understanding war and life" (A. S. Byatt, author of Possession).
The four long narratives in W.G. Sebald's The Emigrants at first appear to be the straightforward biographies of four people in exile: a painter, an elderly Russian, the author's schoolteacher as well as his eccentric great-uncle Ambrose. Following (literally) in their footsteps, the narrator retraces routes which lead from Lithuania to London, from Munich to Manchester, from the South German provinces to Switzerland, France, New York, Constantinople, and Jerusalem. Along with memories of the Holocaust, he collects documents, diaries, pictures. Each story is illustrated with enigmatic photographs, making The Emigrants seem at times almost like a family album - but of families destroyed. Sebald weaves together variant forms (travelog, biography, autobiography, and historical monograph), combining precise documentary with fictional motifs. As he puts the question to "realism," the four stories merge gradually into one requiem, overwhelming and indelible.
Kabul in Winter by Ann Jones
Soon after the bombs stopped falling on Kabul, award-winning journalist and women's rights activist Ann Jones set out for the shattered city. This is her trenchant report from the city where she spent the next four winters working in humanitarian aid. Investigating the city's prison for women, retraining Kabul's long-silenced English teachers, Jones enters the lives of everyday women and men and reveals through small events some big disjunctions: between the new Afghan "democracy" and the still-entrenched warlords, between American promises and performance, between what's boasted of and what is. At once angry, profound, and starkly beautiful, Kabul in Winter brings alive the people and day-to-day life of a place whose future depends upon our own.