In researching this volume, I interviewed veterans who had been at the front during World War II. I read countless books, examined film footage, and listened to many detailed and intense stories firsthand, but the one comment that affected me the most came from a former soldier who lowered his gaze to the tabletop and said, ‘I never watch war movies’.
The Council on Books in Wartime was created in 1942 by a group of publishing executives. The Council distributed cheap paperbacks to American soldiers fighting across the world, to boost morale. By 1947 they had printed 123 million copies of 1,322 titles. It cost around 8 million dollars. The program was extremely successful – soldiers in the field often tore their book at the halfway mark, so another soldier could start reading it too.
Chabon’s new novel, is like a moonshot in search of life before it goes dark.
Mike, the narrator, goes to his grandfather on his deathbed,
where strong painkillers crack open the stories the old man has kept under
wraps for so long. The grandson can finally see his grandfather as a young man,
an unheralded hero of the OSS in World War II, an engineer who dreamed of the
stars, a pool hustler, a lover and an unabashed felon.
Chabon tells NPR’s Scott Simon that the origin of the story
lies with his actual, nonfictional grandfather. “Very much like the
grandfather in the book, he was lying in a rented hospital bed in my mother’s
house in Oakland, Calif., in terminal stages of cancer. He was on heavy
painkillers and his mind wandered, and it wandered into the past,” Chabon
says. “And he brought out a whole bunch of stories and anecdotes that I
had never heard before.”
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks. When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris in June of 1940, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.
In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure’s.
We’ve all been there, quietly reading along when suddenly WHAM! FEELS! And suddenly you’re sobbing and snotting into your book, cursing the author and yourself for reading this beautiful and terribly painful book.
That’s how Code Name Verity was for me, at least. I don’t usually cry in books, and I avoid the really heart-wrenching books about cancer and death, so it’s needless to say I wasn’t expecting to be hit so fully in the gut by the ending. But oh man, I was. This book carved out my heart, threw it on the ground, and stomped on it, leaving me a sobbing, snotting mess on my couch at 2pm on a Friday afternoon.
And now I’m recommending it to you all. Here’s a quick synopsis from goodreads:
I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.
That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine - and I will do anything, anything to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again.
He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France - an Allied Invasion of Two.
We are a sensational team.
Go read this book immediately. It is beautiful and heart-wrenching and one of my top favorites of all time.
The companion to Code Name Verity, this is also beautifully sob-worthy. However, I didn’t cry quite as much while reading it. Still cried, though. Elizabeth Wein is a cruel, cruel woman to make me feel such things.
Two years ago today, Unbroken was released nationwide in US theaters. Unbroken is based on the book “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand. Unbroken is the true story about Olympic runner turned World War II PoW, Louis “Louie” Zamperini. Louie and two of his crewmen survive an aircraft crash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They are stranded on a raft for 47 days, only for Louie to be captured by the Japanese and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp for 2 years.
Unbroken is personally my favorite movie of all time. I am truly thankful Finn was a part of this movie, allowing me to learn about Louie. I was able to read the book before I saw the movie. After I saw the movie, I came out a better, changed person. I have never been affected by a movie or a person’s story the way I have been affected by Unbroken and Louie Zamperini. Because of Louie, I believe I am a kinder, more forgiving, “I-don’t-hold-grudges” person. Louie is one of my biggest heroes, and I have Finn to thank for that.
Unbroken directed by Angelina Jolie is available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and Netflix.
Hi! I was wondering if I could request a Paul Lahote image where he imprints on a shy and all around adorable girl. She’s much tinier than him, just rather short. I would love to see how he acts around her/how the others would mess with him about it and when he finally tells her. Sorry it seems like much I just started babbling, thank you! Have an amazing day!
*2 months ago*
“Why are we here anyway,” Paul whinned to Jacob and ran a finger along the spines of the books on the shelf right inside of the bookstore’s door.
“Because,” Jacob replied, “Nessie wanted books for her birthday and one book was harder to find and this is the only place nearby that already has it in store.” Jacob found a man working and asked him where all the books could be found.
The man read the titles off the list Jacob handed him. “A collection on the history of World War II, Moby Dick, and a book on Vampire lore throughout European cultures.”
“Oh my God,” Paul groaned. “You’re girlfriend reads that crap?!”
“If you’re going to be annoying why don’t you go keep yourself busy and browse the store,” Jacob suggested.
“Fine.” Paul started walking towards the back of the store browsing the shelves. He was reading the titles of the books on a shelf when he hear the flipping of a page. Peeking his head around the shelves in front of him he saw the two seats in the back corner of the store; one of which was being occupied by a small girl with a thick book in her hands. The moment his eyes took all of her in he felt like the weight of the world was being lifted from his shoulders. He had heard all of the stories of imprinting from his friends but it wasn’t until that moment that he really understood just how quick and how amazing imprinting was.
He walked over, hesitantly, to the chair across from the girl. She looked up quickly but put her nose back in her book. “Mind if I sit here?” She shook her head. “Jane Eyre…is that any good?”
She looked up unsure of what to say. “It’s…ugh…one of my favorites,” her voice was light and timid.
“So you’ve read it before?” She looked up from her book again with a slight giggle. “I have. 5 other times.” She went back to reading.
“I don’t think I’ve read 5 books, forget reading one book five times,” he laughed and you chuckled. A serious look shadowed your face and you closed your book.
“Why are you still talking to me,” you asked smalley.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” You shrugged and leaned back, sinking into the couch, “Most guys like you don’t just come up and talk to girls like me.”
“Guys like me?”
“Fairly attractive males…males in general most of the time.”
“Well, this male would like to take you out sometime if that’s ok with you.”
“Seriously?” He nodded. “Um, sure, I guess,” you said cautiously and took your napkin and wrote your number down quickly.
“Bring her by,” Seth encouraged Paul.
“Not going to happen, pup,” he told him.
“Why not Paul. You’ve been dating two months; she should get to know the tribe,” Embry whinned.
“Lay off,” Paul said fiercely. “You know she’s shy. She won’t wanna go to the lame party tonight with the whole tribe.”
“It’d be the perfect time for you to take her aside and tell her you’re more than in love with her,” Embry joked. Paul mumbled something explicit about minding his own business and grabbed his keys and jacket.
“Have fun on your date tonight hot shot,” Seth called as Paul left to pick you up.
“Hey Y/N,” he greeted as you got in his car. You leaned over and gave him a kiss.
“Hey. How was your day?”
“Great now that you’re here, before now, decently ok.”
“It was your turn to check on the woods last night, right? How’d that go?”
“Good. Lots of trees and animals and more trees. You’d like it,” he smiled.
“You’ll have to take me sometime then.”
“I’d love to,” he kissed your hand.
“What are we doing tonight?”
“You’ll have to wait and see.” He drove back to his house and lead you inside. “I have some delicious steaks to prepare and, afterwards, I have Jane Eyre for us to watch.”
“You rented Jane Eyre?” He laughed and nodded. After you were done laughing you asked, “Can I help make dinner?”
You were in the kitchen helping when Paul asked if you could grab the pepper from one of the cabinets. You stood on the tiptoes and stretched your arm out trying to reach the pepper on the shelf. A large chest pressed against your back as a hand passed yours and grabbed the pepper. “Thanks,” you said as he handed you the pepper. You handed it right back to him so he could keep cooking, “Thanks,” he said back to you.
The food was great for Paul having been the cook. You took a seat next to him and waited for the movie to start. Paul slowly moved his arm around you shoulder. He waited until you leaned into him to sink back into the couch.
The movie was over sooner than Paul was prepared. “That’s how it ends! But what happens with Jane and the one dude?!” You laughed tiredly, “Now you get why it’s one of my favorites, right?”
“There’s something I should probably tell you,” he said looking at you almost asleep on his shoulder.
“Oh no…You have a crazy wife in your attic?” You pretended to look nervously towards his roof.
“No. It’s about pack life…” You sat up as best you could. “Remember how I refused to leave you alone until you agreed to go out with me and gave me your number. It’s because I had to.”
“Is this some 80s/ 90s movie where someone bet you to get the shy girl?”
“No. No. Not at all. I…I imprinted on you. I had to so I wouldn’t lose you.”
“It’s this unfaltering love that we get. There’s one person in the whole world that’s our other half and when we find them we imprint. They are our other half and we can live without them but we never feel alive.”
“And you’ve done this…with me?” He nodded. “I guess I don’t have to worry about getting my heart broken then right?” You smiled and leaned into him.
“How is it possible that you aren’t phased by this. I told you I was a werewolf and you didn’t bate and eye and now this…”
“I’ve read a lot weird fantasy novels,” you joked.
“I love you,” he moved your loose hair behind your ear.
“I love you too. I’m also tired now,” you chuckled. He picked your small frame up with ease and carried you to his room.
“You take the bed tonight, I’ll take the couch. Goodnight, Y/N.”
Reading motivational quotes is not studying. Scrolling through a
bunch of studyblrs is not studying. Watching YouTube videos while having
a tab about World War II is not studying.
Closing those tabs and opening your Chemistry book is studying. Jotting down and revising notes is studying. Reading and understanding a concept is studying. Connecting one concept with another is studying.
Thinking of studying is not studying. Studying is studying.
“In a time before the digital devices that we’re used to today, it was humans that were doing the calculations,” says author Nathalia Holt. “And so you needed these teams of people — many of whom were women, especially during World War II — and they were responsible for the math.”
“Disney artist Hank Porter created all
of the art found on the six Aircraft Warning Service posters in this [post]. One of the posters in the series
features a [racist] caricature of a Japanese soldier. This type of
illustration [was] rare from the Disney Studio. While other Hollywood
cartoon studios often portrayed enemy stereotypes in their cartoons,
Disney rarely did. And for the amount of war-related combat insignia and
home front items produced using Disney-created art, the number of ‘enemy’ stereotypes depicted is an exceptionally small number.”