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Archive for February 21st, 2016

Tales From The Secret Annex (1949©)  —  book review
Today’s book review is for the “other” Anne Frank book: “Tales From The Secret Annex“.  To be honest, reading this book was a mistake.  I picked it up because over the years I’d heard so much about Anne Frank’s Diary that I decided I wanted to finally get around to reading it.  I had no idea she even had a second book.  So, I saw the author and looked at the picture of the young girl on the cover and said, “Yup, this is it.”  And, I bought it.
I asked my wife if she’d read it and she replied everyone read it back in school.  We laughed a bit because I admitted I had not.  She cautioned me that it was quite sad and in fact she found it depressing.  (She knows what a cry-baby I can be.)  To make a longer story shorter, I asked her when it starts to get sad because I was finding it just kind of “girlish”.  She asked me to read her a few chapters and then said, “I don’t think you’re reading the right book“.  It’s been years since she read it, but she was confident she’d never heard these stories before.  So, the next day I looked up the book and lo and behold, this wasn’t the diary at all!  I was, in fact, reading the wrong book.
Okay.  Is this book any “good”?  To be honest, only so-so.  It’s a lovely little (150 pages) book, written by a teen-age girl, who makes some precocious observations about the world and about adults, but this is not a life-changing book.  The chapters are individual stories with no discernible arc.  Some of them are dreams and dream like.  Some are just stories.  They are pleasant enough, but there is not a lot there – for me anyway.  In any case, a book which should have taken me a couple of hours to read ended up taking almost two months, because it failed to capture and hold my imagination.  In the end, I was taking it to medical appointments to read while sitting in the waiting rooms.
Having said that, do I now recommend it?  Yes, I think I do.  I have already quoted the book in one of my postings on this blog and there are another five portions I’ve marked for posting later.  So, yes, I think I do.
If anything, without reading the primary work, I already feel like the world has lost the opportunity of sharing the life and writing of a kind and interesting young lady.  And her early passing is a lost opportunity for literature and for the world.
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On This Day In:
2015 Are You Listening Ladies?
2014 Practice, Practice, Practice
2013 A Fist Full Of Confusion
2012 Teaching Faith
2011 The Heart Of Terror
The Proportion Of Gravity And Probability

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