Books & Study Life

December books

With these two books I’ve completed my latest goal of 60 books read this year. This will lead to a new project, details about it pretty soon. The books I’ve read this month can’t be more different from one another.

December Books. Two books, a cup of coffee

I remember when I was in school at a history class. My teacher told us that Hitler wrote a book called Mein Kampf. I was in high school and interested in psychology. So, naturally, my first though was a question, why did Germany and the rest of the civilized world let Hitler become so strong when they knew what he thought. I wanted to read the book, to see for myself what he wrote. This month I read it.

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

For years this book was banned in Germany until the copyright run out. I can’t understand why. Learning about what happened and what lead to the WW2 in Europe should be a better approach in my mind. People will not become Nazi after reading this book.

I will make a dedicated post with 10 things I learned about Hitler, after reading Mein Kampf. Besides the question I’ve thought of as a teenager when I heard about the book, I had another question in mind. Why Jews didn’t leave Germany?
After reading the book I’m still wondering why people in the civilized world thought it will not lead to a World War. Some of the words Hitler uses about Jews are shocking, full of hate. When he was talking to a group of a 100 people or so it didn’t matter. But, after he entered the German Parliament with German votes, what were other’s doing? I remember seeing a picture at National Football Museum of the English football team doing a Nazi salute in 1938 at a game in Germany. The first volume of Mein Kampf was published 15 years earlier, in 1923, and the second one after a couple of years. Hindsight is a wonderful thing though.

I still wonder why more Jews didn’t leave Germany, it must have been terrifying for them to read those words and still remain in the country. Maybe it was hope.
This is a book I would definitely recommend to anybody interested in modern history, psychology, and politics.

Best Mates. Six Favourite Stories by Michael Morpurgo

Best Mates. Six Favourite Stories by Michael Morpurgo

This is a children’s book. I got it from a charity shop thinking is something light I can read when I don’t have time to read something more substantial. The book has some ideas I wouldn’t want to teach a child, I didn’t enjoy it. The stories in the book were written from 1974 to 2008. I didn’t notice a particular improvement of the ideas over time. Of course, this is a personal opinion, others might think he is a great writer of children’s stories.
If I had a child, I would read the books/stories before, to know if it’s something I would be happy my child to read, or if we should have a discussion after about values and ideas.

Did you have any reading goals this year?

2 Comment

  1. I’ve not read that Michael Morpurgo book though I’ve read at least 20 of his other books which I think are excellent. What ideas did you not like?
    Interesting to read Mein Kampf- we did a little work on it for Gcse History but I remember little. It is quite astonishing that he got in but we also did a lot of work on the origins of Ww2 and there are a lot of factors.
    I’ve failed miserably with book reviews this year although I’m going to do a summary of my book reading this week.

    1. Two of Morpurgo’s stories had ideas I don’t agree. The swan story, where shes was killed by a fox so she could feed her cubs, and the author was so upset, saying he wanted to kill the fox. Well, unless the fox had access to a wide range of vegetarian/vegan food at the local supermarket, for her to browse and chose from… she did something natural. I would rather teach a child that this is part of nature. I would also teach a child that this is not part of our nature, as we are omnivores and we have plenty of access to food (too much one might argue). Going back to the story, it has a happy ending with the male swan finding a new partner.
      The second story that annoyed me was the one about the cat. It was an outdoor cat, doing what outdoor cats do like killing pigeons for fun (I can’t emphasize enough how much I disagree with this). The family believed that the cat died as a result of a car hitting the cat, only to discover that it was another cat. Again, I wouldn’t want to teach a child that is ok to rejoice that is not our cat that was hit by a car/mauled to death by a dog/any other scenario… but the neighbour’s cat. But, I don’t agree with outdoor pets, unless they are donkeys or bigger (and have a stable too).

      Others will agree with the killing of a fox that displayed natural behaviour (or just for fun if they are into hunting). Others, many more I assume, have outdoor cats and they might relate to that story, maybe something similar happened to them too.

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