Don Hosek - Recent reading

I tend to be a voracious reader, and I read widely. This list has its origins in an old signature file which I would update periodically with the current book that I was reading. That gradually transmogrified itself into the current massive archive with brief reviews.

What I've been reading lately
Number of books read and reviewed each year
1995* (28)
1996 (47)
1997 (74)
1998 (61)
1999 (62)
2000 (27)
2001 (51)
2002 (60)
2003 (37)
2004 (36)
2005 (32)
2006 (46)
2007 (109)
2008 (78)
2009 (65)
2010 (68)
2011 (98)
2012 (129)
2013 (114)
2014 (101)
2015 (88)
2016 (82)
2017 (76)
2018 (67)
2019 (95)
2020 (90)
2021 (85)
2022 (78)
* Partial year
I Just Want This Done: How Smart, Successful People Get Divorced without Losing their Kids, Money, and Minds by Raiford Dalton Palmer
[Finished 19 November 2022] One of the lawyers I consulted about my divorce sent me a copy of this book, which he had written. I kind of feel like it’s targeted at people who are quite a bit wealthier than I am, although there are a few usable nuggets within it. The bottom line is don’t be vindictive or worry about the principle of things but rather to focus on what you want and why.

Our Courage: Jews in Europe 1945–48 edited by Kata Bohus, Atina Grossman, Werner Hanak and Mirjam Wenzel
[Finished 18 November 2022] A pan-European look at Jewish experiences after the Holocaust covering nearly the whole of the continent. My only complaint is that the individual pieces tended to be a bit on the short side leaving me wanting more than was said.

Out on a Ledge: Enduring the Lodz Ghetto, Auschwitz, and Beyond by Eva Libitzky and Fred Rosenbaum
[Finished 15 November 2022] A great memoir of one girl’s experiences before, during and after the Holocaust. One of my favorites in the genre.

Holocaust Survivors in Postwar Germany, 1945–1957 by Margarete Myers Feinstein
[Finished 15 November 2022] A book I wish I’d read first six years ago, but better late than never. Feinstein’s book is full of great information on the DP era and helped fill in a number of gaps in my knowledge.

Stranger's Journey: Race, Identity, and Narrative Craft in Writing by David Mura
[Finished 12 November 2022] Parts of this book are straight craft and the parts that address identity seem a bit scattered in their targeting (are they meant to be for non-white authors or for white authors writing about non-white characters?), but overall an excellent addition to the craft canon.

Renia's Diary: A Holocaust Journal by Renia Spiegel with Elizabeth Bellak
[Finished 11 November 2022] The variety of experience underlying the Holocaust is somewhat staggering. In this case, this is the diary of a Holocaust victim who lived in the Eastern Poland under Soviet occupation after the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Life managed to stay relatively normal until the Germans declared war on the Soviet Union and invaded and brought their genocidal policies to the East.

The Broken Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
[Finished 7 November 2022] More diving into the world that Jemisin created in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I continue to be in awe of how Jemisin manages her world building.

Voicing The Void: Muteness And Memory In Holocaust Fiction by Sara R. Horowitz
[Finished 7 November 2022] It’s interesting reading his in that by seeing how an academic approaches a piece of literary writing, it provides me with inspiration for my own creative practice. I have to imagine that other writers might do the same, but I’ve never heard anyone mention it.

Bitter Glory: Poland and Its Fate, 1918–1939 by Richard M. Watt
[Finished 3 November 2022] Watt’s book is very much a great men and war style of history with all of its limitations (it is quite nearly a biography of Józef Piłsudski given Piłsudski’s importance in this period of Polish history). There is a background to show the history of the Polish region from the middle ages up to the books nominal beginning with the close of the first world war. Seeing the conditions around the establishment of the Polish republic, so much of the subsequent events of history feel inevitable, between the disputed borders in the east and west, the Polish-Soviet war (something that I think I somehow missed in my history classes—whether it was just not taught or I wasn’t paying attention when it was, I couldn’t say) and the reluctance of France and Britain to push back on the earliest military adventurism of the Hitler regime, it seemed almost a certainty that Poland would end up being partitioned between Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939. The other thing that seems to be a common thread in my reading of this period is the utter stupidity of the Communist party outside of the Soviet Union between servile submission to the Soviet leadership and ignoring the needs of the local population.

Making Stories Making Selves: Feminist Reflections on the Holocaust by R. Ruth Linden
[Finished 3 November 2022] This was an interesting book, a bit of a follow-up to the collection, Her Story, My Story? with a mix of memoir and academic writing in a single volume.