Reflections received - page 1 of 2

Pivotal book reflections sent in by viewers of this exhibit

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A Long Way DownA Long Way Down

Nick Hornby

Sent in by Meg Brown, Exhibits Coordinator, Duke University Libraries

A few years ago I heard an interview with Nick Hornby who is a parent of a special needs child, and he was discussing his book A Long Way Down.  I have been a special needs parent for 8 years and in his interview Hornby admitted to living vicariously through one of his characters; allowing her to say and feel things that we, as special needs parents aren't really allowed to admit.  I have enjoyed his work in the past, so I ran out to get the book-and I will always be grateful to him for taking a heavy weight off of my shoulders.

I am not as extreme as the very depressed suicidal special needs mother in the story, but it was a fantastic relief to be able to hear a voice of imperfection in a world of parents who are so often portrayed as crusaders, groundbreakers and saints. As I read the book, I laughed and cried and was just overjoyed to hear someone say out loud some of the terrible things that sometimes creep into the reality of living with a special needs child. This book was a gift to me-it is no Lifetime inspirational movie-but for the first time in years I felt I was being given permission to feel the bad stuff that comes along with the beautiful, inspirational stuff in the world of special needs children.

Stranger's BreadStranger's Bread

Nancy Willard

Sent in by Jennifer Davis

My favorite book, is actually a children's book, "Stranger's Bread" by Nancy Willard. A story not to be missed.

Man's Search for MeaningMan's Search for Meaning

Viktor E. Frankl

Sent in by Roger Loyd

My favorite book (the one I've reread the most) is Viktor E. Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning" (first published in 1962, reprinted many times). It describes his experiences as a victim of the Holocaust's concentration camps, and his own version of psychotherapy, known as logotherapy. The book's earlier (1959) title was "From Death-Camp to Existentialism," a translation of "Ein Psycholog erlebt das Konzentrationslager."

Five Chinese BrothersThe Five Chinese Brothers

Clare Huchet Bishop

Sent in by Kevin Hall

The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Hutchet Bishop.  It is a great story about family, loyalty, and selflessness.

Invisible ManInvisible Man

Ralph Ellison

Sent in by Emily Hildreth

The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison shifted my literary focus to American Lit - specifically the literature of the Harlem Renaissance and surrounding times.  Ellison writes a complex, rich, coming-of-age novel which examines American culture.  Ellison's racial and social commentary is unequalled, in my opinion.  I strongly urge everyong to read The Invisible Man.

What is the WhatWhat is the What

Dave Eggers

Sent in by Laurie Brightly

It's really hard for me to pick one book as my absolute favorite, but rather several fall into that category, including:  "The Kite Runner", "What is the What", "People of the Book", "A Year in Provence", "The Memory Keeper's Daughter", and others.  As a Duke parent ('09) I was reallly glad to see Duke select "What is the What" as this year's freshman selection.  It's important that today's college students learn about the atrocities committed around the world in modern times.

Last modified November 18, 2011 10:27:30 AM EST