UPDATE

An update on where I’ve been.

I would like to thank everyone for their continued support of ‘The Art of Overthinking’. As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted anything in a while – this is because I have been collaborating on a project with a good friend of mine, Robyn. It has taken precedent, as the project in question in a new blog, entirely separate from ‘The Art of Overthinking’.

The new blog, which is independent of this particular blog, is called ‘Bringing Justice‘, and hopes to shed light on issues surrounding Justice, including: Derek Bromley, Aboriginal/ Indigenous Deaths in Custody, the Black Lives Matter movement, and general issues of injustice within Australia and beyond.

I would very much encourage you to take the time to have a look at ‘Bringing Justice‘, and hope it can be a way for you to learn more, start a conversation, or simply see a different perspective. I will be focusing more energy into ‘Bringing Justice‘ for the time being, while also working to re-model ‘The Art of Overthinking’ to still be an active site.

Although I have had a lot of fun with ‘The Art of Overthinking’, I believe that the current issues our society (and world) face are much more pressing than my own musings. People of Colour are suffering and dying everyday at the hands of a system that is racist, suppressive and unfair in the extreme. Injustices are occurring more frequently, rather than less frequently, and I believe that there needs to be a change. And I would like to be a part of that change, in any way that I can.

Much love,

Shayde

Book Review: Suitcase of Dreams.

A review of: Suitcase Of Dreams – By Tania Blanchard.

Source: https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/Suitcase-of-Dreams/Tania-Blanchard/9781760851675

TITLE:

Suitcase of Dreams

AUTHOR:

Tania Blanchard

GENRE:

Historical Fiction

PUBLISHED:

2018

PAGES:

448

GET IT HERE:

Simon & Schuster

Overview:

Suitcase of Dreams, by Tania Blanchard, is the sequel to ‘The Girl From Munich‘. Picking up where the last book left off, the main character, Lotte, arrives in Sydney Australia, after the war in Germany.

Lotte and her family are desperate for a new beginning in Australia, hearing promises of abundant work and opportunities in the new and vibrant country. But Lotte and her husband Erich soon find Australian life to be much harder to settle in to.

Erich’s engineering qualifications aren’t recognised, the migrant working conditions are dismal and the attitude of some Australians toward them and others put a different spin on the life they were sold.

Erich and Lotte find they have to work doubly hard to provide a safe and secure place for their two daughters in this strange, new country. Slowly but surely, the two of them begin to find their place in Australian life – Erich building a business in carpentry, while Lotte pursues her photography career.

But will the family’s challenges and misfortunes build them up, or break them down?

My Thoughts:

This sequel follows the struggles of Lotte and her family now that they are in Australia. The author, Tania Blanchard, provides an incredibly moving insight into how life was for migrants after the war – many promised lives that never came to fruition.

Much like the first novel, Blanchard gives a strikingly raw story of love, loss and sacrifice, reminding the reader of the not-so-distant past. Touching on not only Nazi-Occupied Germany, but the Vietnam War and migrant conditions, she captures the true essence of their struggles, but more importantly, how Australia became somewhere so many could call home.

Whether you’ve read the first installment or not (which I would highly recommend), this novel is beautifully written and worth reading.

My Rating: 4/5

Quote Of The Day 09/12/2019

MONDAY, 09/12/2019:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/562175965960346748/

‘History is, strictly speaking, the study of questions; the study of answers belongs to anthropology and sociology.’

– W.H. Auden

Book Review: The Book Thief.

A review of: The Book Thief – by Markus Zusak

TITLE:

The Book Thief

AUTHOR:

Markus Zusak

GENRE:

Historical Fiction

PUBLISHED:

2005

PAGES:

552

GET IT HERE:

ebooks.com

Overview:

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, is narrated by ‘Death’ himself. The story follows Death’s memory of a person he is particularly fond of: Liesel Meminger.

The book begins in 1939, when Liesel Meminger and her brother are sent to live with a foster family in Molching, Munich, after tensions begin rising in Nazi Germany. However, Liesel’s beloved brother dies on the journey, and she is forced to bury him in a graveyard beside the train-tracks.

While fare-welling her brother in the snow, little Liesel finds a book, dropped by one of the men who dug his grave. She doesn’t know how to read, but tucks it away anyway, to remember him by.

At first, Liesel is hesitant of her new Mama and Papa (Rosa and Hans Hubermann). Worried about the whereabouts of her mother, and haunted by the death of her brother, she tries her best to fit in. Liesel is picked on at school for not knowing how to read or write and feels lost in a land where her only friend is an annoying, blonde-haired neighbour named Rudy Steiner.

As time wears on, her new Papa gains her trust and begins to teach Liesel how to read – starting with the book she pocketed from her brother’s grave-site: ‘The Gravedigger’s Handbook’. Slowly, Liesel learns to read and write, finding solace in the words and a special liking of thieving books with her friend Rudy.

The story of Liesel Meminger is one of friendship and tragedy, hopeand pain, and the importance of the words we say, write and read in the defining moments our lives.

My Thoughts:

This novel is as much devastating as it is life-changing. The narration from ‘Death’ is an important and interesting factor in the novel, providing character depth where there usually is none. This depth gives the reader a glimpse into the ‘souls’ of those who Death knows, and is portrayed in a way that is truly heartbreaking.

The Book Thief is the sort of story that shows that the truth is not always right, or what we want or even what we need, and that where there is darkness, there will surely be light too. The novel lays bare the suffering of so many, in so many different ways – from the Jews, the poor communities and even the Mayor’s wife – everyone hurts over something.

The Book Thief was gut-wrenching, painful and beautiful to read, and should be on everyone’s list of ‘to-read’. This novel truly shows the power of words in the hands of the right people, and also the power of words in the wrong hands. A masterfully written piece, with the ability to unsettle and affirm, all at the same time.

My Rating: 5/5

An Open Flame.

A poem.

 

where there’s fire

it will burn

and we all grow up

to learn that the prettiest things

are often those

that hurt us the most.

 

and some of us

learn the hard way

flaying our skin on

an open flame

and others never know –

they’re just told to stay away.

 

and that’s the difference

between us

a simple, red hot burn

but it’s enough

to be all the difference

you and i are from different worlds.

 

you sat by the fire

watching the flames dance

and seeing beauty.

and there in the background,

i sat from a distance

and saw the danger instead.

 

our lives are shaped

around our burns

and some have more than others,

i wonder what it would be like

if my burns

weren’t all that mattered.