Today I have some photos from our annual end-of-the-year retreat with the students at the lake property our university owns, and some good news!
I FINALLY finished First into Nagasaki.
This has become the breaking point for me, and I’ve finally just accepted that I cannot read for pleasure during the semester. It’s simply not possible. This book should have taken me a week max, and instead it took me a whole semester. I think I just have to accept it.
That said, the book was a great read. Some amazing insights into Japan post-surrender, and some amazing stories from the POW camps.
It can occasionally be a little plodding, because these are essentially reporter dispatches, prepared for publication in newspapers (after assuredly editors had chopped things out). So the writing is very, well, reportery: concise, to the point, not flowery at all. I sometimes struggle with this kind of more technical writing when it comes to speed even when it’s not during a semester, having been mainly educated as a lit person until I hit my MA and switched officially to history.
But struggle aside, the stories and information contained within was well worth it. The main surprise for me was that very little of the book actually concerned itself with Weller’s experiences in Nagasaki, which is originally what drew me to the title. It was actually more about the POW experience than anything else.
End verdict? Highly recommended.
And now onto the next thing.
[photos taken with my point and shoot]