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Librarian Blog

What are you reading this summer?
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Amazon has released a list of 100 books you should read over the course of your lifetime.

I have scanned it, not studied it, and I'm surprised by how many of the books I have actually read, but also by the number I have not read and the ones I've not even heard of.

For the most part, I wouldn't quibble with what the Amazon editors suggest.

But I do take exception with seeing "Unbroken" on the list.

I will reiterate my problem with "Unbroken." There is an adage that goes like this: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The corollary is this: If it sounds too bad to be true it probably is.

"Unbroken" just sounds too bad to be true. I have talked to dozens of prisoners of war and read quite a few books about their experiences as World War II prisoners of the Japanese. I've also covered as a reporter and editor my share of beatings and killings.

I just don't think there has ever been a human being who could take what the leading character in "Unbroken" takes and make it out alive.

"Unbroken" is a popular title, though. And I'm guessing that it's the religious nature of the outcome that has put it on so many must-read lists.

I say, read it. Just don't do so with an uncritical set of mind.

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