Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hey Scott Simon, Where Is That London Book Reading Cabbie?

I haven't heard this NPR radio segment for a few years now but the weekend host, Scott Simon, used to occasionally check in on a depressed-sounding London taxi driver and find out what he was currently reading. I think the theory behind this feature was that every taxi driver had "down time" between the fares and reading is a beneficial time consumer.  At least in the past it was not unusual to see a driver sitting on a  downtown hotel stand with his nose poked into a book.  That has never been my habit, as I am always nervously thinking about my next fare, scanning the computer screen for what is happening in every part of the city.  A newspaper is about as serious as I get, and even then I am putting it down every 30 seconds or so to read the MDT.

But read I do when I am not driving, and my current read is something I must recommend.  It is non-fiction and the full title is a "Reluctant Accomplice, A Wehrmacht Soldier's Letters From The Eastern Front."  The book is edited by the German historian Konrad H. Jarausch and the letters were written by his own father, Konrad Jarausch, the father he never saw, having succumbed to fever in January 1942.  I have not read anything like this in a very long time, reminding me of all those WWII autobiographies I read in 1967-68, forming the basis for my later conscientious objection application in 1972.  If you are interested in knowing about wars' realities written by someone who didn't want to be there, then this book is for you.  It was published by Princeton University Press in 2011. ISBN 978-0-691-14042-1.  Good reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment