Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hidden in Plain View

Tina at Tutu's Two Cents is starting a new Thursday meme called Hidden in Plain View. She says: This is a chance to dig a little deeper into our personal libraries to find books that may be languishing on the shelves and bring them out for a better look. To join in:

1. Pick a random book from your library (I used to pick mine from my LT catalog).
2. Tell us

title, author, #of pages, edition, (tags, and collections if LT)

why that book is in your library
whether you've read it or not
if so did you like it and why;
if not, do you plan to read it?
how and when you acquired the book

I have 171 'pages' of books in LT, so this week chose pg 160. Then Random choose book 13 from the 50 books on that page. This week's book is

The Wall: Images and Offerings From the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Michael Norman, 128 pages, hardcover, Collins Publishing, 1983

I think I bought this back in high school for a report I was doing in my War Through the Ages (or some similar sounding title) history class. It is a coffee table type book and I remember spending hours pouring over the pictures. I know I read all of the text as well but the pictures always left me with an aching lump in the vicinity of my stomach. I don't think I've looked at it in years.

Here's the amazon blurb:
This volume, to be published on the fifth anniversary of the dedication of the national shrine, includes photographs by freelance photographer Lopes and 16 other photojournalists, and excerpts of letters placed at the wailing wall by families, friends and war buddies of the dead and missing whose names are engraved there"the mystery of death writ in stone 58,132 times." This American family album is deeply moving in its simplicity: "Damn you, brotherwhy didn't you come back? . . . I still love you, and I'd love you if you came back in one piece, or your arms or legs or mind gone." Among the 75 poignant color and black-and-white pictures photographed with respect, a child is lifted by a veteran to plant a kiss on a name; flowers, teddy bears, flags and uniforms grace the polished black granite. In his introduction, Vietnam veteran and freelance writer Norman discusses the controversy over the Wall's design and mourns a friend who substituted for him on patrol: "He may have died for his country or for his God or for nothing at all. For a long time, I thought he died for me."


  1. Kriten...I've seen that book, and that wall. I am actually a Vietnam era vet myself, and although I didn't serve incountry, my husband and I have friends "on the wall." To this day, I still cannot 'walk the wall' without crying, so I'm not sure how the book would affect me.

    The book is important however to help preserve a record of such poignant and meaningful tributes.

    Thanks for sharing...

  2. What a great new meme and a wonderful book!

  3. This is such a neat idea, to take a second look at some of the books on your bookshelf. I find I keep bringing home new books from the library and ignoring all the ones on my bookshelf that I haven't yet read. So I'm trying to make a concerted effort to read a few that I own (still reading library ones too, though -- a girl can't totally give up her library books!) Anyway, thanks for this post, and the encouragement to take a look at the books I already own :)

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