This is my review of Some Girls, Some Hats, and Hitler, my Austria book: I am trying to read a book from every country in the world. The last book I read was Pakistan: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, by Mohsin Hamid. THE BOOK: Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler, by Trudi Kanter IN SHORT: This is the ridiculously titled, profoundly moving memoir, originally published in the 1980s, of a singularly wily Viennese hat designer whose relentless invention saved her family from the Holocaust.
The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig: The End of Everything Bereft of an adjective to describe the experience of reading Stefan Zweig’s memoir and manifesto, The World of Yesterday, I looked up the definition of “uncanny”: “strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way.” That is the one that fits. Read before November 2016, The World of Yesterday would be intermittently involving, occasionally fascinating, often tedious, at least for this reader. (I found myself in the habit of discovering paragraphs and sentences of startling beauty, amongst gossip, and bragging, and name-dropping, and blather.) Read now, it is terrifying in a particular way. Watching a house burn down is sad. Watching your own house burn down is horrifying. Watching a house that seems to resemble your own, in so many unexpected ways — that is uncanny.