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What Did You Learn?

Discuss the February 2017 Book of the Month, The Diary of an Immortal by David J Castello.

What Did You Learn?

Post Number:#1 by hsimone
» 01 Feb 2017, 13:30

There are a number of historical facts in The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1959), did you learn something while reading? Discuss the subject(s) you have learned.

Was there a topic that made you want research further? Why?
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Re: What Did You Learn?

Post Number:#2 by MarisaRose
» 05 Feb 2017, 08:46

I wouldn't say that I really learned anything new from the book, but I did find the Jazz scene Steven finds himself in very interesting, as well as the mentions of Buddhism. Further, I was also interested in the experiments the Nazis performed on their prisoners. Though I am fascinated by this topic, I am also incredibly disturbed by it. I looked into other possible non-fiction books related to the matter, but I am not sure if it's really something I can read about.

I did find myself doing basic research about Buddhism while reading the book. I have learned about the basics of the religion in school and such, but I never really knew a lot of the intricacies of the religion; this book definitely piqued my interest about the subject.
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Re: What Did You Learn?

Post Number:#3 by hsimone
» 07 Feb 2017, 13:14

Thank you for sharing, I actually wasn't aware of the Dachau Concentration Camp experiments. I obviously knew some of the horrendous conditions of these camps during WWII, but I never heard of experimenting on people. It didn't necessarily surprise me due to other things I learned throughout the years, but something new nonetheless.
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Re: What Did You Learn?

Post Number:#4 by mratdegraff91
» 07 Feb 2017, 18:35

I found it interesting and disturbing the different experiments they performed at the Dachau camp. Like you hsimone, I have read about some of the horrendous things done during that time, but I do not recall reading anything about the experimentation. It has been some time since I have studied or read anything about WWII so my curiosity has peaked about that as well as the history mentioned regarding China. I know little about China and I would love to learn more.
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Re: What Did You Learn?

Post Number:#5 by hsimone
» 08 Feb 2017, 04:47

Thank you for your thoughts, mratdegraff91. I also don't know much about China, so that was also interesting to read about. Now that I'm thinking about it, I don't think I have read many books that takes place in China... :eusa-think: Maybe that's another reason I liked this book: The setting was unique.
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Re: What Did You Learn?

Post Number:#6 by Tommie H Odom
» 08 Feb 2017, 22:39

Diary of an Immortal 1945 -1959. It is a good book. However I learned even though something may appear to be good. It is not always the case. It is not always good to make hasty decisions without thinking things out. There are consequences for every decision that we make. Evading death could still be a death sentence in the life that we live.

-- 08 Feb 2017, 21:47 --

I learned that the concentration camps were just as horrible as was told. The immortal formula was found by combat medic Steven Ronson after the liberation of the concentration camp in April of 1945.
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Re: What Did You Learn?

Post Number:#7 by Mark Johnson
» 09 Feb 2017, 06:16

I did find myself doing basic research about Buddhism while reading the book. I have learned about the basics of the religion in school and such, but I never really knew a lot of the intricacies of the religion


Same here MarisaRose, I learned some general information about Buddhism in school also. It would be interesting to learn more about Buddhism from a practical standpoint. Was always curious as to why millions of people choose Buddhism as a way of life? What draws them to it?
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Re: What Did You Learn?

Post Number:#8 by CatInTheHat
» 15 Feb 2017, 20:46

I don't know that I learned anything truly new about history but it was interesting to see things that I knew happened and real people from the past included in a purely fictional story.
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Re: What Did You Learn?

Post Number:#9 by hsimone
» 17 Feb 2017, 11:31

Another part of history that I learned about and found myself researching is the 1937 Nanking Massacre in China. I honestly did not know the feud that the Japanese had with the Chinese, and this was one example. It was disturbing and unsettling to read about, but something that is important to not forget.
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Re: What Did You Learn?

Post Number:#10 by SandraTWP-BRW
» 18 Feb 2017, 08:09

I was surprised, while reading the book, to realize just how little I had ever learned about the shift in China to communism, or really anything about Chairman Mao. That definitely piqued my curiosity.

I also learned a little about jazz history. I was familiar with the names of performers, but for me, they had always been about the music, and I knew little about them as people. I was surprised to realize they had all lived and performed in that same time period.
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Re: What Did You Learn?

Post Number:#11 by Mollymae
» 27 Feb 2017, 16:41

No, I can't say that I learned anything but I didn't pick the book for that reason. It was just a fun book to read and it presented some interesting twists on choices. But it is certainly not a wise choice for someone who prefers historically accurate books.
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Re: What Did You Learn?

Post Number:#12 by greenstripedgiraffe
» 28 Feb 2017, 13:06

I think what I learned most is basically an exposure to Buddhist philosophies. I really know very little about that. I'm not interested in becoming a Buddhist, but learning more about China's history (religiously and politically) helps you better understand the Chinese mindset.
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Re: What Did You Learn?

Post Number:#13 by dosenron877
» 28 Feb 2017, 19:43

As a result of reading this and in the off chance that I may write fiction in the future, I learned (and promise) to never offer such a trite ending.

The book was absolutely fascinating up to the last few pages. There was a broad brushstroke but interesting look at several historical events. Dachau and associated Nazi atrocities? They definitely happened but this book doesn't begin to approach the true horror. Same with the rape of Nanking. The depictions of the Dalai Lama conflicts, same thing.

The book remains very interesting and a worthwhile read. Readers have to begin somewhere. Hopefully, this book can inspire others to read further historical works. Further reading can rival Stephen King as far as horror.
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