Factory of Tears (Belarus)

I will admit that this book breaks my self imposed rules, this is not a work of fiction or a memoir. This is a book of poetry. Factory of Tears is written by Valzhyna Mort, I just love her name.

This is a book where the English translation is on the facing page of the Belarusian. I loved this, as I love seeing how one language compares to English, and Belarusian is biased on Cyrillic it is beautiful.

One of the things that I read over and over about the author is that while her written poetry is amazing, her spoken word is even better. I am one who always thought that poetry should be read aloud with the tones, and inflections that the author hears in their voice when writing.

This slim volume covers many subjects marriage, music, books, and family just to name a few. The poem titled “In memory of a book” was my absolute favorite. The last poem is where the book gets its title, the poem is called Factory of Tears, and it speaks of crying until there are callouses on the eyes. It struck me as sad, and yet hopeful.


” And light up the candles of our TV sets” for A.B

“This isn’t how you glue a broken cup” marriage

“Everything belongs to me but hope” Music of Locusts


The Fledgling (Bahama)

OMG, this was such a cute little book. I do not know why more people don’t have it on their radar to read. I do know that it is hard to find, but with inter library loans it should not be that hard.

The Fledgling by Chester Thompson, tells the story of a boy who spends his early years on an island without power, telephones, or any other modern continence. The book starts out with his birth, and continues until he leaves the Island for a new life.

The town that he lived in was called Hope Town, and he ran all over it like a boy should. After a few years he went to live with an aunt and uncle, and the way it was described I thought he was being sent off the island, not just a half a mile away. It was his aunt that created his love for books, but she did it with out knowing. Her first husband was a teacher, and for punishment he was locked in a closet, with all of the books. While she thought he was being punished he was exploring new worlds.

Living on the sea there was death in the book. However, I am one who thinks that we need to face and openly talk about death and not hide it. I found this to be very refreshing. One thing that he did tell about in the book was they time he and a friend decided to become thieves. They were going to steal watermelons from a farmer. I wont tell you what happened but it did have me chuckling.


“Remember, there is an advantage in every disadvantage, if you look for it.” he said.

First They Killed My Father (Cambodia)

Read this one, if you read nothing else that I have blogged about.

In a few of the books that I have read on this journey, I have found that some of the authors are writing about a time that I have lived in. One book was in the 1980’s, and much of what was written had a similar feel to it as my childhood. Not so this book, First They Killed My Father was written by Loung Ung.

As I read this book I realized that the author and I are the same age, she is just 2 months older then I am , the vast difference in our childhood shook me. I am not naïve enough to think that war does not effect children. I have just read something that for a twist of fate could have been the life of my family. When she was nine she was fighting for survival, I was watching cartoons. She was trying to keep her family alive, I was trying to learn multiplication. As I read this book I could not make up my mind if I would have survived the Khmer Rouge like she did, or if I would have been one who would have been lost in the forests.

Loung Ung was 5 years old when she had to leave her home and fight to survive in the villages, and work camps. She was trained to be a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, her siblings went to labor camps, and it was not until the regime fell that she was reunited with what remained of her family.

After I read this book I looked up Loung Ung to see what had happened to her. This is the first book about her life, and I did find out that she went on to become a spokesperson for Campaign for a Landmine Free World. This book is being adapted into a Netflix movie coming in 2017. I for one will try to watch the movie, but I do not know if I will be able to. For some reason I really related to her story, even though it was not my life, it was not something that I had to live through.

QUOTES (because of the way this book affected me and how close we are in age, I am putting they year that she had written theses quotes under.)

“Still, it is hard to think of anything else. Hunger eats at my sanity.” (1975)

“To hope is to let pieces of myself die.” (1976)

“I live with forty others, but I am so alone in this world.” (1977)