This is one of those books that came to me twice in a short amount of time. My friend had recommended that I read it, and shortly after, I passed by it in the airport. I don’t normally read fiction books, so my initial thought was, “How am I going to cover this book on my show?” (I don’t think I’ve ever covered a fiction book on The Spaniard Show). Pushing that thought aside, I bought the book.

As Dread and I have learned (and he’s reinforced many times), perhaps it’s those books and topics that resist us the most that we should dive into the most. The Tattooist of Auschwitz sat comfortably on my shelf for several months, waiting to be read at the right time. Anything that relates to the Holocaust demands a high level of respect, and I wanted to make sure I was in the right place to take it in. I had read Man’s Search for Meaning a few years ago, and it’s much the same – a powerful and important book that deserves your complete attention. 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a story within a story, love and compassion within cruelty and injustice. It brings to light the greatest elements of being human while also highlighting the darkest, evilest elements of being human. 

Here are a few reasons you should read it:

  • It will give you perspective regarding the challenges and dark spots in your life. 
  • It will teach you about one of the darkest times in world history and equip you with an awareness that will make you better suited to have conversations regarding difficult topics. 
  • It will highlight the complexities of relationships. You’ll see that good people can be cruel and that cruel people can be good. You’ll see that good people can be forced to take an enemy side when faced with survival.

Any book that pushes you to your edge of comfortability is a book worth reading. Though The Tattooist of Auschwitz is fiction, it is based on the true story of Lale Sokolov and his love, Gita. Author Heather Morris put extreme care and attention into accurately depicting Lale’s time at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Takeaway: This is a book to be read by someone who wants to learn more about world history, is in a spot where they need to be reminded of the simple pleasures of life and/or is searching for a bright light among darkness.