Did a book ever make me cry? Seldom. Which is weird because in the movies, I always cry. The good thing about books is that while they carry you off to new worlds where you are completely absorbed, it’s dead easy to return from the trip. You simply put the book down, and – bam! – there you are back in reality. Even if the story is heartbeaking, you go through it in you own pace and thereby can stay in control of what you experience and how deep you get in.
One of the very rare occasions where a book made me cry was Angelina Jolie’s ‘Notes from my Travels‘. You wouldn’t expect that because it’s just a diary style report on her first few trips to refugee camps. As you might know, Jolie is Ambassador for UNHCR. In general, it’s a nice, easy to read and very interesting book which I strongly recommend for everyone who wants to broaden their awareness of what’s going on in the world. Especially now that the issue of refugees has finally arrived in the modern West.
But in Cambodia, the autor visits a former prison and learns about the practices of torture during the Khmer Rouge regime. And what she shares does not only make you want to throw up, it made me cry so hard! It’s only a short paragraph, a few sentences even, and I won’t share which exact practice it was, but it drilled horror right into my heart, mind and stomach. You try to shut out what the victims had to go through, but it was impossible for me. And while I absolutely admire Angelina Jolie for her work, and read the book several times, I gave the book away eventually because I thought I couldn’t stand that description once again.
Breath in, breath out.