Jacobson, Mark. The Lampshade:A Holocaust Detective Story from Buchenwald to New Orleans (2001) I can’t remember where I stumbled on this title, usually I hear an interview with an author or a read a review or something causes me to just reach out and request a book from my local library’s website. The day comes when I pick up the book, sometimes I just stare at it and can’t recall WHY I wanted to read it. Not so here.
I knew WHY I wanted to read it, I just had to work myself up to it, the book sat on my desk for nearly two weeks before I read it in one long gulp. The book smacks of a topics I find interest in: history, research, ‘antiques’, Katrina; but here they were all balled up in what I had to get over was another Holocaust book. Years back I had read my fill of Holocaust books, and some of those STAY with you forever, so I really wasn’t looking forward to another one. Jacobson’s Lampshade occupies a small DMZ, where the compelling study of one unique object is shown to have threads tying it to what one would think are a wide range of disparate places, people and time periods. Jacobson examines the iconography and history of this horrific object from every conceivable angle and presents it in a fascinating manner, by the end of his journey one feels as he does quite protective about it. It’s a great book, I am glad I read it. This one will stay with me but not in the same stomach knotting ways other books have.