Must-read diaries and journals that are totally worth your time

As elementary students, most of us were tasked to make a diary.

A diary is a perfect way to keep track of your thoughts. It’s a journal where you can hide your secrets or personal memories or  simply use it to help you organize a day in your week.

Now that we’re stuck at home due to the coronavirus disease crisis, why not start writing a diary?

It seems like a good idea since all these events happening while we’re all under quarantine could be an important piece of history in the future.

Just like these famous diaries and journals by individuals from different walks of life, their records are now considered as fascinating pieces of history.

The Diary of a Young Girl of Anne Frank

Written by a young teenager, the diary tells Anne’s story when her Jewish family  was forced into hiding from the Nazis during the Holocaust in World War II.

She wrote this diary when they hid away in an attic apartment above her father’s (Otto Frank) business where she spent her last two years before her tragic death

Her diary is a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and one of the most important historical accounts of the life of Jewish people during those times.

It is a record of her and her family’s experiences,  these include hunger, boredom, living in confined quarters and the threat of discovery and death.

Her diary was published as a book and quickly became one of the most widely translated books in history.

Orginal copy of Anne Frank’s Diary | WikiMedia Commons

Captain Scott’s Last Expedition of Robert Falcon Scott

Captain Robert Scott tried to be the first to reach the South Pole in 1912 and kept a diary of his daily progress.

Captain Scott’s Last Expedition describes the dangers and beauties of the long, dark winter, and the brutal hardships of the trek to the South Pole.

His letters and diary entries, written in his last days, serves as a moving account of the bravery and perseverance of men who attempted his perilous mission.

In his final entry, he explained how a fierce blizzard had stopped his expedition  just 11 miles (18km) away from one of the places they’d stored their supplies.

While being hopelessly trapped in a tiny tent during a raging blizzard on the Great Ice Barrier, Captain Scott wrote:

‘Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman.’

Captain Scott writes an entry in his journal. | WikiMedia Commons

The Red Leather Diary of Florence Wolfson

On her 14th birthday on August 11, 1929, Florence Wolfson received a red leather diary.

Since then, she wrote in it daily for the next five years until the little book was forgotten.

When her old apartment building started to clean out their storage area in 2003,  a building engineer saved it before it was thrown away forever.

He passed it along to a writer and a lawyer and decided to try to find the blonde girl in the photograph that was found in the diary’s pages. They successfully found the owner, and she was already 90 years old when they returned the diary.

Her red leather diary was an extraordinary glimpse into life at the beginning of the century during the Depression and World War I.

The discarded 75-year-old diary, rescued from a dumpster, is now a non-fiction book.

Wolfson’s memories paint a picture of just what it was like to live in New York City at the time in 1929 to 1934.

She talked about playing tennis and riding horses in Central Park, taking trips to the Catskills, and meeting the boy who would become her husband.

But the diary also shows a priceless glimpse into an ordinary life that shows that no matter how much our world changes, the human soul remains largely the same.

The Diary of Frida Kahlo

From 1944 to 1954, A Mexican artist named Frida Kahlo kept an illustrated diary  illed with personal musings, poems and conceptual designs for future works of art.

Unlike normal diaries, Kahlo complemented her personal feelings of loneliness or jubilation  with dramatically colorful illustrations.

The 170-page journal is considered both beautiful and tragic, with many of the pages in the later years of her life depicting tears over relationships and her deteriorating health.

In 2005, Carlos Fuentes published a full-color recreation of Kahlo’s 296-page journal containing more than 70 of her watercolor illustrations.

Frida Kahlo’s art and life continue to fascinate the world.

This personal document adds greatly to the understanding of her unique vision and her courage in facing more than thirty-five operations to correct the injuries she had in an accident when she was eighteen.

Frida Kahlo’s Diary | WikiMedia Commons

The Diary of Saint Sister Faustina

The Diary of Sister Faustina was written in the form of a journal that records the last four years of her life.

Her diary is now a book entitled Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul.

The book is based on the contents of her diary from 1934 until her death, in 1938.

Her diary explains the depths of her spiritual life and illustrates the high degree of her soul’s union with God.

Through her and her diary, Jesus communicates to the world the message of His Mercy with the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Divine Mercy Novena.

Here’s one of the famous quotes from Sister Faustina’s diary:

“I will not allow myself to be so absorbed in the whirlwind of work as to forget about God.  I will spend all my free moments at the feet of the Master hidden in the Blessed Sacrament.” 

Do you want to share other notable journals and diaries by simple individuals that turned out extraordinary through their writing? Comment your thoughts in the comments section of this video. /bmjo

Latest Stories
Most Read
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.