Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I just finished The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It was a tough read for me, but we will get into that later. Here is the synopsis of the book from Goodreads:

"It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids - as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul."

The book starts off with a narrator I didn't realize it, but it is death itself narrating the book for you all along. I actually really enjoyed the point of view, I felt like I could really relate to some of the narration, especially about this topic since I am so sensitive to it. Death hates war, especially one like this and some of the different interjections you could just imagine that if death itself could speak, these are the the things it would want to say.

The protagonist, Liesel, is a little girl you come to love who winds up having a pretty decent life...but when bad things happen to her, they are really bad. 

I love that the family focused on in the book were good people who didn't necessarily want to make waves in the world, but they also did not want to participate in the bad that was happening in the world. 

I love how Liesel grows with her reading and her books and the role reading and the books play in her life.

This book was a seriously difficult read for me...anything dealing with WWII usually makes me quite ill. When I was in 9th grade I threw up during Schindler's List and actually had an excuse note to not watch it when we viewed it in history class. I am much too empathetic and it sickens me to think of what happened. I felt the same way when we went to the Anne Frank house, I was brought nearly to tears a few times just thinking how horrible it was to be stashed away like they were. So, reading and finishing this book was a personal achievement me.

I highly recommend it. The writing style is a bit disjointed the first couple of chapters, but stick with it...eventually it all comes together. When I got to the end I completely understood why the beginning felt so out of order. 

Have you read this book yet? Did you like it? Do you have any other WWII era books that would be a good read for me to pick up?

BTW, if you are on goodreads you can find me here...I love connecting with people on there! 


  1. I haven't read this book yet but I set the movie to record on HBO so I can get to see it finally. I've heard some book clubs in my area that read the book and then went to see the movie together.

    1. That is a great idea for a book club! How cute! I rented it, but haven't gotten around to watching it yet...hopefully soon!