Sunday, July 31, 2011

Book Review: The Book Thief

I've been surprisingly productive this month as far as reading goes! Including the book I'll be blogging about below, I'll have read 5 books in July. This is way above average.

I don't know how close of attention everyone else pays to their reading, but I usually see trends indicating that I read the most in April and December. I tend to get really restless because of the rain in April. The fluctuation I always see in December for my reading can be attributed to two different factors:
  1. I'm trying to meet my page goal because I slacked off sometime around May
  2. One semester is over and another has yet to begin. I'm able to sneak out of work an hour early and run home to read. I also usually get to travel long distances in December, which allows me to cram in more reading time
So now I'm wondering if geographic location has anything to do with my reading habits? I thought it may be my job, too, but I worked in higher ed as I was in higher ed, so I don't think it's that. Obviously, the weather in North Dakota is not at all like it was in Oregon. Winters here last 9 months, spring 1 month, summer 1 month, and fall 1 month....but at least we experience all 4 seasons! Logically, then, I should be reading more throughout the winter? Because I can't escape my apartment to even go grocery shopping?

I digress.

There's a book that was added to my Amazon Wishlist back in 2009: Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. I had come across it as a "popular read"; I read the description, and added it immediately. For whatever reason, I never bought it for myself; nor did anyone buy it for me. I finally decided to add it to my library list, where I picked it up last week. Let me just advise that if this book has been on your TBR list for a while, take it off! Go to your library and read it today!

Here's the Goodreads Summary:

"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. . . .

Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she discovers something she can't resist- books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever they are to be found.
With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel 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."

 Because this book is narrated by Death, I think it's told from an interesting perspective in the given time period. The only complaint I have about the narration by Death is that Death gave spoilers! He would mention something about a person dying; then, as a reader, I would vigilantly be on the lookout for clues to what could have caused the death (as though it would even be possible to prevent it). This hindered me from reading the novel very quickly...some of the intrigue was taken away. 

The character development--including the character of Death--was done very well. As a reader, my heart went out to Liesel for what she, her friends, and her family were going through--and thought to be normal. The novel isn't so much about stealing books (not a Fahrenheit 451, as I had hoped) but about a young girl's mission to control her environment in a time and country where only one person has control.

Please, please pick up this book--you won't want to put it back down until you've turned the last page!
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Rating: 5/5
Pages: 550
2011 Reading Goal: 6,884/12,500

I'm 55% done with my reading goal, but the year is 58% over! In spite of all my reading this July, I'll still have to play catch up come December...and the next 5 months are the busiest of my year :(

Ooohhh! I almost forgot! Thanks to you voting (or the four of you who voted, at least), I'll be doing giveaways on my blog now! I've been hunting around other blogs to find what I like or don't like for giveaways and am taking mental note of them. Expect a giveaway to be coming up soon!

1 comment:

  1. This was a favorite for me. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!


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