"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Friday, December 6, 2013

Power of Words

It sat in my “to be read” pile for two years, but once I picked it up, it didn’t take me long to read the more than 550 pages of The Book Thief. Markus Zusak has written an unforgettable story about the ability of words to feed the mind, the soul, and sway nations.

Set in Germany in the years 1939-43, the story unfolds from Death’s point of view. The country is holding its breath and Death shares how busy he has been, how he will become busier still, and that he is haunted by humans.

The tale focuses on Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich, who 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.


In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time. Is this 2005 publication being taught in any schools? I wonder if it might find a place alongside or even replace Diary of Anne Frank in curriculums around the world.
This extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller is now in movie theaters. I don’t think I’m going to the theater to see it. The horrendous beauty of this book could not possibly be conveyed through film. Words indeed hold power. I will, however, probably see it once it’s on video.
Have you read this or any other Zusak books? What did you think of his writing?

7 comments:

Tony Laplume said...

You know, I worked in a bookstore for several years with this book being a steady seller, so that's how I knew about it at all, but I never learned why, really, except that it was considered to be a good book in general, certainly an exception to typical young adult material. And it wasn't until the movie's imminent release that I learned any of why it's got that title at all. So I understand why you had it on your list and why it took so long to read it, and probably even why you ended up reading it so quickly. And why I ought to do the same, too.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Haven't read this book but heard lots of good things.

Mary Aalgaard said...

The Book Thief is one of the best, most powerful, stories I've ever read. I read Zusak's early novel, Fighting Ruben Wolf, I think it was. A gifted writer. I am curious about the movie, though.

Veronica B said...

Just downloaded to Kindle... another one to add to the list...

Karen Rush said...

Just as I was wondering what to read next! This book has also been sitting in my overflowing pile of books to be read. Thanks for spurring me on.

Julie Luek said...

Thanks for the review. Like you, it's been sitting in my "to-read" list for some time. Sounds like I need to move it up on the list.

Rebecca said...

Yes, this is one of my favorite books!