Saturday, 6 August 2011
Tuesday, 5 July 2011
First? Liesel and Hans. I found them rather beautiful. What Hans gave Liesel, in reading, was virtuous. It was an escape and a form of empowerment. It was beautiful, so absolutely beautiful, to see her confidence grow and her spirit strengthen with this opening of a door. With it, she could learn about the world and about morals and about judgement. With it, she could distract and escape and shade herself--and others--from as much of the war as possible. Yet this power, I don't think, would have existed without the love behind it--behind those first, light days of learning. During those, it was less about the words and their education and more about the solace and the comfort he offered to a very lonely child. Because of him and his unrelenting support in the night, she vowed to make him proud.
I think a lot of Liesel's friendship with Max was based, too, upon her connection to Hans. Sure, I think she always wanted to give back her gift of reading--which she did, repeatedly, in those stone-cold basements and bunkers--but I think the relationship she forged with Max had an extra foundation. She saw the guilt Hans felt, the guilt and debt he felt he owed to Max, to Max's family and to his own, and wanted, somehow, to remedy it herself.
Learning to read empowered Liesel--it armed her with new weapons and choices. But those little lessons Hans gave--those stolen moments between Rosa's wrath and against their poverty--armed her with a much greater repertoire of knowledge. Knowledge of emotion and love and humanity--knowledge that her previous circumstances had so stolen from her.
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
How is everyone going with the book? Loving it? Hating it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Below is one of my favourite parts of The Book Thief, so I thought I would share it with you all.
"How about a kiss, Saumensch?"
He stood waist-deep in the water for a few moments longer before climbing out and handing her the book. His pants clung to him, and he did not stop walking. In truth, I think he was afraid. Rudy Steiner was scared of the book thief's kiss. He must have longed for it so much. He must have loved her so incredibly hard. So hard that he would never ask for her lips again and would go to his grave without them."
This part, especially, touched me. Because is there any love sweeter or more poignant than a love that is never realised? That is never spoken about between the two? Instead it hangs in the air, making the world a little bit brighter for both of them.
But I do so wish that Rudy had gotten that kiss before it was too late.
Monday, 20 June 2011
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Monday, 13 June 2011
Hello my fellow book club-ers. I hope you had a lovely weekend! The first book that we are reading is ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak, which I must confess I have read before numerous times. But it is a wonderful book and I hope you all love it as much as I do!
We were thinking that we would do one book a month, though are happy to change the time-frame if you think that it is too long/short.
So, here’s a little synopsis of the book that I found (without giving too much away!):
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier,
and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger and her younger brother are being taken by their mother to live with a foster
family outside Munich. Liesel's father was taken away on the breath of a single, unfamiliar
word - Kommunist - and Liesel sees the fear of a similar fate in her mother's eyes. On the
journey, Death visits the young boy, and notices Liesel. It will be the first of many near
encounters. By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single
object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left there by accident,
and it is her first act of book thievery.
So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing
foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the
mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found.
But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their
basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down.
The Book Thief is a story about the power of words to make worlds. 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.
Now let the reading begin! Keep an eye out for the fantastic metaphors he uses throughout the story.
As I said, if you have something to say about the book as you are reading it, feel free to write a comment under the most recent post, or email me at happylookingkid(at)gmail(dot)com if you would like to do your post in this blog.