Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Last night my book club had the event we've been looking forward to for months: Booktoberfest. We ate bratwurst, German potato salad, schnitzel and German chocolate cake, all washed down with root beer. We discussed a book that all of us quite enjoyed: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. If you haven't yet read this book, consider doing so. If you're particularly into World War II-era stories, you'll probably like this. After really enjoying The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Postmistress earlier this year, I was already in the mood, though The Book Thief is, I think, considerably darker.

My thoughts:

  • I enjoyed reading a story about what was going on with regular families on a regular street in a regular neighborhood in Germany during World War II. I've done so much reading of similar stories with characters (fictional and nonfictional) from Allied countries that it was a nice change to read about what was happening on German soil. The only other book I've read about Germany from that time period that I can remember is The Good German and it took place just after the war in Potsdam with plenty of Allied soldiers present. 
  • I was struck by Hans Hubermann, foster father to the main character, Liesel Meminger. Hans has a heart of gold and hasn't become hardened to the harsh world around him as everyone else has. His ability to see past all the things that divide us as people and see people as what they truly are is a gift, especially considering the time in which he lived. Thanks to Hans, I will probably think of him for the rest of my life each time I see or hear an accordion.
  • In places, The Book Thief is extremely difficult to read because of all the injustices the characters are subjected to. Though I've done lots of World War II reading, this really gave me a new perspective of the awfulness and inhumanity of that time. 
Have you read this book? What did you think about it?

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't wait to see what you thought of this one. I really liked it, although I always have trouble saying I enjoyed a book with such a dark subject. Hans was my favorite character too.

    Just finished The Soldier's Wife, which is from the same time period, and I loved it too. I'll be glad to put it in my stack of books for you.