Before I Blogged I Read: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

There’s a lot of books I read before I started this blog in June of 2010 and I figured it might be fun to spotlight those! They won’t be an actual review because OMG YOU GUYS THAT WAS SO LONG AGO but I’ll just note a few things about it, if I enjoyed it and what my Goodreads rating was. So thus “Before I Blogged I Read…” was born. Because you know…I’m so original with my names for things. Check out PAST “Before I Blogged I Read” posts.

the Book thief by markus zusak review

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

(Amazon | Goodreads )
Rating: I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads
Date I Read it: January 2009

1. The Book Thief is one of my all time favorite books ever. I just reread it in October with book club and it still held up for me. While there wasn’t the rawest emotion of a new read, I still felt like I was punched in the gut. This book just has everything — the writing is phenomenal, it’s unique, the characters were so important to me and it wrecked me. 5 years later and I can’t say I’ve ever read anything like this book.

2. While this book is set during a war it’s not at all a war book. I do tend to enjoy historical fiction set during WWII but this book was way more than that and it makes me sad that people might dismiss it because of that. I love that the perspective was different than so many books I’ve read before — it focused on a normal German family during this time. So often I read books where it’s the Jewish perspective and I always wonder what it was like for just your every day people who didn’t necessarily buy in to everything Hitler was about.

3. Death was a most memorable narrator. I think this is why I can’t get this book out of my head after 5 years. Personifying Death and using him as a narrator for the book? Totally risky business but it paid off for me! SO MUCH. Very unique and very effective for me.

4. It is definitely a more slow moving book but very powerful and amazing. I like slow, more quiet books personally but I’ll be real: It moves slow. It does. And it might take some people a little bit to get into it but it’s WORTH IT. The payoff is big. It’s very character driven and these characters are AMAZING. Some of my favorite characters ever and that is what makes me so nervous about seeing it translated on the big screen. WHAT IF THEY DON’T GET THESE CHARACTERS RIGHT??

Favorite Quotes:

““I am haunted by humans.”.” 

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.” 

” 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.”

 

 

Have any of you read this one? Did you like it/not like it? Tell me what you thought! Are you going to see it in theaters?? Book club is going this weekend! EEEE!

five-stars

The Book Thief + Book Club

Recently my book club and I got the chance to read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak together as part of a fun promo for The Book Thief movie — it comes to theaters in two weeks!!

 

Welcome to book club, friends! Let’s talk The Book Thief!

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The Food:

If you remember our book club meeting for The Program you’ll remember we went all out with themed foods. This one was a little bit more difficult of a task. For The Program, we tied together some favorite scenes and brought food based on those but there wasn’t a ton to go off of unless we wanted to eat Mama’s pea soup. (I will say two of my favorite scenes in The Book Thief involved champagne and a hard candy but a book club snack that did not make). I didn’t particularly want to make German specialties because 1) I’m not that good of a cook and 2) one of our book clubbers is a vegetarian and I didn’t think she’d be down with wiener schnitzels and 3) we are more of a snacky book club.

So, in the end, we decided to go with a couple of German chocolate items, a salty snack of German origin and a German adult beverage.

bookclub1
Bookclub2
The menu:

– German Chocolate Puppy Chow — UM AMAZING and super easy to make. Recipe below. (Original recipe here)
–  German Chocolate gelato
– German chocolate cookies
– Soft pretzels (I was going to make homemade ones but my car broke that day so I was stranded until Will got home!)
– Radler: Super yummy alcoholic beverage but dangerous because it tastes so good. Recipe below.

Radler beer recipe

 

 

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What Went Down:

The Book Thief Re-readers = 2 (myself included in that)
The Book Thief First-Timers = 3

The other re-reader, Ellie, and I KNEW what was in store for the rest of these ladies and we were both excited and nervous to re-read it and experience what we had experienced the first time. YOU KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT IF YOU HAVE READ IT. All I remember was sobbing until I finished at 4am many years ago. THAT kind of experience.

bookthief55

 

General Thoughts:
* For us re-readers: We both loved it just as much as the first time and the blow to our hearts was equally as hard even though we knew what to expect. We also both agreed that it was nice to reread because we forgot a lot and we got to notice smaller details this time around!

* One book clubber didn’t LOVE it but liked it. It had to do more with how it was told. She felt like death gave away a lot of the emotional blows for her early on and she didn’t feel all that motivated to read because you kind of know a bit of how it ends.

* Another book clubber had a slow start but wound up LOVING it and bawling at the end. It all came together for her albeit a slow start.

Related Movie Thoughts:

* We are curious to see how Death is going to be worked into the movie. We all thought Death was one of the most unique narrators EVER and felt it was really effective in the storytelling for the book but we are curious how Death will be worked in and how it will translate on screen if Death has a part in all this.

*  We all unanimously predict we will bawl to see this story on screen. Especially knowing everything. Bringing our hankies! GOSH, I can’t even watch the trailer without getting emotional. HOW are we going to survive this movie?

* We aren’t sure if we like the casting for Mama but we are going to give her a chance. Mama is such a vivid character to all of us that we all SEE her a certain way and we really hope the movie will capture that harshness of her but also that underlying tenderness. It has to be perfect!!

* We can’t wait to see the Papa and Liesel chemistry on screen. Some of our favorite parts were Papa and Liesel related and they are a very memorable father/daughter relationship and we hope that they can fill us with the same kinds of emotions on screen. Papa was pretty much our favorite character!!

* We were a little concerned about the trailer because Liesel’s outfit doesn’t look particularly poor like we imagined her in the book but we will see. It might be something to get over but if she is supposed to be as poor as she is in the book then that it is a little irritating.

* We are VERY curious to know how close they are going to stick to the book in terms of character deaths and endings. Are they going to deliver all the emotional blows that the author did or are they going to save some beloved characters? WE WILL SEE.

* Ultimately, from the trailer, we are all optimistic about the movie. It evokes emotion already and we just HOPE that it does the book justice. Here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it!

Be on the lookout on opening weekend for our movie recap!!

Tell us..what are your thoughts on this book?  Do you plan on seeing the movie? What are your hopes for the movie? What are some of the things you are anticipating for the movie? Do you have any concerns? What did you think of the trailer? Did you cry just watching it??

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