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Cambridge Readers~ The Book Thief

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

 

Liesel Meminger is a Book Thief, living with a foster family in Germany during World War Two. Torn from everything she's known, her foster father shows her the power of words as the two of them share late night reading sessions of The Grave Digger's Handbook. Her love of books ties her to others, including the mayor's wife and Max, the Jew the family hides in the basement.

 

Death himself narrates the World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands. The child arrives having just stolen her first book–although she has not yet learned how to read–and her foster father uses it,The Gravediggers Handbook, to lull her to sleep when shes roused by regular nightmares about her younger brothers death. Across the ensuing years of the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Liesel collects more stolen books as well as a peculiar set of friends: the boy Rudy, the Jewish refugee Max, the mayors reclusive wife (who has a whole library from which she allows Liesel to steal), and especially her foster parents. Zusak not only creates a mesmerizing and original story but also writes with poetic syntax, causing readers to deliberate over phrases and lines, even as the action impels them forward. Death is not a sentimental storyteller, but he does attend to an array of satisfying details, giving Liesels story all the nuances of chance, folly, and fulfilled expectation that it deserves. An extraordinary narrative.–Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA


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  • arienne

    Looking forward to reading the book & to meeting everyone!

    April 10, 2013

  • Philip

    Sorry. I have to do a last minute bail. I'm away on vacation next week and I have too many things to take care of. I'm enjoying the book, and I can't wait to hear about the discussion.

    April 9, 2013

  • arienne

    Looking forward to reading the book & to meeting everyone!

    March 28, 2013

  • arienne

    Been looking foward to reading this book & attending this group!

    March 28, 2013

  • arienne

    Been looking foward to reading this book & attending this group!

    March 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, just realized that I can't make that date and time. Good book choice though!

    March 19, 2013

  • Paras H.

    So the book has been chosen: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak... the date has also been changed to April 10

    March 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Abraham Lincoln vampire hunter! I'm not sure if this group had read it already. I'm in the middle of it though and thought if suggest it. I'm loving it!

    March 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This sounds like a great book but is on hold at the library and seems pretty substantial at 500+ pages to read and enjoy in just ~2 weeks- maybe this could be the May meetup read and we could read something shorter/older for the April meetup? Just curious :)

    1 · March 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I can't edit on my phone but it looks like the book thief is the winner!

    March 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    These all sound great! Which one did we decide on? I'm excited to get started!

    March 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    A few off my list are: white tiger, night circus, this is how you lose her. I also second the book thief!

    March 12, 2013

  • Philip

    Silver linings play book?

    Catch 22?

    March 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green; it's great!

    "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak; I've heard it's fantastic!

    March 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Home - Toni Morrison. She is one of my favorite authors. This is her newest, that I haven't had a chance to pick up yet.

    March 11, 2013

  • Bryce

    May I suggest Mastery by Robert Greene? It's a great book on finding your life's task and how to master your desired skills.

    March 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" - Muriel Barbery. It took me a bit to get into it, but then I was captivated, and at the end, I was convinced it was the best book I've read in a decade. Would love to read it again and discuss with others!

    March 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I have not read this yet. Sounds like an interesting read.

      March 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      The Boston group read this a few years ago. It's an excellent book group discussion because it garners a wide variety of opinions. Personally I wouldn't want to read it again, but there should be little overlap among discussants from the last group to this one.

      March 11, 2013

  • L

    erdrich, the plague of doves

    March 11, 2013

  • Philip

    Heres a few:
    Chabon, Telegraph Avenue
    Hornsby, Juliet, Naked
    Franzen, Corrections
    Richler, Barneys Version
    Someone at the last meeting mentioned The Help. I could stand reading it again
    Collins, Catching Fire
    Hemmings, The Descendants or House of Thieves

    March 11, 2013

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