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Archive for December, 2008

Early Christmas Present?

I am contemplating getting this gelskin for my iPod touch. 

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Summary (from Amazon by Elizabeth Chang from the Washington Post):

Death meets the book thief, a 9-year-old girl named Liesel Meminger, when he comes to take her little brother, and she becomes an enduring force in his life, despite his efforts to resist her. “I traveled the globe . . . handing souls to the conveyor belt of eternity,” Death writes. “I warned myself that I should keep a good distance from the burial of Liesel Meminger’s brother. I did not heed my advice.” As Death lingers at the burial, he watches the girl, who can’t yet read, steal a gravedigger’s instruction manual. Thus Liesel is touched first by Death, then by words, as if she knows she’ll need their comfort during the hardships ahead.

Review:  This is not the type of book I would typically read.  I don’t usually like books that I think are going to be too “heavy.”  I probably miss out on a lot because of this tendency.  However, I have heard such good things about this book, I had to give it a try. 

I really liked it.  The book managed to tell a great story and incorporate it into a part of history that is sad but without the history over taking the story.  True, the story and the setting are intwined and the story wouldn’t have been the same if placed in a different setting. 

I like to watch the history channel and see documentaries on World War II but for reading about it is usually too intense for me.  I have a very hard time reading about war and graphic descriptions of battles and abuse of people.  This book didn’t really go into too much of that.  There was enough that it drove home the setting and the realistic aspects of war, but it wasn’t too much.

I have to admit, I ripped through the first half of this book in a day or two.  But then I had to try to get a bunch of homework done before I was going to be on vacation so I had to set it aside.  Then I kept the book overdue from the library (a conscious decision because I couldn’t renew it) and I felt so guilty that it was now almost three weeks late that I almost couldn’t get back into the story.

Thankfully I took care of the library issue and was able to finish the book the day before I left for vacation. 

It really was worth the read and even though there were sad parts and it is hard to read about how horrible people can be, I wasn’t left with a feeling of dispair.  I also love that Death narrated the story.  I love that Zusak made Death an empathetic and kind being, too. 

I do think you have to be in a certain frame of mind to read this, though.  It’s not something I would have taken on vacation for a little beach reading.  However, it was definitely worth the time and the $3.00 late fine.

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