It’s Monday, what am I reading… 7 with reviews.

Welcome everyone to my first post for the Monday meme of It’s Monday, what am I reading, as usual I’m checking in with Sheila over at Book Journey

So what am I reading today ?

Remember the book Wraiths by a local author Una Darcy well I started that and I’m loving it so far. It’s such a wonderful treat to read about areas that are right beside me and I mean literally right beside me. The Lough Lene is up behind my house and Fore is in our parish. I’d recommend anyone to download a copy from amazon, at the moment it’s only available as a download for the kindle and I hear from Una herself that another book is nearly finished and continues on from where this one ends !

On audio I’m also listening to The House at Riverton by Kate Morton.

Last week I was reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I can’t tell you how much I loved this book, for me it was amazing and just like the story it’s amazing the power words and stories have to affect you.

I have my review here, warning it does contain spoilers so scroll down quickly if you don’t want to read them.

Review.

Very rarely do I bestow 5 stars on any book but when I do it’s not only where I think it has earned it but also because it deserves it, this is such a book.

If you are looking for a book with a happy ending or everything turning out right then this is not the book for you. It is not a sweetness and light book but that’s not saying its morbid and dark either because it’s not!

This book showed a side of Nazi Germany that we don’t often get to see. The side of the everyday ordinary German, who’s not a Jew or a Communist or a fanatical German, just ordinary, trying to get through each day in a war torn country and who are as much at risk as the Jews or Communists of the time.

The book is narrated by Death an ingenius decision by Markus Zusak I think. Not only do we get Liesel’s story but also we are subjected to Death’s thoughts and observations on human’s which are very insightful at times. He has a fascination for humans.We see how Death is obsessed by colours and sees them all around him. We see the care and attention he shows to each and every soul he collects. We know he hates his job but also sees how necessary it is. How could you dislike such a character who has been given this great personality. I also really loved the dry sense of humour Death was given.

Death tells us the story of Liesel from 1939-1943 from a book she wrote and one with which he has kept with him for many years. As he tells us the story we are often interrupted by his thoughts and he often offers spoilers. I can see how this would annoy some but I found this dis-jointed style suited the character of Death.

But it’s not only Death who I found to be a great character. I found all of Zusak’s characters to be well develped and interesting. From primary to secondary characters.

For instance;
Liesel is a young Communist girl who get’s fostered in 1939 by the Hubermanns. She learns how cruel life can be. We see her learn to read and in the end she loves and teasures books. We see how in the face of danger she shows great kindness and courage. She learns to love fiercely those in her life despite all that is thrown at her.

Hans and Rosa Hubermann are two characters so full of integrity and courage. Who despite the dangers to themselves take in not only a Communist girl and love her like their own but also house Max the fist fighting Jew. They become to Liesel real and true parents.

Rudy Steiner, the boy with hair the colour of lemons. Rudy was my favourite character of all. He and Liesel became fast friends and he remained so through everything never wavering. He loved her and all he wanted was a kiss from her.

Max the fist fighting Jew who came to live in the Hubermanns basement because of a long ago promise that Hans made. I loved that there was no such thing as not honouring his promise and so Max came to stay with them. He and Liesel became firm friends and he gave her the gift of more words and storys with The Standover Man and The Word Shaker.

I could go on about the other characters as well, Frau Diller, Frau Holtzapfel, Tommy Mueller. Suffice to say Zusak created characters that were real and you ended up caring so much about them and what happened to them.

I can’t end this review without speaking about Markus Zusak’s great way with words. It’s poetic and lyrical. We get painted pictures in our minds of Death the haunted figure, fascinated by colours and drawn to children, children’s games of football in the street, we can even imagine Rudy painting himself black to race like Jesse Owens. Such vivid images and all from words on a page.

Some, for me, memorable quotes;
“A small fact:
You are going to die….does this worry you?”

“Please believe me when I tell you that I picked up each soul that day as if it were newly born. I even kissed a few weary, poisoned cheeks. I listened to their last, gasping cries. Their vanishing words. I watched their love visions and freed them from their fear.”

My favourite passage;
“She leaned down and looked at his lifeless face and Leisel kissed her best friend, Rudy Steiner, soft and true on his lips. He tasted dusty and sweet. He tasted like regret in the shadows of trees and in the glow of the anarchist’s suit collection. She kissed him long and soft, and when she pulled herself away, she touched his mouth with her fingers…She did not say goodbye. She was incapable, and after a few more minutes at his side, she was able to tear herself from the ground. It amazes me what humans can do, even when streams are flowing down their faces and they stagger on…”

My favourite quote;
“A SMALL PIECE OF TRUTH
I do not carry a sickle or scythe.
I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold.
And I don’t have those skull-like facial features you seem to enjoy pinning on me from a distance. You want to know what I truly look like? I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue.”

Lastly, in this book we are shown how for Liesel the power of words and books can change lives. I think everyone can relate to this. This may have been one of the best books you have read or it may not have been but I’ll bet that at some stage you’ve read or will read a book whos words will affect and change you!

This for me as you can gather was a 5 star book ! ( I will put in place this week my star ratings on the blog, I need to move those over. )

I also finished on audio Harlan Coben’s The Woods.

I’ve not done my review on this book yet and will have it next week for you.

Now that you’ve seen what I’ve read and will be reading this week, tell me what have you ?

Ruth.

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12 Responses to It’s Monday, what am I reading… 7 with reviews.

  1. Deb Nance says:

    Glad you liked The Book Thief so much! Happy to meet you here at this meme.

    Here’s my It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?.

  2. I’ve been meaning to read The Book Thief forever, and will probably get to it over the summer – so I didn’t read all your review, but glad to see you like it, And I love books that are set where I live too – I always feel proud 🙂

  3. I love books that are set where I live too – I always feel proud

  4. therelentlessreader says:

    Ohhh how I LOVED The Book Thief 🙂 I’m glad that you enjoyed it as well!

    Happy reading and have a great week!

  5. The Book Thief has to be one of the best books of the new century, it really is something special isn’t it.

    I have several Kate Morton books but I haven’t read any of them yet! Ah time, where are you? 😉

  6. Mindy says:

    Thanks for Stopping by my blog today. I have The Book Thief Somewhere in my TBR mountain. I will have to make a spot on the calendar for it. Happy Reading!!

  7. Kepanie says:

    How do you like the Riverton audio? My mum just passed me the book. I won’t read it yet tho as I need a change of pace.
    I need to start the third book in the Women’s Murder Club by James Patterson. I finished the memoir and need to mention that in the blog.
    Hugs to you b/c I care! Have a lovely day.

    • Ruth says:

      I’m liking it so far, its a different pace to what I’ve been reading but that’s good. I remember reading some of the Murder Club sereis, I think I made it to 5 or 6 in the series but I think I’d need to re-read them now to refresh myself before going further with them, hope you enjoy them.

  8. Gracey says:

    I have not finished The Book Thief….I got distracted and ended up reading some other things, but I agree that the words are beautiful….

    I love Kate Morton..I’ve read A Forgotten Garden and LOVED it! I enjoyed The House at Riverton, but loved A Forgotten Garden…

  9. I think I read The Woods a few years ago and enjoyed it. I’ve had the Book Thief on my tbr shelf for ages just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I hope you enjoying The House at Riverton!
    Check out my It’s Monday! Post 🙂
    Have a great week!

    Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

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