Jun 10, 2010

The Book Thief

Apparently I've been inspiring people. That makes me happy. I don't usually see myself as someone who people might get a good idea from... usually I'm sort of weird and people who like me enough to associate with me just think of me as quirky and interesting, something to examine but not necessarily follow at all. So thank you, Dave, you've made my day. I know your list is different, but it makes me happy that someone else has decided to take their literacy by the horns and read stuff that might make them become who they want to be.

So. I have an explanation as to why I haven't been keeping up with classics these last couple of weeks.

I had to take a brief hiatus from my list to read my Relief Society book club book. It was The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. Usually book club books, for me, tend to be a bit evocative and interesting. Stuff if, left up to myself, I usually wouldn't choose to read, necessarily. We have a nice intellectual bunch in our bookclub who don't (as I've heard complained about in other wards where they have RS bookclubs) stick to the things written by Sheri Dew or Elaine Cannon. They like all different kinds of stuff, and this is why I have enjoyed these ladies and the discussions so much.

Anyway, I lost it for a couple weeks before I finished it. And I'm not the kind of person who can go on to something else when I haven't finished a book... I have to finish one before I take on another. Skywalker finally found it for me, because it was due yesterday. And I finished it last night and this morning (and paid the ten-cent fine so that the nice book-club lady wouldn't have to.)

This book astounded me. It wrenched me, chewed me up, spit me out, made me cry (which is not something that happens often. Just ask Skywalker.) It is hilarious and darkly ironic and has surging moments of agony and inspiration. It touched me deeply, and the voice and writing delighted me.

I am glad that I read this book. Because I think it belongs on my list. I no longer feel guilty for my divergence.

At any rate, I want all of you to read this, and it's a fairly new book, so I'm not going to summarize the plot. I'll just say--please read it. You'll enjoy it and grow from the experience of reading it.

I give it a solid **** out of ****. There is violence, but a great deal of it is off-scene, and it is necessary violence. There is no sexuality at all. And there's really no religion in it in any real sense, so really it's still a humanist kind of message you come away with, but I found the message entirely compatible with the gospel.


Cindy said...

Ha! I am the token non-LDS person in my book club : )
We read that one a few months ago and it is just beautiful. That is the only way I have been able to describe it to people...beautiful.

Sarah said...

Read it in my not-my-ward-bookclub bookclub a few months ago.....also LOVED it!

Amyjo said...

hhmmmm, will have to put it on my short list! Callint the Library now..lol

Jeff said...

I loved it, easily one of my favorite contemporary novels.

Cami said...

I read this for a book club as well and fell in love with it. It was such an amazing and powerful book!

Margaret said...

Oh I'm so glad for a recommendation! I have heard of it, and got it out of the library the other day, but have been a little hesitant about it, so I'm glad to know what you thought of it.