Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Book Thief, Week 1

To catch you up super quickly, we met last Friday night for Book Club, fun was had by all (or everyone is an amazing actor), we decided to read The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak, and for those who don't want to or can't come to actual book clubby meetings, they could follow along while I talk about it here.

I broke up the book into roughly four parts, but I have already read more than half the book since last night the whole darn thing since Thursday. Officially, we are only reading through Part Two, so if you are following along, I won't be giving anything away past Part Two. Though, you will notice the narrator gives us plenty of glimpses of what is coming ahead anyway, so I can't imagine I'm going to give away much. 

Please, if you are reading along or have read the book already, shoot me a comment with your thoughts thus far. I will get a little pretentious book clubby with some of my questions. Just a fair warning. I'm not, like, trying to be pretentious, it's just an unfortunate by-product of book club questions and their lingo. I may also throw in some questions that I come across that are (in my mind) so pretentious I don't even get them. You know for laughs. Though I am sure you all will get them just fine and I'll look stupid. So basically, it will all even out.

When I use a quote, I will put the page number, but the numbering may be off since everyone has different books, kindles, etc. Hopefully, it will still be relatively easy to figure out where I am in the book when I quote something. I'll make some obsevations, but when I list a question, I'll answer it in the comments section as a part of the discussion, rather than in the post. 

Well, now, where was I? Oh right. Potentially pretentious book club discussion. Here goes nothin'.

The Book Thief, Parts One and Two

A couple of things jumped out at me. First, was the use of color as descriptors. Do you have a favorite? Mine is when the narrator describes the sky over the battlefields of The Great War as being milky white and spreading over everything.

Second is how the narrator (Death) describes gathering souls. Did you notice any in particular and what were your thoughts about how Death describes that process?
"I walked in, loosened his soul, and carried it gently away" pg 11 
"It was exactly when I knelt down and extracted his soul, holding it limply in my swollen arms. He warmed up soon after, but when I picked him up originally, the boy’s spirit was soft and cold, like ice cream. He started melting in my arms. Then warming up completely. Healing." pg 17

Death tells us he made numerous mistakes when it comes to Liesel, saying,
 "Mistakes, mistakes, it’s all I seem capable of at times. For two days, I went about my business. I traveled the globe as always, handing souls to the conveyor belt of eternity. I watched them trundle passively on. Several times, I warned myself that I should keep a good distance from the burial of Liesel Meminger’s brother. I did not heed my advice.
From miles away, as I approached, I could already see the small group of humans standing frigidly among the wasteland of snow. The cemetery welcomed me like a friend, and soon, I was with them. I bowed my head." pg 18 
Why do you think he felt so drawn to the funeral and why do you think he felt it was a mistake to go?

What were your impressions of Hans and Rosa when you first "met" them vs by the end of Part Two?

Who is your favorite character so far and why?

The last sentence of Part Two:
"Beneath her shirt, a book was eating her up."
Why do you think Liesel is so drawn to books that she feels compelled to steal them when necessary?

OK! That is it for this week! I'm also curious how many people read through the whole thing already? It was such a quick read. I'm finding myself already drawn in to read it again. I can tell it is going to be one of those books where I notice more and more with each read through.

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