Tag Archives: quotes

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

book thief

“It amazes me what humans can do, even when streams are flowing down their faces and they stagger on…”  ~~ Markus Zusak in The Book Thief

“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.”  ~~ Markus Zusak in The Book Thief

From Lauren’s Perspective:

I spent the last hour trying to find the perfect quote to begin this review.  What I was left with at the end was a page full of beautifully crafted quotations that all do justice to how amazing this story was.  To pick just one seemed impossible, so I picked two.

This book was exquisitely written and profound in a way not many books are.  There was meaning and a lesson on every page.  The fact that this story was once again categorized as a book for Young Adults blows my mind.  I have read many adult books and few of them are as amazing as this.  I don’t even know where to begin.

Without spoiling the story, I will give away the key points.  This novel is narrated by death and tells the story of a young girl living in a town in Germany during World War 2.  She has a fascination with words, and as we follow her, she learns to read, write, and even tell her own story.  Hers is one that is beautifully tragic and haltingly optimistic for such a heartbreaking story.  Her life is hard in a way few of us can imagine and how she lives through it is remarkable.  The stories main character, Liesel Meminger, begins as a precocious 11 year old who is abandoned by her only real family and left to live with complete strangers.  She takes a liking to her foster father immediately, as Hans Hubberman is kind and smart and everything you could wish for in a role model.  It takes longer for her to warm up to her foster mother, but despite Rosa’s gruff exterior, she is also loving and sensitive and wise.  Watching their bond grow throughout the novel is fascinating to behold.  They truly become one another’s family, tighter than blood, and it is the optimism that holds the story together through the terrifying war that killed millions.

The narrative is what really takes this story to another level.  We, as readers, are given a view of Liesel’s life from the time her mother takes her to live with the Hubberman’s, until her death through death’s eyes himself.  From his perspective, he writes, “I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”   The beauty in death’s vision is the best way to experience this book.  We are also given an interesting view of the war.  We travel with death as he reaps the souls of the millions that died during this harrowing time, Germans and Jewish alike, and we are made to feel sorry for everyone who suffers.  This unique perspective, and Zusak’s interesting style makes this novel into a true work of art.  He litters the pages with definitions, spoilers, and facts about the war; he gives his reader multiple perspectives to consider, and he does so in such a way that leaves you almost breathless at the result.  I can honestly say I have never encountered a novel quite as different and breathtakingly lovely as this.

Zusak crafts his words with such extreme care that you would be hard pressed to find a single word in this novel that didn’t fit exactly where it was as though it was destined to be in that sentence from the beginning of time.  He writes, “His soul sat up. It met me. Those kinds of souls always do – the best ones. The ones who rise up and say “I know who you are and I am ready. Not that I want to go, of course, but I will come.” Those souls are always light because more of them have been put out. More of them have already found their way to other places.”  To speak of death in such a delicate way is a talent that few have managed as well as he has.  He speaks of life, love, regret, belief, morals, and of course, death, with such care, you can feel the passion behind every word.

Above this already finely crafted novel, Zusak has created stories within his stories.  He shows us picture book drawings from another character, Max, that riddle the pages with their interesting style and perfect knack for adding more wonder to this story.

book thief 2 page 1

These stories act as reminders of the importance of words, the importance of family and friends and the importance of story telling.  I honestly cannot give enough praise to this perfectly put together novel.

There are so many  brilliant quotes I still want to add to this review, but don’t for fear of spoiling the intricacies of the story, so I will leave saying this.  Read this book.  Read this book now.  You will not regret it.

Rating

Plot – 4/5
Writing/Style/Form – 6/5 (YES I CAN DO THAT!!)
Characters – 5/5
Enjoyment/Entertainment Value – 4/5

Overall Score – 19/20

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A Brenner/Gowing Thought ~~ Part Eight

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I found this on the internet the other day and felt the need to share.  It’s from Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” and while I would only give the book a C+ overall, I love this quote more than I can say.

So today, I encourage you to be mad.  Be mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved!

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A Brenner/Gowing Thought ~~ Part Seven

Well, here’s another thought instead of another review.  We’ve been busy as usual and I figured, better to post something than nothing at all.  We haven’t had time to converge on a book yet, but a new one is coming your way shortly, I guarantee.  If anyone out there has any suggestions for us, or books they’d like to see reviewed, feel free to let us know.

In the meantime, I thought we’d share some quotes.  These quotes inspire us to be writers, inspire us to be readers, and inspire us to respect the written word.  A good quote can do just as much as any good book can do.  It can make you stop and think, it can change your view or opinion, it can cause you to drastically change your life when change is needed.  I know a quote from a song was the catalyst that made me leave my home town and move to the big city.  Anything is possible with words.  Here are a few of our favourites:

SONY DSC

“She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.”  – Louisa May Alcott 

atwood

“I believe that everyone else my age is an adult whereas I am merely in disguise.” – Margaret Atwood 

bradbury

“Write!  So as not to be dead.”  – Ray Bradbury

bukowski

“Find what you love and let it kill you.” – Bukowski 

burroughs

“I myself am entirely made of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”  – Augusten Burroughs

Carroll

“”Have I gone mad?”  “I’m afraid so, you’re entirely bonkers.  But I’ll tell you a secret…all the best people are.”” – Lewis Carroll – Alice in Wonderland

CS LEWIS

“We read to know we are not alone.” – C.S. Lewis

frost

“I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”  – Robert Frost

Hemingway

“I love sleep.  My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”  – Ernest Hemingway

hemingway 2

“Write drunk; edit sober.” – Ernest Hemingway

john green

“Maybe there’s something you’re afraid to say, or someone you’re afraid to love, or somewhere you’re afraid to go.  It’s gonna hurt.  It’s gonna hurt because it matters.”  – John Green

kerouac

” Because the only people for me are the mad ones.” – Jack Kerouac

palahniuk

“Nothing of me is original.  I am the combined efford of everybody I’ve ever known.”  – Chuck Palahniuk – Invisible Monsters

poe

“I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.”  – Edgar Allen Poe

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“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”  – J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter

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“You do care.  You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.” – J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter

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“Words, in my humble opinion, are the most inexhaustible source of magic we have.” – J.K Rowling – Harry Potter

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“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”  – J.K. Rowling

Steven King

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”  – Stephen King

vonnegut

“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”  – Kurt Vonnegut 

collins

“It takes ten times longer to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”  – Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games

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“You never forget the face of the person who is your last hope.” – Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games

Do you have any favourite book quotes of your own?  If so, leave them in the comments, we love discovering new quotes and new authors, and maybe it will inspire our next review!

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Because Every Book Nerd Needs a Good Book Nook

nook

noun

1.   a corner, as in a room.
2.   any secluded or obscure corner.
3.  any small recess: a breakfast nook.
4.  any remote or sheltered spot: a shady nook that was ideal for a picnic.
For those of us who love books, adore books, and love getting lost in books appreciate the ideal book nook.  A nook is a place to cozy up in, to get comfy, to pass the hours, and to become fully absorbed.  We all have our place: the bathtub, bed, cozy chair, porch, swing, hammock.  Some of us may even have the perfect bookshelf to proudly display all our books.  Book nerds understand the appeal of a place to hide away and stick your nose in a book.  So Lauren and I thought we would share some of ours with you; the ones we already have and the dream ones we wish we had!  Take a look then tell us what your dream nook would be!

Lauren and Krista’s Reading Nooks

I live in a world of fantasy, so keep your reality away from me. I see what I want, I want what I see & that is all okay with me.”  ~~ Itzah C. Kret 
“We read to know that we are not alone.”  ~~ William Nicholson
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  ~~ Dr. Seuss in “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”  ~~ C.S. Lewis

The Ones We Wish We Had; a.k.a. Our “Dream Bookshelves and Nooks”

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” ~~ Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ~~ Charles William Eliot

“Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.”  ~~ Mark Twain

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” ~~ Anna Quidlen in How Reading Changed My Life

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”  ~~ Frederick Douglass

“I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” ~~ J.K. Rowling

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