The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

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Summary

“It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.”

My Thoughts – 8/10

The Book Thief more than deserves all the awards it has won. Unlike many novels, The Book Thief does not rely on suspense to draw in the reader. Quite often, the narrator reveals large components of the future plot (normally considered spoilers) to allow the reader to delve deeply into how the events unfold rather than focus on what events unfold. Don’t be mistaken, however. This circular way of telling the story in no way detracts from the emotional quality of the story. Actually, this style allowed me to understand the characters more and become more invested in them. Literature teachers have always taught me that to not just tell the story but show it. Zusak has perfected this art in The Book Thief.

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Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

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Summary/Blurb

Few readers have failed to be charmed by the witty andindependent spirit of Elizabeth Bennet. Her early determination to dislike Mr.Darcy – who is quite the most handsome and eligible bachelor in the whole of English literature – is a misjudgment only matched in folly by Darcy’s arrogant pride. Their first impressions give way to truer feelings in a comedy profoundly concerned with happiness and how it might be achieved.

My Thoughts – 7/10

I have actually been avoiding this book for years, despite the good reviews from multiple friends. My main motivation for reading this book now was to understand the references in the web series “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” (link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KisuGP2lcPs&list=PL6690D980D8A65D08). I actually wanted to read the book before watching the web series. However, I ended up reading about half the book, started (and finished) the web series, and then, finished the latter half of the book. Overall, I would recommend this book for those who want a taste of classic literature without getting into convoluted writing styles. Also, kudos to Jane Austen for the originality of the plot.

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