The Novel Book Club had a great turn out for our December 19th discussion of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This book is generally classified as a young adult book, but it is very well written with none of the “teen angst” you may associate with a book for that age group. You will quickly realize within the first few chapters is that the story is narrated by Death. But this is a not a violent Death that loves his job. Death is weary; he has done this for a very long time. He distracts himself with colors. He does not want to witness the people who are left behind when he takes a soul, but he does see the girl, 9 year old Liesel Meminger, who he refers to as the book thief. Liesel lives in 1939 Germany, and Death first meets her when he collects the soul of her 6 year old brother who dies on their way to a foster home. She steals her first book “The Grave Digger’s Handbook” at her brother’s burial. The book follows Liesel’s story as a child growing up in a foster home in Nazi Germany, and the people in her life. The book is a bit difficult to read at the beginning, especially with Death’s cryptic outtakes, but keep going, it will eventually make sense. The author uses extensive foreshadowing to keep you pulled into the story. People’s fates and future events are hinted at all through the book, and you want to keep reading to find what happened. This is very much a story about the German people’s experience of Nazi Germany and all of the hardships and horrors of the time. The book is not perhaps the most enjoyable read due to its subject, but it is a compelling story that is worth the read.
The Chestermere Public Library’s Novel book club is a group of readers who meet by the fireplace on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00pm to discuss the current book selection. The only requirements to join are that you have a Library membership and are over 18 years old. Read the book and come to the meeting, no registration is required. The book is available to check out from the Library about a month before the meeting, and will usually include a discussion guide. This guide is a list of questions for the group to discuss during our meeting, and it’s helpful to read them over a few times before and while you are reading the book. Book suggestions for future discussions are always welcome!