Book Chat

The Book Thief Markus ZusakNazi Germany, in a poor suburb of Munich. An orphan girl. A Jew on the run for his life. An accordion. A mayor’s wife who allows theft from her library.

All these — and a whole lot more — come together in “The Book Thief,” billed as a young adult book but excellent for adults as well. Markus Zusak has written a long (over 500 pages), epic tale of abandonment, hopelessness, sadness, and … hmmm. I’m trying to think if anything positive comes out of the book. I really can’t think of anything, but that’s kind of the point. After all, Death is the narrator. But still, it’s an excellent book worth your time. It draws you into the world of ordinary people trapped in the horror that Germany had become during WWII. Some of the language is a bit odd, and there’s quite a bit of profanity that I could have done without (especially in a YA book), but still, excellent portrait of the time. Recommended.

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The Prayers of Agnes SparrowIt had been ages since anything that exciting had happened in Bright’s Pond … so reads a passage in “The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow,” and it pretty much sums up a lot of this book for me. Bright’s Pond is a little burg in Pennsylvania. It reminds my of Mayberry, or maybe the town in the “Mitford” books (which I admittedly haven’t read; it’s just my stereotype). Folks say things like “lookee there!”, and there are lots of descriptions of food. The town has a full cast of unusual/normal/endearing characters.

The most unusual one is Agnes Sparrow, an obese woman who prays for others with usually miraculous results. But what happens when her prayers stop working? That’s the question posed by the book.

This book was fine – I found most of it slow-moving. I was intrigued by the cover, and downloaded it free on my Kindle, along with the 3 other books in the series. Although I wasn’t much of a fan of this one, perhaps they improve? The other ones have higher ratings. Another thing that bugged me throughout: the author’s tendency to put commas in odd places: “You miserable, old fool” — “three, dark shelves” — etc.

Eh — take it or leave it. It didn’t excite me, but if you enjoy simple, happy, “lite” reading, you may enjoy it.

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God of All CreationDo you have a dog, or do you love them? If you answered yes, you’ll most likely enjoy “God of All Creation.” It’s a series of short devotions based mainly on Robison’s relationship with his dachshund, Princess, although other dogs and even a few other animals play roles as well.

Pencil sketches throughout add to this small book’s charm. These devotions would be a nice way to start or end your day. The book reminded me a lot of “‘Paws’itively Divine” by Dana Rongione.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for a review copy of this book.

One thought on “Book Chat

  1. Thanks for the link back to this – I had remembered several blog friends mentioning The Book Thief but couldn’t remember who.

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