Listening to: Cleopatra by The Lumineers
Line Love: “Why are you keeping this curiosity door locked?!” Dustin, Stranger Things
I get lots of requests for book recommendations, from friends, family, and Facebook. Which is awesome, because I feel like a cool librarian when I get asked about my favorites, handing out book reccs like a boss. Or something like that. I love to read, and judging by the fact that my Instagram is 90% book related, I think you all have noticed. SO, my sister gave me the idea to start a book reviews on the reg. I’ll still keep doing regular bloggy posts (makeup & good tv show reccs will still make an appearance, but I’ll be doing more book talk. I’ll do a mix of my all time favorites and recent reads, along with to read lists and the like.
Let’s start with one of the best books ever written: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief was introduced to me by the brilliant Natalie Lloyd, whom I can thank for nearly every book recommendation from my late teens to now. She’s an author herself, and has the best taste in quirky, sometimes heartbreaking, beautiful novels. She introduced me to Ruben Toledo’s Illustrated Penguin Classics (in my opinion, the best versions), Shauna Niequist, and shares my love for Nickel Creek and The Goonies. She’s fantastic. She recommended The Book Thief on her blog, and this one quote was all it took:
“He was the crazy one who had painted himself black and defeated the world. She was the book thief without the words. Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like the rain.”
How beautiful is that? I positively ran yo Borders after reading that.
**Side note: who remembers Borders? It was the best bookstore and I am still gutted that it is no longer in business. STILL. And it closed like 5 years ago. Le sigh.
Liesel is my hero. My book-thieving, big-hearted, brave hero.
“I stole it on my way to Himmel Street.”
Her story is one of love, and loss, and words, which I think is my favorite subject of the book. It tugged at my reader heartstrings, reminding me how impactful words, and the ability to read those words, can be on a child. I identify with this tremendously. As a kid, I lived in various book-worlds often. To escape, perchance to dream, I visited Hogwarts, or The Baudelaire Mansion, or Claudia’s house on the regular, spending hours of my day immersed in their stories.
Liesel uses her newfound love of words to create connections with Max, a Jew who Hans and Rosa Hubermanns, her not-so-foster, foster parents, hide in their basement. Did I mention this was set in 1942, Germany? No? 🙂
One of the reasons I love this book is because I have a fascination with the people of the Holocaust. Not so much the events, terrible as they were, but the people who lived then. The woman who orayed for her husband at war. The soldiers. The Jews who hid, day after day, for years. The lives that were lost. The bravery of the Germans, who took care of the Jewish people, and the Jewish people, despite their horrible circumstances, who kept their hope.
“Often I wish this would all be over, Liesel, but then somehow you do something like walk down the basement steps with a snowman in your hands.” -Max
Liesel grows so well in this book. She learns to read, to love, and what it means to stand for another human. She learns how to be brave. How to be brave for someone else, which is the hardest kind of bravery to learn. She learns to hope, and learns how powerful hope can be. She learns the power and the magic of her words. And she uses them well.
“I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
See you on Himmel Street. Xx