I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
HERE IS A SMALL FACT - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION - THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH
It's a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.
ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW - DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES.
I have found that reading from book lists is an excellent way to read outside my comfort zone. I think I have previously said that I usually avoid novels set during World War II. This year, I have read four novels (in four months) set in that time period. Three of them have been on recommended reading lists and I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed them.
Told from the perspective of Death, who follows the story of a young girl in Germany during the war, this book is an important reminder of the hardships suffered, especially by the poor and by those who were not enthusiastic participants under the Nazis. So many of the books set during the war are told from the Allied viewpoint and we forget that there was suffering on the other side as well.
The Book Thief also appealed to my love of books and reading, which play such an important part of the novel. I read the book while at home with a cold—my only complaint was that I cried at the end, resulting in worse congestion than ever.