Sunday, February 1, 2009

February 2009

This was our inaugural meeting.  We started because Natalie had read a book and wanted to talk about it with some people, so she asked us to get together and then we just continued on.  The first members were Natalie, Leslie, Alison, Holly, Cheryl and Sue.

We met in The State Room cafeteria at the Utah State Capitol.
We read "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak and it got 4 stars.

Alison says:  The Book Thief, which was Salt Lake County's 2008 "One County, One Book" selection, has been on my to-read list for ages! While I didn't find the book to be the "life-changing" experience that some have, I did like it a lot. The characters are fabulous - including Liesel (the book thief of the title), her foster parents, her best friend Rudy (who wants to grow up to be Jesse Owens), the reclusive mayor's wife (who has a fabulous library), and Max (the young Jewish man that Leisel's family hides in their basement)! I loved discovering the various layers of who each of them were as the book progressed.
What I loved the most was the message of the power of words, both for good and for evil. In author Markus Zusak's words, from "A Reader's Guide" at the end of the paperback version of the book:
I ... realized the importance of words in Nazi Germany. I thought of Hitler destroying people with words, and now I had a girl who was stealing them back, as she read books with the young Jewish man in her basement and calmed people down in the bomb shelters. She writes her own story - and it's a beautiful story - through the ugliness of the world that surrounds her.

Sue says: I found this book to be brutal. I've read WWII books that have more horrific descriptions of events, but this book took the cake. I've been thinking and thinking about why this is, and I think it's because of the main character. How many horrible things can one teenage girl experience and still remain a decent human being? Evidently alot. The writing style was very interesting. It was chronological, yet the narrator took liberties with the timeline by skipping around and giving teasers about future events. Also, the choice of a narrator was very interesting. I really enjoyed the book, but felt battered by the end because of the events.

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