I’m always saying, “I would never have picked up this book if not for the book club” at the end of every book club meeting I attend. Literally, I always say this. Well, I’m going to say it again. I would never have read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak if not for my book club. When it was first recommended by a book club member I jotted it down then, being a librarian, went straight to the computer to read book reviews and check the availability of the book. This is when I discovered this book was labeled older teen fiction. I just couldn’t believe my literary book club full of adults would enjoy a teen book.
I was wrong! I loved this book. And guess what, the ladies in the book club liked it too. One woman told me she thought it was one of the best books she has ever read. How is that for a recommendation? The story is heartbreaking in some parts, terrible and scary in other parts, beautiful and redeeming in others. The book takes place in Nazi Germany and the main character is Liesel Meminger, a girl who goes from being illiterate to being a lover of words. She is saved literally and figuratively by her ability to use words to tell her story and the stories of others. The book’s depiction of beauty in a world that is not always beautiful is what stays with me the most.
This post is a glowing recommendation of The Book Thief and of the power book clubs have to break readers out of their comfort zones. Let me finish by simply saying, I love my book club.