The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Markus Zusak's books are among the most unique I've ever read. There's nothing I can compare them to and The Book Thief is the most unusual so far. It's also one of the best pieces of historical fiction out there. Death narrates this story set in WWII Germany in a small town called Mulching and follows the childhood of Liesel Menninger who manages to not only survive several close brushes with Death, but does so with her values intact. She's not perfect though. She's addicted to books and she pilfers them at every opportunity, but she also uses those books to give back to others---I'd say how, but that would mean including spoilers and we can't have that.
I recommend this one with some reservations. I found the first half of it to be extremely slow going. Maybe I was just tired, but I think Mr. Zusak was being long-winded. The book could have been 100 pages shorter and better for it. Read it on a chilly day when you can curl up under a throw blanket with a box of tissues.
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