Quotes from The Book Thief

I just finished The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It took me a while to get into it—the narrator is Death, so I didn’t really connect to anyone until Liesel started to take a stand for herself and became a character I rooted for, not just one I felt sorry for. Then I fell in love with this book, its characters. I’m not the only one, of course. It’s a bestseller and has won all kinds of awards, but I particularly liked the the commentaries and asides on storytelling. Like this one:

Of course, I’m being rude. I’m spoiling the ending, not only of the entire book, but of this particular piece of it. I have given you two events in advance, because I don’t have much interest in building a mystery. Mystery bores me. It chores me. I know what happens next and so do you. It’s the machinations that wheel us there that aggravate, perplex, interest and astound me.

I especially love that last line. I often peek at the ends of books before I finish reading them.

Words had also brought her to life. “Don’t punish yourself,” she heard her say again, but there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness, too. That was writing.

Amen.

And also, I loved this line: “Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness.”

And: “I am haunted by humans.”

This was such a moving and powerful and heartbreaking book. But this is the second WWII book I’ve read recently and with all that’s going on in the world right now, I think I’d like to read a (moderately at least) happy book next. Any suggestions?

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