2022 & 2023 Reading Challenge discussion

The Book Thief
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message 1: by Mary Pat (last edited Jun 13, 2018 04:30PM) (new)

Mary Pat | 2186 comments This thread is to discuss Markus Zusak‘s book, The Book Thief.


***Please remember to mark spoilers.***

Participants: Eirelyn, Daph, Scott, Susy, Kristy, Kaylee, Mikayla, Suki, Ashley, Katie


message 2: by Mary Pat (new)

Mary Pat | 2186 comments Suggested break down of reading so that you can check in and let us know how you're doing. The following breakdown is purely a suggestion and is therefore not set in stone.

Rather than putting dates for each section I've done it so that it takes into account that not everybody will necessarily have the book at the same time.

Week 1: 138
Week 2: 138
Week 3: 138
Week 4: 138



Angela Jr. i would really like to join this and reread the book thief, but i already have 4 buddy reads planned for june... I'll let you know in case i do get around to it!


Kristy Johnston | 358 comments I started this a few days ago and I just finished Part 1/Ch. 8. I'm curious as to how others reading this book are finding it. I had heard great things about it but it's not what I was expecting, I guess.

It's reading more like a play or movie to me rather than a book, with Death as the narrator (view spoiler) and the sudden insertion of definitions or character descriptions breaking up the narrative. Time will tell if I find the storytelling makes up for a smooth flow. I tend to like more traditionally written books, though I am open to odd concepts if the story is worth it.

I also think the fact that I'm still enthralled with the prose in Middlesex may be putting too much of a bias on my current reading list.


Susy (susysstories) I probably won’t start this one until the second half of the month.


Eirelyn (ladyeirelyn) | 1244 comments I am trying to get through a couple of other books and then I'll start this one as well. :)


message 7: by Katie (new) - added it

Katie | 43 comments Mind if I join in?! :)


message 8: by Tokee (new)

Tokee Tareq (tokeemtareq) | 1 comments Just joined for this book, hope I can complete


Ashley Moore (ashleym99) | 1208 comments I hopefully start this book later this week. I have it, I just need to complete one before this.


Scott Flicker | 1191 comments This book seems really good after the first few chapters.


message 11: by Kristy (last edited Jun 10, 2018 03:04PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kristy Johnston | 358 comments I’m about to lose my library book and due to the sudden summer/vacation reading uptick, there is now a waiting list to recheck it so while I expect to get it back soon, I’m going to be taking a forced break on this one for a few days but I’ll leave off with some comments and/or points for discussion.

“Even Death has a heart.”

How does everyone feel about Death as the narrator? There are things I like about it and things I don’t. I like his “snarkiness” but then I’ve always been a fan of dry, sarcastic characters.

“…I’m being rude. I’m spoiling the ending…”

I’m not sure I like his spoilers. I love foreshadowing in a book but outright telling me that something is going to happen or how it ends, and that “I don’t have much interest in building mystery. Mystery bores me…” as the reasoning isn’t sitting well with me at this point. I’m only halfway through; maybe I’ll change my mind.


Scott Flicker | 1191 comments I read ‘on a pale horse’ by Piers Anthony back in the 80s. That book had Death as the main character. Death is not someone you want to see or talk with but it’s really just somebody doing their job. Maybe thats how I see Death in the book thief as well.


message 13: by Susy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Susy (susysstories) Hoping to pick it up from the library today.


message 14: by Eirelyn (last edited Jun 13, 2018 10:06PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eirelyn (ladyeirelyn) | 1244 comments Kristy, I hate spoilers. Hate hate hate. For me, spoilers do just that -- they *spoil* the daggone story!

I agree -- when I read that line about mystery boring him, I was really put off as well. With that being said, this is narrated by (view spoiler)

And the narration is so disjointed. An excerpt here of something that's going to happen 10 chapters later, a paragraph there of something that will happen 20 chapters later... It's very strange to me to have these tangential passages that don't come to fruition for such a long time. It really pulls me out of the narrative when these passages occur.


Scott Flicker | 1191 comments Well I do think spoilers take away enjoyment but if it’s a really great book u should be able to read it knowing the ending and still enjoy it.

Any ways I like the style so far ...


message 16: by jb (new) - rated it 4 stars

jb Byrkit (jbbyrkit) | 80 comments I read this book a while back. I ended up really enjoying it.


message 17: by Susy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Susy (susysstories) Kristy wrote: "II’m not sure I like his spoilers. I love foreshadowing in a book but outright telling me that something is going to happen or how it ends, and that “I don’t have much interest in building mystery. Mystery bores me…” as the reasoning isn’t sitting well with me at this point. I’m only halfway through; maybe I’ll change my mind. "

Eirelyn wrote: "And the narration is so disjointed. An excerpt here of something that's going to happen 10 chapters later, a paragraph there of something that will happen 20 chapters later... It's very strange to me to have these tangential passages that don't come to fruition for such a long time. It really pulls me out of the narrative when these passages occur. "

Scott wrote: "Well I do think spoilers take away enjoyment but if it’s a really great book u should be able to read it knowing the ending and still enjoy it.

Any ways I like the style so far ..."


Liking it too. It really doesn't feel disjointed to me, I feel Death's narration links it all together rather well.
I don't like spoilers in reviews, but here I don't seem to mind much, but maybe I haven't gotten to the big spoilers yet....


Eirelyn (ladyeirelyn) | 1244 comments I did finish this book a couple days ago, and I have to say that it really grew on me. The spoilers did take away from it a tiny bit, but I did get used to the disjointed narration. By the end, the whole thing was really impactful, knowing that these things actually happened and that so many people were affected in this very same way. (view spoiler)


Kristy Johnston | 358 comments Good points by all about Death being the narrator. I needed to step back and think on that a bit. That would be his/her/it's focus in the story after all.

So I have my library book back and I’ve read a little further along now. I enjoyed the arc of Liesel and the Mayor’s wife especially the sections where (view spoiler).

Speaking of dictionaries…the definitions are still driving me crazy. I’m reading along, enjoying the second half of the book more then suddenly I’m inundated with several definitions interrupting the flow of the narrative. This is where I agree with Eirelyn’s point about the disjointed feel to the writing. I know I’m probably feeling a little too sensitive to this but it not only throws me out of the narrative but it makes me feel like the author thinks I’m stupid, or will miss the point if I don’t have the definition of “word” or “silence” on the page with me. However, that said I think I did read somewhere that this book was written for a younger audience so I’m trying to take that into account when I start to get irritated.

I’m also enjoying the part with the spitting lady asking about the Whistler. That part made me laugh hysterically in the doctor's waiting room this morning.


Kristy Johnston | 358 comments Do any of you feel like you’re purposely not getting attached to certain characters because Death has already told you that they are going to die?


Eirelyn (ladyeirelyn) | 1244 comments Kristy, I still felt attached to them despite their destinies, but I can certainly understand why one *wouldn't* get attached, knowing what's going to happen!

And I agree with you about the definitions. That just added to the disjointed feel of the book. And yeah, I kind of got that feeling as well, that we were being talked down to a bit with those definitions, but I think it was the author's way of making us focus on that particular concept throughout the chapter. But even at that, I didn't exactly need a signpost telling me the theme to focus on each and every time. I'm fully capable of figuring that out for myself, thanks, Death. XD I also felt this way with all of the German translations. But that one might have just been me, as I took 4 years of German in high school... XD But still, I felt like those translations were a little bit overdone. I'm not sure I'm a good judge of that part, however.


message 22: by Susy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Susy (susysstories) I'm liking it better and better. Probably because I did become attached to the characters and now want to know what they go through. And probably the writing took some getting used to but I'm quite liking that as well; it's like I'm really having Death over for a visit (now that sounds scary...) and he's telling me his story.
Although I usually don't like "spoilers" I'm finding that in this case it actually adds to the experience, it intensifies my feelings. (view spoiler).


Ashley Moore (ashleym99) | 1208 comments I am about halfway done with the book. The usually enjoy trying to figure out what is going to happen when I read who try to figure out who committed the crime, so it took me a little while to get used to the writing and knowing what is going to happen. I am enjoying this book and am finding it easy to read at this point. The story is easy to follow.

(view spoiler)


message 24: by Susy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Susy (susysstories) Ashley wrote: "I am about halfway done with the book. The usually enjoy trying to figure out what is going to happen when I read who try to figure out who committed the crime, so it took me a little while to get ..."

I agree with your spoiler.


Ashley Moore (ashleym99) | 1208 comments I just finished this book and I do not think knowing what is going happen takes away from this book at all. You don't know everything that is going to happen or when. I found this book very interesting.


message 26: by Susy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Susy (susysstories) Ashley wrote: "I just finished this book and I do not think knowing what is going happen takes away from this book at all. You don't know everything that is going to happen or when. I found this book very interes..."

I agree with you Ashley. I think I will be finishing tomorrow. I love the characters, the writing and also Death’s voice.


Scott Flicker | 1191 comments Finished earlier today. This book was really good. I think given the historical setting the spoilers really didn’t matter. I really think the final line sums it up really well. The narrator’s observations of the beauty and evil of mankind.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Middlesex (other topics)
The Book Thief (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Markus Zusak (other topics)