Monday, July 26, 2010

Completion of "The Book Thief"

Spoiler Alert! Details of book are discussed...

I finished reading "The Book Thief". When I finished, I was wishing it had been available for me to read at the same time I was first exposed to "The Diary of Anne Frank" as a young reader.

When I was grown, I found it difficult to teach Anne's diary and the history of WWII/Nazi Germany because the only thing I have in common with Anne is that I once was a teenage girl. I have never...

...been a Jew wearing a yellow star
...been persecuted for my religious beliefs
...had my family members taken from me
...experienced war
...been shut in a small space for several months.

But in "The Book Thief", there were so many characters... a reader had many choices to identify with throughout the course of the novel.

In "The Book Thief", the stories we know of Nazi Germany during WWII are presented by a narrator that we don't often see.

Death is the narrator of "The Book Thief". With Death as an all-knowing narrator, the characters of Liesel, her Papa, her Mama, Rudy and Max are given more depth than if the story had been written in first person from Liesel's (the book thief) view.

My favorite part of the story was Max's creation of "The Word Shaker" for Liesel. Zusak's (author) explanation about Hitler's words and Liesel's words, and how Hitler's words were designed for evil and persecution, while Liesel's were meant for sorrow and healing was powerful. Zusak made me stop and think about Hitler's words and the destruction he caused with words... just a combination of words.

Another point that me think was when Death narrated that he had picked up Hitler's soul and carried it away, pointing out that when Death arrived, Hitler was no different than anyone else and his words could not save him.

Zusak did an amazing job with this story. I wish I had read it when it was first published.

Does anyone else think Liesel possibly married Max???

Excellent book and thanks to Tracy for pointing it to my attention.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Book Thief

I am currently reading "The Book Thief". Have any of my followers read it???

I know Tracy B. picked it up about the time that the banned book at Stockton hit the news.

I'm not sure what age I would hand "The Book Thief"... there are some writing techniques at work that need a little bit of reading experience to understand (flashback, foreshadowing, and several literary devices at work by the author).

It's a great story... I can see it being used in units that would include teaching Anne Frank's story.

Off to read!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nook Update

I took my Nook on an emergency run to Barnes and Noble today. A nice guy named Nigel worked on it (kind of a CPR for Nooks) but failed to resuscitate my Nook.

I have to call B and N and request a replacement.

At least I can say this wasn't my fault :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Help

I finished reading "The Help" by Kathryn Sockett.

The B and N synopsis doesn't do the book justice. I agree with the one reviewer who said that you just land in this seemingly on-going story. It starts with one of the "help" narrating her side of the story and it just keeps running. The story alternates between three narrators, two colored maids and the white girl who wants to write a novel about the relationships between the maids and their white, female bosses. The alternating narration is not a problem -- Sockett tells the story in chronological order, just in different voice.

It's difficult to discuss my favorite / not favorite parts of this book without giving the plotline away. I will say that just as quick as you jump into the novel, you will jump back out.

I discovered this book during our trip to Europe. I think 3 women read the novel in the duration of the time. I knew it had to be good, so I borrowed it electronically from Karen.

After a few issues with my Nook, I still managed to read it on my itouch. 464 pages on the itouch screen... LOL LOL LOL... my optometrist will not be happy with me since I didn't wear my bifocals!

Thank you Karen!!! Great book!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Girls From Ames

If you are female and you know me, you must read this book! Shoot, if you're MALE and know me, you must read this book!

I read this while we were at St. John's.

It's the story of 11 girls that met in infancy / childhood / elementary school in Ames, Iowa, and who have maintained their friendship for 40+ years. The book was written by Jeffrey Zaslow, who co-authored Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture".

I could relate to the storyline since some of my best friends were made before I turned six. I could also relate to the Ames girls' insistence that their friendship was based largely on their common histories... and already knowing all about the others' pasts :)

We are starting a new book club of sorts at school next year. This book will probably be the first one the girls read/discuss together. (I didn't hear of any boys wanting to join but they are certainly welcome! The co-sponsor (Rentel) will probably welcome the male company :)

Sad news...

My Nook has developed some problems and the nice Nook Man was unable to solve them for me.

I can access my BN library on my itouch and computer, but the Nook says it's just not going to happen anymore. :(

So... the dilemma... what to do? Get BandN to honor the warranty? It's not like I dropped it and this happened... get another? IDK. Decisions, decisions.

I am currently reading "The Help" by Kathryn Sockett. Excellent! It was an e-load thru from my new friend Karen. We discovered that not only did we have matching Nikes, we had matching Nooks :)

Still love reading, but not looking forward to reading the American Lit. textbook... better get started on that... new class to teach. Yikes!