My Favorite Reads – The Book Thief

Alyce from At Home With Books features one of her favorite reads each Thursday and this week my pick is a recent favorite of mine.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

From the inside flap: Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she discovers something she can’t resist — books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever they are to be found. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids, as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

There are two things that I love about this book: 1.) it’s about books and, 2.) Death is the narrator. Don’t worry, I’m not giving anything away by telling you that Death narrates this story. He introduces himself on page 1. What it does is lend an amazing quality to this book that’s already set against an incredibly sad backdrop. Liesel is someone you automatically fall in love with. She’s clever, scared, and has seen way too many things for her young age but a good portion of that is due to current circumstances. The story itself is heartbreaking but worth every tear-inducing word on each page of this book. While Death is trying to make sense of the horror strewn landscape of World War II, you learn about his compassion through Liesel’s story. It’s simply a fantastic tale and one you shouldn’t miss.

Got a favorite read to share this week?


The Midnight Guardian: A Millennial Novel

The Midnight Guardian: A Millennial Novel

The Midnight Guardian: A Millennial Novel

By Sarah Jane Stratford

St. Martin’s Press

ISBN: 978-0-312-56013-3

3.5 stars

It’s 1938 and a group of ancient vampires decides that the power that Hitler is commanding in Europe must be stopped. These vampires, known as millennials, do not interfere with human affairs but decide, for not only the good of mankind but also their kind, to infiltrate and destroy the Nazi war machine.

Brigit, one of the oldest and most powerful of the group is loathe to go as it will separate her from Eamon. He has not yet reached millennial status and is too vulnerable for the mission. Reluctantly, she sets off with several companions to put their plan in motion but no one, even the oldest and strongest of the group, is sure they will return.

I didn’t know what to expect with this book — vampires hunting Nazis seemed a bit too much at first. However, once all disbelief is suspended, it works. It’s part love story, part vampire lore, and part action/thriller. It’s a strange combination and I will admit to being leery at first but, once I got into, I flew through it. The vampire background that Stratford creates is interesting and the long histories of the characters is enough to make it all work.

The Midnight Guardian is a fast read and good brain candy if you’re looking for a quick distraction. I liked the new vampire category added here and it seems set up for a second book as a few story lines are left hanging but not in such a way that leaves you annoyed. I think I might be willing to read a second one these books. While the idea was a bit outlandish, the characters were good enough to pull you in and, while it might not be a book you remember for years to come, it is an entertaining read.