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The Reading of JL Morse

JL Morse is a full time mother and part time storyteller. Her two grubby urchins motivate her to movement between pages and tales of muddy puddles and magical moments. Parenting Bestselling Author, writing about Conscious & Natural Parenting, Whole Foods Nutrition and a Life Lived in Nature...

Currently reading

The World of Wickham Mossrite: Book One in the Tales of a Blue Sky Thinking Family
J.L. Morse
Creative Play for Your Toddler: Steiner Waldorf Expertise and Toy Projects for 2 - 4s
Christopher Clouder, Janni Nicol
The Gerson Therapy
Charlotte Gerson, Morton Walker
Mutant Message Down Under, Tenth Anniversary Edition
Marlo Morgan
Zen Habits: Handbook For Life
Leo Babauta
Your Body's Many Cries for Water: You Are Not Sick, You Are Thirsty! Don't treat thirst with medications; A Preventive and Self-Education Manual for Those Who Prefer to Adhere to the Logic of the Natural and the Simple in Medicine
F. Batmanghelidj
Why does this book remind me of this quote?...
Why does this book remind me of this quote?...
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

So Markus Zusak's been on International Bestseller lists for years. This weekend I found out why.


I truly 'got into this book' one I 'got into the voice of death' - a truly unique narrative style - yet unfortunately not one inextricably linked to the Nazi movement therein, and apart from the odd zieg heil, could be heard in any other (modern) conflict.


Why did I feel like I was reading a warning manual rather than a piece of historical fiction?


The adventures of Liesel Meminger were particularly poignant for me; my grandmother, also Liesel, was about the same age, in the same location and living through very similar circumstances in mandated Hitler Youth - albeit (as far as I am aware), she was not hiding a Jew in the basement, much as I would've been exceptionally proud had she done so. I don't think she had a basement though.


An aspect I particularly liked of The Book Thief's life, was there was no one 'bad-guy' -

not every German enjoyed their marching and ration book for 'the cause'. The English struck fear during the raids at night as much as the domestic parades of captives during the day, or overzealous saluting neighbours. Growing up hearing both sides of the story (my Liesel married an English soldier), I think Zusak has handled complex motivations sensitively and with truth. Threats of the time came from all angles, including neighbourhood bullies and overbearing school mistresses.


Normal life prevailed in extraordinary circumstances. Until there was no normal any more.


The futility of war (and genocide) was a particularly well expressed theme - everything else serving to reinforce this **woefully politically overlooked** point. Were more books like this read by more people, do you think, would people simply decide not to engage with warmongering, fearmongering death merchants known as international governments?


And there I was promising not to get all political... Shoot.


I will always have a tear for Rudy, and Liesel's Standover Man, every time I hear an accordion's sigh... and every other soul Zusak's narrator encounters in such circumstances, now and in the future.