Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Book Thief

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Liesel Meminger and her brother were put into foster care at the start of the Second World War, but Werner died on the train taking them to 33 Himmel Strasse in Molching, near Munich. Hans Hubermann is a kind, patient man who works infrequently as a painter and plays the accordion at night in bars. Rosa Hubermann is a foul-mouthed disciplinarian who beats Liesel with a wooden spoon. Hans taught Liesel to read but the only book she has is The Gravedigger’s Manual, which she found in the snow at her brother’s funeral. Over time, she acquires more books, rescuing one from the ashes of a book burning, finding one floating down the river and stealing them from the mayor’s library, although the mayor’s wife told her to help herself. Max is a Jew trying to stay out of the hands of the Gestapo. He happens to be the son of a friend of Hans who died in the first war and was the source of Hans’ accordion. Max finds his way to 33 Himmel Strasse and hides in the basement putting the family in deadly peril.

The Book Thief is narrated by the Angel of Death, who, as one might expect, has a wicked sense of humor. He also has an outlandish manner of speaking. Mr. Zusak put words into the Grim Reaper’s mouth that should never be juxtaposed. “His skin widened.”; “His face tripped over itself.”; “Her teeth elbowed each other...”; “If they killed him tonight, at least he would die alive.” are some examples that this reader simply didn’t take seriously. The author is also much too fond of sentence fragments that litter the text seemingly at random. The plot is an all too familiar one. The strength of The Book Thief is the characters. They are well developed if somewhat guilty of doing uninteresting things. There is little tension or drama, in fact, the narrator tells us what is going to happen and then takes forever to make it come to pass. The greatest fault in this book is the pace. It is leaden.

It is overly long.
Price $8.99

Buy at Amazon

Buy at Barnes & Noble

View all my reviews

Saturday, February 4, 2017

"SPOTLIGHT" Author Blog Tour!! of The Rave Review Book Club

The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is a proactive group
of readers and writers, that I strongly recommend 
all might consider joining

Today I am participating in their
"SPOTLIGHT" Author Blog Tour!!

Spotlighting author 
Suzanne Burke
Australian author of
Acts of Betrayal
and many other titles

Suzanne is going to share some intimate insight into herself and her writing.


Hi, and thank you so much for joining me here today on the first stop of my Rave Reviews Book Club 'Spotlight Author Tour'. Please join me in thanking my awesome host.
Today I want to share with you a part of the reason I write.

The Hopes and Dreams scattered amongst the Cracks and Crevices that are me.

It's a strange title for a post, isn't it? But that is what I'm compiled of. A mass of hopes and barely explored dreams, all vying for attention and hoping like hell not to slip through one of those cracks, or become wedged and immovable from the depth of the crevices.

At times a seething snakelike coil of unexpressed frustration and anger surfaces to be plunged back firmly beneath the veneer of acceptability we all need to possess in order to survive.

Can we survive without compromise? Oh, yes, we can survive, but in refusing to compromise, we can restrict our ability to truly live the time that fate grants us. I have needed to compromise my hopes by reducing my expectations, until, over time; the hopes have resurfaced, but in modified form. Because I had made them more attainable, and by extension less likely to show me the bitter disappointment of my failure to live up to my own versions of, Can do, Must do, Will do, and Try but can't do.


Here I can be free of all the bondages of remembered pain and disillusionment, or the freedom-hampering legacy of disability. I let them escape into the safety of a character yet to be written.
Ah, yes ... my creations; I can admonish and astonish them, move them, and flay them raw with emotion.

I can let them retaliate, fully aware, prepared for, and willing to accept, any consequence that their retaliation may bring in its' wake.

I can permit them to feel the shattering soul changing taste of new love; I give them over freely to explore and bathe in its wonder, and to lay stunned and barely breathing, whilst awaiting its slowly evolving demise.

They can laugh too loud and too long, or in some cases not at all.

They can find their own sad movie to cry over and recall with a smile, and a shake of their head. They take on with gusto the life I have granted them, they live it and see it, taste it and smell it, and they die, or they grow.

They have faults and fantasies, often combined. Good and bad coexist hand in hand within the body I have borrowed to house them. They can be unconventional, patriotic and proud, losers and winners, or simply disappear without color into the crowd. They are resourceful and brave, or broken and bent, damaged or soulless ... or simply exhausted and spent.

I have granted them existence so I can survive.

By doing so, I have resuscitated my hope, and given form to some of my dreams.

It's all a question of balance between the reality of the one and the unfettered joy of the other.
How glad I am that I do this crazy, exhilarating, terrifyingly glorious thing. This freeing, dominating, amazing thing, we call writing.

Thank you for being here to undertake a part of this journey with me.

Suzanne Burke lives, laughs, writes and enjoys her life in the beautiful harbor-side city of Sydney Australia.

She is a mother and grandmother, now in her sixties, and considers every moment of every day as a precious treasure to be valued and explored, and not simply endured.

Her non-fiction works are written under the pen-name of Stacey Danson.

They are both challenging and thought provoking works covering the earliest years of her life, the topic of child abuse and the PTSD that accompanied her into her later years  are not, by virtue of their subject matter an easy or comfortable read, yet so many have read them. She will be forever grateful that her readers have assisted in raising the awareness into this painful and enduring evil.
An awareness that is vital in any efforts to stem this tide of inhuman acts perpetrated on the most innocent of us all … the children.

She escapes into the world of fiction in her thriller and suspense novels, continually exploring other genres such as paranormal and dystopian, and always delighting in the magical escapism offered in the written word.

She is an avid reader and reviewer who enjoys sharing the works she explores.

Follow Suzanne online:
Twitter handle - @pursoot

Website -