I love a good book. And I’ve been making it my mission to read more. It’s hard when you have very limited free time and you’re tired, but the satisfaction is so much greater than watching trash on tv as there never seems to be anything worth watching or spending time re-reading facebook newsfeeds.

The_Book_Thief_by_Markus_Zusak_book_coverThe Book Thief by Australian author Markus Zusak isn’t a new book (it was first published in 2006), and has been on my “to read” list for some time.

The book focuses on Nazi Germany from the perspective of Death. Something I know my father and a few other people would say sounds a bit too morbid. But surprisingly not. Death as the narrator is quite enthralling. He talks specifically of his fascination with a young girl and her adopted family, and the Jewish refugee that they hide.

Death’s commentary on the war and talking of how busy he was at the time gets through the gravity of the war. How easy it is to forget or be complacent about things that have happened in the past such as past wars and the holocaust when you are too young to really understand what it was like. We can learn so much from that time. Many things from Nazi Germany and Death’s narration that ring true in the society we live in today and in human nature. The acceptance and following nature of people to ideology and leaders. The fear to stand out, even when you know something is wrong or right.

the book thiefThe book speaks of the strength of the human spirit to fight on. The mental will when life is about enduring and surviving rather than enjoying. Even when you can’t see the end point.

Although we do not have death or real physical punishment to fear currently for our ideals, the intolerance against religion and ideas and people contrary to mainstream is still a threat. Books like The Book Thief are great reminders of places and times that we should not forget. And the virtues and truth that need to be fought for against intolerance and fear.

Its a great book. One of the kinds of books that you have to keep reading so that you can get to the end. And then when you reach the end you are devastated and left wondering what you should do now that you finished.