12 Reads of Christmas 2019: Day 5

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The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

“Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness.”

– Death

Welcome to day 5 of my 12 Reads of Christmas series, where I’m posting the things I like to read over the festive period every day from Christmas Day until Twelfth Night (6 January). For day 5 I have chosen one of my favourite books of all time. In fact, if I was pressured into choosing a favourite book, I may be tempted to answer with The Book Thief.

Another less-than festive read for today, however I try to read this book at least once a year. Before reading this book, I had never read a WWII novel from a non-British/allied forces perspective so it was a completely new take for me. This is something British history lessons are severely lacking. I learnt such a lot from this book and I will be forever grateful to Markus Zusak for that.

I also completely stole Liesel’s method of learning to read for my own language skills. I have been improving my French and Italian (and eventually German – when I pull my finger out and start learning it properly) by reading Harry Potter translated into these various languages and reading along to the audiobook in the relevant language and keeping a log of the new vocabulary. In The Book Thief Liesel learns to read by reading along with her foster father Hans and writing the words she learns on the basement wall

This also happens to be one of the most beautifully written, beautifully philosophical books I have ever read. I think it’s important to reflect on our shared history, on those less fortunate than ourselves, and how lucky we are to still be alive in a time when our fragile lives and mortality is all too apparent.

Way to drag down the Christmas spirit…Merry Christmas readers!

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