The Book Thief

Not that long ago we talked about how certain books about the craft of writing make us want to write. Right now I am reading a novel that is making we want to write. These moments of inspiration are not only fuel for future dull moments, but reminders of the elements of writing that when combined, is the reason I am a writer.

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, is a wonderful story all on its own, but what touches me as a writer is its homage to the story, writing, language, and words.

Last night I read a passage and wanted to share it with you. Maybe it’ll have a similar affect on you, and maybe not:

The sound of the turning page carved them in half.

Liesel read on.

For at least twenty minutes, she handed out the story. The youngest kids were soothed by her voice, and everyone else saw visions of the whistler running from the crime scene. Liesel did not. The book thief saw only the mechanics of the words – their bodies stranded on the paper, beaten down for her to walk on.

I love it when I read a novel that makes me want to write.

How about you: What novels or writers inspire you to write?

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12 thoughts on “The Book Thief

    1. I read the Hunger Games with a newborn, fever and on antibiotics. Was quite something! Too intense for me, I couln’t stop to breathe. Took me a few months to read the others (I was too scared. lol), but I really enjoyed them as well.

      1. The Hunger Games was intense and shocking, must have been much worse for you being sick, lol! I read all three books in three days and was so depressed I couldn’t sleep for a few nights.

      2. lol, Jennifer! I know!! She did a great job with those books. Since having kids I’ve become such a wimp – It took me forever to get up the courage to read The Book Thief, such a difficult sensitive subject, but now that I finally did I see how he shows the cruelty of the holocaust through the good deeds of people. An excellent book.

        Goodness these YA books are intense. I think you write YA? It’s something I’ve wanted to do (when kids are bigger there is more time), but reading these kind of books, I think I would censor too much.

        Thanks for the comments πŸ™‚

  1. Anything that I read, whether I like it or not, makes me want to write. Either it is to emulate the good stuff or to “prove” that I can write better. Then again, a movie with good characters and good dialogue inspires. An emotional television show. A painting. A piece of music. They are all interconnected and perhaps worthy of inspiration.
    By the way, my wife (who is also my editor) was listening to me. She bought me Stephen King’s “On Writing” for Christmas. I am blessed.

    H.B.

    1. Anything – wow! I’ve read some books taht just turn me right off of writing I admit! Sooo boring and dulllll. Not many gratefully!

      It’s great how the world provides you inspiration!

      I hope you liked On Writing πŸ™‚

  2. I’m like tikiman, inspired either way.

    When I’m inspired in a good way, it’s not always by the same element. Sometimes it’s the author’s marvelous use of language, sometimes the characterization, sometimes the voice.

    I just finished Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian and I loved the voice.

    1. What an awesome title! I never heard of that book, LInda, thanks for the recommendation!

      About two weeks I was reading a book, and I noticed my drive to write weakened. I decided to stop reading mid way (I’m really bad at that, once I’ve begun I’m committed to read it through). It was essay style the whole way, no imagination, no creation, stock characters. I was bored, and I noticed I was less enthusiastic to write.

  3. It’s a precarious balance for me between being inspired to write and being intimidated when I read Angela Carter or Jeanette Winterson for the lyricism of their writing. It’s strange that when I really lose myself in a book I don’t feel inspired because I’m too busy enjoying myself, but when I read a well-written sentence, in spite of my lack of love for literary fiction (I need plot!), it makes me want to write.
    – Sophia.

    1. HI Sophia, and thanks for the comment!
      I too when I’m engrossed in a novel have no desire to write at that particular moment, but when I sit to write, oh am I inspired! It has occurred that something I’ve read has led me to want to stop and go write immediatly, but very rarely.

  4. I don’t know about how inspiring his writing is, but William Shatner’s Star Trek novels were actually enjoyable! Seriously.
    As a kid, I used to love the various Doctor Who novel published by Target books.

    1. sci-fi writer then I take it, Hook?
      I loved star trek (the original and piccard – yes I liked piccard, but not past those). Never read the novels.
      As a fun useless fact, my dad went to the same high school as shatner.

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