Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Book Thief with Pride...

We had our book club meeting on Sunday at Jo's house for The Book Thief, and I'm pleased to say it went very successfully. Jo had invited another couple of girls to join the group, as both Lisa and Bec didn't attend this time, they were both busy. We had Rebecca and Joanne, who I think are both teachers at Cassia Primary and they seem like really nice girls too.

Jo had googled the book and found some learning questions online, which she sent around to each of us. It had discussion points such as the significance of colours in the book, who was your favourite character and why, why was this character like this, and so on. It was really helpful as it gave us something to get focused back on as we continually wandered off the subject!
I really enjoyed this book. I liked that it was written from the point of view of Death, during World War II and the cleansing of Germany by Hitler. He wrote, "I carried the souls of the dead over my shoulders and in my arms, but the children were the only ones I would carry in my hands." Very sad. I can see why it was so popular as he has a real way with words, and it sparked a lot of discussion amongst us about the Holocaust and Hitler. One of the girls had seen Mein Kampf (My Struggle, written by Adolf Hitler) in a bookstore years ago and wanted to buy it out of interest, as she'd visited a Death Camp in Europe years ago on holiday. But she was too embarrassed to because of the social connotations of buying a book written by Hitler. We all agreed it would have been an interesting read. We discussed movies that also covered this subject, as I was interested in seeing Schindlers List but it wasn't at the video store. Shane said this is probably just as well as it was a pretty depressing movie. Britt suggested A Beautiful Life which won an Academy Award in the 90's, so I might try that one.

We of course discussed every other book and movie under the sun. Jo and her mum Jennifer are prolific readers and we were all throwing book names around like anything. We are swapping books at Book Club, as I lent Jo my copy of Edgar Sawtelle, and Jo lent Britt her video of the movie Roots. So we are going through other books even while reading the Book Club book nominated!
Yesterday at Kmart I scored a movie book package for $20, which had Revolutionary Road, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Slumdog Millionaire. I saw Revolutionary Road on DVD recently and couldn't stop thinking about it for days, it was quite harrowing at the end. Jo has recently read Striped Pyjamas and recommended it to me and I loved the movie for Slumdog, so I'm looking forward to having all these read over the Xmas period.
I also recently bought Stephen King's new one, Under The Dome. It's like the Simpsons movie, where a dome is lowered over a town in Maine, except this one chops a woodchuck in half, cuts off a gardeners hand and causes a light plane to crash into it and fall burning in pieces to the ground... very good so far!
We decided this time it was Jennifer's turn to nominate a book as she'd indicated she was going to return to a classic. As neither Rebecca nor Joanne had read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Jennifer decided to go with that one. Also, as Xmas is coming up, we can't meet now until January, so it will give everyone plenty of time to read it. Unless you've read it a few times, the elongated way that she writes takes a fair bit of concentration. Jane Austen takes 50 words to explain something it would take you or me 20 words to do! I re-read this book just last year, so I'm not in any hurry to read it just yet. I'll wait til I've finished the 3 on the go I have now!

My picture this post is of the iconic Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy. I really didn't like the Hollywood film version of this movie with Kiera Knightley. Not when you've seen the BBC version above, with Colin First and Jennifer Ehle. It's about 6 hours long and it's just a beautiful movie. They are appropriately subdued, as you imagine the English gentry to be, and the scenery and filming are just stunning. I have seen it hundreds of times, and I'm not joking!

So I shall check in again on this story, once we've met on 24 January, Jo's birthday, so discuss why we love this book. As I already know I do. So much. TTFN.