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The Book Thief Book Club

Our book club ended up small for The Book Thief, but we had a good discussion. The only theme we had was some pea soup since it seemed a little morbid to all dress as the grim reaper. Here's a few things we discussed.

A New Perspective
The book was depressing. There's no other way to put it. But it was also a wonderful and fresh perspective on the holocaust. Since we live in Germany we've had the chance to learn these other sides. We've met neighbors that were children during the war. They weren't particularly involved, but had to live through it. It's eye opening to think about the people who didn't have a choice but had to be involved because this was their home.

The Characters
We talked a bit about how the characters looked. Everyone agreed that the name 'Rudy' doesn't fit the perfect Aryan boy. Hans Hubermann is a skinny man with a skinny head and a beer belly. Rosa is plump and soft. We couldn't quite decide what Liesel looked like. Was she blond or dirty blond? I think we all had an idea of her in our head that somewhat matched ourselves.

Death is not really a skeleton in a cloak. But he was creepy. I thought of him as a man in a suit and that in his world he's real but we're all ghosts. He thinks that we are talking to him, sometimes begging him to take us, but we don't know he is there we just hope. He (as the book says) is haunted by us but perhaps he doesn't know if we are real or not. The same way we aren't sure if he is.

What did you think of this book?


Drabble Dienstag - A Blush

 My husband threw a surprise birthday party for me on Sunday. I knew something was going on but not when it would happen. I was so surprised that I simply blushed. I'm horribly shy and having people get together just for me was almost too much.

He's so sweet and is taking me to the UK this weekend to see Jane Austen's house, Stonehenge, Bath, and go horseback riding! He planned it all and I am soooooo excited.

So here's my drabble this week to attempt to explain the feeling of a blush.

There was nothing that would sway her, nothing he could say. Her nerves were steel, and she wouldn’t let him do it to her again. But as the conversation went on, and the alcohol flowed, she started to relax and enjoy herself. Then he said that one perfect thing. She felt the blood go straight from her heart and into her face, the heat was overwhelming. Her fingers tingled, and her palms sweat. She looked down at the floor when his hand came up to brush her bright red cheek.

“You’re blushing,” he said.

And she was in love again.


Cloak by James Gough Book Trailer

Now I have to say that this is the coolest book trailer I have EVER seen. Clever and original this visual story captures the book and your attention.

James' website is wickedly awesome as well. He has illustrations to go with the book to tease you. Check it out at cloakthenovel.com.

I edited this book this summer for WiDo Publishing. It's a totally fun young adult fantasy novel with human-like animals, boys who are allergic to everything, and villains who are just plain disgusting.


Drabble Dienstag - Red Tea

 Last installment of my tea drabbles. This is red tea, last week was black tea and the week before was green tea. Tell me what you think of them as singles, or what you think of them as a set. Do the characters come through in only 100 words?

They kept calling my name, and mother kept sending me out with plates of food, I sipped between running through the beaded curtain. When they were finally sated I settled next to the counter, enjoying my red tea with fervor and listening for another call. Hasty, beautiful moments savoring the rich sweet flavor between moments of mayhem providing food for the men. Mother tucked a stray piece of my hair behind my ear and moved my sari higher up my shoulder when she kissed my cheek. They called for another round of food and I rolled my eyes at her.


Book Club - The Book Thief

Book club is tomorrow night! So if you've read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak link in the comments here to a blog post and I will share your thoughts with the group. The party this time is not themed, but I'll still do a blog post to let you know our thoughts.

We're going to discuss a book that we would steal if we had an entire library to choose from and could only pick one.

And also what we think the character of death looks like in this book.


The The Impotence of Proofreading by Taylor Mali

Very awesome and funny video of Taylor Mali at a poetry club doing a reading about proofreading. Proofread your stuff people! Especially you self-publishers out there, get someone else to look at your stuff even if it's just your mom. Another set of eyes on your work is invaluable. Don't write like this...


Drabble Dienstag - Black Tea

Another week of tea drabbles. This time it's black tea and England instead of green tea and Japan. Don't you just love a cup of tea in the autumn, chilly weather? Let me know what you think in the comments, I love a good critique.

The two lumps I took from the sugar bowl plopped into the milk like stones in a pond. Greedily, I took another lump and tossed it in too. I watched the water boil, impatient to get my mug and go to the garden. I poured the not-quite-boiling water into the pot and let it brew. Placing the strainer on the thin porcelain, I filled my cup to the brim. With book and cup in hand I went to the garden to sit on the bench among the roses and listen to the birds chirp while I enjoyed my black tea.


The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter - Short Story Review

The Bloody Chamber
Angela Carter
Short story/novelette

I got this book as a recommendation for fairy tale retellings in a darker tone. So far I am absolutely in love.

Three wives dead, one never found in a boating accident and the story is called "The Bloody Chamber"? It got darker the further I read.

Her new husband is thoroughly obsessed with a ruby choker he gave her, especially while he is taking her virginity and he forces her to wear it. It was his grandmother's and was used as a fancy version of the red ribbons for Madame Guillotine fashion during the French Revolution.

As soon as he showed her his ring of keys, and the one he doesn't want her to use, I knew the story was the tale of Bluebeard who has a room full of dead wives. I didn't even think that he was setting her up for failure by enticing her with the key. He wanted her to disobey.

It ends too deus ex machina with her mother riding in to save the day. Angela Carter even writes that it was too easy because she says the mother had 'maternal telepathy.'

The writing got a little flowery for me and I just wanted faster paced prose, but overall it was a beautiful story and I'm really looking forward to the others.

Some of my favorite lines:

"A choker of rubies, two inches wide, like an extraordinarily precious slit throat." - Page 6

"After the dreadful revelation of that bloody chamber, it was his tender look that made me faint." - Page 33


Drabble Dienstag - Green Tea

In honor of autumn (and a writing prompt from my friend) I'm doing a series of drabbles on tea. This week is green tea. I'm trying it out in first person since that point of view is a little more difficult for me. Let me know what you think! And if you have a writing prompt idea, a sentence or even a word, tell me in the comments.

I sipped my green tea, slender hands lifting the cup, holding it on flattened fingers. The wood floor felt comforting and solid beneath my folded legs. The silk kimono wrapped itself about me and rubbed on my sensitive skin with every small movement. The aromatic tea filled the room, reminding me of my grandmother who drank this very tea in this very way. My face felt hot from the steam when I tipped the cup. The hot liquid dripped down my throat; I did not slurp or make a sound as I drank my tea with no sugar or cream.