The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
(If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll already know I love this book)
This is one of those books that is timeless and will certainly always have a place on my bookshelf. It’s about a young girl living with her foster parents in Germany during World War II and everything that they encounter as a family.
This book was so different from anything I had read before for several reasons. I have never read a book set in WWII Germany before, I wouldn’t usually like books in which a child is the main character and another unique component of this book is that it was narrated by ‘Death’.
It was so insightful for me to get such an in-depth perspective of what it was like to live in Germany during the Nazi occupation and was made all the more riveting by the fact that it was told through a child’s perspective. There is nothing more heartbreaking than a child’s innocence of not understanding that cruelty and oppression just do not and will never make sense.
“It was a nation of farmed thoughts.”
This novel really opened my eyes as to how a nation can be both forced and brainwashed through every means possible, in ways that you wouldn’t even think of. It also made me feel quite frankly scared at how easily it could happen again.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone, purely for the historical significance of the topic of this book. It’s one of those books that will make you think, make you question things and it will stay with you. Also, if you’re anything like me, the ending will make you cry your heart out.
A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
This book was another read well worth my time. It was about two women in Afghanistan, vastly different from one another. It told both of their stories, about their upbringing and their early adulthood and their stories eventually meet. Their paths crossed and these polar opposite women find themselves equally oppressed and tormented. This story was about two women, strong in different ways, and how they came to be the only hope for each other in a country where the Taliban had emerged to make their lives hell.
There’s nothing I love more than a book about strong women, a book about sisterhood and the empowerment of women and this book was definitely that. Their stories were unique and heartbreaking in their own ways. I definitely felt invested in both of these women and their struggles.
This book was a powerful insight into what Afghanistan was like when the Taliban first surfaced. How the people of Afghanistan, mostly women and children, were subject to tyranny and endless slaughter and how their lives were torn apart.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, whether you would relate to the characters or not, simply because it was such a powerful eye opener and an insight into suffering that the people of Afghanistan went through and the ramifications are still felt today.