Bookish Tags, Other

T5W: Books For Your Hogwarts House

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Lainey of gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam of ThoughtsOnTomes. Every week, I will post my top 5 of that week’s theme. If you’d like to learn more about it or join in the fun, head over to the Goodreads group where all the discussions take place here.

This week’s theme is about books that represent your Hogwarts house. I am a proud Ravenclaw, and so I’ve tried to think of books and characters that remind me of the themes of knowledge and learning. Here we go

1. When Dimple Met Rishi – Sandy Menon

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Dimple feels like a Ravenclaw through and through. She wants nothing more than to focus on her passion, coding and computers. Her love of learning marks her out as a Ravenclaw from the very beginning.

Read my review here.

2. Maresi – Maria Turtschaninoff

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This book takes place at the Red Abbey, a safe haven for women escaping from all sorts of traumas and dangers, but it is not only that. It is also a community that is dedicated to learning and knowledge. The girls who come to the Red Abbey have opportunities and access to education that they often couldn’t dream of accessing elsewhere.

Read my review here.

3. Uprooted – Naomi Novik

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There are several aspects of this book that reminded me of Ravenclaw. When Agnieszka is taken to live with the dragon, she is understandably afraid, but we later see her grow to become inquisitive and eager to learn as much as possible about her powers and the forest in her land. She knows that her power and strength and the only way to defeat the forest is through learning how to hone her skills.

Read my review here.

4. Matilda – Roald Dahl

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Another character that I don’t believe we can deny has some pretty strong Ravenclaw traits. Matilda loves to read so much that she reads her way through the library, she loves learning so much that she asks to be sent to school, and she can move things with her mind! I hope she got her Hogwarts letter when she turned eleven cause she definitely belongs in the Wizarding World!

5. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

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Book are an escape for Liesel, and not only stories. The first book that she stills is a gravedigger’s guide, and she still reads it religiously. The books also bring together the characters in the book, who are united by the stories that they read to each other, and for Liesel and Max, language and vocabulary plays a significant role in their relationship. As a Ravenclaw, I loved the way that words meant to much to the characters in the book.

Read my review here.

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Book Reviews, Historical, Young Adult

Review – ‘The Book Thief’ – Markus Zusak

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Taken from: @inkdropsbooks (Instagram)

Rating: ★★★★★

The Book Thief was one of the most beautifully written stories I have read. Not only was the story moving, but the narrative style felt new and fresh, and the characters real. I began recommending this book to people when I was still only a few chapters in, and I don’t think I will stop recommending it for a while yet.

thebookthief_2The Book Thief takes place in WWII Germany, where a nine-year-old girl called Liesel is sent to live with foster parents, The Hubermanns, in Himmel Street. With her father and brother death, and her mother a communist, it is unlikely that she will ever see her family again. All around her, Nazis have taken grip of the nation and her neighbours, but within her own home things are different. The Hubermanns take in a Jewish fist-fighter who is hiding from the Nazi regime, and try their best to keep him safe. Meanwhile, Liesel and her friend Rudy take to stealing in order to survive life in their poverty-stricken town. Liesel, however, is uninterested in stealing food, and instead turns to books, which she treasures above all else. Although the world around her is war-torn and in crisis, Liesel is content with her family and books, but it shall not be so for long.

The-Book-Thief-coverI loved reading Liesel’s story and about her relationships with the other characters. In particular, I enjoyed reading about her experiences with the different books that she came into contact with, whether legitimately or as a result of her stealing. It definitely makes this book suitable for all you bookworms out there! I also liked the way that Zusak highlights Liesel’s books as an escape for, not only her, but her friends and family as well as she reads her books aloud during the air raids. Also, I loved how the books brought her and Max together in a strong friendship, as they read together and write each other stories or descriptions of their lives and the world. However, although the theme of books and words that runs through The Book Thief was a major, central theme, it did not overshadow the story. I was still eager to find out whether Max would survive the war, whether Rudy would win the race, and whether the mayor’s wife would overcome her depression. In a magical way, Markus Zusak managed to take a little girl’s story and passion for books and use it to weave her story together with various other people in her town.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 14.23.01One of the most fascinating things about this book, which makes it stand out from the crowd, is its narrator. The Book Thief is narrated by Death itself. Although one might assume that death, if personified, would be a greedy, cold person, Zusak in The Book Thief offers a different Death. In this book, Death is a caring, compassionate narrator, who tries to gently offer release to the souls that are dying throughout this war, and who watches over Liesel like a parent over the course of her life. Further, making the narrator Death means that many of the passages in the book about humanity, mortality, and war did not feel out of place as they could easily have coming from a child narrator. It also meant that we could be given little snippets about the fates of the characters that a first-person narration from one of the characters would not have been able to provide, such as where a person’s life took them, or what a person was thinking or saying in their final moments. Above all, I liked Zusak made Death seem like a gentle creature, who does not relish in war but is pained by it. It is a fresh perspective compared to the common view that Death takes who it wants. Death in The Book Thief regrets many of the souls that s/he has to take, and as a narrator highlights many of the most beautiful shows of humanity in the book.

Overall, I think that The Book Thief is a masterpiece of a novel. Although the story is about a little girl, it is enough to make a grown person cry, as I did when I reached the end of the book. It is an emotional rollercoaster, beautifully crafted by Markus Zusak and I advise you to put it at the top of your ‘To-Read’ list if you haven’t read it already.