Sunday, October 21, 2012

Welcome to Markus Zusak Week!

#MZweek

I decided I wanted to be part of the latest blogging trend and have a week! My week of choice?

Markus Zusak Week!

I'm timing this week to coincide with his latest trip to the U.S. Yes, tomorrow he will be appearing in Chicago as part of their One Book One Chicago celebration. I hope you people in that area get to go. Sadness if you miss it. That area of the country is also lucky enough to be able to go to a play adaptation this month of The Book Thief. Melissa from Avid Reader is part of that lucky group and she will be telling us all about it on her blog later this week. I can't wait to hear how it was!

The Story

So once upon a time I heard about this book called The Book Thief. I can't remember where exactly, but I think it was at book club (the other one, not the one I host every month.) And now I can't remember what they said, but I remember thinking... "sounds like a book I'd like." So I got my hands on it (did I buy it? I can't even remember!) and read it back in late 2006 or early 2007. That was before I started book blogging so I have no review to link to then. I remember thinking, wow, that was such a different and powerful book. Wow.. that book was so... amazing! And the more I thought about it the more impressed I was.

That year, I convinced the book club, the one that meets at my house, to read it, which is why I re-read it only one year later. The second go around was even better.

Sometime during that year, I researched and looked up the author to see what else he'd written. I came across this video on Good Morning America's site (done in 2006 I think) and literally melted.



From there, I had to read everything he'd written and learn everything I could about this author. Sadly, at that time there wasn't much out there to learn. He seemed very reclusive and mysterious!

I found myself talking about him at every bookish opportunity I had. Once I started blogging, I finally had an outlet where I could be a little fanatic and not worry about the crazy looks. Mostly.

Several years went by, and meanwhile I read all his books, then read them again. I was so disappointed to realize that his very first book, The Underdog, was no longer in print and completely unavailable  I wondered if I'd ever be able to read it. Happily, last year, it was reprinted along with its two companion books, all about the Wolfe brothers, in a single volume called Underdogs. Sweet. I was so excited!

And then, at the end of 2010, the word started going around that he was coming to this area, that the library would be hosting him the next year. I thought it was a joke at first, and just couldn't believe that this sort of reclusive, probably shy, author all the way from Australia would come to Utah of all places. It really was hard to fathom.

But come he did, and let's just say, he exceeded all expectations.... and expectations where high after all the years of promoting, reading and wondering about him.  And now, more than ever, I love it when I have the chance to talk about him and his books and his writing.

This week, I'll be having several guest posts on my blog written by other Markus Zusak fans... including some reviews of his books, especially the more obscure ones, some thoughts from across the blogosphere about what people are saying about his books, and thoughts from a first time reader.

I hope you'll come have some fun with us!

Giveaways!

To get things started there's a couple of giveaways lasting all week long.

To have a chance to win The Book Thief, head on over to Jessica's, from The Bluestocking Society.

To have a chance to win I Am the Messenger, stay here and comment!

Yes, once again, instead of having you enter Rafflecopter doodads or fill out a form, I'm making you comment. I know, it's a pain (hopefully less of a pain than making you follow me, or tweet, etc. Oops, my giveaway issues are showing!)

 BUT, the whole idea of this week is to get us talking, and so, I have questions to help!

In order to enter the giveaway for I Am the Messenger:

** please answer any of the questions (found below) in comments.
** you will get extra entries for replying to other people's comments... in other words, I will count every comment as another entry (excluding my own comments of course.)
** I will be sending the winner this book direct from Amazon, so you must have an address they will ship to in order to be eligible. Ugh, sorry.
** At the end of this week's celebration, I'll pick a winner using random.org and let you know by email and get your mailing address then.
** Please include your email address in your comment. Thanks!
** And, if you'd like to play along, but already have I Am the Messenger, I'll send you another one of his books instead! :)

Now, the questions:

-- Have you had an experience with a Markus Zusak book? If so, tell us about it.
-- If you've read more than one, which one is your favorite?
-- If you haven't read one yet, why not? What's stopping you?
-- Have you read one of his books and NOT liked it? If this is the case, I'd love to know why.
-- Have you meet Markus Zusak? What was your experience like?
-- What author would you like to meet, but think it will never in a million years happen?

Thanks for playing! I hope you have fun this week celebrating with me!


26 comments:

  1. I love the Book Thief. It is one of the true 'original' experiences I've had with media in my life. I'd read nothing like it before. About the 3rd time I'd read it I was on a bus going home from a race surrounded by strangers.
    As I got to the ending I was so enraptured by the story that I started to weep. And then I realized everyone was looking at me like 'what's going on with her'. Ah, the power of a great book. :)

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    1. The first time I read it, I practically sobbed through the last 200 pages. My husband thought I was seriously perturbed. :)

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    2. You know, I don't remember crying all that much. I bet I would now though.. the whole crying thing has gotten much the older I get!

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  2. Hooray for Markus Zusak week! I'm so excited to see what you have planned.

    I have an answer for about everyone of those questions you posted. I discovered THE BOOK THIEF (and Markus Zusak) on a rainy Saturday afternoon when I was wandering around downtown Salt Lake by myself. I went into Sam Weller's (a local indie bookstore) and was browsing aimlessly in the way I used to do before book blogging. I picked up THE BOOK THIEF, noted the Printz sticker on the front, read the blurb on the back, read the first chapter right there in the store, and bought it and took it home.

    And that was the beginning of a beautiful something. :)

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    1. Jessica: A beautiful story! :)

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    2. You know, I kind of miss the days of just being able to wander aimlessly in the bookstore and pick things up that look interesting without looking for things that I've heard about from blogging.

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  3. I loved The Book Thief, though did not cry like Jessica. I especially liked how he had death tell the story.

    ladybook21 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Elisabeth: It was pretty cool, and he says that was his break through, to figure out having Death as the narrator.

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  4. Yay! Markus Zusak week is here! I'm so excited to see what you have planned. Whatever our story of how we discovered him, we're lucky to have discovered him. Am I right?!

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  5. So excited Suey! What a great idea.

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    1. Holly: I hope it all goes off like I plan.

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  6. I love that video, it's wonderful! My first Zusak was The Book Thief. Someone in my book club recommended it and I found a copy at a library book sale on my 23rd birthday. I read it that week (in 2007) and I was so blown away. I've re-read it since then and went on to read all of his other books (except Getting the Girl, which is next on my list). There's something so powerful about his books and I seriously can't wait for the next one.

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    1. Melissa: I can't wait either. Argh. It's killing me.

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    2. Having started with The Book Thief, I wondered if I had already read the best and that everything else would be something of a let down but it doesn't sound like it.

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    3. Lisa: They are all different, and you can see him improve, but they are no less moving and powerful.

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  7. I read The Book Thief several years ago. I inhaled it, deep into my soul. I felt I knew the characters, that I lived their story. I recommended it to my book club, my church book club, and I was then that I "realized" there was some swearing :-)
    I've read it so many times it's all marked up and very much loved. I'll be forever grateful that you got my book signed when he came to Utah and I was in New York for the first time in my life watching my favorite futbol player ever. That's the unfairness of life: I missed one of my idols to see the other :-)
    I've read all of his books, and with the exception of Carlos Ruiz Zafon, no other writer has influenced me as much as Markus.

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    1. Yamile: Lovely story! And so sad that you had to pick between idols! But it was fun to get him to sign it for you. He's immortalized me forever in your copy! How crazy. I need to read some more Zafon.

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  8. I've loved all of the books I read: The Book Thief, Fighting Reuben Wolfe, I Am the Messenger. He's a brilliant writer.

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    1. LinWash: Have you tried Getting the Girl yet? Add that to the line up!

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  9. The Book Thief is a book I never would have discovered without blogging. Such an original, heartbreaking novel!

    litandlife@gmail.com

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  10. Well, should I even admit that I haven't read any of his books yet? I've certainly seen The Book Thief around, I even saw it at the library and didn't pick it up. I think the size of the book is a little intimidating for me. I just haven't been sure if I would really like it or not. But I've been reading all your posts this week, and you're convincing me that I should at least give one of his books a try! I've been enjoying the reviews of his other books, as I haven't seen any reviews for them until now. :)

    flowersofquiethappiness at gmail dot com

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    1. Kara: I think once you start reading The Book Thief, you'll forget about the size pretty quickly. I'm glad you've enjoyed the week! Here's hoping you pick up that book next time you see it! :)

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