Thursday, November 7, 2013

Markus Zusak Picks Five... Make That Six

The movie, The Book Thief, will be opening in theaters next week. Very excited! As part of that celebration, most beloved author Markus Zusak is doing much publicity and press. Last week he did a live Facebook chat, but of course, I forgot all about it, and completely missed it. But then, Tuesday he did a live video Q and A on Goodreads. And yay! I remembered!

It was fabulous. He answered all the normal questions he always gets asked.... did Max and Liesel get married (he'll leave that up to the reader, but not in his mind) and where did he get the idea for the book (stories his parents told about WWII) and how did Death become the narrator (he wasn't at first, but the book wasn't working and suddenly he thought what if Death narrated and then the whole book fell into place) and etc.

But there were loads of other questions I found really fun too. For instance, he mentioned a piece of music that always makes him think of The Book Thief, it's sort of the theme of the book, in his head anyway. It's from the soundtrack for Amelie, a movie I'm not at all familiar with, but here's the song, and it's very lovely:

And he was asked what his writing routine is like and he said, wherever, whenever. But he doesn't like to write outside, he's bothered by the glare and the wind. He especially likes to write in the kitchen and he doesn't mind a bit of kid chaos.

He also showed us his writing notebook, like a real live paper journal, where he writes dozens and dozens of chapter headings, which then becomes a sort of outline for the book. Currently he's working (still!) on Bridge of Clay, which he hopes it will be out some year. Sigh.

Someone asked what his favorite words are. Two of them I remember.... abominable and shenanigans. Ha!

And then, he was asked what five books he would want with him on the proverbial deserted island. I was listening at work and was called away RIGHT THEN! So I missed this bit! But I scrolled back and determined that this is what he listed as his five... and he added a sixth... favorite books, right at this very moment.

Hopefully I got those right! I'm so bummed that I missed what he actually said about them all!

Anyway, it was yet another awesome MZ moment and I loved hearing what he had to say. Did any of you catch the interview? I've tried to find it archived somewhere, but no luck yet.


  1. Oh, I missed this!! If you find it archived, please update! I've used The Book Thief for several semesters in a row in one of my classes. This semester is the last semester because of the movie release. This specific assignment is text based only, so I have to choose something that there is no visual for.

  2. I really wanted to participate, but I was at work. I'm so glad you posted about it! I Capture the Castle and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly are two of my favorite books! I also listen to the Amelie soundtrack all the time. It's one of my favorites to work too.
    p.s. I posted on seeing the movie today!

  3. I've always wanted to read What's Eating Gilbert Grape?.

  4. That is a nice song. I love that he picked a Dr. Suess book to take with him.

  5. Love that Dr. Seuss is in his list of books! Interesting to ask about music. I'll bet there are a lot of authors that do the same thing.



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