Mark Reads ‘The Book Thief’: Chapter 35

In the thirty-fifth chapter of The Book Thief, the household at 33 Himmel Street adapts to having Max Vandenburg, the struggling Jew, living in their basement. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Book Thief.


Holy long chapter, I actually thought I’d missed the end of chapter thirty-five because this is so much longer than what I expected. But it’s necessary for Zusak to give this space and to start to pass the time a little as well. We still need to get to 1943, where we know Hans will miss death a second time, and we’re still in 1940.

What chapter thirty-five helps to do is create a much more manageable pattern for the Hubermann household, and I also think for us, too. This is one of those segments that certainly feels like the calm before the storm, and I’m getting jitters at the very idea of all of this falling apart. I mean…that’s going to happen, right? UGH TOO MUCH DREAD FOR ONE STOMACH.

Max doesn’t immediately feel safe or fully protected in the Hubermann house and I’m glad this wasn’t a magical process for him, either. I wouldn’t have believed it. Out of everything he feels, Max is most certainly consumed by guilt and shame for his predicament. He initially feels guilt at sleeping in the same room as Liesel for the first three days of his stay:

“I’m sorry,” he confessed to Hans and Rosa on the basement steps. “From now on I will stay down here. You will not hear from me. I will not make a sound.”

Hans and Rosa, both steeped in the despair of the predicament, made no argument, not even in regard to the cold. They heaved blankets down and topped up the kerosene lamp. Rosa admitted that there could not be much food, to which Max fervently asked her to bring only scraps, and only when they were not wanted by anyone else.

Max’s lack of self worth is what depresses me the most. I mean, the whole situation is awful, but Max has been beat down for so long that he literally doesn’t even believe he’s worthy of scraps. FUCK.

And that’s one of a few patterns that are established here. Max constantly thanks the family for everything, and then apologizes for himself. The guilt is all he seems to know at this point in life, and it’s hard for him to ignore the parallel to that day two years before when he escaped certain death and left his family behind:

He wanted to walk out—Lord, how he wanted to (or at least he wanted to want to)—but he knew he wouldn’t. It was much the same as the way he left his family in Stuttgart, under a veil of fabricated loyalty.

To live.

Living was living.

The price was guilt and shame.

But even though that road is difficult, we also start seeing that both Liesel and Max, those outcasts who arrived in states of trauma at the Hubermann household, are ready to interact with each other, that they share more in common than the other even realizes. Their first moment together since Max moved to the basement is dripping with awkwardness, but something about Max drives Liesel to feel shy around him. She delivers him his bowl of soup and he’s holding Mein Kampf, the book that saved his life, and she tries to ask Max about it.

“Is?” she whispered.

There was a queer strand in her voice, planed off and curly in her mouth.

The Jew moved only  his head a little closer. “Bitte? Excuse me?” She handed him the pea soup and returned upstairs, red, rushed, and foolish.

Well, it’s a start. They’ve both traded a single word now!

But such is their relationship at first. Max’s presence injects an odd vibe throughout the house. Liesel listens in on her parents discussing Max at night, when he’s asleep in the cold, dank basement. It’s never an argument, really, but one night Hans makes a point to state that they all absolutely have to act as if Max isn’t living with them. They cannot raise suspicion that anything has changed at the house.

Life had altered in the wildest possible way, but it was imperative that they act as if nothing at all had happened.

Imagine smiling after a slap in the face. Then think of doing it twenty-four hours a day.

That was the business of hiding a Jew.

Surprisingly, though, it doesn’t seem that difficult to pull off as the days go by. It especially helps that out of everyone in the Himmel Street household, Rosa seems to have taken the change to heart the most.

What shocked Liesel most was the change in her mama. Whether it was the calculated way in which she divided the food, or the considerable muzzling of her notorious mouth, or even the gentler expression on her cardboard face, one thing was becoming clear.

She was a good woman for a crisis.

ROSA HUBERMANN BACKSTORY. NOW. I fear we may never get it at this point, but let’s talk about this. This transformation does make sense, given the context, but given how Rosa treated everyone for the first 150 pages of this novel, I’m still a bit flabbergasted at it all. What is making her put aside her general view on life and her family to act the way she does? I mean…I guess I don’t really need to learn what it is that is motivating this change, as it’s a welcome growth on the part of her character. Hell, maybe it exists solely as a technique for Zusak to show us just how severe Max’s presence is in that house. And I think, ultimately, I’d be ok with that.

I’m just selfish. MOAR MOAR MOAR.

Liesel’s life continues as usual to the people in Molching. Rudy makes it incredibly easy for her to block out the events at home because he is so committed to talking about himself. In that sense, Rudy’s humor is a great way for Liesel to hide her own life, which is generally not how these things work. Rudy’s life, to so Liesel, is so much easier to be humorous about. What’s she got to laugh about?

She also continues to visit the mayor’s life to continue her reading. Personally, that would be a welcome distraction for me. She picks up on a book called The Whistler (which I don’t believe is real, unless I just couldn’t find it), which opens with a murder, and it seems she only reads three pages at a time. (Much slower pace than myself, and I read books at a turtle’s pace these days.) Parallel to this, Max is also discovering a book, The Shoulder Shrug. Did Liesel finish this yet? Zusak hasn’t said, has he? Either way, the two people who came to the Hubermann household and are both drawn to books will soon come together in a much closer way.

The parallel is pretty obvious, but I guess I don’t care. Rosa is close with her father, but she doesn’t have anyone in her life who can understand the tragedy she’s lived with, and Max seems like the first person to be able to fully empathize with her. Maybe that’s why she’s so terrified by Max; maybe there’s a subconscious fear that she’ll have to relive her life and face her past. But…nah. She’s just a kid and Max is this silent, shameful figure in her house.

This is also when Hans realizes just how much Max is almost punishing himself. After trying to get Liesel to read in the basement with Max, he discovers how freezing it is down there. After a quick and reasonable discussion with Rosa, the two of them agree that the best thing to do is allow Max to sleep upstairs, near the fire, at night, only going to hide downstairs during the day.

“If we gamble on a Jew,” said Papa soon after, “I would prefer to gamble on a live one,” and from that moment, a new routine was born.

That new routine does do something beautiful: It brings this makeshift family together. But that comes a bit later, after days of the routine pass, after Trudy comes to visit her mother and father, unsuspecting of the man in the basement, and after everyone becomes comfortable with this arrangement.

There’s a moment that I think marks the change in the relationship between Liesel and Max, and also signifies another important moment in Liesel’s life:

For the first few weeks in front of the fire, max remained wordless. Now that he was having a proper bath once a week, Liesel noticed that his hair was no longer a nest of twigs, but rather a collection of feathers, flopping about on his head. Still shy of the stranger, she whispered it to her papa.

“His hair is like feathers.”

“What?” The fire had distorted the words.

“I said,” she whispered again, leaning closer, “his hair is like feathers…”

Hans Hubermann looked across and nodded his agreement. I’m sure he was wishing to have eyes like the girl. They didn’t realize that Max had heard everything.

I think Liesel just got the spark to start writing. She didn’t realize it at the time. Hans picked up on the observation, which is strangely poetic, and I think he gets the sense that Liesel has something inside her that she doesn’t. And I think we’ll see more moments like this in the future.

There’s nothing else like that in this chapter, but Max and Liesel finally begin to bond when Liesel gets the courage to ask Max if Mein Kampf is at all good, and he replies:

“It’s the best book ever.” Looking at Papa, then back at the girl. “It saved my life.”

The girl moved a little and crossed her legs. Quietly, she asked it.


And thus begins a new bout of storytelling. It’s really neat how much this is a thing in the Hubermann household, between the books Liesel stole or was given, between the stories that Hans has told his foster daughter, and now with Max spending the time to tell his story to Liesel. They share stories with each other. They teach each other the value of experience. They agree that a story is meant to be told. A book is meant to be read. And goddamn it, I love it.

It’s also the beginning of the chance for these two people to satisfy the title of this chapter. I think that Max’s storytelling helps Liesel to truly understand why he’s in their house, and also eliminates a lot of the irrational fear she has towards him.

During the nights, both Liesel Meminger and Max Vandenburg would go about their other similarity. In their separate rooms, they would dream their nightmares and wake up, one with a scream in drowning sheets, the other with a gasp for air next to a smoking fire.

Their similarity and their shared pain is what inspires Liesel to finally go talk to Max about his dreams. She understands how a singular moment in one’s past can continually visit them in a dream. And she understands why he sleeps the way he does. So she decides to talk to him, ask him what he sees, while he asks her what she sees, and they share a moment of understanding.

It would be nice to say that after this small breakthrough, neither Liesel nor Max dreamed their bad visions again. It would be nice but untrue. The nightmares arrived like they always did, much like the best player in the opposition when you’ve heard rumors that he might be injured or sick—but there he is, warming up with the rest of them, ready to take the field. Or like a timetabled train, arriving at a nightly platform, pulling the memories behind it on a rope. A lot of dragging. A lot of awkward bounces.

Zusak, how do you slay me with these passages. Seriously, this man has TALENT and I love that I can still be knocked on my ass by a single sentence or metaphor.

The only thing that changed was that Liesel told her Papa that she should be old enough now to cope on her own with the dreams. For a moment, he looked a little hurt, but as always with Papa, he gave the right thing to say his best shot.

“Well, thank God.” He halfway grinned. “At least now I can get some proper sleep. That chair was killing me.” He put his arm around the girl and they walked to the kitchen.

OH GOD, CHARACTER GROWTH be still my heart. I can only hope that Liesel and Max begin to spend more time together as well, since Liesel seems to have found a new way to cope with her dreams. She begins to do sweet things for him, such as bring him a newspaper so he can do the crossword puzzle. Are they going to share a love for words as well? When Liesel’s twelfth birthday rolls around, Hans gives her yet another book—The Mud Men—and Max feels compelled to give something to Liesel. After hugging Rosa and Hans for her gift, she finds that Max is alone. And that’s meant in both a literal and metaphorical sense from what we see here. And it’s also why Liesel is one amazing human being:

And she walked over and hugged him for the first time. “Thanks, Max.”

At first, he merely stood there, but as she held on to him, gradually his hands rose up and gently pressed into her shoulder blades.

Only later would she find out about the hopeless expression on Max Vandenburg’s face. She would also discover that he resolved at that moment to give her something back. I often imagine him lying awake all that night, pondering what he could possibly offer.

It’s a moment of calm and a moment of acceptance and of love. Max is starting to become a part of this family, in his own way, and I feel that Liesel is at the head of this. And that is a spectacular thing.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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47 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Book Thief’: Chapter 35

  1. QuoteMyFoot says:

    I have to admit, Mark, that the one thing in these reviews that does not fill me with ~extreme joy~ is your comments about Rosa. I don't HATE them, obviously, they just confuse me. I don't know why, but Rosa seems like a pretty simple character to me – she can be summed up as "Jerk With a Heart of Gold".

    My stepdad and I basically just insult each other 80% of the time, but I still love him. And my group of friends insult each other all of the time too, but that doesn't mean we don't care about each other (if anyone else insults one of us…). I guess it's just odd to me that you see this as a sudden change in Rosa, where to me it seems like it's just her true colours. Does that make sense? I feel like I'm alone in this for some reason. :S

    • Avit says:

      No, you're not alone!

    • monkeybutter says:

      No, you're not. I like that Rosa is loudmouthed and crass, but she still has a heart about the things that really matter.

    • Ellalalala says:


      Rosa Hubermann: provider of atrocious pea soup to the waifs and strays of the Nazi regime. Hats off to you, lady.

      • ldwy says:

        Hahahaha, best sum-up of Rosa ever 🙂

        Rosa Hubermann: provider of atrocious pea soup to the waifs and strays of the Nazi regime

        • Ellalalala says:

          Why thank you! Hans feeds their souls; Rosa "feeds" their bellies.
          (I actually love pea soup…)

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      See my above reply to mugglemomof2. It explains why this is such a foreign concept to me.

      • QuoteMyFoot says:

        I was trying to get across that the opposite is true for me (because I've been lucky in life, I automatically go for the positive interpretation), but it got lost in my words somewhere. Thanks for responding!

    • Yeah, I wouldn't even say that there's any change in Rosa in these chapters. It's just a new side of her that hadn't yet been fully revealed. Human behavior is context-dependent. Yes, our underlying personalities influence how we act in general, but exactly how we behave will vary depending on what's going on. Until now, we've seen Rosa in the day-to-day family setting. Now we're seeing her in a far more serious setting.

  2. @Zippy8604 says:

    I loved this chapter and how caring, despite being scared, this little family is.

    Also Liesel's hug is proof of just how powerful something so small that most people take it for granted can be, and I think she knows that just as much as Max does.

  3. HieronymusGrbrd says:

    Death told us that Liesel owned 14 books, but her story was predominantly made up of ten of them: some were stolen, one showed up at the kitchen table …

    I fear for Max now. At some time Liesel will own Mein Kampf, although he doesn’t want to give it to her. Will she ever read it or did this book dominate her life only in other ways? Mein Kampf seems to be one of those books everybody owned and talked about, but nobody (except Max) actually read. At least this is what was told in the denazification process after the war.

    Is there a pattern in the titles of the book’s parts? “Faust the Dog” and “The Lighthouse”, although read often, were irrelevant children books? “The Standalone Man” will be book number four, coming from the basement (I couldn’t avoid to see the next chapters title), made by a hidden Jew? But how can Max make a book in this basement? It seems to be impossible.

    Max looked so alone. Liesel hugged him. I love this girl.

  4. potlid007 says:

    ugh. the max/liesel relationship. greatest thing everrrrrrrrrr. Its fucking adorable.

    • ThreeBooks says:

      Okay, what has the internet done to me. The first thing I did when I saw this was to google Max/Liesel Rule 34.

      …at least I didn't find anything, right?

  5. canyonoflight says:

    I love this chapter so much.

    Rosa reminds me a lot of my best friend's mom who is an ex-Marine. She can be a bit intimidating, but when she loves someone, she can be the sweetest person in the world. It's just her nature and I think it's the same with Rosa. She drives a hard line when it comes to discipline, but when it counts she comes through in surprising ways.

    The book has been great up until now, but it gets so much better. I can't wait!

  6. ferriswheeljunky says:

    I definitely agree – I wasn't really that surprised by the changes in Rosa's behaviour, because I always thought that, underneath, she really loved her family, and the shouting and ranting was just her way of enjoying herself. But now that she can't shout and rant about Max, she absolutely knows when to keep a lid on it – she knows it's much more important than getting one up on her husband.

    A similar thing happened with a friend of mine. He was always incredibly, obnoxiously rude to everyone, including me. I spent months being constantly offended by him. But when I suddenly ran into trouble and really needed help, he was always there for me, and he never made jokes about it or used it against me. I think the rudeness was part of his weird way of showing affection, and it never really occurred to him that it could actually be hurtful. I think Rosa's aggressiveness comes from the same place.

    • Ellalalala says:

      I completely agree with both of you! I'm almost surprised by Mark's surprise about Rosa, if that makes sense – just because she seems so real to me. I know plenty of caustic people with terrible tempers, but whose persona of aggression is, like you say, slightly enjoyable to them, and who have hearts of gold and are there when the chips are down. <3s for Rosa!

      • mugglemomof2 says:

        You know- come to think of it- my mom is sort of like this. She yells constantly, is never quick to praise- but dang if she doesn't love me with all she's got! I just don't think she would know how to communicate if she wasn't yelling or complaining.
        But if something is going on and you need her- she is the quiet rock behind you offering every ounce of support she can gather.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          I think that I see my mom in Rosa and when awful things happened to me, she DIDN'T change like Rosa does here. Ok…well, THAT IS NOT TO SUGGEST THAT I SUDDENLY LAPSED INTO BEING IN THE HOLOCAUST. I mean that….hmmm. My mom growing up was very much like Rosa: insulting, mean, rude, and incredibly brutal. But I rarely, if ever, got to see any other side until I was much, much older. So I suppose my brain instantly went to that place where I forget that THIS IS NOT HOW MOST PEOPLE ACT.

          Does that make sense?

          • mugglemomof2 says:

            Of course that makes sense. You are always going to relate anything back to your own experiences. It woudl have been nice had you had an overly "agressive" mother who would still jump in and protect you when needed- but sadly it doesn't seem that way.

            Rosa is just one of those hard edged women who try to hide their warm and fuzzies inside 😉 Heaven forbid the family knows she has a heart!

          • Erana says:

            I understand what you're saying, but to be honest I really don't see the Rosa you see in the previous chapters. Considering the time frame that this novel is set in her abuse of Liesel is actually very mild. Not that it's right, of course, but my point is back in that time frame getting whipped with a belt was to be expected as part of growing up. When Liesel had her breakdown and realized she'd most likely never see her mother again, Rosa was crying along with her. Granted Rosa does let off a steady stream of obscenities almost constantly, but I think it was pretty clear from the start that she loves Liesel and has more depth then what one might presume at first.

          • Ellalalala says:

            It does make sense, and I send you all the hugs. In retrospect, writing I'm almost surprised by Mark's surprise about Rosa was probably a tad insensitive given your experiences growing up. Sorry. :S

        • t09yavorski says:

          I am not a yeller or "aggressive" personality (unless you hurt my friends, then I get angry) but I do enjoy complaining. It is the easiest way to make conversation and jokes but at the same time I don't mean anything malicious by it and I try to tell my friend so. But I am really relating to these descriptions of Rosa.

  7. lilygirl says:

    I love Rosa. Where Hans about "Fair" Rosa is about "Practical", what needs to be done and how to do it. She imposes order, motovates with insults and her wooden spoon. No "Lets talk about our feelings" but, "do it and do it now". She is perfect for a crisis; she will do what has to be done, she will set the rules and parameters that must be in place to make things work. The military reference above is perfect. She is all about protecting her family, no matter what, you saukerl!

  8. mugglemomof2 says:

    I posted this above but apparently it got cut-off or something. I found this book so moving because of how the author brought you to into how people felt during this time.

    I did have a book rec for everyone here. I just finished The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. It is a story of a Hungarian Jewish family and how WWII affected them. WOW! I loved the whole back story (the family story) but the description of the horrors that were happening at that time …..well there aren't words. I am not a historical fiction fan- especially not for history that is just so awful to read about (I will admit I only picked this up for my IRL book club). But that is a testament to the mark the book left on me that I had to recommend it should you be interested in reading more about this subject.

  9. momster says:

    I agree. Hugely disagreeable people, even if supremely bitter and discontent, don't often have an interesting back story. They just are.

  10. Pixie says:

    This is such an “Aww” moment in a story where they’re so rare.
    I remember being too poor to buy presents for my friends at Christmastime as a child, so I related really closely to Max here (though obviously not on quite the same scale, and I wouldn’t want to trivialize that situation by saying mine was *~*identical*~*). This year, I was able to buy my best friend an e-reader as a way to “make up” for decades of not being able to get him anything – I hope Max is able to get that same relief I did.

  11. ohheyitsalliek says:

    Man. This book is so beautiful and it's so evident in chapters like this. ILU Mark Zusak.

  12. zulaihaha says:

    I want a Liesel hug, please. Kthnxbye.

  13. cait0716 says:

    I have very little to add except all the tears for Max. It's heartbreaking how much he's internalized the idea that he's not worthy, not important, not human. I wonder how much of that is his own guilt and shame and how much is the Nazi propaganda and the whole attitude of the country. I'm glad he and Liesel have found each other and I'm intrigued to see their relationship grow.

    • flootzavut says:

      The propaganda is like institutionalised abuse really. And victims of abuse frequently have low or non existent self esteem. Also victims of abuse are likely to have inappropriate guilt or shame. So I think it's all quite linked. And in general if you have self esteem that is that low, you don't even know you have it.

      I have recently (less than 12 months) started finally seeking help for damage from abuse that's like 25 years old, and I always thought I had low-ish self esteem but eventually realised that it wasn't so much low as in tiny pieces on the floor. Weirdly, now that I am starting to have a little self esteem, I can identify with Max MORE, because I see how the way he has been treated has made him feel so worthless.

      My history is not great but from the tone of the passages in the book about Max growing up and my memory of how the persecution of Jews happened, anti-semitism wasn't a new thing in Germany, yes/no? And there is the (in)famous Jewish self deprecating humour. So I guess even before Nazism took hold, Max probably already grew up in an atmosphere which told him that there was a problem with being Jewish?? I'm half guessing and half waffling here, admittedly.

      And losing his dad at such an early age, and then being the only one from his family the escape… I have to remind myself that Max is fictional because he just breaks my heart…

      • ldwy says:

        This is a really interesting way of thinking about it and really wonderfully written. I totally agree that propaganda is like institutionalized abuse, but I don't know if I'd ever have thought about it in this way. Thanks for a great post.

      • Tabatha says:

        Max is fictional, but there were thousands+ in his situation. Although it breaks your heart along with mine to think about it, It does wonders to remember REAL people went through this so that something like this never happens again under our watch :/

        If only everyone in the world felt our heartache, the world would be at peace

      • cait0716 says:

        This is a great post. Thanks so much for going so in depth with this

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        Great post.

        I was a history major who focused on the Holocaust and even wrote my senior thesis on the effects of anti-Semitic propaganda (but in France, not Germany) and I studied some of the history of anti-Semitism. Obviously there's a lot of history out there, but I can definitely say anti-Semitism wasn't a new thing. The Jews were enslaved by the pharaohs of Egypt; they were expelled from their lands; they were accused of blood libel (including in areas that at some point in history were under German control); they were forced into ghettos (the first one was in Venice, I don't remember when, but the idea spread and there were definitely ghettos in Rome by 1555); they had to wear distinctive clothing; and they couldn't intermarry, in addition to many other laws. During the Enlightenment, Jews were given citizenship and many of the restrictions on them were repealed, but even then, distinctions were still made. Obviously, with Nazism in place, being Jewish became a lot more risky, but they have often been scapegoats (Black Plague, blood libel accusations resulted in Jews being burned at the stake).

  14. anninyn says:

    Oh, how this book breaks my heart. Oh Max. You're worth much more than scraps. And Liesel, you are the best little girl in the world. And Rosa, if you could be like this all the time that'd be great. And Hans. Wonderful Hans. You are amazing, Hans.

  15. ldwy says:

    Yes, that's essentially how I saw it. Basically, when things get serious, Rosa stops being snarky. We saw this before when she refrained from teasing and ribbing Hans after his son dismissed and insulted him.

  16. SecretGirl127 says:

    She was a good woman for a crisis. "

    I've already upvoted everyone else's positive comments about Rosa, but I still wanted to put in my two cents…I always saw her as a caring person, but with that product of her times/stoic/Germanic stereotype exterior. After all, a person who takes in foster kids and treats them like family is not just about the money, she cares. I understand Mark's explanation, but I'm such a "glass is half full" person that I just always assumed she was a good person and I'm happy to see some of that coming through given the circumstances they are in.

    Also, there were many, many good people in Nazi Germany that were just about self preservation. I completely understand and sadly have to admit I would probably be the same way. They didn't put themselves in harms way like these people did, so I think that earns them some extra points.

  17. ldwy says:

    Oh Max. He is such a sad person, and in that, such an amazing character. His guilt and lack of self-worth are so horrifying and saddening. I'm interpreting it a little differently, though.

    I do think the lack of self-worth is definitely there and definitely reinforced by the propaganda and attitudes surrounding him.
    But even more I interepreted these types of actions (like asking for only ever scraps of food) as his guilt. His guilt over needing to be a fugitive in hiding. He is fully aware of the fact that by trying to stay alive, he is putting this family at risk. If they're found out it's over. But in smaller ways, to keep him alive, they have to share the limited livelihood, especially food, they have. Not that they're unwilling. Quite the contrary, Rosa ignores him and steadfastly doles out fair portions for four. But knowing he literally cannot do anything to help them, and they're doing so much to help him, I think, makes him feel that it's not a fair trade. And that somehow they shouldn't be doing this and it'd be better for them if they weren't.

    And in some ways he's probably right. They'd be less at risk if they didn't hide a Jew in the basement. They'd be less at risk if they just went along with the Nazi party and kept their heads down. But they're not and it's amazingly courageous, and I love Hans, Rosa, and Liesel all the more for it. And I love Max and hope that as they welcome him in as someone resembling less and less a fugitive in the basement and more and more a friend or part of the family, that he feels more as if it's okay for him to be there.

  18. Gabbie says:

    Rosa's your Haymitch, huh, Mark? LOL There's always that one character whose backstory we long for but the author KEEPS FREAKING PUTTING IT OFF.

  19. ldwy says:

    You guysssss…
    My library copy of this book is overdue! Oh no! It was due several days ago but I forgot and I forgot to renew it! I'll have to go in tomorrow. I think I've wracked up close to a buck in fines. 🙁

    I'm a little weird about returning things promptly when they're borrowed, be it from a person or library. I feel really bad.

    Figured I'd ramble-share here since The Book Thief has given us the opportunity to talk about our love of books so much, which goes hand-in-hand with my love of libraries!

  20. Tabatha says:

    I feel like Zusak came into my life and stole my grandma. lolz jk but really.

    My grandma's name is Rosalba and she is blunt, crabby, often rude, but when given the right circumstances, caring. My grandma wore the pants in the house, much like Rosa does here, and my grandfather is loving, calm and quiet much like Hans and let's himself be run by her because, well, what choice does he have? Plus, the dynamic works well for our family. I definitely see why you would want Rosa Backstory, but I think the story just works well that way. People adapt under pressure, or simply just mold to the situation. Rosa is cranky and hard to be in control of the family, but at this point in their lives, there is something bigger at hand and she realizes that may not be the right approach anymore

  21. stellaaaaakris says:

    My personal head canon: Rosa is a version of Mrs. Weasley if she had lived in Nazi Germany. She may not be as cuddly as Molly but there are too many other similarities for me to ignore. Both yellers, both good women to have on your side when you're in trouble. Molly's a better cook though, but she probably did have more to work with.

    Maybe Rosa is related to that Muggle accountant on Molly's side of the family.

  22. @jules1278 says:

    This reminded me of you, a "reading: this shit is crazy" tee shirt;…


  23. Inessa says:

    I think Liesel reads the Whistler only 3 pages at a time because it’s icy cold in the library with the windows open.

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