‘The Book Thief’ Movie: Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson to Star – The Hollywood Reporter

Meep! My favorite book of all time will soon be a movie. Not sure how I feel about that. One of the things that slayed me about The Book Thief was the unique voice and Zusak’s use of Death as the narrator. When I close my eyes, I see every detail of the basement that shelters Max, the Jewish refugee. I see the lemon-haired Rudy begging Leisel. “How ’bout a kiss, Saumensch?” I worry that the film can’t possibly capture the magic of the novel, but that’s almost always the case with book to movie adaptations. The film can still be great in its own right. Right?

There are some hefty names leading the endeavor. Geoffrey Rush. Emily Watson. Downton Abbey director Brian Percival.  Here’s the link with more info. ‘The Book Thief’ Movie: Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson to Star – The Hollywood Reporter.

One thing’s for sure. I’ll be there when it opens, with eleventy boxes of Kleenex.

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Mayday! Novels Needed!

In honor of May Day, let’s pretend we’re having a MAYDAY emergency. Ready?

Oh no! Where did these ginormous waves come from? Our boat is crashing on this deserted island! AAAAH!

*spits out mouthful of saltwater, peeks through seaweed encrusted eyelashes*

Look . . .it’s not a deserted island. It’s a desserted island. As in fancy cupcake trees and butterscotch pudding ponds. And a volcano that spews dark chocolate lava.

The guard genie tells us that upon entering this desserted island, he will conjure up ONE book for each of us. And it must be a novel. Nothing sensible or practical like the Bible or 50 Ways to Survive on Beetle Larvae. Who needs beetle larvae when you have mud pie?

What book will you choose? A beloved favorite? Or a big, honking tome you’ve been hankering to read but haven’t had the time? You may wonder how long we’ll be on this desserted island. It’s impossible to know, so choose wisely.

I’d ask the guard genie for my all-time favorite, THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak. It’s about a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany, whose family hides a Jewish man in their basement. Death serves as its narrator. It’s experimental fiction. It’s risky and innovative and gorgeous. When I need to feel inspired, I read bits and pieces like this:

“Hair the color of lemons,'” Rudy read. His fingers touched the words. “You told him about me?”

At first, Liesel could not talk. Perhaps it was the sudden bumpiness of love she felt for him. Or had she always loved him? It’s likely. Restricted as she was from speaking, she wanted him to kiss her. She wanted him to drag her hand across and pull her over. It didn’t matter where. Her mouth, her neck, her cheek. Her skin was empty for it, waiting.

Years ago, when they’d raced on a muddy field, Rudy was a hastily assembled set of bones, with a jagged, rocky smile. In the trees this afternoon, he was a giver of bread and teddy bears. He was a triple Hitler Youth athletics champion. He was her best friend. And he was a month from his death.

Of course I told him about you,” Liesel said.”

On this May Day, I can think of nothing dreamier than to laze about under the shade of a Snickerdoodle tree, savoring this delicious book again and again.

What book will you bring to our desserted island?

Ode to Mumford and Sons

Recaps of last night’s Grammy Awards are as plentiful as crumbs and dog hair under my couch. Sorry for the disgusting visual. As usual, inspiration for a blog post strikes at the very moment I’ve decided to clean the house. Anyway, this post isn’t a recap of last night’s performances. It’s about Mumford and Sons, the amazing folk-rock band from the UK. I kid you not, I’m still reeling from their performance at last year’s Grammy Awards. In 2011.

But back to 2012. Since Mumford and Sons’ “The Cave” was nominated for best song of the year and best record of the year, we tuned in last night, hoping to see my boys take the stage. But alas, Adele cleaned up. I’m not bitter. She deserves those awards . . . killer voice, dramatic surgery on her vocal cords, but that’s another post.

In between getting some wild children to bed and unpacking from a ski trip, I only caught snippets of the performances. Unfortunately, I missed the Whitney Houston tribute, but what I particularly missed was that feeling of being kicked in the teeth by a knockout performance. Like when Mumford and Sons performed “The Cave” at the 2011 Grammys. If you haven’t seen this clip, be prepared for awesomeness.

As if that performance wasn’t swoon-worthy enough, Mumford and Sons went on to perform with the Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan. For crying in the mashed potatoes. It was almost more than my poor heart could bear.

Mumford & Sons, seen during a liver performanc...

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Lead singer Marcus Mumford isn’t just a purveyor of folk-rock excellence; he has literary leanings, too. In an interview with the London Evening Standard, Mumford said that nearly half of the songs on their Grammy-nominated album “Sigh No More” were inspired by authors. Steinbeck, Shakespeare, and Homer, for starters. Are you feeling twitterpated yet?

But wait. There’s more.

In their early days, Mumford and Sons took part in a campaign to save London’s struggling indie bookstores. AND Marcus Mumford runs a book club on the band’s blog. AND one of his top recommendations is one of my all-time favorite books, The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. Le sigh.

Sadly, I missed their concert in Denver last year. It sold out in the blink of an eye, but I got smart and “liked” them on Facebook, so hopefully that won’t happen again. While Denver isn’t on their docket for the foreseeable future, they are performing at Loch Ness in Scotland in June. What could be better than Marcus Mumford and a chance at spotting Nessie? I’m off to pack my bagpipes.