Oh my! What a wonderful book! While not a fast read, it was a compelling read and I loved every single word, becoming embroiled in the lives of the doomed souls of Himmel Street in a small town outside Munich in Nazi Germany.
As a writer, books like THE BOOK THIEF humble me and bring me to my knees in a puddle of inadequacy and wonder and awe. They leave me prostrate with reverence.
Now, loyal and devoted readers, before you get your undies in a bunch and jump to my defense, let me say this: I know I am a good writer and a competent fiction author. This I know with confidence and conviction. I also know that many of you love my work and embrace it with open arms, book after book. And I don't for a second discount or take that for granted. But I am not a great writer and probably will never stand shoulder to shoulder with literary giants. That is reality.
My writing, like a growing child, is something that is constantly moving and changing and which, like a child, requires sustenance and nurturing. It's a living, breathing thing, evolving with every word I pen. And with each book I write and with each book I read, I learn more about my craft and hunger to expand it even more.
To paraphrase Jack Nicholson's famous line to Helen Hunt in the movie As Good As It Gets: "You make me want to be a better man." I say to books like THE BOOK THIEF:
You make me want to be a better writer.
And so do you my faithful readers. You deserve the best I can give of my humble talent.