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Posts Tagged ‘words’

Definitions for abrazo – noun [ah-brah-thaw/saw]

  1. Spanish. An embrace – used in greeting someone.

He had watched them embrace many times before—warm, friendly, safe—but now he noticed the abrazo lingered, first arms and then eyes and he suddenly knew she was gone.

 

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Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.

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The darkness before dawn. The mumbling of prayers. Feeling alone when thousands are by your side. Last thoughts of family and friends. They sit in silence, waiting. Now the moment is upon them. Even the wind stops so there could be no mistaking the instruction that was about to be given.

Then the ramps lowered and they charged forwards, pushing aside anxiety and fear, letting courage and pride lead them by their hands and their hearts. Immediate flashes from an invisible enemy and the thunderous rattling, cracking sounds of gunfire rained down. Agonising screams of despair cut through the now howling wind. The sun, finally peeking its head, brought light to those fallen, their tumbling bodies caressed to shore by the gentle hands of waves. The smell of gunpowder did little to mask the stench of death and the cold. The metallic hope of weapons, clutched with white-knuckled hands, offered no defence to an advantaged enemy. The red spray of saltwater touched lips and faces, mixing with tears, before rolling down the faces of a young nation. But it was their will to keep moving forward, their courage and determination to fight for what they loved and believed in … that true ANZAC spirit that never gives up and defines who we are, and that makes us proud to be Australian.

Today on ANZAC Day we will stand and we will be proud. They will always be our heroes and we will forever be grateful for their sacrifice. We will acknowledge the past and we will celebrate the future. We will give thanks for our privileges and who we are as a nation. And we will remember and salute them … lest we forget!

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Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as a writer.

 

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Definitions for stultify – verb [stuhl-tuh-fahy]

  1. to make, or cause to appear, foolish or ridiculous.
  2. to render absurdly or wholly futile or ineffectual, especially by degrading or frustrating means: Menial work can stultify the mind.
  3. Law. to allege or prove (oneself or another) to be of unsound mind.

He seeked her mercy. He was late, so, so late. And he was drunk, so, so drunk. He managed flowers and chocolates, but no matter how straight he stood or how sober he tried to look, the vomit stains down his top would stultify him. He opened the door and wondered if he would see another anniversary.

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It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.

So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

 

The Book Thief is by far the best book I have ever read.

Yes, bold statement, but true. And yes, in the grand scheme of it all, I am only a small reader in a worldwide pool of voracious readers, and have yet to even scratch the surface of the number of great books out there in Literature Land. But to date, it is ranked as my number one by a very long way.

It was the writing that captured my attention … When she looked up, the sky was crouching; … the words fell like injuries from his mouth; Her feet scolded the floor; Air breathed up her pyjama sleeves. They would each greet me like their last true friend, with bones like smoke, and their souls trailing behind.

Marcus Zusak, an Australian writer, gives a master class on how to write prose that is poetic, a narrative that is insightful, and he weaves a storyline that is every bit heart-wrenching from what we’d expect from a book based around Nazi Germany war times. However, hemmed beautifully amongst the dark veil that shrouds the story, Zusak brings light, and it shines wonderfully to lift our spirits, to guide us steadily, and to help us to the end of a truly captivating story.

Of course, there are interesting characters that you learn to love and some that you learn to hate, and a narrator, without giving it away, is simply to die for. These characters create a platform that teaches us the many layers and the varying colours of the human soul.

Liesel Meminger, the book thief, is the main character. Her brother dies on their journey to live with foster parents in a small country town in Germany, and she is alone to start a new life with nothing more than a book she stole at his burial. Through her life with her new family and friends, Rudi Steiner and a Jewish stowaway named Max Vandenburg, we learn about friendships and hardships, love and death, and about courage and hope in the midst of cruelty and adversity.

The Book Thief is masterful and eloquent. It is crafted with intelligence and saturated with creative genius. The story has power and the words are like dancing musical notes, blending wonderfully to create art that easily moves you. I was captured, touched, and provoked to feel—driven to tears and laughter within a single sentence.

If you’re a reader, then I urge you to absorb yourself in the narrative. If you’re a writer, then I beg you to take note of the style and technique and applaud the effort it has taken to create such a masterpiece. I highly recommend reading this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5

 

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It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.

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