The Storyteller

All posts tagged The Storyteller

WWW Wednesday #32

Published February 26, 2014 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, and thanks as ever to MizB for hosting.

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?:


I’m ploughing through this beast of a book this week. I’m really enjoying it, but for some reason it’s taking me ages to read!

What did you recently finish reading?:


I really loved this book which I did as an interview type review with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads. Check out what we both thought on either of our blogs!

What do you think you’ll read next?:



Next up, I’m reading Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll for the February Kid-Lit read which is a feature where I link up with Chrissi Reads. I’m also looking forward to reading this Icelandic murder mystery. It’s going to be part of a new feature which I’m doing on my blog and quite excited about.

What are you reading this Wednesday? Please leave your link and I’ll come pay you a visit! Happy Reading Everyone!

Talking about The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult with Chrissi

Published February 23, 2014 by bibliobeth


What’s it all about?:

Sage Singer befriends an old man who’s particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone’s favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses…and then he confesses his darkest secret – he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who’s committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren’t the party who was wronged? And most of all – if Sage even considers his request – is it murder, or justice?

What did WE think?:

Chrissi: The Storyteller is emotional from the get go. Did it affect your reading experience?
Beth: I have to say it definitely did. A word that would describe it perfectly is “intense.” I haven’t read much about the Holocaust yet, as just the mere thought of it disgusts me but I was interested to read this book by Jodi Picoult as I haven’t enjoyed her latest books as much as I thought I would. (My Sisters Keeper remains one of my all time favourite books). What I wasn’t expected is the emotional roller-coaster ride of emotions that this novel took me on. At times I had to put the book down and remind myself to breathe because I was so enraptured and emotionally drained by the story.
Beth: How did you feel about the characters in this story? Any favourites?
Chrissi:  I thought the characters were really strong in this book.  They were really well developed and carefully considered.  I particularly liked Sage. I thought she was a strong character.  I actually preferred reading from her point of view. I really felt for her. I did think that we could’ve heard more from Minka and Josef’s point of view.  But, because I really liked Sage, it didn’t matter to much to me.
Chrissi: The Storyteller uses multiple points of view. Do you think this worked?
Beth: To be perfectly honest, I think this book would have worked without the multiple points of view. The story is strong enough and written in such a way that we didn’t need multiple narrators. Not that this is a bad thing, and it didn’t take anything away from the story, but I didn’t get any more out of it because it used different points of view. Does that make any sense?!
Beth: How did the author explore sibling relationships in this story? i.e. Sage and her sisters, Minka and her sister Basia, Franz and his brother Reiner.
Chrissi:  I think it was interesting to see so many sibling relationships within the story. I got the impression that Jodi really wanted to explore the complexities of sibling relationships. There can often be much resentment and jealousy, especially when parents seem to favour one over the other (Franz and Reiner).
Chrissi: “Truth is so much harder than fiction.” Do you agree with this statement in relation to reading a book about such a contentious issue? Is reading about something that actually happened in history a lot harder than reading about something that’s made up?
Beth: That’s a tricky one. I think it probably depends on the author and how well they write. Saying that though, I think one of the reasons I was so emotionally affected by this book is because it actually happened. And that there are still people out there denying it. It’s crazy. Its obvious by the amount of detail in the book though that the author has done her research meticulously, and it was probably harder to write than it was to read.
Beth: Have you read any previous material about the Holocaust (fiction or non-fiction)? Would reading this book make you want to read more about it?
Chrissi: I have read other books about the Holocaust. Mainly fiction, it has to be said. I did think ‘Oh here we go again…’ when I started it, because I really thought it was going to be just another book about the Holocaust. I don’t know why I thought that though as everything that I’ve read about the Holocaust, has been powerful and compelling. The same goes for The Storyteller.
Chrissi: “Forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself.” Do you agree with this? Can you ever forgive and forget?
Beth: I definitely agree with that statement. I think that if you haven’t forgiven for yourself, deep down it was always haunt you and return to worry you. But I also think that although we have the capacity to forgive other people, I don’t think it’s half as easy to forget, and the experience may always stay with you because of this.
Beth: I never saw the ending coming. Did you?
Chrissi: Definitely not. I have in the past found some of Jodi Picoult’s novels to be a bit predictable. I was very glad that I couldn’t see what was going to happen coming. I love that shocking moment when all is revealed and you had no idea! That moment really shows that it’s been a really good book!
Chrissi: Would you have forgiven Josef? Why do you think Josef lied?
Beth: Hoping to not come across as cold and unfeeling but no, I don’t think I would have been able to forgive Josef. The atrocities that were committed against Jews were so disgusting and diabolical that I think it would be very difficult for anyone to forgive. As for why Josef lied, I think in the end he was just protecting his brother, and was looking for atonement for his own mistakes.
Beth: How does this book differ from other works you have read by the author?
Chrissi:  Something that massively stands out for me is that there’s no trial. It might sound stupid, but I’ve felt like every recent Jodi Picoult book has followed the same formula. I liked that there was a Jodi Picoult change of direction!

Would WE recommend it?:

Beth: But of course!

Chrissi: Of course!

Star rating (out of 5):





WWW Wednesday #31

Published February 19, 2014 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, and thanks as ever to MizB for hosting.

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?:


I got this book from NetGalley as I am a big fan of the Narnia series and it sounded intriguing. Unfortunately, it’s a bit dry at the moment but will see how it goes.

What did you recently finish reading?:


This is the first book picked for the Richard and Judy Spring Reads 2014 and is one I’m reviewing with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads. This book was so beautiful and emotional and I give it the full five stars. Look out for our review coming soon!

What do you think you’ll read next?:


I’ve had this book for a little while as I wanted to read The Secret History, Tartt’s first novel before I started out. But now it’s nearly time to read it and I can’t wait!

What are you reading this Wednesday? Please leave your link and I’ll come pay you a visit! Happy Reading Everyone!

Richard and Judy Spring Reads 2014

Published January 4, 2014 by bibliobeth


Richard and Judy’s book club is back again for Spring 2014, and it looks like there are some good choices with some interesting reading to be had! Here are the eight titles:

The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult

Apple Tree Yard – Louise Doughty

A Commonplace Killing – Sian Busby

The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

The Never List – Koethi Zan

Sisterland – Curtis Sittenfeld

Longbourn – Jo Baker

Rage Against The Dying – Becky Masterman

A few of these books have been on my radar for a while – namely Apple Tree Yard, The Rosie Project and Longbourn, and I have already read and reviewed The Never List which was excellent and I highly recommend. As for the rest, I’m looking forward to reading and discovering some great new stories.

As always, feel free to comment and read along with me!

On my radar for 2013…

Published February 1, 2013 by bibliobeth

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Due to be published in 2013, these are a few of the books I’m awaiting with glee:

Never Saw it Coming – Linwood Barclay, 31st January 2013

One of my favourite crime/thriller writers, this new offering is about a young woman who “practices” as a psychic but is more interested in money grabbing from troubled families rather than seeing into the netherworld. However, her latest case involves a woman going missing, and after visiting the frantic husband and telling him about her “vision,” it turns out that it might actually be true (and leave her dead).

The Universe Versus Alex Woods – Gavin Extence, 31st January 2013

Alex Woods knows that he hasn’t had the most conventional start in life.  He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won’t endear him to the local bullies.  He also knows that even the most improbable events can happen – he’s got the scars to prove it. What he doesn’t know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he’ll make an unlikely friend. Someone who tells him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make the best possible choices. So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he’s fairly sure he’s done the right thing . . . One of the Waterstones Eleven for this year, this author is described as one to watch.

Human Remains – Elizabeth Haynes, 14th February 2013

Highly intelligent but socially inept, Colin spends his free time collecting academic qualifications and searching for ways to meet women, until he stumbles upon a new technique that proves both potent and deadly. Police analyst Annabel is shocked when she discovers a decomposing body in the house next door and realises that no one, including herself, noticed her neighbour’s absence. At work she finds data showing that such cases are frighteningly common in her own town and sets out to investigate, convinced she is on trail of a killer. I fell in love with this author after reading her fantastic book Into The Darkest Corner.

Lost Boy – Camilla Lackberg, 14th March 2013

Nathalie jumps in her car and flees with her five year old son, her hands slippery with blood on the steering wheel. Meanwhile, Detective Hedström is investigating the murder of Mats Sverin, a financial director – also the childhood sweetheart of Nathalie. Both have recently returned to the island, and Mats visited her just before his death. The locals call the island “The Ghost Isle,” and that the dead have something to tell the living. But will anyone get close enough to uncover the dark secrets that lurk there?

I recently discovered this brilliant Swedish author after reading The Hidden Child, and am in the process of going through her back catalogue.

The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult, 26th March 2013

Sage Singer befriends an old man, particularly beloved in the community. One day he asks Sage for a favour: to kill him. And then he confesses his darkest secret – he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter Sage’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

Six Years – Harlan Coben, 25th April 2013

Six years have passed since our main character Jake Sanders watched Natalie, the love of his life, get married to another man, Todd. When Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he cannot keep away from the funeral. At the funeral however, the woman posing as Todd’s wife is not Natalie. This story involves Jake uncovering the truth in his quest to find the woman he once loved.

And The Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini, 21st May 2013

Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and step-mother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Adbullah, Pari, as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named, is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their skulls touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand.

Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways that we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history, and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

By the author of A Thousand Splendid Suns (wonderful) and The Kite Runner (I must get round to that soon!!)

Dr Sleep – Stephen King, 24th September 2013

An epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon. King says he wanted to know what happened to Danny Torrance, the boy at the heart of The Shining, after his terrible experience in the Overlook Hotel. The instantly riveting Doctor Sleep picks up the story of the now middle-aged Dan, working at a hospice in rural New Hampshire, and the very special twelve-year old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless – mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the ‘steam’ that children with the ‘shining’ produce when they are slowly tortured to death.  Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him and a job at a nursing home where his remnant ‘shining’ power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes ‘Doctor Sleep.Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival . . .

My all-time favourite author, I cannot wait for this release!