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People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

People of the Book (2008)

by Geraldine Brooks

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,607412449 (3.93)761
  1. 164
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  2. 50
    Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both well written, and both follow an art object from end to beginning, through the hands of those who once owned it.
  3. 61
    The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean (mrstreme)
    mrstreme: Similar history of how museum workers scrambled to save pieces of art during wartime
  4. 20
    Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (Johanna11)
  5. 32
    Small Gods by Terry Pratchett (catherinestead)
    catherinestead: A very different style of book from a very different genre, but an interesting commentary on the corruption/misuse of religious faith which complements this book's treatment of the same theme.
  6. 10
    Fugitive Blue by Claire Thomas (merry10)
    merry10: An imagined history of a 15th Century panel.
  7. 10
    The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman (VivianeoftheLake)
  8. 21
    A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell (Ciruelo)
  9. 11
    The Books of Rachel by Joel Gross (StarryNightElf)
    StarryNightElf: Epic saga tracing the path of an object connected to those of Jewish descent.
  10. 00
    The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus by Owen Gingerich (oregonobsessionz)
    oregonobsessionz: This one may be a stretch, but anyone who read People of the Book for its historic and "books on books" aspects would probably enjoy The Book Nobody Read, a nonfiction account of an astronomer who seeks to account for all of the first and second editions of Copernicus' de Revolutionibus.… (more)
  11. 00
    The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi by Jacqueline Park (Smiler69)
  12. 00
    A Delightful Compendium of Consolation by Burton L. Visotzky (Osbaldistone)
  13. 00
    The Thief of Time by John Boyne (Booksloth)
  14. 02
    The Book of God and Physics: A Novel of the Voynich Mystery by Enrique Joven (Osbaldistone)

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» See also 761 mentions

English (403)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  German (1)  All (1)  Finnish (1)  All (412)
Showing 1-5 of 403 (next | show all)
This was a wonderful story well written by Geraldine Brooks. Sorry I waited so long to read it. As the book moved progressively back in time (alternating with the present), I found myself confusing characters. The book is like the unfolding of a Sunday NYT crossword puzzle. Loved it. ( )
  bogopea | May 9, 2017 |
I liked but did not love this book. I had read something in the news about the book, so I knew there was some basis in truth to it. I thought the author did a good job of bringing the characters she created and the times and places she lived to life. However, the way the flashbacks were laid out made it hard for me to get a sense of the flow of history, which is one of the key benefits I derive from reading historical fiction. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
Hanna Heath is a book conservator in Sydney and is asked to restore a medieval manuscript that is stored in war torn Sarajevo. She is fascinated by her work and longs to discover the origins and history of the Jewish prayer book. This was again a fascinating story from this author. However, my one quibble would be that it was somewhat disjointed. Perhaps this was unavoidable as the events often happened hundreds of years apart. I just struggled to retain the characters of a previous chapter when referred to at a later point in the story. (8.5) ( )
  HelenBaker | May 7, 2017 |
A new favorite author. Interesting fictional story based on the true events of the saving of a 1600's illustrated Haggadah, a Jewish text which sets forth the Passover Seder from war and Jewish persecution over centuries. The book tells the fictional story of a rare manuscript/document preserver (Hanna) investigates where the book has travelled over the years based on intricate inspection and investigation of unsuspecting clues left in the book from its many handlers. There are many characters in this story and the only thing that left me wanting is the end of each of their stories. ( )
  booklovers2 | Apr 19, 2017 |
this novel had a lot going on in it - most of the time it worked for me, but there were times when things got a bit wobbly. i struggled, in particular, with the storyline involving hanna and her mother. and i am sitting here thinking about whether there was enough depth to it all? i appreciated the different settings and characters brooks created here - these aspects were strongly alive and vivid while i read, and brooks was clever in creating a journey for the Haggadah. i love books about books, and fiction based on real life. unfortunately the read just wasn't quiet as strong as i had hoped it wold be, and as i have experienced in other novels by brooks. ([book:March|13529] and [book:Year of Wonders|4965], in particular.)

[author:Ursula K. Le Guin|874602] reviewed people of the book for the guardian, and i get what she's saying: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/jan/19/fiction4 ( )
  Booktrovert | Apr 2, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 403 (next | show all)
While peering through a microscope at a rime of salt crystals on the manuscript of the Haggadah, Hanna reflects that “the gold beaters, the stone grinders, the scribes, the binders” are “the people I feel most comfortable with. Sometimes in the quiet these people speak to me.” Though the reader’s sense of Hanna’s relationship with the Haggadah rarely deepens to such a level, Geraldine Brooks’s certainly has.
Brooks' novel meticulously, lovingly amalgamates mystery and history with the personal story of its heroine, rare-book expert and conservator Hanna Heath.
If Brooks becomes the new patron saint of booksellers, she deserves it. The stories of the Sarajevo Haggadah, both factual and fictional, are stirring testaments to the people of many faiths who risked all to save this priceless work.
added by DieFledermaus | editUSA Today, Susan Kelly (Jan 9, 2008)

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Geraldine Brooksprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wren, EdwinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There, where one burns books,
one in the end, burns men. 

-- Heinrich Heine
For the librarians
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I might as well say, right from the jump: it wasn't my usual kind of job.
The words stuck to his tongue like...the ashes that had fallen in a warm rain after the last book burning.
I wanted to give a sense of the people of the book, the different hands that had made it, used it, protected it.  I wanted it to be a gripping narrative, even suspenseful.
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Book description
Hanna Heath, an Australian rare book expert, has been offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna discovers a series of tiny artificacts in its ancient binding -- an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair -- she begins to unlock the book's mysteries, ushering in its exquisite and atmospheric past, from its salvation back to its creation through centuries of exile and war.
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No descriptions found.

In 1996, Hanna Heath, a young Australian book conservator is called to analyze the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a priceless six-hundred-year-old Jewish prayer book that has been salvaged from a destroyed Bosnian library. When Hanna discovers a series of artifacts in the centuries' old, she unwittingly exposes an international cover up.… (more)

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