Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

People of the Book (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Geraldine Brooks

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,249394491 (3.94)735
Title:People of the Book
Authors:Geraldine Brooks
Info:Viking (2008), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 372 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Haggadah, Sarajevo, book conservators, mystery, multifaith

Work details

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (2008)

  1. 163
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  2. 61
    The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean (mrstreme)
    mrstreme: Similar history of how museum workers scrambled to save pieces of art during wartime
  3. 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.
  4. 20
    Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (Johanna11)
  5. 10
    The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman (VivianeoftheLake)
  6. 10
    Fugitive Blue by Claire Thomas (merry10)
    merry10: An imagined history of a 15th Century panel.
  7. 21
    A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell (Ciruelo)
  8. 00
    The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi by Jacqueline Park (Smiler69)
  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. 22
    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.
  11. 00
    A Delightful Compendium of Consolation by Burton L. Visotzky (Osbaldistone)
  12. 00
    The Thief of Time by John Boyne (Booksloth)
  13. 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)
  14. 01
    The Book of God and Physics: A Novel of the Voynich Mystery by Enrique Joven (Osbaldistone)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 735 mentions

English (385)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  German (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (394)
Showing 1-5 of 385 (next | show all)
A sacred jewish book, a Hagaddah, is being restored and it contains minute clues to its history. A dessicated butterfly wing, a short cats hair that had been used in a brush to paint the illuminated manuscript, salt crystals from splashed drops from the sea. Each is linked with a back story, going back 600 years. An interesting premise. The idea reminds me of E. Annie Proulx’s “Accordion Stories”. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
My favorite Geraldine Brooks book. Different from any book you'll read, and well written. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
About an archivist and book conservator on an adventure and about the remarkable history of a famous illuminated manuscript, the Sarajevo Haggadah, which sits now in the National Museum of Bosnia. Except, perhaps, for the superfluous love story, an exceptionally rich and well-researched weaving of adventurous narrative and the intricacies of the history and preservation of books. I look forward to her next work. ( )
  deckla | Apr 5, 2016 |
One of the better books I've read this year. I was really drawn into the story and wanted to know all the secrets within the life of the book. It almost felt as if the book was the stationary character and the people moved through its life instead of the book moving through the hands and lives of all the people. ( )
  add_dragon | Mar 26, 2016 |
How precious is a book? How far would you go to protect a book, to defend it, and to empower the message it holds?
'People of the Book' is a historical novel by Geraldine Brooks. It has an original plot, and is studded with memorable, deep characters. In many ways, it specifically targets book lovers.
The characters in Brooks' novel went as far as giving up everything in the name of one book, the Sarajevo Haggadah. Across several centuries and countries, the heroes of the book suffered, bled, and died in its name. These heroes were librarians, men of faith, artists, military, heirs, and villagers. What united them is their unwavering love for their neighbor.
The universal message brought by this beautifully written book is one that is much needed today, that of celebrating humanity in all of its colors. Different cultures, races, and religions have grown fearful of one another as if this earth can only contain one supreme color. Just like in the historical periods depicted by Brooks, people keep fighting and struggling against one another out of fear of the other, fear of what is different. Brooks offers an alternative to that xenophobic irrational and destructive fear: unity. Once united, humans can lend a helping hand and offer healing warmth.

The Haggadah traveled a long way across the globe, and learned the stories of many different people who kept it for a certain time. As these stories intertwine, and as the events unfold, the Haggadah becomes bigger than just a simple Jewish prayer book, it becomes the symbol of all sacrifices, sufferings, and hopes of humanity.
My favorite parts in the story were the dynamics between the characters, especially Hanna and her mother, and how at the beginning Hanna handled the book. I enjoyed finding out the missing pieces about the book's journey as new clues surfaced. The ending was very satisfying. I recommend this book to everybody.

( )
  pathogenik | Feb 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 385 (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 editionsconfirmed
Wren, EdwinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
There, where one burns books,
one in the end, burns men. 

-- Heinrich Heine
For the librarians
First words
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.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

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.
Haiku summary

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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 15 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
18 avail.
288 wanted
5 pay13 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.94)
0.5 2
1 25
1.5 8
2 95
2.5 37
3 446
3.5 165
4 967
4.5 135
5 646


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,249,220 books! | Top bar: Always visible