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People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

People of the Book (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Geraldine Brooks

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,964380518 (3.93)709
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. 153
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  2. 51
    The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean (mrstreme)
    mrstreme: Similar history of how museum workers scrambled to save pieces of art during wartime
  3. 40
    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 (CatyM)
    CatyM: 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)

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» See also 709 mentions

English (371)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  German (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (380)
Showing 1-5 of 371 (next | show all)
@people_book +library ( )
  Lorem | Sep 24, 2015 |
There are few things I fear more than a trip to the dentist, but I would rather spend 10 hours in the dentist's chair than listen to this again.
I have a long commute to work, and while I generally prefer non-fiction, I'm pretty forgiving when it comes to what I listen to on the way. This is the only book on CD that I disliked so much I had to stop it while I was in the midst of driving.
The narrator (Edwina Wren) makes the dialogue of every non-native English speaker (and, alas, there are many) sound like Bela Lugosi. It was like having Count Dracula right there next to me on the highway and at traffic jams - but instead of telling me about some of his more interesting victims, he's reading his grocery list. "Bread, eggs, milk, grapes..." over and over and over. Because that's how incredibly boring this story is. I did not like the characters, I did not care about the Haggadah and halfway into this I finally returned it to the library. ( )
2 vote Eliz12 | Aug 13, 2015 |
Book conservator travels to Sarajevo to work on an illustrated haggadah saved from the recent conflict. ( )
  Colby_Glass | Aug 6, 2015 |
Well told stories about an unusual Jewish book passing through history and the people involved in its creation and preservation. I love history and the author does a wonderful job of invoking several different periods. The framing story is engaging and sets up and resolves the mystery of the book's creation and journey - based on true events. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
Hannah Heath, a rare book expert is called to Sarajevo in 1996 to take a look at the Haggadah, and illuminated Jewish religious volume. While restoring the book she discovers and insect wing, a wine stain, salt crystals and a single white hair. Her investigation into these clues leads the reader through not only through the history of the Haggadah, but through history itself. This is a fictionalized account of what may have been the Haggadah’s journey through time, but (and I may be mistaken here) I believe the Sarajevo Haggadah is a real illuminated volume.

The format of a character in present time making a discovery and then taking us through history is not a new concept for writing historical fiction (GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING is the first one I remember reading in this manner), but I find that I enjoy the backward path these books take to bring us back to the present.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 371 (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
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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.
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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.
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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)

(summary from another edition)

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