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People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
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People of the Book (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Geraldine Brooks

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,876370531 (3.94)702
Member:sueellenshaw
Title:People of the Book
Authors:Geraldine Brooks
Info:Viking (2008), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 372 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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 702 mentions

English (361)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  German (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (370)
Showing 1-5 of 361 (next | show all)
Every book has a story. ( )
1 vote | read4thefunofit | Apr 16, 2015 |
I've read this once, and listened to it twice. I love the story of the book, and I love the love story involving the main character. Some books are just that way. ( )
  fromthecomfychair | Feb 25, 2015 |
This novel is a fascinating look at the investigative aspect of book restoration. Part history, part mystery, it follows the path of a Jewish haggadah, with the historic incidents described as if in response to the discoveries of a modern restoration expert. An intriguing topic, clearly and meticulously plotted so that you follow the changes of time and location without strain. Well-written, engaging and interesting. Recommended. ( )
  AmberMcWilliams | Feb 22, 2015 |
People of the Book was a nice read, something to help the train to and from work pass more quickly. Which, is an acomplishment. I just sort of wished that after I got home I hadn't wanted to put the book down. That wasn't the case and hense no 5 star review.

Brooks' story was pepper with flashbacks about the history of a very rare book. As a history lover even knowing it was fiction it did feel like I was glimpsing into a past - even if it was a slightly faniciful one. But then, stranger things have happened.

This is a nice read that won't leave you dissapointed. ( )
  sscarllet | Jan 27, 2015 |
Brooks tells an engaging fictionalized story about the very real Sarajevo Haggadah (a more than 600-year-old illuminated manuscript.) The main character Hanna Heath (whose life I wouldn't mind having, for the most part) is a rock star book conservator responsible for restoring the book. The story moves from scenes of her life as she works on this project, to various stories related to the people who have had a hand in creating, preserving, and harboring the book through the many years of its existence. The scenes are triggered by bits of things found in the book during the conservation process, such as a butterfly wing, a cat hair, some salt, etc. In short, this a very clever idea that is well-executed. I certainly enjoyed some of the stories more than others. In particular, I loved Hannah's present-day scenes (filled with parental drama, love interests, and some political intrigue) and the story of the artist who created the images in the book, but other stories dragged a bit and sometimes the transitions were a tad jarring. That's really my only complaint though. Otherwise it's a fascinating and delightful read. Recommended, especially to those who are interested in book conservation, illuminated manuscripts, and books about books. I look forward to reading more of this author's work. ( )
  DorsVenabili | Jan 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 361 (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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Epigraph
There, where one burns books,
one in the end, burns men. 

-- Heinrich Heine
Dedication
For the librarians
First words
I might as well say, right from the jump: it wasn't my usual kind of job.
Quotations
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
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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.
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

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