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People of the Book (2008)

by Geraldine Brooks

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,893461652 (3.93)842
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)
Recently added byGustavoreis, bleclair, Rennie80, Lecommerce, The_Literary_Jedi, private library
  1. 154
    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. 42
    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.
  5. 20
    The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman (VivianeoftheLake)
  6. 20
    Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (Johanna11)
  7. 21
    A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell (Ciruelo)
  8. 10
    Fugitive Blue by Claire Thomas (merry10)
    merry10: An imagined history of a 15th Century panel.
  9. 00
    Melmoth by Sarah Perry (RidgewayGirl)
  10. 11
    The Books of Rachel by Joel Gross (StarryNightElf)
    StarryNightElf: Epic saga tracing the path of an object connected to those of Jewish descent.
  11. 00
    A Delightful Compendium of Consolation by Burton L. Visotzky (Osbaldistone)
  12. 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)
  13. 00
    The Thief of Time by John Boyne (Booksloth)
  14. 00
    The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi by Jacqueline Park (Smiler69)
  15. 02
    The Book of God and Physics: A Novel of the Voynich Mystery by Enrique Joven (Osbaldistone)
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» See also 842 mentions

English (451)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (3)  German (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (462)
Showing 1-5 of 451 (next | show all)
Jew Christian Muslim & Haggadah; excellent. pub 2008; read 2018
  18cran | May 30, 2021 |
This book follows the story of an exceptional historic books through the centuries. I loved the substories from the past that explained how the book survived and was created. ( )
  DrApple | May 14, 2021 |
What an incredible book! As soon as I finished it, I wanted to re-read it to see how she accomplished such a feat. ( )
  Crae | Mar 6, 2021 |
I am officially finished with Geraldine Brooks. Because I loved Year of Wonder so much, I was sure she would again write something I would like nearly as well, but it just hasn't been the case. I was initially disappointed because it began in modern times, but I gave it a chance and was heartened when it went back in time. But I agree with another reviewer that as soon as a character's story began to grab my interest, the author would switch to another time and place. Perhaps had I cared the least bit for Hanna, I would have liked the book. I won't innumerate the reasons, but she was so unlikable it ruined the book for me. ( )
  GiGiGo | Feb 5, 2021 |
Loved the concept of little things found in the book (insect wing, hair, wine stain, etc) suggesting an interesting part of the history. Also that it was based on a true actual book. Different people in time periods of history trying to save and the last chapters were about the book being made. Best was the priest wanting to save something Jewish and the girl being the artist. Although I enjoyed the history some of it was too detailed for me. Really showed how throughout history Jews and their things were destroyed. Did not like the present day drama about her Mother disliking her career so much and her hatred of her. Accepted the forgery at the end but not her stopping her career. ( )
  kshydog | Dec 13, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 451 (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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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.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

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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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