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In Training

Today on the tube platform, I realized I'm in training for more than just the 2007 London Flora Marathon (have you sponsored me yet? ... thanks if you have).

I pulled my current tome out of my bag, and thought ... "Key-rist, why am I hauling this thing around?"

The Book Thief
is a sometimes happy, sometimes harrowing novel that has sailed its way across the pond after a 38-week long ride riding atop the New York Times bestseller list (children's chapter books).

It's a 580-page epic about a pre-teen book-stealing orphan in 1940s Nazi Germany, narrated by Death himself. A real pick-me-up that's rather difficult to put down. Is this really what 7th-graders are reading?

I carry it with me because I want to know what happens next to Liesel and her foster parents Hans and Rosa. I want to see if her friend Rudy will ever get the kiss he keeps asking for. I'm nervous to discover what's in store for Max, the seemingly ill-fated fist fighter who hides in the basement of Liesel's bleak haus. It's all going to be devastating. I mean I'm not naive ... it's narrated by Death, remember?

And so, by lugging this would-be children's book of doorstop around, just what is it I've realized I'm training for?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
, of course.