The Book Thief by Markus Zusak has to be the best book I've ever read, and by no means is this an exaggeration. Not only is it a compelling story, but it is told with such disarming originality that I'm promptly rereading it in hopes that it might trickle over into my work. In this tale told by Death during WWII, metaphors consistently do double duty, if not triple, creating mood, character and plot points in a single brush stroke. It was launched as YA novel, but undoubtedly has infinite cross-over potential. Bravo, Mr. Zusak. I should only hope that one day my book might share a shelf with yours.