I've just finished reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. And I mean "just finished", which means that I'm still steeped in the smoke of burning Himmel Street in a small German town as the second world war turned against Germany, still caught in the mesh of words echoing the words of the book thief herself, regretful and bereft because it's finished.
This book is beautifully written. It's quirky and unusual and the narrator is Death - a narrator you soon learn to trust utterly. It tells of the wartime experience of a young girl, living with foster parents, learning to read after she steals her first book. In the end her books and her writing save others, save herself and have a profound effect on Death himself.
It's the best book I've read in ages.