Scenic Sundays | My Amazing Linn Area Reads Experience

Posted on March 20, 2016 «
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As I mentioned in my Monday review of The Book Thief last week, I took part in the events related to this year’s Linn Area Reads program. Linn Area Reads is a community and library partnership in the county where I live. One of those events was an opportunity to hear Markus Zusak speak about his writing and about The Book Thief in particular which is celebrating its 10 year anniversary.

I was lucky enough (and seriously I don’t know how I got so lucky) to be invited to have lunch with Markus before the event. I didn’t expect to actually speak to him. There were 15 or 20 other people at lunch, but he happened to sit down right next to me. I got to tell him about my blog and he said he liked the name. We talked a bit about what kind of books we like to read and a bit about The Book Thief movie. And from there the day just got better (except for the fact I was really too nervous to eat).

As lunch was wrapping up, Amanda, who invited me to lunch mentioned they were going to surprise Markus with something. I offered up my camera skills (I have no idea what came over me as I’m not really skilled at people pictures) as I had brought along my fancy-pants camera. And this happened…


markus zusak batmobile markus zusak batmobile

Taken on March 13, 2016 in Marion, IA with a Canon Rebel T3i.


The time got away from us a bit and someone asked me to take Markus back to the restaurant where we had lunch so someone else could get him over to the Hotel where the event was being held.


Sorry, I don’t have any picture proof. I was driving.

During the short drive back to the restaurant, I apologized for my music being so loud and then Markus and I discovered that we have a love for movie scores. So the 7 or 8 minutes it took us to drive back to the restaurant we talked about the scores and composers we liked. As he got out my car, he asked if I had seen The Grand Budapest Hotel. I answered yes. He said, “That has a good score,” in his lovely Australian accent. And I agreed. At which point, he closed the door and my unexpected personal time with Markus was over.

In the 20 minute drive to the event location, I spent 5 of them screaming like a deranged 2-year-old to my sister about sitting next to Markus at lunch and him riding in my car. Sorry to my sister and her husband for that.

The remainder of the evening was spent listening to Markus and getting all three of my books signed.


markus zusak linn area reads 2016 signed i am the messenger markus zusak signed the book thief markus zusak signed underdogs markus zusak

See the reference to our conversation about The Grand Budapest Hotel?


Oh, and getting my picture taken with him…finally.

markus zusak linn area reads 2016

grand budapest hotel quote

View this quote on flickr.

“It is an extremely common mistake. People think the writer’s imagination is always at work, that he’s constantly inventing an endless supply of incidents and episodes; that he simply dreams up his stories out of thin air. In point of fact, the opposite is true. Once the public knows you’re a writer, they bring the characters and events to you. And as long as you maintain your ability to look, and to carefully listen, these stories will continue to…”
The Grand Budapest Hotel





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12 responses to “Scenic Sundays | My Amazing Linn Area Reads Experience

  1. OMGGG WHAT AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE!! And so so wonderful you just go to chat. :’) Although I’m laughing at how you said his Australian accent was lovely because I always feel like we Aussies don’t have an accent. xD But I suppose EVERYONE thinks that of their own country right?! hehe. Anyway that is so amazing!! Awesome fangirl moment for you!!! 😀

  2. Omigod!! You sat next to Marcus Zusak – at lunch and in your car!!!! That’s amazing! What a fabulous experience, Terri, and one you’ll never forget. Wow! I can’t wait to share this with my older daughter…she loves him! I love that he signed your books with something so personal…but then, YOU HAD LUNCH WITH HIM!! (I also love that you talked about The Grand Budapest Hotel…LOVE that movie!) Thanks for sharing the experience!