the cards we are dealt: reading i am the messenger

This week’s book as voted into the 101 Club as one of the 101 Best Books as voted for by Dymocks readers and it definitely deserves it.

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak was one of the few highlights of the couple of days in which I was based in my bed surrounded by tissue boxes, Strepsil packets and steaming hot mugs of tea..

Luckily, I can safely say, this book was a fantastic bedside companion. Between sneezes, I gripped the pages of the book, quickly turning through the chapters. At every point, I wanted to continue reading and managed to finish the book in under 48 hours (granted I was stuck in bed, but it is an amazing experience nonetheless).

Many of you may now be familiar with the work of Markus Zusak because of the recent film adaptation of his novel, The Book Thief. If you aren’t familiar with his work, get familiar. I read The Book Thief a few years ago and was impressed, but I Am the Messenger definitely put Markus Zusak on a whole new level for me.

This book was a gift I bought for myself that went well beyond my expectations. What I was expecting was an enjoyable plot with interesting characters all portrayed through beautiful language. What I got was so much more than that.

Sometimes when you read a book, you get caught up in the world, but when you finish the last page, you close the book, slip it back onto the shelf and continue about your life.

But other books stay with you and change the way you live. Through this blog and the reading challenge I set myself this year, I have been very lucky to find a number of these books such as John Green’s Looking for Alaska and Craig Silvey’s Rhubarb. Currently, I Am the Messenger is the most inspiring book I have read this year.

The novel is filled with ideas and is one of the first experiences I have had where I have read a book with the conscious thought that every reader will take away something different. Now that I have read the book, I feel it will be a different story every time I read it. It became a very subjective and personal experience that I felt deeply connected with.

For me, the book really explored the ways in which we can change and impact the lives of others through both small and seemingly mediocre actions, as well as through grand gestures and big changes. It also made me think about the human capacity for compassion and love and the ability to connect with others. The ideas of the book went beyond the pages and really moved me. It really showed the way that we can take the smallest skills we have and use them to become a better person and better those around us. 

With this in mind, and my experience of the book, I am going to take each of the playing cards from my photo and do something nice with them. I haven’t decided exactly what those will be yet but they might range from something simple like writing someone a note, to something a little bigger like volunteering my time. As I complete each card over the next fortnight or two, I’ll keep you readers updated in the comments section.

From the girl who is now inspired to change someone’s day with a smile,

The Cat



  1. Hello Readers,
    Yesterday I completed my first card but was unable to upload my comment as I momentarily forgot our password. Now that I am back in, here is my first card.

    I started off small to remind myself that it doesn’t always have to be a grand gesture that makes someone smile.

    I currently live in a block of four units and have noticed that one of the units has been leaving drawings, riddles and notes to each other on their front door. I have been really enjoying these little interactions and seeing the responses from other members of their households.

    Up until now, I hadn’t told them that each time I walk past their house and see a new note on the door, it often brightens my day or at least gives me a little giggle on the way to my car.

    So I thought this was the perfect opportunity to let them know that someone beyond their little clan is enjoying the entertainment they so fantastically place on their door.

    I wrote my appreciation on the Ace of Hearts and taped it next to their newest drawing (a small man exclaiming ‘You Stink!’).

    As I said, it wasn’t a big gesture but I’m hoping my little note made them smile just as their fantastic riddles, messages and drawings have made me.

    Stick around as I still have three more cards left to do over the next few weeks and if any of you have done a similar thing, please feel free to share your story with us.

    For now, leaving one little note at a time,
    The Cat

  2. Hello everyone,
    I have completed another card. Again, this deed is not necessarily large or life-changing but it did help out a friend and hopefully brought a smile to their face.

    Last week and over the weekend, my friend was away from home visiting his family for Father’s Day. This friend is a very passionate balcony gardener, with an accumulation of herbs and flowers in pots sprawled across his verandah.

    With this in mind, while he was away I managed to water them as required and kept them alive in his absence. Though this is not a massive task, the crazy Melbourne weather did make their needs a little harder to anticipate.

    So hopefully a good deed was done for my friend, as well as his flourishing garden.

    I also drove two hours out to my mums to help her with her own veggie garden and weed problem, so it has been a very green fortnight for me.

    I am hoping to do the next two cards a little bigger and for strangers as opposed to friends, family and acquaintances so stick around to see what my last two cards are.

    Two down with two left to go,
    The Cat

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