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Daily Archives: June 2, 2009

Fun Book Meme

I picked this one up from Rebecca at Lost In Books.  Thanks Rebecca!

1. What author do you own the most books by?

Probably Terry Pratchett.  He’s prolific, and I own almost all of his books.

2. What book do you own the most copies of?

There are several books in Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series that I own three copies of– two on paper, and then the audiobook.

3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?

Not at all.

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

When I was in middle school, I was in love with Will Stanton from The Dark Is Rising and the other books in the series.  I don’t think I’ve had more than a passing crush since then.  Of course, with Neil Gaiman’s newest twitter profile photo and fantastic tweets, I might be developing a passing crush on him :-).  Check it out.

5. What book have you read the most times in your life?

Hmm.  Since becoming an adult, probably The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. I don’t know if that can even start to rival the number of rereads of pretty much everything I owned when I was younger.

6. Favorite book as a ten year old?

Probably the Trixie Belden books.

7. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?

Memoirs Found in a Bathtub by Stanislaw Lem.  I’d heard good things about it, and I really wanted to like it.  I just found it repetitive and pointless.

8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.

9. If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be?

I’m not a big believer in forcing anyone to read anything.  Any recommendations would be personalized.  I would strongly encourage people to participate in their community reading programs, if they have one.  Locally that would be Silicon Valley Reads.

10. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?

The Hunger Games would probably make a good movie, if they did it right.

11. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

Probably The God of Small Things.  I found it very difficult to follow.

12. What is your favorite book?

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King.

13. Play?

I’m a big musical person.  Probably Into the Woods or (guilty pleasure) Mamma Mia.

14. Poem?

Nothing comes to mind, I haven’t read poetry in years.

15. Essay?

I can’t remember the last essay I read.  Other than proof-reading my 11yo’s schoolwork, and I’m not listing those.

16. Who is the most overrated writer alive today?

Cormac McCarthy.  I shouldn’t judge him solely on “The Road”.  But I will anyway.

17. What is your desert island book?

Cryptonimicon by Neal Stephenson.

18. And . . . what are you reading right now?

Old World Daughter, New World Mother: An Education in Love and Freedom by Maria Laurino

Of Bees and Mist: A Novel by Erick Setiawan

(listening) True Colors by Kristin Hannah

Leave me a comment with a link to your answers! (or leave them here if you’d rather).

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Posted by on June 2, 2009 in books, meme

 

Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I found this book delightful. It was a sweet, fun read, while still having real content.

I wasn’t sure if an entire book written in letters would appeal to me, particularly in audio. Having a different narrators for the different letter writers was brilliant. Not only did it help keep track of the characters, but it helped bring each one to life. I really enjoyed the voices and the accents.

Even with that, I did struggle to keep the characters straight when I was about 1/3 of the way in. Others that read the book on paper said they had the same issue. If I hadn’t been planning to discuss the book at my book club and then review it for my blog (and other places) I wouldn’t have worried about it. Luckily, the confusion didn’t last long.

The book was able to keep a nice balance between the good and the bad in the two storylines intertwined throughout the book.

The first was the story of Juliet, a young woman who is a writer in post WWII England. She’s trying to figure out where she fits in, as she tracks down a story to write about and dates a very eligible man who wants to provide her with everything he thinks she needs.  She’s a pleasant yet still interesting character.

The second is the story told by the people on Guernsey, their recollections of life under German occupation during WWII. The Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is formed as a cover when a group is caught out late, and provides them with unexpected sustenance through a very difficult time.  One by one, they relate their experiences to Juliet, building relationships that draw her to the island to learn more about them, their stories, and herself.

Being a book person myself, I liked learning about the books that each islander selected to read during the occupation.  For the most part, they had not been big readers before the formation of the society, but each managed to find something relevant to them.

The characters are wonderful and quirky. The variety of views of each of them and their relationships really help them come alive.  They really felt like they comfortably belonged in their era, rather than being modern people dropped in an older setting.

I hadn’t been familiar with the island of Guernsey, and I wasn’t aware of its occupation.   This book club has read a number of books relating to WWII (a quick scan of the list says 8 in just over 3 years) and this is another different perspective from anything else we’ve read.

It was a good choice for discussion, but I wouldn’t wait for a book club meeting to read it.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2009 in Book Club, books, M, reviews

 

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