Monday, December 22, 2008

About Reading ...

"That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive – all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment."

This is a quote from the latest book I read. This came from a book with the title The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Talk about an interesting title. I probably would not have read the book but when J.A. Jance indicated in her interview that she enjoyed this book I decided I would try it. By the way … I was NOT disappointed.

There were several things I liked about this book. As you can tell from the quote, one of the underlying themes is “It’s All About Reading” - a favorite theme of mine. The story is a collection of communications (mostly letters) between the characters. It was definitely an interesting way to tell the story. I just want to touch on a few of the highlights in the book – to get the full emphasis you have to read it.

One of the main characters is a writer. Her name is Juliet and most of the letters are written by her or to her from another character in the book. One of the letters she gets is from another character named Dawsey. The reason he writes her is an interesting one. He has a book that was previous owned by Juliet and he is looking for more information about the author. Through subsequent letters we learn about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was a book discussion group – but not at first. The story of how they came into being was an interesting story. One evening they got together for an illegal meal at somebody’s house. When they were leaving, it was past curfew time and they got caught by Nazi soldiers. When asked why they were out after curfew, one of the ladies (Elizabeth) explained they were discussing books and lost track of the time. They were to report in the morning and from then on had to keep up with the act from then on. Not only did they keep up the act but they developed closer relationships among themselves. This was an important bond that lasted during the war and the years to follow – even caring for the daughter of Elizabeth who was taken away by the Nazis.

Why was Potato Peel Pie part of the name of the group? Well, there was an interesting reason. One of the members of the group did not want to be a part of the group unless they had desserts. Potatoes were the only crop that was readily available during the occupation by the Nazis.

Another interesting thing about the group, not everybody had a habit of reading. This habit developed after the group was formed. Each member developed different interests in reading. One member of the group was only interested in cook books. Another member of the group would only read one book over and over.
Oh ... the thing about reading. Each person has a different perspective when reading a book. In fact, when you read something a second time, you may pick up something different. I can not say anymore about the book that would do it any justice. Again I say, YOU JUST HAVE TO READ IT FOR YOURSELF.


JenningsJunk said...

OH MY GOSH! How am I ever gonna meet my unofficial personal goal of finishing all my current "reads" before the year ends when you come up with ANOTHER intriguing book to read ?!?!? hmmmmm - maybe I should set this one up as my first book of the New Year? Thanks for another wonderful and informative review!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Sounds GOOD!!! Going on my list as a "for sure!"
Thanks for the great review!