From my bookshelf & book club review

It’s been a bit quiet on the reading front since my last bookshelf post. Once I finished the Egan and MZB I picked up Alastair Reynolds’ Pushing Ice which I had started ages ago but had put aside for no particular reason.

It ended up coming away on our camping holiday with me and still lasted me through to early February. It kind of freaks me out when it takes me that long to finish a book, especially when I’m enjoying it (which I did, very satisfying grand scale sc-fi) – you know how some people stop eating when they’re stressed or feeling down, not me, I stop reading. When that happens I know I’m not traveling so well. I end up spending a lot of time reading blogs and aimlessly wandering the web and then feeling frustrated because I’ve wasted so much time (with the aimless wandering, not the blog reading, that part’s ok). So, um, yeah, things haven’t been great inside my head lately. No particular reason, just lots of little things adding up I think.

Next up was The Sharing Knife: Horizon by Lois McMaster Bujold. I’d been looking forward to this one for a while, Bujold is one of my very favourite writers, and it didn’t disappoint. Horizon is the 4th and final book of the Sharing Knife series and it brought the story to a satisfying conclusion leaving the characters poised to carry on without an audience. I like endings that manage to wrap up all the loose ends but still leave me with a feel for future possibilities.

Most recently, tonight in point of fact, I’ve just finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. This is the February book for the Blogosphere Book Circle.

From the book’s website:

About the Book

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb.

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. Born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island, the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

Did you like/dislike the book, did it affect you in any way?:

Yes, I did like it. Quite a lot actually so I’m glad I signed up for the book circle, might never have read it otherwise! I enjoyed the epistolary style, each character’s voice came through clearly in their letters and I love the way the story unfolded as each persons’ accounts of events fitted together like pieces of a puzzle. I had a look at the list of other epistolary books on the website and found a couple of other favourites in there – The Screwtape Letters and 84 Charing Cross Road. I knew nothing of the history of the Channel Islands, didn’t even really realise how close they were to France (never having had occasion to think about it) so I’ve learned some new stuff reading the book and more again reading the history and trivia on the website. The book has left me wanting to visit Guernsey and also with an urge to reread Gaudy Night (Juliet reminded me a little of Harriet Vane), unfortunately I can’t find my copy so I’ll have to make do with Busman’s Honeymoon instead.

Other Book Circle member’s reviews can be found here (I’ll add links as I see people’s review posts): Penny, CW, Emma, Heather, Janine, Jenny, Julie Maree, Kate, Kelly, Kristen, Lynda B, Mel, Sandra, Sharon, Suzannah, Yvette

5 Responses to “From my bookshelf & book club review”

  1. suzannah says:

    it was so good! i was pleased:)

  2. Penny says:

    I’m really pleased everyone so far has enjoyed our first book. I’m sure it won’t always be the case but it’s nice that the first one worked so well. Kudos to Em for recommending it!

  3. yodaobi says:

    YAY me!
    (penny also gave me the most adorable thanks card when returning my book)
    aaaw

  4. Mel says:

    Yes I was pleased I’d joined becuase I probably wouldn’t have read it otherwise. I liked the geography/history lesson and the quirkiness of some of the incidental characters

  5. Nap Mom says:

    Oh – I love book reviews! I think that I might try “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.”

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