The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Posted by Divya at Monday, January 25, 2010 7 comments Links to this post

by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The next time I visit Europe, I wouldn’t want to miss Channel Islands or Guernsey ever! That’s how lovely this book is! This epistolary novel had me hooked from the very first letter and before I knew I wanted to dole out letters to the many intriguing and affable characters of this book.

Juliet Ashton is the gregarious protagonist, who is an upcoming writer in the post world war II era in London. She, by some bizarre work of fate, gets in touch with the members of an oddly formed book club in Guernsey. Almost like pieces of a puzzle, her quest for a topic for her book and the lives of the book club members falls into place. The friendship thus born, through correspondence of letters leads to an unbreakable bond; And it is these letters that hold the heart of this novel.

Set in a sad time when Europe was strewn in post war trauma, this book is comfortingly sunny! The Nazi occupation of the island and the multitude of stories that encompass those years are told through the writings of various dwellers, as letters to Juliet. The formation of the book club itself was one such episode, invented on spot by the silent heroine of the novel, Elizabeth.

The letters and the impact of books on people of that era is the most wonderful thing to take away from this book. While you can imagine any character simply by their way of writing letters in itself is a warming feeling. Classics and writers like Oscar wilde, Jane austen or Charles Lamb were considered precious. Books weren’t available a plenty back then and owning books and reading them was considered a genial privilege!

The book encompasses a handful of cordial countryside folk. You would love them all the way you might have adored ‘Anne of green Gables’ and you will fall in love with Juliet, almost like one of Austen’s heroines. The appeal of the novel is the genuineness of the letters, the innocence of the lovely people and the sanguinary displayed as hope in grime times!

So go ahead, grab a warm cup of chocolate milk, light a fire, cuddle on the couch with this sweet little book and I can vouch that you will not stop smiling for a long time after you are done!

Tom Marvolo Riddle returns

Posted by Divya at Sunday, January 17, 2010 0 comments Links to this post
I had mentioned a few months earlier that I am re-reading the HP series and signed up a challenge for the same. I had read the books almost eight years ago. I had never got around completing the 7th book, because, I was insistent that I should read them without a huge time gap and in succession.

I just got done with the fourth book and I can't but wait to devour the remaining three!

Prisoner of Azkaban was my first book at the age of fifteen, and I had picked it up with essay-writing-prize-money (money well spent, I say! ). However, I had picked the book, just to thwart the hype surrounding HP books and half-expecting to hate it! I can't be more glad that I didn't let the prenotion get the better of me.

Harry Potter books are a great revolution in reading and I can't be saying anything more about them than whats already lauded about! But, let me just end it saying that, I cannot but imagine being a reader and not knowing Harry.

A few bookish things

Posted by Divya at Saturday, January 16, 2010 2 comments Links to this post
I have been on a reading dawdle these days. Been spending a lot more time at work, cooking and trying to kindle a fire at the fireplace with friends! I will be returning with few reviews pretty soon (hopefully). Before that here are a few bookish things that relate to my reading habits -

* I am very apprehensive about reading new books, especially the fear of creasing them as i turn pages and open it!
* I always use a bookmark. I get paranoid whenever i see someone bend the pages of the book as a marking!
* I love books borrowed from a library; more coffee-colored and softer the pages the better. It takes me to my comfort zone.
* I always use two hands to hold a book. I hate bending it with a single hand, again for the fear of aging the book faster.
* I am not sure how i'd react to audio books or e-reader if i ever owned one. As of now, I am very skeptical.. I belong to the old school.
* no pen marks in the book please. If at all i'd like to date it, it'd be a light pencil marking in an inconspicuous corner.

All said and done, i doubt i can find my life complete without books in them!
so what are your bookish habits??

The wind-up bird chronicle

Posted by Divya at Tuesday, January 05, 2010 3 comments Links to this post

By Haruki Murakami

This was my first book by Murakami and it left a pretty strange impact much like the book itself. The book is in no way a feel good one nor easy to get through. It is mostly dark with satire and ironic parts, but absolutely enrapturing!

The story begins with the protagonist making spaghetti and humming the thieving magpie. From such a simple setting, the author spins a labyrinth tale spanning Japan’s forgotten war in Manchuria, mystery women, a lost cat, a waterless well and even a wig making company. In its complicated plot, you can almost feel the breath of a pulp fiction, but the engrossing narration, or should I say the translation, keeps it fresh and moving.

The story unwraps in the words of Okada, the hero of the story. But often the reader is thrown off guard by the bizarre stories of the numerous intriguing characters, told in first person. Sometimes it feels like an unexpected journey to unknown destinations; towards the end, the narrative is so discombobulated that it is difficult to distinguish virtual from real. And by the time the various pieces come together, the reader, like the characters themselves, would have lost all sense of perception, time and events.

Murakami’s writing is often strewn, as if finding lucidity in disorder. And if this very factor does annoy the reader, it must be understood that, if he were to tell the tale in chronological order, then you would end up with a piece of humdrum novel in its place.

Read the book for its uncanny story telling, mystifying details, the concoction of otherwise unrelated events, all making a potpourri of a thrilling read. I am definitely picking up other books by Murakami!

The holidays

Posted by Divya at Monday, January 04, 2010 0 comments Links to this post

I had a wonderful ten day break with friends and family. Lots of cooking, chocolates, games and loads of snow! Ended up with a snowman, almost 5LBs fatter and a great many laughs! Hope your new year has begun with many happy moments too!
I need to review a couple of books. Will be updating soon...

Until then, wish you all a wonderful 2010!

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