Monday, January 05, 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I used to be an avid book reader in my younger years. Somewhere along the way, I lost the patience to just sit and read for more than thirty minutes at a time. This explains my tendency to read poetry, short stories and magazines. It was the discovery of audiobooks that brought me back to enjoying books. I often will strap on a fanny pack with a cassette player or CD Player or hang my ipod around my neck and listen to books while I do other things. It makes the time fly by while driving down the road, tackling piles of dishes, doing loads of laundry, pulling weeds in the garden or scrubbing floors.

This weekend I listened to "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I admit, the title piqued my interest when I saw it in my iTunes audiobook fiction section. The reviews were wonderful and the audio sampling was acceptable so I downloaded the book. The narration talent of audiobooks is so important. This book is narrated by a team of five talented voices that bring the characters to life. I half-wish I owned the printed version of this book simply for the beautiful cover design. I washed the dishes, scrubbed the bathroom, folded clothes and finished knitting a scarf while "reading" my book.

The story is written as a series of letters to and from an author set in 1946. It took me a little bit to get used to this letter writing style, but after a while it seemed very natural and the characters came to life. The letters focus around post WWII England and especially, the quirky and charming residents of the channel island of Guernsey and it's unusual members of the literary society. Guernsey was occupied by the Germans during World War II. This book brings to light some of the conditions and hardships the islanders must have experienced during the occupation.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and it's cast of characters. It had me laughing and crying. I look forward to listening in again. I'd highly recommend either the audio or written version.

18 comments:

Sornie said...

You're lucky to have the time to read a book, I have a stack of magazines going on wel over two months that I am thinking I'll never get around to reading. It's hopeless!

lime said...

oh, that does sound interesting. thanks for the tip.

grrl+dog said...

I've just discovered audio books too... great while you knit or drive long distances.

Will check out the I tunes section..

actonbell said...

I've never tried audio books. Actually, I've always been afraid that I would drift off, or something...but I definitely want to read this particular book. It's been one of the top picks for bookgroups for awhile.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Four readers...I read it and wondered how it would translate to audio. That's how! Our book club adored it--it had us laughing and crying too. Really wonderful, with a little Jane Austin-ish love angle. I enjoy books on tape--especially when working on a project. Talk radio, even on NPR, can get so combative and kills my joy.

Greg said...

Audiobooks are great for long drives... but like an actual book, I can't just pick it up and put it down in small intervals. Which is why I so rarely read/do the audiobook thing... my morning commute is like seven minutes.

(Nice blog.)

Captain Smack said...

Reading is bad for you. I stayed up all night reading last night. Couldn't stop. Ended up getting 4 hours of sleep because I wanted to find out of the guy running for Supreme Court would win, or if his plans would be foiled by the two gay law students who had stumbled across the ugly truth about how he was running his campaign.

Well, I won't spoil it for you.

KFarmer said...

I used to listen to books on tape on my way to work every morning. Then I switched to a learning how to speak German one. Its all good fun :)

I read when Dave watches TV :)Thanks for the referral. I'll look for it.

cube said...

Sounds like a good read. I'm still bewitched by books although, if I were stuck in a long car commute, I wouldn't be averse to trying an audio book. It's all about the circumstances of one's life.

Bill Stankus said...

I've been considering audio books for beddy-bye. Trouble is, I will miss out on who-done-it. Naturally, it will be replayed each nite til the story is completed.

Prunella Jones said...

I love books so much. I'm never happier than when I have a new stack by my bed. It makes me want to tap dance and burst into song.

Jocelyn said...

You are the third reader that I respect who has recommnded this book.

Okay. Okay. I'll bite!

Leon Basin said...

Hey, how are you doing?

ArtSparker said...

I remember reading...

kmkat said...

I too love audio books for all the same reasons you do. I subscribe to audible.com and download them (2/month) to my iPod. Must look for that book.

dmarks said...

Good title.

Audiobooks are great for long drives, yes.

Minnesota Matron said...

Listening to a book sounds like a good idea! I could listen while I run. . . although I've moved to LifeTime fitness. No more winter runs for this old lady :-) Hope all is well!

notmassproduced said...

mmmm sounds a tempting way to improve my listening skills!