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.