Saturday, May 23, 2009


I can't stop thinking about this darling book. Usually epistolary novels aren't my thing, but I thought it was the perfect form to use to teach so much about WWII while maintaining her entertaining style. Are you all just in LOVE with Juliet? I adore her ... And Elizabeth's character was inspirational to me. I'm amazed that Shaffer could lead us to love a character so much that we never actually meet, and whose voice we never hear. I'm so impressed.

My favorite element of the book, though, was the compassion of some of the German soldiers. I'd never stopped to think that some of the soldiers would not like what they were doing and would find little (and big) ways to help the citizens whose communities they were occupying. I loved Christian, and admired Elizabeth even more for her willingness to see behind the uniform and help others love him too. I cried when whoever it was told about the soldiers who would intentionally push potatoes off the cart without a glance to the children who chased behind. I've thought about it a lot since.

I was surprised by the Dawsey part of the plot. I guess I should have seen it, but I'd always thought Juliet would realize she was actually in love with Sidney. Well, until we found out he was gay. :) And Isola ... what a doll! I picture her a lot like the big hairy guy from Harry Potter. And I mean that in a nice way, even if the features are less than flattering.

Why don't we have communities like that these days? Is it just necessity and trial that make people bind together like that? I don't know. But I wish I had the courage to develop those kinds of friendships. Thanks for picking this book!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

"Celebrating literature, love, and the power of the human spirit, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is the story of an English author living in the shadow of World War II—and embarking on a writing project that will dramatically change her life. Unfolding in a series of letters, this enchanting novel introduces readers to the indomitable Juliet Ashton. Through Juliet’s correspondence with her publisher, best friend, and an absorbing cast of characters, readers discover that despite the personal losses she suffered in the Blitz, and author tours sometimes marked by mishaps, nothing can quell her enthusiasm for the written word. One day, she begins a different sort of correspondence, responding to a man who found her name on the flyleaf of a cherished secondhand book. He tells her that his name is Dawsey Adams, a native resident of Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands recently liberated from Nazi occupation. Soon Juliet is drawn into Dawsey’s remarkable circle of friends, courageous men and women who formed the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society as a cover to protect them from the Germans. With their appetite for good books, and their determination to honor the island’s haunting recent history, this is a community that opens Juliet’s heart and mind in ways she could never have imagined."

I personally loved this book and highly recommend it. It is the perfect book for a book club. Have fun reading!

Great Book

I really enjoyed The Only Alien on the Planet. I was a little concerned at first, because the description made it seem a lot like Twilight (teenage girl moves to new school, becomes fascinated by a beautiful, mysterious boy who is unlike anyone she has ever met). But the book is actually a bit deeper than that. There is kind of a sweet a romantic aspect to the story, but main message I took from it was the importance of true friendship. I really felt for Smitty, or the "alien" in the story. The way he evolved as a character was very cool- from being completely blank and unresponsive to being able to find his voice even in the face of his abuser made him a very intriguing character. I also found it interesting that Smitty's condition was not the result of parental abuse (like I would have suspected). Rather it is the result of emotional abuse from an older sibling, which is rarely encountered, at least in the literature I've read. This book is a good example of how even adolescent lit can be a source of wisdom. There were a couple of poignant passages that I would go back and highlight if I were to ever read it again, which I probably will. It was definitely worth the 75 cents plus shipping.

Anyone else have anything to add?

I think it's Em's turn to choose the next book . . .