Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Would you like to join the Potato Peel Pie Society?

I discovered a book last month at my romance book club meeting. One of the ladies who also runs the Historical Fiction book club was talking about the May book and it sounded interesting. I picked it up on Sunday and read it yesterday. It's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (say that title five times!)

It is about a writer, Juliet Ashton, set in London shortly after World War II who happens to get a letter from a stranger, Dawsey, who resides on Guernsey Island in the English Channel. He had received a book that once belonged to her. Her address was written inside, so he sent her a letter wondering if she could find him more books by that author. And from that letter on we learn of this literary society several of the Guernsey Islanders formed during the German Occupation during the war.

The entire book is simply a series of letters written either by the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society members or Juliet corresponding with her editor and two friends. It's a very fast paced book, with a little bit of everything. It's happy. It's sad (tears sad). It's funny. And it even has a bit of romance. It leaves you with an overall feeling of warmth. That group of people, however unintentional, came together during a harsh and tragic time. And it was books that brought them together, and a roast pig! It gave them a bit of peace during the horrible Occupation, which lasted five years.

While I was reading yesterday I had a thought, "Wouldn't it be cool to pass this book around?" It is definitely a book for a book lover to read. It's based around an author and a literary society, so there are several mentions of literary classics, such as the Bronte Sisters, Jane Austen, Chauncey, and several others. But it wasn't until I read the Afterward that really made me want to pass this book around.

"...Its members are spread all over the world, but they are joined by their love of books, of talking about books, and of their fellow readers. We are transformed-magically-into the literary society each time we pass a book along, each time we ask a question about it, each time we say, "If you liked that, I bet you'd like this." Whenever we are willing to be delighted and share our delight, as Mary Ann did, we are part of the ongoing story of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society."

I thought after reading that, that if there was any book that should be passed around it's this one! I thought how neat would it be to go from one reader to the next, each signing their name, date, and locale, then passing it on to the next, until eventually it made it back to me.

So I ask all of you, are you interested in being a member of my Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? If you are either leave a comment here or send me an email to himscute@yahoo.com. I figure I could set up a mailing route with whoever is interested and see what happens! I really hope some of you are interested. It is a really great book.


25 comments:

Blodeuedd said...

Hm, I had this one borrowed from the library, but didn't want to read if in Swedish, but in English, yes :)
I am in, and since I live so far away you could always ask who is willing to send to me. I can ship all over the place. surely good for my karma, lol.

Amy C said...

Hugs to you, Blodeuedd :). I'm so glad you want to. I'll have to see who's willing to ship either to Canada or overseas. And that is great that you are willing to ship anywhere!

Blanche said...

Hi Amy!

This sounds like a really neat book and I woul love to be a member of my Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society!!

Cecile said...

Hey Amy!! Count me in on this one!! The book soudns great and it really sounds like what we are doing today with the blog sites!! Funny how technology may have changed, but the idea is still the same.. share our love of reading with each other... I would not mind shipping to Blodeuedd!

Anna said...

Hi Amy, This sounds like a great book. Count me in. :)

Amy C said...

Oh, I'm so happy that you guys are interested! I'll have to put together an itinerary for the book ;). Maybe I'll start and send it to Blodeuedd and go in order from there?

Cecile! That was my thoughts exactly...we may not see each other in person to discuss books, but we certainly do it online. And it is so nice to have this bridge to bring us together and close that gap. It's a wonderful book and I can't see anyone not enjoying it!

The book is with my mom right now. When she gives it back to me, I'll put together a list of who gets the book next and who sends the book to who! I'm so excited :).

Amy C said...

Cecile, you'll have to send my your addy :).

Cecile said...

No problem.. heading over to email central!

Lea said...

AmyC!

So great to see your wonderful post! This sounds like an awesome book - and sure I'd love to be included. How thoughtful of you. :)

Warm Regards
L

Amy C said...

Thank you, Lea! I've been pre-occupied lately.

I'm so glad you want to join in also :). Anna could send it to you when she is finished. This is shaping up nicely.

Eva S said...

Sounds like an interesting book, I'd love to read it too!

Blodeuedd said...

I am happy to go first or in any order :D
Gonna be fun

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Count me in Amy, I've wanted to read this for a while now!

Amy C said...

Thank you all so much! I have a route planned so far. As soon as I get it back from my mom in a day or two, I'll get it shipped off to the first person and post who gets to send it to who next. I'll have to have it make a pit stop to me at some point so I can check it out, cuz I'm a dork like that! LOL

I thought maybe, if you wanted, hand write a small note with your feelings? Kinda like a small review? And stick it inside the book. Then those could get passed along with the book for others to read previous readers thoughts. It also kinda goes with the theme of the book, the whole thing being a compilation of correspondences between the characters. Of course that would be totally up to you! I also though that maybe with your name, date, and location, you could also add one or two words that describe the book or how you feel. Those suggestions are all optional, but definitely welcome if you feel so inclined :).

Lori said...

Wow - what a great idea! I'd love to participate! You can email me at mctclover at gmail dot com

Amy C said...

That is like music to my ears, Lori! I would love to add you to the list :) Thank you so much!! Off to email you now.

Cecile said...

This is great Amy!!! It is turning out very nicely!

Amy C said...

Thank you, Cecile!

angelshimmery said...

I have read this book and thought it was truly wonderful, but if people are willing to post internationally I would love to read it again and become part of your Travelling Society.
I am of course willing to post it anywhere.
Wouldn't it be fantastic if we could hunt down someone who lives on Guernsey that would like to be involved then it would almost be as if the book has gone full circle.

Amy C said...

Hi angelshimmery! Definitely, I can add you to the 'Traveling Society'! (<----I like that name!) If the next person in line doesn't want to ship overseas, I will :)! I'll just have them mail it to me then I'll ship it off to you.

I totally agree! How neat to have someone from Guernsey Island get involved. If I knew a way...

Ladybug said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ladybug said...

Sorry that last deleted comment was me.

I don't know if this still is on but if it is I would love to read this book(I live in Norway by the way). I just read a great review by Julie over @ Outlandish Dreaming and one way or another I'll have to read this book now :)

Amy C said...

Ladybug! It most certainly still is open to sign up! I will definitely add you to the list. Send me an email with your mailing info at

himscute @ yahoo.com

A few I haven't heard back from so I can add you right after Viv Arend. She is okay with mailing overseas!

Thank you so much for wanting to be part of the Traveling Society!

vvb32 reads said...

i loved this book too! i'd love to join in your guernsey book project.
vvb32 at yahoo.com

Maria said...

I saw this book in a local bookshop recently. I don't really like translations, however.

I'd like to join this literary Odyssey (though I am a bit late lol), but since I live in a far away country where books sent by regular post sometimes disappear along the way (and not just books :/)*** and shipping through other means gets really expensive, I wouldn't want to risk your book.

I love the idea, though. Makes me wish I lived somewhere else (as long as Book Depository ships there too lol). :)

*** OK, so it doesn't happen always, but it happened to me enough times to realise that I just shouldn't bother.