Tag Archives: the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society

A Brilliant Day with a Brilliant Book

How would I define a perfect day? Lying in bed reading all day and finishing a great book as the sun is setting. That was today and I couldn’t be more happy with the book which was my company, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.

It’s a funny title, for a fun, historical, interesting, and captivating book written by Mary Ann Shaffer and completed by her niece Annie Barrows after Shaffer faced health issues. The novel follows letters to and from Juliet Ashton, a writer from London, who becomes enchanted with the Island of Guernsey in the English Channel after it’s occupation by Germany in World War II.

Anyway, my mother was the one to recommend this book to me, so here is the letter (okay, well.. email) I wrote to her about the book:

“I just finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I called to tell you I finished it, but there was no answer and I am happy there wasn’t. It forces me to write a letter. Keep in mind I may be in a sort of mania, since I am slightly sick and spent the whole day in bed blowing my nose and reading.

this is the bed i read in all day. really, i just like to show off my canopy whenever i have an excuse.

“Oh reading! This book rekindled my love of it. Lately as I have been reading I’ve fallen flat. I finished On the Road yesterday and I loved it. It was brilliant. It was a book about being transient, but I looked at the time he was writing of as unattainable to me. I read it while I rode the subway stopping mid-sentence to look up and remind myself of my location. My location within the same America Kerouac explored, but he experienced America in a way I will never be able to (although I doubt I will stop trying anytime soon.)

“The Guernsey Literary Society was less about location, less about going. It was about finding people you love and care about and learning about them and with them. Their location on a beautiful island constantly smelling fresh salty air was merely a happy coincidence. What brought them together was books and a desire to communicate, which is a thing our society never let’s go.

this isn’t from guernsey, but it’s a house on an island. i took it on a trip to canada this summer and while i was reading i thought back to it.

“One unrelated point: Isn’t it interesting that On the Road and The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Society are discussing a time only five or six years apart. I could not imagine two more opposite perspectives on the world. Anyway, I thought the book was tons of fun. I love you and every book you recommend very much.”

After editing that ‘letter’ and putting pictures in I realize how lazy it is to simply reuse a letter and plop it into a blog post, but the world is full of lazier things, I suppose. In conclusion, read this book, or read any book, or just spend a whole day reading. It’s very restorative. Tomorrow I have to return to the real world and find another book to read on the subway.
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