Because reading is hot.

That was some sugary pie! You know, this was my ulterior motive when suggesting we start a book club– PIE!!! And, oh, man, that was sugary pie extraordinaire. Thanks to Irene for bringing The Pie of All Pies and the rest of the  Hotties who keep Book/Food Club tasty, interesting, and intellectually stimulating! God, that was energizing and filling at the same time!

Well, we all seemed to concur that Michael Chabon’s Maps and Legends made us want to read more (shocking!) books, especially Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, but that we were a little underwhelmed by some aspects of the book such as the lack of women authors or authors who aren’t white guys in general–especially, in our humble opinions, writing and reading from the borderlands should especially include people who actually occupy the borderlands and margins. An essay on Caribbean authors or the Harlem Renaissance wouldn’t come amiss. We also, some of us, thought one essay on comics was probably enough, and Chabon’s LOVE of the run-on sentences got our collective editor backs up a bit. However, we decided that overall we liked his writing and clear and present enthusiasm for what he was writing about. And, despite his lack of punctuation, that a Pulitzer Prize winner can probably write wtf he wants.

We are also on a new path as a book club. One in which each person picks a book for their assigned month/genre, then leads the discussion the following month. See the last post. I also propose (to make it more interesting, that the person who picks the book writes about why they chose that particular book.

But, first, the March meeting is at Andria and Rosie’s place on Saturday, March 13.  Time: to be determined by our hosts. You know what to do: Read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, decide what delicious food contribution you’re going to make, and show up ready to talk book, eat, and drink with your fellow hot stuffs!

The next book is The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, which is SO AWESOME AND GOOD AND SUSPENSE-FILLED you will want to stay up late into the night reading it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!1omgeleventyonemillion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But, back to Guernsey.  I avoided this book for a long time. I saw it everywhere. I was honestly a bit turned off by the name, and the fact that a lot of book clubs gave it rave reviews, and it can be found on every table at Barnes & Noble. In the end, I decided to give it a try because I found it for $1 used on ABE books, and I have a penchant for reading WWII resistance books, both fiction and non-fiction.

In my many years of reading this “genre” I hadn’t read much about the German occupation of the Channel Islands, but that period in history is rich with stories of human drama and courage and cowardliness, and the whole range of humanity, etc. Guernsey, is no exception. I thought the book itself started off a bit slow and I wasn’t very keen on the whole thing being in letter form, at first anyway, but more on that at the meeting. The author, Mary Ann Shaffer, died before the book was complete and her niece, Annie Barrows,  finished it. The last 1/2 of the book is where it got interesting for me, but again, more on that, when we meet.

If you like reading about this period in history like I do, then I have some recommendations for you. The first is a video– Island At War by British Television. It’s available on Netflix–it’s a serial drama so it’s a bit of a time investment. Consider Guernesy like a precursor to LOST.

UPDATE: OMG– There was a lot more blog post here just a minute ago! Drat!

In short, the text that seems to be erased included some recommendations of terrific books and DVDs I have read and watched about that time period.

1) Island at War— awesome serial drama about…you guessed it: The German occupation of the Channel Islands. Available on Netflix, naturally.

2) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Fabulous book! I can’t recommend this enough!

3) Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy. Staggeringly dense and awesomely written!

4) Suite Francaise byIRÈNE NÉMIROVSKY. Tragic, mind blowing, and both fact and fiction. This book is life-changing!

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