Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a long title.  Whew!  Ok, that doesn’t have anything to do with my review, but I had to say it.

The book begins in January 1946, London England and is told through letters.  It is right after World War II ends.  The main character, Juliet Ashton, is a writer and receives a letter from a gentlemen who lives in Guernsey in the English Channel.  She discovers that Guernsey was occupied by the Germans for quite a long time.  So begins the letters back and forth from Juliet to the people of Guernsey, and a few others here and there.

The books deals with a heavy subject matter, but it is written in a light hearted way.  In the beginning it took me awhile to get used to the different characters and keep track of who was who.  Once I got farther into the book that was not a problem.   A few of the characters became stand out characters.  I enjoyed the fact that the book allowed you to “hear” the voices come through their letters.  Specifically, I loved hearing Isola’s take on things happening in and around the Island.

The book is a quick read and I enjoyed it over all.

I would rate the book 4 out of 5 stars.

10 ways to increase your number of books read this year.

I love feeling like I have improved on anything.  Reading more books is no exception.  The more I hear and read about books, the more I want to read.  

1. Join a challenge.  

This can be any type of challenge.  Goodreads has a great challenge to set a number of books you want to read this year.  You can beat your number from last year.  Just don’t do too big of a number, you will either hate reading or just grab a bunch of the smallest books you can find.  Create a challenge with your friends or family.  It is easy to find lists online.  

2. Watch Book videos on Youtube 

There are so many great videos talking about a whole bunch of different genres.  Really you can’t not find something to help boost the number of books you want to read.  Do be careful though, this can also hinder your reading time.  The more you see, the more you want to watch. Watch a few and then walk away.

3. Dedicate a few hours on the weekend to read. 

By making time to read it will make it a whole lot easier to finish a lot more books..  The best way is to get a comfy spot all ready and sink right in.  A cuddly cat or dog won’t hurt either.

4. Drink more tea.

Nothing says curling up with a great book than a cup of tea.  If you don’t drink tea ask your friends to recommend their favorite kind of tea.  If all else fails ask random people at the grocery “what kind of tea do you like to drink”.  I bet you would get some pretty crazy answers.

5. Pick a classic to impress that guy or gal you are interested in.

I say this because once you read some of the amazing classics out there, you won’t be able to turn back.  Just don’t become one of those people who turns their noses up at all other books.  That will definitely not impress cute, nerdy, intellectuals.  

6.  Go into the YA section of any store.

I know you will find a great book there and most of them are series.  I think it might be a requirement.  So you will feel all great about reading that YA book, until you realize it ends with a cliffhanger.  You will then have to go back to the bookstore and buy all the other books in the series.  You will also be recommended a bunch of other great series based on the first book.  Then BAM, you have increased your number of books for the year.

7. Force books on your friends.

This shouldn’t increase your book count, but it will.  Once you have finally convinced your friends to read the amazing books you love, they will force books on you.  Just like you, they will not give up until you read them.   Shhhhh, just go with it.

8. Have awkward conversations with family members, colleagues, or in laws.

Once you have read enough you will always have a book that will fit for that person.  Then you can fall back on that to discuss when all else fails.  Unless they don’t read, like ever.  Then you are screwed.

9. Take a long road trip.

This is a great way to discover audiobooks.  Those amazing gems read by Libba Bray, Tina Fey, and so many more.  Plus what else are you going to do play the license plate game?  Ok, you can do that too!

10. Put yourself on a book buying ban until you read all those unread books off of your shelf.

You will become a speed reading champion with the prospect of not being able to buy more books.  Nothing will make you read faster than staring up at all those shelves filled with books you bought.  You know what I mean.  All those dollar books, 3 for 5 books, or even those library sales books will come back to taunt you when you put yourself on ban.  Bans are awesome, until you put yourself on one.

 

Those are my 10 ways you can increase your books read this year.

 How do you increase the number of books you read?  

 

2013 A Look Ahead

I have set my Goodreads challenge at 65 books.  I thought that sounded good.  Hey, I read 66 books last year, so why not.  That is until I realized that means I need to read 5 and a half books a month in order to meet that goal.  I guess that is why it is called a challenge.

On top of the Goodreads challenge I also am part of a category challenge.  I found these categories off of paperbackswap.com and then tweaked them.  I can’t be held down by staying in one genre.  Here are the categories and the books I picked for each one.  These may change.  Why, you ask?  Well I am female and we reserve the right to change our minds.

1.A book that delves into the past or has a time related word in the title.  The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
2.A book from a genre you don’t normally read. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
3.A book by an author you are unsure about or did not like the first time around.  Unwind by Neal Shusterman
4.A book that takes inspiration from a classic work of literature.  Cinder by Marissa Meyer or Waking Rose by Regina Doman
5.A book that is part of a series. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
6.A book that takes place in a capital city, a small town, or a place near you. Divergent by Veronica Roth
7.A book that has more than 4 words in the title. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
8.A book that has a name in the title. Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
9.A book in which a non human plays a key role. Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
10. A book that is set in a different country. The White Queen by Philipa Gregory
11.A book in which a senior citizen is a main character.  ScatterShot by Richard Goodwin
12. A book that has a cultural conflict or is about another culture. The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
13. CHALLENGE: A book that is picked by someone else for you. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok (picked by my aunt and my mom)
14. CHALLENGE: Pick 3 books that have something in common (same author, setting, or theme.  Night by Elie Wiesel , The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
I am also going to attempt to do an A to Z challenge.  I may or may not exclude the, an, a, etc… from the titles to fit books that I want to read.
What are some challenges you are trying?  What books are you looking forward to in 2013?

My Best Books of 2012

These are the books that I loved in 2012.  Not all of these books were published in 2012.  They are posted in order of the most loved to the least loved.  I shouldn’t pick favorites, but I did.  Harsh, I know.

  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green The Fault in Our Stars
    I shouldn’t have to say anything about this book.  I am sure everyone has heard it over and over.  So, you should be rushing out to buy your copy, but here are my two cents on The Fault in Our Stars.  I read two other books by John Green and I liked them, but they were not even close to this book.  The Fault in Our Stars ripped at my heart like no other book I read this year.  It was sweet and left a lasting impression after I put the book down.   
  2.  Dark Places by Gillian Flynn      Dark Places  So much attention is on her current novel Gone Girl.  Except I didn’t love Gone Girl like I did Dark Places.  This book is a dark book.  It IS right in the title.  It is about a family that is murdered and those family members that survive.  One was a young girl who testifies against her brother, the other the brother who has been in prison for years.  Had a few twists and turns.  Overall I really enjoyed this well written book.
  3. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls  The Glass Castle
    A dysfunctional memoir of a family, but really interesting and well done.  Why didn’t I pick this one up sooner.
  4. One Good Dog by Susan WilsonOne Good Dog
    This book I bought by accident while trying to buy One For the Money.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  I am happy I made that mistake.  This book turned out to be such a gem.  Told from the perspective of a man and a dog (alternating with each chapter).  It was a great book.
  5.  Delirium and Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver Delirium (Delirium, #1)  Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)
    A good dystopian series.  Left me wanting more and I can’t wait for the next one.
  6. If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)
    These books deal with some heavy issues.  I loved the first book and I didn’t think I could love the second one as much.  I was wrong the second one was just as good, if not better, than the first book.  I like that Gayle Forman flipped it and told the second book more from the male perspective.
  7. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer...
    The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is so interesting and I wanted to know what was happening to Mara.  She was a great young adult character.  I always know I have enjoyed a book when I want the second one right away and this is definitely one of those books.
  8. Room by Emma Donoghue Room
    The book was actually published in 2010, but I don’t remember it.  I am sorry I missed it until now.  This is told from the perspective of a five year old boy.  The story is compelling and very interesting.  Why is this mom and son stuck in the room?  It had a few hiccups in how the boy spoke, but it only took a small portion from an interesting story.
  9. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray  Beauty Queens
    I don’t know if this book translates as well in written form as it did in the audio book.  The audio book is quite good.  The author does the reading and it really made the book for me.  Beauty Queens is an entertaining and lighthearted book.
  10. The Mediator by Meg Cabot Shadowland (The Mediator, #1)
    Fun, quick, and light read.  The perfect book to get out of reading slump.
  11.  Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Shadow and Bone (The Grisha...
    I was torn at whether or not to include this book.  It is a 2012 debut novel.  I wasn’t totally riveted throughout the whole book, but it held my attention.  The reason why it was nudged onto the list, was the fact that it was set up nicely for the upcoming sequel.   I can’t wait to see where they go with the story.  I will be reading the next one!

What did you love reading in 2012?  Any surprises?

Here are a few other favorites:

tv shows: Once Upon A Time, Parks and Recreation, The Mindy Project, Nashville, The Middle, Modern Family, and The Voice

movies: 50/50, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, The Hunger Games, and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A Year in Review 2012

I read a total of 66 books last year.  I have listed them in order of when I read them.   These are not all books that were published in 2012, just books I read in 2012.

 

  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver                      
  • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
  • If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name:News from Small-Town Alaska by Heather Lende
  • Dune Road by Jane Green
  • Shadowland (The Mediator, Book 1) by Meg Cabot
  • Ninth Key (The Mediator, Book 2) by Meg Cabot
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
  • Absolute Liability (Southern Fraud Thriller, Bk 1) by J. W. Becton
  • Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
  • One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, Bk 1) by Janet Evanovich
  • So Pretty It Hurts (Bailey Weggins, Bk 6) by Kate White
  • The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult
  • Frommer’s New York 2012
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  • Learn Me Good by John Pearson
  • Rumor Has It by JIll Mansell
  • Gone to Green (The Green Series, Bk 1) by Judy Christie
  • One Good Dog by Susan Wilson
  • Tisha : The Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaska Wilderness by Robert Specht
  • The Song Remains the Same by Allison Winn Scotch
  • The Vow: The True Story Behind the Movie by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter
  • The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Uncharted TerriTORI by Tori Spelling
  • Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work by Tim Gunn
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • Fodor’s See It New York City
  • Britney Spears: Little Girl Lost by Christopher Heard
  • Internet Your Way To a New Job (Third Edition): How to Really Find a Job Online
  • Jeneration X by Jen Lancaster
  • How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew by Erin Bried
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan & John Green
  • Just Like Family Inside the Lives of Nannies the Parents They Work for and the Children They Love by Tasha Blaine
  • Firestarters: 100 Job Profiles to Inspire Young Women
  • City of Bones (Mortal Instruments, Bk 1) by Cassandra Clare
  • City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments, Bk 2) by Cassandra Clare
  • If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster
  • Susanna Loves London by Mary Hogan 
  • Susanna Covers the Catwalk by Mary Hogan
  • Made in the U.S.A by Billie Letts
  • Swerve: Reckless Observations of a Postmodern Girl by Aisha Tyler
  • Fly Away Home: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner
  • Reunion (The Mediator, Book 3) by Meg Cabot
  • Darkest Hour (The Mediator, Book 4) by Meg Cabot
  • Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 1) by Charlaine Harris
  • Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
  • Lost & Found by Jacqueline Sheehan
  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Haunted (The Mediator, Book 5) by Meg Cabot
  • It by Stephen King
  • Twilight (The Mediator, Book 6) by Meg Cabot
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo
  • Room by Emma Donoghue
  • Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  • Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography by Rob Lowe
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Ashes (Ashes, Bk 1) by Ilsa J. Bick
  • The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  • Where She Went (If I Stay, Bk 2) by Gayle Forman