Mash Up Review: Books about Books
Today I’m sharing a couple of mini-reviews for three books that were similar in the fact that they all talk about books or bookstores or writing. Other than that, they were all different, but I really enjoyed them all and wanted to share them with you in this mash up review.
The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society (Book and Movie)
I decided to read this book because there has been a lot of talk about it as the movie just came out on Netflix on August 10th. My mom recommended this book to me awhile ago, and I finally picked it up. This book is told completely through letters. There were definitely some characters who’s letters I found a little boring, but overall I really enjoyed the book. I really liked Juliet and felt a connection to her. Writing has always been a big part of my life, but sometimes finding inspiration is hard.
Guernsey did take me a little while to get through, just because it seemed to take a while for anything to really start happening. While it was interesting to get to know the characters more in depth, I felt that in the first 20-30 pages not a whole lot happened. But I didn’t give up, I always give a book at least 50-100 pages before putting it down. This one though, I didn’t end up putting it down and I did thoroughly enjoy the story. I gave Guernsey 3.5/5 stars.
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I have not watched the movie yet, but I’m planning to watch it soon! (If you watched it, what did you think?)
About the Book
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER – SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE ON NETFLIX – A remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.
“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . .
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends–and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society–born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island–boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.
The Storified Life of A.J. Fikry
This book surprised me, but in the best way. I first heard about it on Heather’s BookTube channel and I thought it sounded interesting, but forgot about it. But I saw it again during BookTubeAThon and decided to pick it up.
The funny thing is, I feel like this is a fairly simple story. A.J. is a bookstore owner, a recent widow and just kind of grumpy for a middle-aged man. Was this a book that I was actually going to like? Thankfully, I fell in love right form the beginning. I loved the writing style and the story kept me wanting more and I finished it pretty quickly.
This book spans quite a long time period but it was easy to follow and enjoyable to read. I thought that even though it did span quite a few years, the book was pleasant. Although there didn’t seem to be too much character development, I really fell in love with all of the characters and the story. 5/5 stars! I highly recommend for anyone who loves books or books about books and bookstores!
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About the Book
As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.
We are not quite novels.
We are not quite short stories.
In the end, we are collected works.
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who persists in taking the ferry to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, he can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.
And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, though large in weight—an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world. Or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming.
Literary Book Gifts
I also wanted to take a second and talk about this awesome company that I recently discovered, Literary Book Gifts. Melissa has created some beautiful + classic bookish designs on t-shirts and bags and guys… I am in love with them! I am still deciding which bookish tote that I want to purchase. But you guys can get 20% off your order with the code “bookishtay20” if you want to place an order! Once I make a decision I’ll share with you which item I picked!