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Never Ending Stories


Quote of the Day: If I could have anything I wanted, I would choose story without end. – Annie Barrows

I loved every word of Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows epistolary novel, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I started it a few days before Christmas, but read most of it on the snowy Saturday after the gifts were opened and the children were away. I took one short break to clear my driveway and get circulation back in my bottom, then promptly placed it back on the arm chair so I could rejoin all my new friends on Guernsey Island.

Isn’t that how it is when you’re immersed in a great book? You feel like the characters are your friends and you can’t imagine life without them. When I was around 12-years-old I remember loving a book so much that as I neared the end, I feared having to let them go once the story ended, so I set the book down for a couple weeks before I’d allow myself to finish the book. I missed them so much. (Although today I can’t remember just which book that was…maybe it happened more than once, but it likely had girls and horses in it!)

Annie Barrows says that many readers share this sentiment. She goes on to write: This profusion of questions, exclamations, and tales is the new version of the Society. 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.

We are joined in the society of readers and lovers of words and sharing words and stories.

I read the final few pages of this novel in the waiting room of the dentist office. Before the hygienist put her fingers and tools in my mouth, I had to tell her about this book. She wrote it down, another hygienist wrote it down, and she talked about books during my entire cleaning, which made it much more tolerable.

It’s nice to know the story lives on. We keep passing it along. We keep sharing our stories, and we stay connected.

Journaling prompt: What are you reading right now, and what book would you recommend to a friend?

  1. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about that book. I’m going to have to read it.

    I’m in the middle of reading Hunger (the sequel to Gone), by Michael Grant.

    Currently, I would recommend The Maze Runner, The Ranger’s Apprentice series, all of the Fablehaven books, and The Underneath by Kathi Appelt (to name a few). 🙂

  2. Mary, I just wanted to say, first, how much I love the quotes you throw in at the beginning. It’s always a great way to start a blog read. And now you’ve added a title to my “books to read in 2010” list. I’m collecting. And it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, I’ve always loved sharing titles with you. We’ve passed along some really great ones to each other. I just redeemed a B&N gift certificate I got from Troy and picked up a copy of Max Lucado’s “Fearless.” If you haven’t read it yet, I’ll pass it along when I’m done. I’ve heard it’s really good, and I trust the friend from whom that assessment came. 🙂 Blessings as you wait out the coming of a brand new year!

  3. P.S. Apparently my daughter was logged in too when I left the comment, but it really was me. 🙂

  4. Roxane, The “Blue” blogger did throw me at first, but your “voice” was clear. I’ve heard of “Fearless,” I think it will be an excellent read.

    Shannon, your books look tempting, too.

  5. I can relate to being immersed in a good book. I felt the same way when I read A Voice in the Wind with a character named Haddassah. I found myself wondering what she was doing during the day! It is amazing how your mind can create a real person!

  6. It’s the gift of good story-telling. It makes me want to go to Guernsey and visit all my new friends.

  7. This is the second rave review on that book. I will get it!

    Believe it or not I am reading Jack and Jill by Louisa May Alcott.

  8. Jack & Jill. I hadn’t heard of that one. Let me know how you like it?

  9. I’ll finish Guernsey tonite and don’t want it to end. What a delicious book. Like you’ve mentioned parts of this incredible book, so have I. It’s a book for the ages. Happy New Year!

  10. Hi Mary!
    I wanted to thank you for visiting my blog the other day. I hope your New Year was joyful.

    I have heard nothing but great things about that book! I’m going to have to check it out. Thanks for further confirming that 🙂

    In regards to the quote, I was just thinking last night how I’d love a book that I could get lost in again. One that would just go on and on and on. Sure, I have series that I read that are still continuing, but to have one continuous story that never ends…ah, to dream!

    Have a wonderful day,

  11. Kittie and Jen, thanks for making connections and sharing the love of words and stories. The story lives on as we replay it in our minds.

  12. Mary, thank YOU…I read a lot and was somewhat disappointed that I’d hit a string of ho-hum books until I picked up Guernsey. The book’s depth constantly challenges me…I’ve Googled so much, learned so much and am humbled by the goodness that thrived on that island. I look forward to your blogs!

  13. I’ve heard a lot about Guernsey too, and will definitely check it out now. There’s nothing like feeling like you’re a part of the book, drawn in effectively by the writing. I just finished reading The Time Travelers Wife, and though I liked it, wasn’t as enthused by it as others seem to be.

  14. The book club I was in at the time, read Time Traveler’s Wife. I liked it, too, but found some of it disturbing. We read The Glass Castle right after that, and it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read!

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