Friday, 31 July 2009

Readings from America

I loved reading Mary Ann Schaffer's The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society and will recommend it to my book group. Although written by an American, the characters are all English or Guernsey. Set just after the end of the second World War, it's a series of letters, started by a writer looking for a topic for her next book, the first having done quite well. She receives a letter from a man in Guernsey who found her address in a copy of a book she had owned. She replies and sets in motion a life-changing course of events, as well as discovering just what life was like for the islanders under the German occupation during the war. The subject is one of interest as well as familiarity to me, as flights from Southampton to the Channel Islands are common and regular, and when a book was published a while ago on the history of the occupation of the Channel Island, there was a huge local demand for it. This tale although fiction, has a solid foundation in the truth, and is memorable for that reason.
Barak Obama's Dreams from my Father, a book club read, proved much more interesting than I had anticipated. I'm not usually a fan of political biographies, especially American ones, but this book, written well before he bcame President was very readable, and certainly explained his family and background in some detail. Worh a read, if only to conteract some of the wilder opinions to be found in the media.

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