Saturday, June 14, 2008

Recommended Summer Reading

It's not often that the staff at Inkwell reads the same book; we have an unwritten rule that we should diversify our reading selections to cut a wider swath through the books released each season. Who gets to read what is determined by who is the swiftest at attacking the new ARCs (Advance Reading Copies).

So when two copies of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (Dial Press, $22.00) floated around the store, Kathleen and I both snared a copy without realizing the other had one. When we discovered that not only were we reading the same book, but that we both absolutely loved it, all that was left to do was to select it as our top pick for the summer. It hits bookshelves on July 29th, and we can't wait to start handselling it to our fellow avid booklovers.

Here's the basic plot:
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of WW2, 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. 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.

Both witty and moving, the novel is told entirely through letters sent between the characters. Mary Ann Shaffer has worked as a librarian and bookseller, and her love for books shines throughout the pages. The power of literature to transform lives is evident in this wonderful book. Don't miss it!

p.s. Thanks to Michael Kindness, our Random House rep, who handed the book to me and told me I would love it. He was so right! To see more perfect picks by our Random House reps, Michael & Ann, visit their blog/podcast, Books on the Nightstand, by clicking here.