Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Authors I have met, kind of...

I've been in online book clubs for a few years now and have really enjoyed them. Hopefully you have a great conversation about a great book but neither one of those are guaranteed. It's always interesting no matter what happens even if only for a short time. My favorite clubs are when the author joins us for the entire length of the club, usually a month. I've been lucky enough to meet some amazing authors this way. Some of them, I'm embarrassed to say, I've never heard of until I started to participate in the club that featured their book. But there always has to be a first time! I find it so fascinating to ask questions and post comments and have the author respond to me personally every time. I am able to chat with them every day for a whole month. I can't always wrap my brain around the fact that it's the author of the book in my very hands. OK, I don't get out much but everyone must get star struck sometimes. Authors are my celebrities.

The most recent author I "met" was Annie Barrows one of the authors of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. I wasn't sure if I would like this story since it was about the Nazi occupation during WWII of the island of Guernsey in the English Channel. I don't usually care much for historical fiction (or nonfiction for that matter) but I must be maturing because I really enjoyed this one along with some others I've read lately. Juliet Ashton is an author in the story who begins a pen pal relationship with the residents of the island and it develops into a friendship. She decides to visit them and find out more about their history and their lives. The characters are a fantastic mix of every small town's inhabitants. The nosy neighbor, the know-it-all, the leader, the loyal friend, the hermit, every character serves a purpose here. The story is written in epistolary form with many different people writing back and forth. What made this book unusual was that Ms. Barrows' aunt, Mary Ann Shaffer, was the author and it took her several years to write this. She became ill and asked her niece, who is an author of childrens books, to help with the editing. Unfortunately, Ms. Shaffer never recovered from her illness and died knowing it had sold but before it was published.

Ms. Barrows shared the story of this unusual coauthor situation and what it meant to her aunt to write this story. We were also lucky enough to have readers join us who had been to the island of Geurnsey and could tell all of us about their experiences. Some other readers from our club also decided to go there after our discussions together. I wanted to go there myself! Ms. Barrows promised to give us an update after her excursion and tell us what the residents thought of the book. We are all hoping she gets the same response as the main character during her own visit. Ms. Barrows was very friendly and accommodating to all of us and I would be happy to spend another month with her.


  1. I missed that club but went back and read a lot of the posts because the book was on my tbr list. When I finally read the book I loved it!

  2. Hi Wrighty, thanks for stopping by Bitten By Books today! Take care,


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