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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader's Circle Deluxe Reading Group Edition)
Cover of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader's Circle Deluxe Reading Group Edition)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader's Circle Deluxe Reading Group Edition)
A Novel
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A NETFLIX FILMThis deluxe eBook edition of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society features more than eighty additional pages of exclusive,...
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A NETFLIX FILMThis deluxe eBook edition of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society features more than eighty additional pages of exclusive,...
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  • #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A NETFLIX FILM

    This deluxe eBook edition of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society features more than eighty additional pages of exclusive, author-approved annotations throughout the text to enrich your reading experience. You can access the eBook annotations with a simple click or tap on your eReader via the convenient links. Access them as you read the novel or as supplemental material after finishing the entire story. There is also Random House Reader's Circle bonus content, sure to inspire discussion at book clubs everywhere.


    A runaway New York Times bestseller that was named one of the ten best books of the year by Time and USA Today, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has captivated readers around the world. Told with warmth and humor in a series of letters, this is a tale of finding connection in the most unexpected places.

    January 1946: As London emerges from the Second World War, 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 Guernsey, the British island once occupied by the Nazis? As Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence, she is drawn into the world of this man and his friends, all members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club formed to protect its members from arrest by the Germans. Through their letters, she learns about their island, their taste in books, and the powerful, transformative impact the Occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey. What she finds there will change her forever.

Excerpts-

  • From the book Part One


    8th January, 1946
    Mr. Sidney Stark, Publisher
    Stephens & Stark Ltd.
    21 St. James's Place
    London S.W.1
    England

    Dear Sidney,
    Susan Scott is a wonder. We sold over forty copies of the book, which was very pleasant, but much more thrilling from my standpoint was the food. Susan managed to procure ration coupons for icing sugar and real eggs for the meringue. If all her literary luncheons are going to achieve these heights, I won't mind touring about the country. Do you suppose that a lavish bonus could spur her on to butter? Let's try it—you may deduct the money from my royalties.

    Now for my grim news. You asked me how work on my new book is progressing. Sidney, it isn't.

    English Foibles seemed so promising at first. After all, one should be able to write reams about the Society to Protest the Glorification of the English Bunny. I unearthed a photograph of the Vermin Exterminators' Trade Union, marching down an Oxford street with placards screaming "Down with Beatrix Potter!" But what is there to write about after a caption? Nothing, that's what.

    I no longer want to write this book—my head and my heart just aren't in it. Dear as Izzy Bickerstaff is—and was—to me, I don't want to write anything else under that name. I don't want to be considered a light-hearted journalist anymore. I do acknowledge that making readers laugh—or at least chuckle—during the war was no mean feat, but I don't want to do it anymore. I can't seem to dredge up any sense of proportion or balance these days, and God knows one cannot write humor without them.
    In the meantime, I am very happy Stephens & Stark is making money on Izzy Bickerstaff Goes to War. It relieves my conscience over the debacle of my Anne Bront biography.

    My thanks for everything and love,
    Juliet

    P.S. I am reading the collected correspondence of Mrs. Montagu. Do you know what that dismal woman wrote to Jane Carlyle? "My dear little Jane, everybody is born with a vocation, and yours is to write charming little notes." I hope Jane spat on her.


    From Sidney to Juliet
    10th January, 1946
    Miss Juliet Ashton
    23 Glebe Place
    Chelsea
    London S.W. 3

    Dear Juliet:
    Congratulations! Susan Scott said you took to the audience at the luncheon like a drunkard to rum—and they to you—so please stop worrying about your tour next week. I haven't a doubt of your success. Having witnessed your electrifying performance of "The Shepherd Boy Sings in the Valley of Humiliation" eighteen years ago, I know you will have every listener coiled around your little finger within moments. A hint: perhaps in this case, you should refrain from throwing the book at the audience when you finish.

    Susan is looking forward to ushering you through bookshops from Bath to Yorkshire. And of course, Sophie is agitating for an extension of the tour into Scotland. I've told her in my most infuriating older-brother manner that It Remains To Be Seen. She misses you terribly, I know, but Stephens & Stark must be impervious to such considerations.

    I've just received Izzy's sales figures from London and the Home Counties—they are excellent. Again, congratulations!

    Don't fret about English Foibles; better that your enthusiasm died now than after six months spent writing about bunnies. The crass commercial possibilities of the idea were attractive, but I agree that the topic would soon grow horribly fey. Another subject—one you'll like—will occur to you.

    Dinner one evening before you go? Say when.

    Love,
    Sidney

    P.S. You write charming little...

About the Author-

  • Mary Ann Shaffer, who passed away in February 2008, worked as an editor, a librarian, and in bookshops. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was her first novel.

    Her niece Annie Barrows is the author of the children's series Ivy and Bean, as well as The Magic Half. She lives in northern California.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from September 29, 2008
    Shaffer's debut novel, written with her niece Barrow, is an original account of one writer's relationship with a member of a unique book club formed as an alibi to protect its members from arrest at the hands of the Nazis during WWII. With a small cast of gifted narrators including Paul Boehmer, Susan Duerdan, John Lee, Rosalyn Landor and the enjoyable Juliet Mills, this production is first-class from top to bottom. The narrators' British dialects, each quite regional and equally as different as they are ear-pleasing, serve the story well and allow Shaffer's words to leap from the page into the hearts and minds of her listeners. The final result is an almost theatrical experience with a plethora of enthusiastic performances. A Dial Press hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 21).

  • Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love "I can't remember the last time I discovered a novel as smart and delightful as this one, a world so vivid that I kept forgetting this was a work of fiction populated with characters so utterly wonderful that I kept forgetting they weren't my actual friends and neighbors. Treat yourself to this book, please--I can't recommend it highly enough."
  • People "A jewel . . . poignant and keenly observed . . . a small masterpiece about love, war and the immeasurable sustenance to be found in good books and good friends."
  • San Francisco Chronicle "It's tempting to throw around terms like 'gem' when reading a book like this. But [The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society] is not precious. . . . This is a book for firesides or long train rides. It's as charming and timeless as the novels for which its characters profess their love."
  • Chicago Sun-Times "A book-lover's delight, an implicit and sometimes explicit paean to all things literary."
  • The Boston Globe "A poignant, funny novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit . . . This one is a treat."

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader's Circle Deluxe Reading Group Edition)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader's Circle Deluxe Reading Group Edition)
A Novel
Annie Barrows
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Annie Barrows
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