30 March 2010

Lessons learnt and a poll

Anyone wondered where I have disappeared of late? Not really? hmm, doesn't help my ego you know? Did no one miss my posts and writing and food? REALLY?? Well, its been a good nine months since I started my baby blog..whew! And in the last nine months, I have posted 50-odd posts: on topics close to my heart. So what have I learnt?

- I am lazy.
I can barely manage a post a week- this is my second post in the whole of March. When I look at some of the fellow-bloggers pumping as many as two posts a day, I want to crawl under the bed. Not a bad idea actually- b’cause I will crawl there and most probably sleep :)

- My writing is…..well, just that- my writing.
Yes, sweet little readers have come back and complimented me on my style and humor. But lets face it- I am neither a Shakespeare nor a Johnny Lever. I can write a little and I laugh a little- but the words ‘little’ are key!

- My food photography skills are dismal.
I blame N for this. No, really. I know my pics will look so much better with an SLR camera but he refuses to buy me one. We have a perfectly functioning, really lovely point-and-shoot digicam and he refuses to share my belief that only SLR cams can shine the light on my food. ‘The cams only shoot what you make’, he says. I suspect this is directed at the food I make- he knows he cant openly challenge my food (his daily eating supplies are at risk here) so he throws this meek taunt around. I don’t care what he does- N is to blame for my sad food photos. That’s the final word on this!

- I digress.
Anyone noticed how my blog title has the word 'Travel' in it? and that I have only 6 (out of 50) posts on travelling? I know I write more about 'More (i.e. useless)' things in life but I cant help it...just like this this guy here.

So here's an appeal to you, my readers:
I have added a poll at the very top in the right side column. Answer it for me and help me know what you think of my blog and my writing (good things, not-so-good things, whatever). All responses will be completely anonymous so write what you wish. I'll take it if I like it, and let it float away if I don't :)

Looking forward to god-knows-what-my -readers-think-about-my-blog,

P.S. You want to know how crazy blogging can get? Check this out..haha:

10 March 2010

Book review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow

Back of the book says:
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of WWII, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her new 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. He'd come across her name on the flyleaf of a secondhand volume by Charles Lamb. Perhaps she could tell him where he might find more books by this author.

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, she is drawn into the world of this man and his friends, all members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a unique book club formed in a unique-spur-of-the-moment way: as an alibi to protect members from arrest by the Germans.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the Society's charming, deeply human members, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Through their letters, she learns about their island, their taste in books and the powerful, transformative impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their lives, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds there will change her life forever.

Quite a title, eh? My first thought after looking at the title was what-the-heck is Guernsey and how-the-heck can a literary society have the words ‘potato peel pie’ in its title? But when I read the book, I must admit- I loved, loved, loved it!

Here’s one book that is witty, genuine and totally heart-warming all at the same time. The entire book is based only on letters exchanged between Juliet, her publisher, her friends and yes, members of the Guernsey L&PPP Society. And as their lives unravel in the letters, you can’t help but fall in love with these characters - well, at least I did!

For those of you in my league i.e. the ignorant, Guernsey (spelled as GURN-zee) is a small island south of England and west of France. The island is part of neither the British nor the French territory but (if I got my facts right) pledged allegiance to the British Empire. The book talks about the experiences of all the characters as they go on with their lives after the Second World War: London (where Juliet lives) – a victim to German bombing, and Guernsey –to German occupation.

The biggest appeal to me was the simplicity and realness of the book, and of its characters. They don’t pretend to be too-goody or too-baddy, which is such a welcome relief! Here’s one of the few WWII books I have come across which is sane enough to admit that the Hitler and Nazism legacy doesn’t automatically mean that all Germans were bad. Nor does it discount the traitors and betrayals in the Allied forces. I guess there is never a black and white in real life.. it’s just important to recognize this and not generalize things, don’t you agree?

I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it is to resurrect your life from ashes (forget one as big as the WWII) but the book astonished me about how people seemed to have gone ahead with their lives on this tiny island- all based on love, goodwill and yes, books! I know the book is fictional and the characters are merely that- characters, but I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea to draw some inspiration from something so nice - fictional or otherwise!

My absolute fav line in the book? Perhaps there is a secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. Well, this book definitely has its instinct bang on !

Finally, if I have to say something not-so-nice about the book, all I will admit is that it is a little girly but if you live with that, go for it!

A big thumbs–up from me anyways,