Thursday, April 09, 2020

Book Talk

I thought I'd share a few more favorite books today should you also have serious cabin fever.  It was warm here for a couple of days but the cold weather has returned.  No sitting on the porch for awhile!

First I want to mention that I realized the Kindle version of Mrs. Miniver I listed last week was wonky.  I mean, laugh out loud bad translation.  There had been another bad Kindle version that had already been deleted but this seems to be a new one.  I reported it to Amazon and received my 99 cents plus tax back.  I did locate a good Kindle link to the book but it has now disappeared.  I'll keep checking back!

The books I want to share today take place around the time of WWII or they stand on their own as "take me away from it all" stories.

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff is well known to book lovers.  It is the real life correspondence between a spunky New Yorker and a very "prim" male British bookseller through the years.  It can be laugh out loud funny as the two get to know each other through the years.

While the book actually begins in 1949, one learns about the shortages that continued in Great Britain even after the war was over and how they slowly returned to normal again. I wish it were available for the Kindle but the audiobook is very inexpensive.  Not to mention the paperback version would eventually arrive.

The sequel called The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street is available for the Kindle.  Which I find confusing because the first book is the most well known.  Anyway, the sequel is a must read if you have read 84 Charing Cross Road.  Perhaps the copyright is different?

This is the story of Helene finally making her much desired trip to London.  It is just as good as the first book but in a different way.

84 Charing Cross Road... here. (Paperback)
The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street... here. (Paperback)
The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street... here. (Kindle)

One of my favorite novels is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, which also begins soon after WWII and is based a lot on correspondence.  Unlike the first book mentioned, this book is fiction but based on the true story of the occupation of the Channel Islands by the Nazis in WWII.

I loved the wit of the author who receives these letters and begins a correspondence that eventually changes her life when she travels to Guernsey to meet the people she has been reading about.  Netflix has the movie inspired by the book and I'm pleased to say it actually is very good.  If you have not read this book, you must!

The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Society... here. (Paperback)
The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Society... here.  (Kindle, only $3.99 at the moment.)

I know a lot of you have read the first two books of the Elliot Trilogy by Elizabeth Goudge but not as many have read The Heart of the Family, which is the third book of the trilogy.

While I know young people who have enjoyed reading this as part of the trilogy, I admit that it can speak in a different way to those who are say... over fifty?  I include it here today because there is a lot of insight on the affects of WWII on the family.  While the hardship caused by the wars are mentioned in the first two books, this story shares more of the healing and restoration that can come to us after a very difficult season in our world.

While I do have a hardback copy of this book, I downloaded it to my Kindle a number of years ago just to have it available to reread anytime. It fills my soul with grace.

The Heart of the Family... here.  (Paperback)
The Heart of the Family... here.  (Kindle)

I love so many of D. E. Stevenson's books but one I thought of for this Book Talk is Listening Valley.  For it takes place during WWII.  The main character grows up in Scotland but moves to London.  After the war breaks out and she suffers a loss, she returns to her home in Scotland and realizes this is where she belongs.

While Listening Valley is not a sequel to Celia's House (a lovely story!), as with so many Stevenson novels, it does contain a lot of the people from that book.  So if you have read neither, I'd suggest reading Celia's House first but it isn't necessary.

Both of these books will provide a beautiful "get away from it all".

Celia's House... here. (Paperback)
Celia's House... here.  (Kindle)

Listening Valley... here. (Paperback) (They must be out of stock for it is only showing third party at the moment.)
Listening Valley... here.  (Kindle)

I hope to be back soon sharing more of my favorite books.  I'm trying not to include any that can only be purchased third party at the moment since many stores are closed.  As it is, it can take awhile to receive your Amazon purchase that is in one of their warehouses.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links.

ImageBook Shop by Kim Sung


Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I love book recommendations! I’ve never read ‘Charing Cross’. Isn’t there a movie, too?

I am finding it challenging to read regular books with the cataract on my left eye. Hopefully I can get that taken care of this year. We’ll see when elective surgeries can be scheduled again. It’s easier to read on my Ipad so I may see about getting some of these books on the kindle app.

Anonymous said...

I loved 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. Other good reads set in Great Britain are " The Chilbury Ladies Choir" by Jennifer Ryan and and "Secrets of a Charmed Life" by Susan Meissner. Connie

doe853 said...

I wonder if you have ever checked out ThriftBooks? Many books for under 4.00 and after 10.00 they have free shipping. I lost all of my many, many books in a house fire 3 years ago. I have had great success replacing many of them! Dale

Donna G. said...

Great book selections. 84 Charing Cross is an all-time favorite of mine. I have an old paperback copy. Any time I see it at used book sales (which isn’t too often), I buy it to give to book-loving friends. A friend gave me the DVD but haven’t watched it yet. I’m not much for sitting and watching movies.
I recently read my first D.E. Stevenson book, The Marriage of Katherine, which I enjoyed reading. I picked up an ex-library copy of the book at a used book sale. Have you read that one? If you have not read it, I would be happy to send you my copy of the book. I have it in a stack of books to give to the thrift store so if you are interested in it, send me an email.
I have several books loaded on my Kindle but rarely read them......I prefer to have the physical book in hand. 😊

Carol said...

Thanks for sharing these. I may have to check some of them out once I finish the two that I have currently to read. I am also now a member of Good Reads and Online Book Club, so reading is keeping me busy.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Great book suggestions, Brenda...I haven't read 84 Charing Cross Road in years and am sorry it is not available on Kindle. Although it is well nigh impossible to choose a favorite D.E. Stevenson, Listening Valley is surely in my top five, or ten. The part when she arrives back in Rydleton and Mr. Smilie is there to meet her is so wonderful...But it all is, and so is Celia's House.

kspicoult said...

Thanks for the suggestions! I love books associated with WWII - either fiction or non-fiction. For what it is worth, I shop for book on eBay. The prices are good with no shipping costs, and the shipments are generally quick. I can select paperback or hardcover oftentimes for $5.00 or less. Even Thriftbooks has books listed on eBay with free shipping just for one.

Anonymous said...

Love your book recommendations! I’ve already read several you recommended and loved them, and have Mrs. Minerva arriving this week-end! But decided to return to the Mitford series while waiting, at least the first one, “At Home in Mitford”. I need to get lost in a book these days! I don’t think I’ll realize the affect this has had on me until it’s all over....although I wonder if things will ever be the same again. We’ll see....Easter will sure be different this year..... But we will still celebrate the resurrection! Just quietly in our own homes.
Take good care and God Bless you!
Hugs and Blessings,
Laura C. (WA)

Anonymous said...

I have read (and LOVE) all of these except I have never yet read the sequel to 84 Charing Cross Road. I'll have to look into it! Castle on a Hill, by Elizabeth Goudge, is also set during WWII and is another favorite! -Joy

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one more that just came to mind with a WWII setting... Evasions (3rd in the Oxford Chronicles) by Melanie Jeschke. All three books in the series are wonderful! -Joy