Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Book Report: 84 Charing Cross Road (I'm Giving Away a Copy Too!)



I first heard about 84, Charing Cross Roadvia The Writer's Almanac. It's a love story between a brassy American writer and the buttoned up staff at a London bookshop. She writes to them looking for several out of print books and their stiff reply tickles her. She writes again, each letter more outrageous than the last until at last that famed British Reserve crumbles like a biscuit dunked in tea. She sends gifts of goodies impossible to find in post war Britain- eggs, ham and nylons to make up for her merciless ribbing, and a delightful correspondence emerges.

This book really is a love story, made all the more poignant when we learn that she was never able to visit the shop before it's proprietor passed away. The book is about a love of the written word and a beautifully bound volume. It's about the musty smell of a bookshop and a time that seems lost forever in this age of e-mail and Amazon.com.

I bought my copy at a wonderful used bookshop here in Kona and I thought it would be appropriate to pass it on via mail to one of you. You'll be able to curl up with this thin little volume and finish it in a single afternoon-but be warned- you may shed a few tears while you do it.

If you'd like a chance to win this sweet little book, leave me a comment describing a memorable book, a favorite reading experience or even your favorite local book shop and what made it so special. I'll pick my favorite response and mail the lucky winner this well loved copy. Cheerio!

6 comments:

One Blonde Girl said...

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand affected me in ways I can't even begin to explain.

However, the most memorable book I've read lately is Love and War in London by Olivia Cockett who may or may not be a distant relative of mine (my grandmother was a Cockett from England). The book is made up published entries from Olivia's daily, war time diaries from 1939-1942. Despite the significant differences our lives have, I'm constantly amazed by how much she and I have in common in regards to how we live our lives, our political views and our social views. I'm so glad I snagged this book from my mom when I was last home (she couldn't "get into it").

Em said...

One of my most favorite books is Born in Paradise by Armine VonTempsky. Excellent portrayal of life in old Hawaii. Simply written, it reflects the ease and simplicity of life growing up in the islands. I hope you get a chance to read it :)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I don't think I've ever read that book...but it sounds good! I'll let the others try for this book, but I will post a little book review on my blog soon! Thanks for the idea! Have a wonderful day! ♥

April @ PolkaDots n' PinkySwears said...

A book that I read (that stands out in my mind as if I've LIVED it!) is Crazy Ladies. It was a "generational" story. Starting w/ the "mother" working it's way down to her future "great-granddaughter". It's an absolute must read, and I felt I were actually IN the story w/ the characters! Highly recommended read!

april_vereb@yahoo.com

panoptica said...

One of my favorite books is Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. It's a teen love novel, but it is so beautiful and heartbreaking at once. The protagonist is Stargirl, a quirky girl who arrives to a new school and she has a hard time fitting in. She starts going out with the narrator and they are so nice together, but he tries to change her and it all ends pretty sadly. I first found it in a little bookshop in Oxford, England when I was living there during the summer. I've since read it thousands of times and I still always cry when I read the last page. It's so moving!!

Susan said...

I am not going to enter your contest because I want someone else to read that lovely book. I read it many years ago, after my mother recommended it to me. She passed away two years ago, but your post brought back a lovely memory of sharing the book and making our (unfortunately, separate) visits to the real 84 Charing Cross Road.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...