For the Armchair Traveller Challenge, I started reading "The Third Translation" by Matt Bondurant. I had high hopes for this one. I read the first two chapters and completely lost interest with is fairly surprising considering it is about Egypt. So I scrubbed it and moved on to an "alternate" selection.
So book #1 of the six book challenge is, "84, Charing Cross Road" by Helen Hanff. It met the requirements due to the fact it takes place in NYC and London (two of my favorite spots). It is the true story written in letter format of a 20 year dialogue between her and a London book seller. There is quite a story in this thin volume. Starting off very formal, it was amazing how two people who have never met physically can become such close friends all due to a common bond. In the beginning, I was lamenting the fact that letters are no longer written any more. When was the last time you got a handwritten note from a friend?? But then I realized in the age of electronic mail and blog communication, many of us have similar friendships. Common bonds with people we have never met, and yet we call them friend. Sending them correspondence and gifts and get to know their families and lives. Both touching and funny, this book instantly has become one of my favorites. I will not be giving up my book anytime soon and will add it to my permanent collection. I think this is a must read for any book lover. I think the review from the San Francisco Examiner sums it up best "A unique, throat lumping, side - splitting treasure", because that is exactly what it is!
This book is perfectly digested in one sitting, perhaps with a nice pot of tea on a snowy or rainy day! Honestly I cannot wait to re-read it again!