By Marci Tate
It’s just about time to start snuggling in every evening with a good book. Nothing too hard, just something to keep you entertained. Here are a few choices.
This feel-good novel follows the path of young Chancy Deal as she searches for a place to belong. Paper Hearts by Debrah Williamson brings together a range of characters with good results. Teenage Chancy escapes a terrible home situation by hitching a ride. She winds up in little Wenonah, Oklahoma. There she encounters Max, an older gentleman who isn’t doing such a great job caring for himself after the passing of his beloved wife. When a second encounter between the two brings Max to find Chancy sleeping in his garage, he offers her a place to stay and story to keep the authorities at bay for both of them. The new neighbors across the street also figure into this story of lovable characters forming lasting bonds. A sweet story to enjoy on these cool fall evenings.
This next one manages to walk the fine line between being a touching story versus being over-the-top sappy. Author Jill Smolinkski gets it right with The Next Thing on My List. June Parker is an average girl with an average life who seems to be a bit stuck in a rut. Everything changes when she offers a ride to a barely known acquaintance and is involved in a car accident that takes the other girl’s life. June, who emerges the accident with no life-threatening injuries, finds a list the girl made of “20 Things to Do Before My 25th Birthday”. With only two items on the list crossed off, June decides she will finish the list for the girl – in only six months. Several items on the list seem possible – #10 ride in a helicopter, but several other items will cause June to work with friends, family and co-workers to accomplish it all – #7 make Buddy Fitch pay (who is Buddy Fitch and why must he pay?). The ending was not what I expected, but I was still left pleased. This story may make you want to create your own life “to do” list.
For a quick, fun read, try Milk Eggs Vodka: Grocery Lists Lost and Found by Bill Keaggy. This is one to buy and pass along to all of your friends so they can have a good laugh and you can discuss your favorites. Bill Keaggy (and friends) collects grocery lists that have been left behind in shopping carts. Some are confusing, some are hilarious and some are just plain sad (especially when it comes to the state of spelling in our society). The author creates commentary throughout the book, which can either add to the hilarity or just get in the way in some chapters. You will even see that some people will write their grocery lists on anything available. A friend shared this with me and even marked her favorite one with a post-it note so we could laugh about it later. I have to tell my favorite since I can’t stick a note on your book. (Note from the author states this is the ultimate PMS grocery list) – snickers, tampons, ice cream. Try to muffle your laugh-out-loud moments after the kids have gone to bed and wake up your husband to share your favorites (in fact, he will want to read this one, too). Enjoy!
Submitted by Marci Tate of Fayetteville – busy wife and mom of two, avid reader (when time allows) and Library Media Specialist at Vandergriff Elementary School.