Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer Reading

Remember when you were a kid and signed up at the library for reading contests? Our library always had fun contests, reading scavenger hunts and summer reading lists that made reading not only fun but productive!

As soon as I got my allowance, a whopping 50 cents at the time, I would get on my bike and head to the library. Armed with a stack of books, I would ride to the Foster Freeze and spend my Saturday afternoon sitting in the booth with a milkshake and a Hardy Boys mystery. Life was good!

This summer, almost 50 years later, I find myself in a familiar situation. Instead of a milkshake in a Foster Freeze dining booth, I am in a wicker rocker with a glass of iced tea. But in my hands is a book. August has been a slower month at work, allowing for more leisurely afternoons to devour the printed word. And though I am not ready to give up the turning of the page for the swish of the Kindle, the stack of summer reading books is getting smaller as September approaches.

I highly recommend Prayers For Sale by Sandra Dallas and At Home On Ladybug Farm by Donna Ball. Not being a romance novel fan, I often challenged to find a book that offers a story that carries me from page to page, anxiously waiting to find what happens next to the charming characters in these two books.

Prayers for Sale has a setting in a mining community in 1936. The main character Hennie comfort, welcomes a newcomer, Nit Spindle to town, telling her stories about her past life before and since she arrived on the Colorado mountain. Creating a bond between the two women, the stories weave their lives throughout the book bringing the past full circle as dark memories and hardships are endured and shared. Sandra Dallas uses colorful phrases and moments to artfully bring this story to life with enduring characters.

At Home On Ladybug Farm by Donna Ball had me laughing within the first 20 pages. A delightful set of characters set in present day, decide to purchase Blackwell Farm. Now what? The story is a series of mishaps, calamities and touching relationships between the three women, a confused but determined young daughter and a troubled teen. The language was modern and believable without profanity, a rare treat. The characters were witty and charming and the quiet community surrounding the farm is filled with the history of the old farm, which eventually becomes known as Ladybug Farm. Donna Ball has written a wonderful, funny book - great way to spend a warm summer evening.

Well, those are my picks, although I have started another book, I can't help but think about what is happening to Hennie and her travels beyond the Colorado mountain or how much I would love to see the restored fountain on Ladybug Farm. Don't you love a book that works its way into your heart? That calls for another glass of iced tea and the raising of my bookmark. That's what a wise grandma would do.

No comments: