Our library has a quarterly adult reading program. It's a lot like the kids' summer reading program, where you read a certain number of books to earn prizes. This is a lot more low key. For this winter the theme is "Chill with a Good Book." You pick up a scratch card at the reference desk, and there are suggestions for three different kinds of books. You can go with the suggestions or read something of your own choosing. When you read three books, you return the card and it goes into a weekly drawing. The prizes are things like a library mug filled with chocolates. At the end of the quarter, all the cards go into a pot for the 'big drawing.' One year I one a $25 gift card to the mall!
Sometimes, you can earn extra points for weekly drawings by writing a short book review, which goes up on the bulletin board.
Here are some books I've read as a result of the program:
1. Read a book that takes place at least 5,000 miles from where you live. My choice was Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper. I love this author. This story starts out in 1961 rural England. Sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson witnesses a murder, committed by a family member. Haunted by the experience for the next 40 years, she is finally able to confront it again, when the family member is dying. This takes the story back to pre-war England, where the details are unraveled. I love books that jump around in time, and this one does it well, giving you just enough information to move the story forward and keep the reader in suspense.
2. Read a book that is less than 220 pages. For this selection, I chose Beehives, the second in a mystery series of three books by Mary Coley. My friend gifted me this series after I visited her in Tulsa and we traveled to Pawhuska, the town of Pioneer Woman fame. The books take place in this area, and it was especially fun to read the first one (Cobwebs) and recognize landmarks from Pawhuska. Beehives is set in nearby Osage Hills State Park. 'The protagonist is Jamie Aldrich, a recently widowed science teacher, who has a knack for coming across dead bodies.
3. Re-read a book from your youth. This was easy for me, and I immediately dug through some boxes in the basement for my copy of Bambi by Felix Salten. I decided to Google the author first to find out the history of how this delightful tale, considered one of the first environmental novels ever published, became an animated Disney movie. Felix Salten was an Austrian author and critic, who wrote the book in his native language. It was eventually translated and published in the U.S., as were several sequels. The sequels were first published in English, as Salten was a prominent Jew and his books were banned in 1935 by Adolph Hitler. The story of Bambi is a coming of age story, as the roe deer learns the ways of the forest. It is also a poetic tale of the beauty of the earth and how all the animals connect with one another.
I'm on my second card and have chosen to go my own way on a few of the selections. More on that in another post.