My, my, my. How the time flies by. Summer always seems so fleeting, despite heat waves and storms, but its allure is constant. I am avoiding any despair over the passing of summer, though, because my favorite seasonal pastime—reading—continues throughout all seasons. It just seems that books are the perfect warm weather companions because they love to go to the pool, the beach, the mountains, as much as they love to just stay home.
This is the final column of Book World for 2018, and as promised, we depart with three very tempting recommendations for our readers from our readers that will enrich your time whenever and wherever you choose to read, and that would include the doctor’s office. But for now, let’s take a look at our grand finale of books that should be like summer breezes for your enjoyment.
Our good friend, Jill Keech, seems very excited about her choice, The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah. Away from the lingering warmth of September, this book takes us to Kaneq, Alaska, where winter survival is attained through honed skills, pre-planning and sheer will power. The Albright family has moved from Seattle to take ownership of a piece of land with a cabin (think shack). Father Ernt is a Vietnam vet tormented with PTSD. His wife Cora and daughter Leni are trapped between two forces: survival and love. They are not survival oriented. To their rescue are the folks of Kaneq who come to their aid and help unlock inner strengths within the Albright family that can move them through life’s journey to a remarkable and heartwarming conclusion. Feel the heat? Take a trip to Alaska with this one.
We have the rare pleasure of including a recommendation by a local author, Ronald Paxton. Pieces of January is the fourth novel in his series that began with Deep Water, and brings back Salem Matthews, a retired U.S. Army special forces veteran, and once again takes us to the small, rural community of Shenandoah Lake in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A record-breaking cold has dropped a foot of snow there, and activity has been brought to a standstill—until a body is found in the woods. Two murders quickly follow. Salem finds a note in his mailbox that time is short, and his name is next on the killer’s list. His choice? Find the murderer or die trying. Does this pique your curiosity?
And for our grand finale, I am taking the liberty of joining our illustrious contributors with my recommendation of Educated, Tara Westlake’s memoir of courageous transformation that I recently “consumed.” The author was raised in a Mormon fundamentalist family, so resistant to normal society that no birth certificate was issued for her; nor had she ever set foot in a school until she left her Idaho home and the family scrap yard at age 17. Fleeing her abusive older brother, she completed her escape by studying on her own and gaining admission to Brigham Young University. Today, at age 31, she holds advanced degrees from Cambridge University and has turned her life story into a study of how easily a family can normalize dysfunction. I must say that the twists and turns in this book kept me mesmerized and cheering her on to success.
And so my friends, I extend my sincere thanks to all of our book contributors as I bid you farewell and happy reading for now. Book World is one of my favorite Oyster Pointer offerings, and I think this past hot, hot, hot summer became much cooler for all of us who indulge in our favorite pastime. Read on though. A warm fireside or a spring garden may beckon you and your books until it’s summer reading time again.