Our neighborhood has an abundance of Little Free Libraries, adding to the pleasure of my daily walks. As I approach one of the sweet boxes, I feel my heart rate increase. What will I find? Will one of the books on my TBR list be waiting for me or will I be attracted to something I didn’t know I wanted to read
Most days, of course, I don’t return home with a book under my arm, but there is always a possibility, and I lean into the thrill of the hunt.
Our grandson who is 13 is reading Stephen King books, and one day I found one for him, a hardcover even, and immediately changed the route of my walk to include a stop at his house. He was delighted. And then there was the day when my husband returned from his walk with a book he had just mentioned he wanted to get, Killers of the Flower Moon, The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBA by David Grann. How about that for a God-moment!
Recently, I have had great luck myself. Here’s what I’ve found:
Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk, originally published in 1955. I am not sure I have read this book before, although I have a vague memory of reading the Reader’s Digest Condensed version of this book when I was quite young. Do you remember those books? My mother was a subscriber, and I can still remember seeing the books lined up on the living room bookshelves on both sides of the fireplace. Occasionally, I was allowed to read one of the selections like The Nun’s Story by Katherine Hulme or Shoes of the Fisherman by Morris West. This feels like the perfect read when a Snow Day is declared.
The Lake House by Kate Morton. (2015) I’ve read The House at Riverton, and The Secret Keeper is on my TBR list, so what a treat to find this book waiting for me. Another chunky book like Marjorie Morningstar and the perfect kind of book when I need a palate cleanser between books with heavy topics. I am quite certain that I will return this to a Little Free Library when I have finished reading it.
I Am, I Am, I Am, Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell. (2017) I had read glowing reviews of this book, which is a memoir of the near-death experiences she has experienced with far too much frequency, but I hadn’t warmed to the topic. I have read her This Must Be the Place (2016) and enjoyed its quirkiness, but didn’t love it and so also shied away from her more recent bestseller, Hamnet (2020) about Shakespeare’s son who died of the plague. A friend gave me the novel for my birthday and said she loved it and was sure I would, too. I trust her recommendations, and this time was no exception. So when I spotted the memoir, I grabbed it, and if I wasn’t writing this post, I would be tucked in the snug reading it.
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano (2020). I had heard of this author, but the titles of her other novels didn’t ring a bell with me, and I knew nothing about this book either, but I was attracted to the cover and the description intrigued me as well. What did I have to lose? That’s the thing about “shopping” at a Little Free Library. Free and easy returns! What a good book this turned out to be. A family of two boys, age 12 and 15, are moving from New York to Los Angeles and their plane crashes, leaving only one survivor, the youngest boy, Edward. I promise you that I didn’t give the plot away–the inside cover flap reveals the basic facts. I love Edward and the young girl who gives him life again and the way this book offers hope when only basic survival seems possible
Now doesn’t that list make you want to head for the Little Free Libraries in your neighborhood–I hope you have at least one, and if not, maybe you are the person to build one. Here’s the link: https://littlefreelibrary.org And when you are done with a book and don’t intend to keep it in your own library, someone else may be looking for that very title.
An Invitation: Have you found any treasures at a Little Free Library? I would love to know.