Picture of reading on the beachThere’s nothing like a good story to whisk you away to another place, another time, another life. I spent yesterday holidaying in the North Carolina marshes with a girl named Kya in this year’s runaway debut novel, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. The author transported me to the lush tangles of the coastal lowlands, navigable only by boat, and to the life of a young girl left to raise and educate herself. If last year’s fascinating autobiography Educated (Tara Westover) were a novel, this might be it.

Reading other people’s stories teaches us history and geography, it helps us understand how other people live and think, and if it’s as well-written as Crawdads, it enriches us through the descriptive, rhythmic use of language. At the end of the excursion, we feel full from the experience, our world view expanded by new knowledge and artistic immersion.

Remarkably, reading someone else’s story also teaches us about ourselves by giving us characters to compare ourselves to. For a short time, we are in a relationship with the characters, considering how we are like them and how we are different, pondering how we would react in their situation, deciding whether we even like them or not. I couldn’t help but think, as I spent the day with Kya, that she would have been less lonely if she had novels and biographies to read instead of textbooks.

If you are needing a mini-vacation, we have lots of reading suggestions!

  • On the catalog page of our website, you’ll find tabs for What’s Popular, What’s New, and Suggested Reads. You’ll also see scrolling book covers of items recently added. Just click on a book cover to learn more about it.
  • Also on our website, the My Librarian page invites you to chat with a librarian to get personalized recommendations. There are additional booklists on this page.
  • Novelist Plus is integrated into our catalog with read-alike suggestions. Find a book that you enjoyed, and click the links for Similar Authors and Similar Titles. Novelist Plus can also be accessed directly through a resource link on the catalog page.
  • All of our newest materials are shelved near the entrance at our two libraries, but because they check out so quickly, you may not see the one you are looking for. If you reserve a title, we will contact you when it comes in! You can also reserve ebooks through Overdrive.

If you want to discuss books you are reading, we have several book groups to choose from (just click on the links for each book group to see the planned reading list). If you have had a chance to read Where the Crawdads Sing, the Women in Print Book Club (not just for women) is discussing it on Saturday, July 27, 3pm, at Laura’s Library.

For a different kind of escape, don’t miss upcoming celebrations at the library:

  • Laura’s 10th Birthday Party  It is hard to believe Laura’s Library is 10 years old!! Join us for a Staci Gray performance at 11am and for cupcake decorating at 2pm.
  • Happy Birthday, Harry Potter! Celebrate the young wizard’s birthday with a come-and-go day full of fun. Wednesday, July 31, Laura’s Library, 11am-5pm. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone will be shown at 2pm.
  • Summer Celebration As families begin to shift their focus on getting ready to head back to school, join us for Amy’s Ice Cream and a visit from a friendly neighborhood hero! Friday, August 2, Laura’s Library, 5-7pm.

Happy reading!