Monthly Archives: July 2016

Patron Picks: As Close to Us as Breathing

As Close to Us as Breathing by Elizabeth Poliner

as close to us

I put this book in my save for later cart on Amazon several months ago as something that piqued my interest for a later read–as you get older, that’s one of those memory devices! As I have been going to the library every week with the grandchildren for the children’s summer reading program (an excellent way of grandparents instilling the love of reading with their grandchildren), I made a list of all those ‘save for later’ books from Amazon to check out at the library. Thankfully, I found As Close to Us as Breathing and only wished I would have read this book months ago.

The author tells a story of three Jewish daughters growing up in Connecticut and their lives span three generations of the family. The story enables the reader an excellent glimpse of the Jewish way of life and the strong bonds of sisterhood and family. You realize regardless of your race, gender, nationality or religious beliefs, we as individuals all experience the joys and sorrows of living our lives and the importance and impact of the family that influences who we are and who we become.

The story is told from the perspective of one of the granddaughters, and while you realize as you are reading she could not know everyone’s thoughts, the storytelling works. You are drawn into the daily life of the family and you want to just keep reading. The author marvelously foreshadows events throughout that captivate your interest. The book is a delightfully superb example of storytelling written by an extremely talented author.

Recommended by Beckley library patron, Shari Jones




Patron Picks: The Amateur Marriage

The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler

amateur marriage

I was randomly strolling through the adult fiction section of the library while the grandchildren were enjoying meeting with the Miners baseball players (a wonderful activity provided by the children’s department of the library for the summer reading program) and gravitated toward authors I have enjoyed in the past. I was first introduced to Anne Tyler many years ago when the Raleigh County book discussion group read Back When We Were Grownups and have loved her since that time. She is one of those “go to” authors when you are just not sure what you really want to read. Browsing through the selection of Tyler’s books, I was caught by the title The Amateur Marriage and decided to check it out and enjoy some summer reading. What a pleasant surprise and an enjoyable read!

If you are or have been married and have children and grandchildren, you will definitely relate to the superb writing of Anne Tyler and her excellent character development of the Anton family. The book spans three generations and fifty years and will make you smile, laugh aloud and cry (make sure you have tissues nearby) and then ponder the complexities of life and the consequences of decisions. If you are currently single, this is an excellent book for you to think about your future and the choices you will make, especially involving love and marriage.

Here is a gem from the book that will hopefully entice you to read the book:

“When I’m trying to get to know somebody, I ask about their house dream…I believe that almost everyone dreams now and then about the house they’re living in. They dream that one day they climb a set of stairs they hadn’t noticed before or open a door that wasn’t there before, and presto! They find a whole new room! An undiscovered room that they never knew existed! Have you ever dreamed that dream? …And here’s what I’ve observed: half of the people think, Isn’t this wonderful! Someplace new to explore! And the other half thinks, Just what I need: another maintenance problem. This room has not been tendered in years and now I can see daylight through the ceiling…Would you look at that room as a gift, or a burden?”

Happy reading!

Recommended by Beckley library patron, Shari Jones

Patron Picks: Dogtripping

Dogtripping by David Rosenfelt


David Rosenfelt worked as a marketing executive in New York. When he moved to Southern California, he met his wife Debbie Myers. Debbie loved dogs and had a golden retriever, Tara. Tara developed a nasal carcinoma and had to be put to sleep. They decided to volunteer at the Los Angeles Shelter and thus began their adoption of rescue dogs. Debbie fell in love with each one and at one time they had 42 dogs!

When Debbie decided to retire they were met with the problem of moving the dogs, 25 at a time, to Maine. The book discusses their trials in family transportation, volunteers, planning meals and breaks, motel reservations across the country, putting up temporary fencing, and administering medications. It is a heart-warming story of how these two people changed their lives and placed hundreds of rescue dogs in homes across the country.

Recommended by Beckley library patron, Judy Burns