Read what your Friends are reading: LFL edition

Posted Feb 27, 2017

Join the ranks of people around the world who are reading books from Little Free Libraries (LFLs).  The international Little Free Library organization recently reached 50,000 registered libraries worldwide! Many are in areas that do not have easy access to public libraries, but many, like those in Shorewood, supplement a robust public library. In addition, LFLs promote walking and community interaction. Some libraries are dedicated to a family member who loves to read., while others have themes such as stocking only children’s books.

This month, the Friends of the Shorewood Public Library visited local LFLs to read found books. While the titles the Friends found weren't always favorites, they did challenge them to read something different! We hope you'll be inspired to try something new yourself, from a Little Free Library or your big Public Library.

Kathy Clark and her husband Kelly like to take long walks in Shorewood. They make frequent stops at Little Free Libraries. Kathy submitted two book recommendations and said she would not have read these books had she not found them in a LFL:

The Cider House Rules by John Irving

This is an epic story, starting in an orphanage in Maine run by a doctor who performs illegal abortions out of a sense of moral duty. Homer Wells, the orphan he treats as his son, leaves his work as a doctor at the orphanage to build a new life in an apple farm community where his life is involved with the black apple-pickers who stay at the cider house.  He finds himself at the apple farm, falls in love, but eventually returns to the orphanage 15 years after leaving it.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides 

This is the story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village in Asia Minor to Detroit.  To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the genetic history that turns Callie into Cal.

Pick Up Sticks by Emma Lathen

Modeled after the “Golden Age” mysteries of the 1920s through the 1940s (one of my favorite genres), it features financier-amateur detective John Putnam Thatcher, Lathen’s recurring main character. (Lathen, with whom I was unfamiliar, has been described as the “Agatha Christie of Wall Street.") The book features tight plotting and elegant, graceful writing. I’m now on a hunt for more titles in the series. - Priscilla Pardini (she found this book in the Little Free Library at 4228 N. Woodburn St.)

Cost by Roxana Robinson

Julia Lambert, an art professor, plans to spend the summer in Maine with her aging parents, when Julia’s son Jack spirals into heroin addiction.  In an attempt to save him, Julia engages her ex-husband, her estranged sister, and Jack’s older brother.  The world of heroin addiction has devastating costs on every level. - Alice Davis

In the evenings, before my walking partner, a 2-year-old Boston Terrier named Lilli, moved to Minnesota with her owner, I would visit the LFLs that dot the south end of Shorewood.  Lilli, not normally one to slow down on a walk, would wait patiently while I used my phone’s flashlight to view the books inside. Here are three of the books I was happy I found and read. - Anne O'Meara

The Hit by David Baldacci

This thriller about two highly-trained American killers raises questions about right and wrong and good and bad at the same time the quick-paced plot keeps you engaged. You learn a bit about what makes a hit man be a hit man and how the world of international intrigue. This book reminded me of a Jason Bourne movie.

Failure to Appear by J.A. Jance

The only thing disappointing about this Little-Free-Library find was its musty smell. (Sometimes books in LFLs have spent some time in basements before finding their new homes.) Seattle homicide detective J.P. Beaumont goes to small-town Oregon to find his runaway daughter who is living there with her new boyfriend,  an actor in the local Shakespeare festival. Beaumont soon finds himself caught in a double-murder investigation involving actors, donors and townspeople.

Murder on the Ballarat Train (Phryne Fisher Mysteries) by Kerry Greenwood

I was introduced to Phryne Fisher, the glamorous 1920s lady detective from Melbourne, Australia, with this LFL paperback. Miss Fisher takes the train to Ballarat where she finds herself in the middle of a mysterious situation including a chloroform poisoning, a dead body and missing jewelry. When I googled Phryne Fisher to determine how to pronounce Phryne (It’s Fry-nee), I found that there is an Australian television series based on these books available on streaming services, The TV show provides enjoyable entertainment with great costumes!

-Submitted by Anne O’Meara

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