Read The Reading Circle by Ashton Lee Online


"This lighthearted, cozy read brought a smile to my face. Lovers of small town fiction are going to fall in love with The Reading Circle." --Marie Bostwick, author of Between Heaven and Texas Welcome to the quirky town of Cherico, Mississippi, where potluck meetings at the local library provide a feast for mind and stomach alike. . .If some folks had their way, the Cherico"This lighthearted, cozy read brought a smile to my face. Lovers of small town fiction are going to fall in love with The Reading Circle." --Marie Bostwick, author of Between Heaven and Texas Welcome to the quirky town of Cherico, Mississippi, where potluck meetings at the local library provide a feast for mind and stomach alike. . .If some folks had their way, the Cherico library would have shut down long ago. Councilman Durden Sparks aims to divert funding to a cause dear to his heart--and his wallet. With the aid of gumption and good friends, librarian Maura Beth Mayhew has finagled a one-year reprieve, and the burgeoning book club is raising the library's profile one mouthwatering meeting at a time. But more members mean more opinions. . .While the Forrest Gump-themed shrimp dishes are a universal hit, meetings don't always go according to plan. Between spirited debate over book choices and surprising revelations and relationship hiccups--including Maura Beth's fledgling romance--there's a lot to discuss. And just when bad luck threatens to finish the library for good, the Cherry Cola Book Club may learn that the best stories have twists--and heroes--you never expected. . .Praise for Ashton Lee's The Cherry Cola Book Club"Lee's buoyant David-versus-Goliath tale zestfully illuminates a real problem confronting libraries and cities of all sizes." --Booklist "Clever, sassy and as tasty as an icebox pie, The Cherry Cola Book Club is a rare treat." --Erika Marks, author of The Guest House ...

Title : The Reading Circle
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780758273420
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Reading Circle Reviews

  • Donna
    2019-02-24 00:03

    I just love visiting the community at Cherico! It felt like visiting old friends when I picked this book up. Maura Beth continues to fight for her little library in a small town. She is truly a heroine I can respect. Along the way, we reacquaint with the same group of interesting characters who were in the Cherry Cola Book club from the first book but she also may pick up an interesting ally along the way. I must say that it you haven't read the first book, you could read this one as it will stand alone, but, I'd encourage you to read the first one and then read this one. It is a great little quest. Quite frankly, I'm already looking forward to the next one in this series. I can't wait to see what great things are in store for Cherico. Oh, and the cover of the copy I had was pretty sweet too. Anything with lots of books and a kitty will attract my attention. Well done, Ashton Lee! I'll be waiting for more tales from Cherico.

  • Susan
    2019-03-25 22:51

    Really enjoy this series!

  • Karen
    2019-03-09 01:38

    It has been several years since I read the first book in this series, but I enjoyed it. When I saw the remainder of the series on the shelves of my local library I decided to continue the story. I loved how easy it was to reconnect with these characters that I enjoyed so much the first time around. I appreciated the efforts of the book club to go against the city council once more to save the library they love so much.I thought this was a fun read with characters and stories that were easy to follow. I will definitely pick up the remainder of this series on my future trips to the library and see where the characters are going.

  • Susan Obryan
    2019-03-02 03:38

    How do you know when something has passed its prime, turning from useful and resourceful to obsolete and irrevelent? When is it time to pull the plug, so to speak?These questions, and more, are cause for concern in “The Reading Circle,” a follow-up to Oxford author Ashton Lee’s novel, “The Cherry Cola Book Club.” Reviews for Natchez native’s debut novel describe it as “a delightful read, written in a light and breezy style, with a cast of characters that is equal parts kooky and genuine.”“The Reading Club” will be released in late March, one year after readers were first introduced to the small town of Cherico, Miss., and met Maura Beth Mayhew, a young librarian trying to save Cherico Library from budget cuts and residents’ general lack of interest. She’s pitted against conniving councilmen who want to divert municipal funds for their gain.With the help of the Cherry Cola Book Club, Maura Beth has combined Southern favorites – food, visiting and discussion – into a new town hit. People who previously never used the library now are coming to check out books, work on the computer and search the archives.After earning a year’s reprieve from closure, the clock is ticking as Maura Beth tries new, and often quirky, ways to build interest in the library. She encourages members of the Cherry Cola Book Club, known for its potluck dinners and literary reviews, to discuss novels such as “Forrest Gump,” which leads to a shrimp-theme feast and heated discussion about war and patriotism. Other readings led the group to explore their feelings about race relations, women’s roles and corrupt politicians.Food, as all Southerners know, is a centerpiece at any gathering, and Lee has included a culinary treat for his readers. At the end of each book are recipes sure to bring folks running to the folding table with their plates in hand.New book club members play a major role in “The Reading Club,” including Jeremy McShay, a handsome Nashville teacher, and Parker Place, a pastry chef with a past. They join the cast of eccentrics introduced in the first novel, including Periwinkle (owner of Twinkle Café), Connie and Doug McShay, radio celebrity Becca Broccoli and husband “Stout Fellow,” spinster Voncille Nettles and her beau Locke.But, as with most things in Cherico, few things go as planned. Book discussions lead to life stories, many of which have been kept secret for generations. And just like many of the books on the library’s crooked shelves, stories come to life, producing unexpected “I didn’t see that coming” twists, heroes and life lessons.

  • Lesa
    2019-03-08 04:43

    Once again, Ashton Lee takes readers back to Cherico, Mississippi where a small-town library is threatened for "the greater good". Lee's Cherry Cola Book Club novels symbolize the threats to public libraries throughout the country. Details may vary city to city, but the underlying theme for the books remains the same: libraries are threatened in a battle that often pits infrastructure against libraries. Lee's The Reading Circle puts Maura Beth Mayhew, a library director, right in the middle of the battle for libraries.If it had been up to Councilman Durden Sparks, the Cherico Public Library would have been closed long ago so he could use the budget to build an industrial park. Sparks considered the library "a luxury the City Council could no longer afford", but Maura Beth won the first round of the battle. Her Cherry Cola book club and a petition provided a little breathing room. She had a year to prove the library was needed, and deserved to stay open.Maura Beth knows the library needs more than a book club. It needs computers, money for books, more staff, better parking. But, her first hurdle had been to build support using the book club. Suddenly, even her beloved book club seems to be a problem. As more people attend, they have opinions as to what should be read. And, the book selections divide the people Maura Beth has grown to consider family. Even the teacher she was interested in seems to put his own interests before the library's. And, a house divided can easily fall. Councilman Sparks is counting on that.Ashton Lee brings back the charming residents of Cherico in a novel that once again stresses the importance of libraries while also emphasizing personal relationships. Lee is skilled at introducing characters who leap from the page with all their eccentricities and habits. Maura Beth Mayhew continues to grow, changing from an insecure young woman into a library director more comfortable with fighting a political war. Lee knows the value of libraries, and he uses his storytelling skills to emphasize their importance. Whether you see The Reading Circle as a battle cry for libraries, a story of strained relationships, a novel featuring tasty recipes, or a charming story of the South, Ashton Lee's latest novel is entertaining and thought-provoking.

  • Sidna
    2019-03-23 02:44

    A month or so ago a friend and I went to an author talk at our local library. The author did not show up, but a bookseller was selling copies of both of his books. My friend bought his first book and I bought his second so we could share them.I read the second book first since it is the one I purchased. It is a fairly simplistic story about a librarian in a Cherico, a small Mississippi town, who is trying to save the library. The villain is a local politician who wants to tear down the library and use the land for his own purposes. I was a little surprised that the author of these books is a man because they definitely seem to be "women's fiction." A fast read, but not much of a plot.This is an update to my earlier review. Our library extended another invitation to the author and he made a presentation today. Unfortunately, the library did not make much of an effort to promote his visit and my friend and I were the only members of the public who attended. In addition to the two of us, a representative from a book store was there to sell books and a couple of library employees attended. Even though the audience was small, the author was gracious and charming. He spent about 90 minutes talking with us about his books and writing in general. My friend and I are going to talk with our book club next week about inviting him to attend one of our meetings.Two more books are planned for this series. One will be released in April, 2015 and the fourth one will be released in October. The author told us that the plots of the two new books will have more twists and turns. I plan to read both of these books.

  • Julie Barrett
    2019-03-10 04:03

    The Reading Circle by Ashton LeeRead the first book in this series and glad to see it continue. Such great ideas for keeping the library open and the community using it for many things.Although it should help prove to the town council of its usefulness there is the old boy network at play still that thinks the money should go towards a park with their name on it.Like how Maura Beth interacts with such a group of people with not much in common. Love hearing the latest on the townsfolk that were also in the first book.So many events taking place and will they outwit Councilman Sparks once and for all...Love the ending and especially all the bonus recipes!I received this book from Kenssington Books Co.

  • Watchingthewords
    2019-03-07 00:45

    Last year I reviewed the first book in this series, The Cherry Cola Book Club, which resulted in some healthy dialog with the author. While I believe that Robert Kuehnle (pen name Ashton Lee) is a library supporter, and hopes to raise awareness of library funding issues with this series, my main issue with the book was his misrepresentation of public libraries. I felt that his representation of underused public libraries perpetuated a dangerously erroneous stereotype when most public libraries are seeing increased usage in spite of reduced funding. You can see that review, and the subsequent comments, here. When Mr. Kuehnle sent me a message to let me know he would be releasing the next book in the series I decided to give it a read. The issues that I personally found concerning in the first book were not as evident in the second installment in the series. Maura Beth, the library director, and her supporters are busy with their lives and the continuation of their book club. Much of the book is centered on the personal lives and romantic relationships of the various town members. However, they continue to be concerned about future funding for the library as they were only given a year’s reprieve. The crooked politicians in the town seem chiefly concerned about creating an industrial park bearing their names, and using the funds currently allocated to the library to do so. Of course, the library is saved again, in an even more spectacular fashion. Personally, the way that it happened made me a little nauseous, and isn’t something that I would do. No matter how valuable I find public libraries to be, I need to be able to look at myself in the mirror each morning in spite of politics and behind-the-scenes wrangling.If you liked the first book in the series, or like a quick read with small town characters, a little romance and a little literary focus, then this may be a series that you enjoy. For me, it still feels a little stilted and false, but for a light book to take to the beach you could definitely do worse.See more on my blog at

  • Louise
    2019-03-03 23:34

    My Review:Kensington|April 1, 2014|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-7582-7342-0Welcome to the quirky town of Cherico, Mississippi, where potluck meetings at the local library provide a feast for mind and stomach alike...If some folks had their way, the Cherico library would have shut down long ago. Councilman Durden Sparks aims to divert funding to a cause dear to his heart - and his wallet. With the aid of gumption and good friends, librarian Maura Beth Mayhew has finagled a one-year reprieve, and the burgeoning book club is raising the library's profile one mouthwatering meeting at a time. But more members mean more opinions...While the Forrest Gump-themed shrimp dishes are a universal hit, meetings don't always go according to plan. Between spirited debate over book choices and surprising revelations and relationship hiccups - including Maura Beth's fledgling romance - there's a lot to discuss. And just when bad luck threatens to finish the library for good, the Cherry Cola Book Club may learn that the best stories have twists - and heroes - you never expected. I despised Durdin Sparks, a selfish man who didn't do anything unless there was something in it for him. I just wanted to slap that man up side of the head! Maura Beth on the other hand, was a sweet and honest woman who just wanted her library to be saved from destruction and she was willing to do everything in her power to see that through to conclusion. This was a great light read and one that I enjoyed very much.

  • Melissapalmer404
    2019-03-07 01:46

    I received an ARC of this will be posted closer to its April publication date.Book #14 Read in 2014The Reading Circle by Ashton LeeThis book will be out on March 25, 2014 but I was lucky enough to receive a signed copy from the author. I loved the first in this series, The Cherry Cola Book Club. The second book, this one, was no different.In this book, MauraBeth is still trying to ensure her library's survival, as the local councilman wants its location to build an industrial park. MauraBeth tries to increase numbers in The Cherry Cola Book Club, but the councilman plants his own member to cause problems. As if that is not enough to worry about, MauraBeth's growing relationship with teacher boyfriend Jeremy is hitting some snags. However, MauraBeth is a librarian made of strong stuff and she engages in her struggles head on.Once again, Lee does a great job writing female characters. He creates voices for them that are interesting and believable. He did have me a bit worry about Jeremy early on in this book but showing a different side to Jeremy made him a more complex character. I loved this book and cannot wait for book #3 in the series to come out. I highly recommend this series to book lovers who love to read about books, libraries and interesting characters.

  • Ronna
    2019-03-27 02:56

    The Cherry Cola Book Club of Cherico, Mississippi is on it's one year reprieve from Councilman Spark's determination to close the town's library down and use the funds to build his "Legacy", an industrial park--(THE CHERRY COLA BOOK CLUB). But librarian, Maura Beth Mayhew, still has tricks up her sleeve and a growing number of friends and patrons who are backing her efforts to keep the library open.As with the first book, there's interesting information on just what it takes to keep a library open. There's also an intriguing discussion of another book, FOREST GUMP, that gets it's members lives and view points front and center. The characters are becoming much more developed, with some romances and secrets revealed. The southern charm, humor, and gumption continues making this a terrific read. Secrets revealed give this story the bases for lots more books in this series--I hope!!I listened to the Audible version of this book which added lots of enjoyment to an already great read!

  • Angela
    2019-02-26 03:52

    Another great visit to Cherico, Mississippi. You can't help but find yourself laughing aloud at times as you read. We all have people in our lives who resemble each character in the book even evil Councilman Sparks. How many of us dream of the day that person will get their comeuppance. Hoping there is more to come...

  • Aimee
    2019-03-16 02:01

    The library is once again in jeopardy, and this time all of its supporters are caught up in their own personal crises. Can they all band together to save the library and their own relationships? By the end of the novel, it seems that everything is once again right with the world. We shall see.

  • Ruth Ellen
    2019-03-24 05:54

    i really liked this book. not a lot of drama but a well written book. I liked the story line and the wat the author weaved the storyline of the Book clubs members into the story. I recommend it.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-12 04:56

    A nice series aimed at librarians. Can the book club save the library? Yes - of course.

  • Susie
    2019-03-08 02:36

    I can't wait for the next one to see how the Cherico Reading Club throws 2 weddings and builds a new library!

  • Lisa of Hopewell
    2019-03-16 05:39

    Like a fun visit with good friends! Can't wait for more!

  • Deborah
    2019-02-27 04:46

    If there were 1/2 stars, i would add to my rating. Another fun installment - not necessarily "deep" reading, but well written and entertaining.

  • Kat Rodenberger
    2019-03-18 21:47

    One dimensional characters written by a man who apparently has never even met a woman under the age of sixty. Horrible.

  • Glenda
    2019-03-24 03:33

    2nd book in the Cherry Cola Book club series. I like them...

  • Josianne Fitzgerald
    2019-03-16 22:51

    Thank goodness I'm finished. What a boring book.

  • Victoria
    2019-03-27 01:54

    A nice, easy read.

  • Patty
    2019-02-24 05:56

    The concept here is fine with me: relationships among small town residents in Mississippi. And, considering it's a book about relationships, it even has an interesting plot line - mainly evil mayor wants to close library in favor of an industrial park. Finally, what could have made it work is that these people meet to discuss books. Sadly, the writing, especially the dialog, just doesn't work. Some of the dialog involves one character telling another how witty their last comment was....and it wasn't.

  • Mina De Caro (Mina's Bookshelf)
    2019-02-25 00:00

    Read my extended 4.5 star review on MINA'S BOOKSHELF charming “Cherry Cola Book Club” series by author Ashton Lee may be just the ticket if you are looking for a light-hearted beach read with a generous dose of ‘Southern’ character, mouth-watering references to regional cuisine, and a social commentary colorfully veiled by the quirkiness and theatricality of its various cast. Labeled as cozy, due to the small and socially intimate quality of its geographical setting (Cherico, Mississippi), this series made its debut in 2013 with a first installment (The Cherry Cola Book Club) that shone a spotlight on the struggles of a library to remain open and up-to-date with the modernization of public services.It’s hard enough to keep a small library in business when demand and attendance are at their lowest, let alone when funding is dramatically cut and shady politicians (Councilman Durden Sparks and his sidekicks) keep a dedicated but inexperienced librarian (Maura Beth Mayhew) at gunpoint with the threat of diverting the township budget towards more beneficial projects (namely an industrial park).“...Cherico isn’t the center of the intellectual universe. The men folk talk college and pro sports all up and down Commerce Street, and the ladies complain about their husbands and children and exchange recipes at all the beauty parlors. [...] literary criticism is way down the list of their topics to discuss.”After years of declining circulation figures, Miz Maura Beth Mayhew finally puts her thinking cap on and with the help of some basic marketing strategies (the creation of a book club, potluck gatherings, word-of-mouth advertising), she manages to rev up the attendance of the struggling library and brings the small community of Cherico together in defense of their cultural patrimony. At the end of the first book, Maura Beth’s efforts seem to get the library temporarily out of the hot water and earn her a one-year reprieve with councilman Sparks, but the conniving politico still doesn’t believe that a number of no matter how delicious casseroles and a few book discussions will change the fate of the under-equipped library.The comedic flair of the first episode subsides in its sequel, The Reading Circle (published by Kensington, March 2014), in favor of a softer characterization of supporting cast. The author shifts his focus from the public sphere of the library conundrum to the more personal and introspective tones of the friendship bonds and love relationships blossoming between the library patrons. Mature romance, first and second chances, old flames and new marriage proposals, suspenseful plot twists and a little bit of ‘espionage’ add substance to the narration. Even Maura Beth’s personality, which almost faded in book one against the somewhat overly picturesque foil of the secondary characters, appears more zestful and convincing.Finally, I have always thought that an author shows his craftsmanship in the way he writes his villains, in the mannerism of those evil characters that, with their idiosyncrasies and machinations, make the plot of a story so much more intriguing. Councilman Sparks is just that and I look forward to seeing what other devious, backhanded curve ball he is going to throw at our young and fearless librarian in The Wedding Circle, third book in the series (Kensington Books, February 2015).Advice to the reader:The culinary theme is a strong feature of this cozy series. If you decide to do your reading in bed, be warned that sleeping is hard to achieve with a growling tummy. All that mention of dipping sauces, fried chicken, pulled pork, mustard and sweet potato salad etc. etc. will cause all kinds of untimely cravings…

  • Maryellen
    2019-03-02 02:39

    Welcome back to Cherico, Mississippi! When we last left our friends in Greater Cherico, the fight was on to save the embattled Cherico Library from being torn down in the name of industrial progress. Councilman Durden Sparks reluctantly granted a one year reprieve to our beloved Librarian, Maura Beth Mayhew and her circle of reading friends, and in that time she needs to prove that the library is an essential part of the town.Oh, that Councilman Sparks, he's always up to no good and in this second installment of the Cherry Cola Book Club series he's true to form! Though this time, he might very well have met his match in an unlikely adversary.The members of the Cherry Cola Book Club have come together again to choose the next book for their book review and pot luck meeting. After a heated debate, the men in the club convince the whole of the group that it would be fun to read FORREST GUMP written by Winston Groom. They contend that they'll be much more entertained what with "Forrest Gump" having played football with THE Bear Bryant AND they can have fun tailgating food for their potluck dinner! This one thing, this choice of a book, turns a couple's blossoming romance completely sour and leads to tragedy.Author Ashton Lee has created a cast of characters in this town of Cherico who could easily be found anywhere. These folks seem like neighbors and friends plucked right out of my very own town. Hmmmm. Makes me wonder if this book really IS about my hometown. Because you know, the closing of a library is a subject that could be about ANY town. It is this series of books that inspired me to rejoin my local library and show my support.As much you will hate Councilman Durdan Sparks in this novel, his comment that he needs to bring industry to the town of Cherico to provide jobs is a valid point. But why must it always be at the expense of a library? Do you remember Miss Nora Duddney from the first book of this series, THE CHERRY COLA BOOK CLUB? She is Councilman Sparks's misunderstood secretary who got fired. Well, watch out for Nora. She's back and baby you ain't seen nothin' yet!✰✰✰✰✰An ARC of this book was provided to me by the author in exchange for a fair and honest opinion.

  • Debbie Phillips
    2019-02-26 00:01

    Book 2 of the series.Maura Beth has a one year reprieve. Can she do enough during the coming year to keep her library open for the long hall and not have to be wondering every year if she will have a job or not? Also, what will happen with her relationship with Jeremy? What is in store for the other members of the Cherry Cola Book Club?Many thing happen in this book, during this year. Councilman Sparks is as shady and underhanded as usual. A man you love to hate. There must be an antagonist to keep the book interesting. "After all, it was resourceful politicians, not inconsequential librarians like Maura Beth Mayhew... who had put money into the infrastructure that today's Chericoans took for granted. True, the Sparks and Duddney families had siphoned off a percentage for themselves and their posterity here and there. But they had been careful not to leave a paper trail and had never neglected the public good." pg 104There are many ups and downs for the members of the club. Troubles, trials, and triumphs. I liked it enough to order this book from the library and read it over the weekend. I am ordering book 3 and 4 to read soon.This is not a Christian Fiction. It does have some characters sleeping with each other but there are no details, just a mention that it was done. Just wanted people to know. I do not condone it but did not offend me. Maybe it should, but I am a married woman and this sinful world has gone way beyond the small mentions those things get in this book. Young women may not like this aspect of the series... and it is more prevalent in book 2 than in book one. Just a warning for those how may care.

  • Tonette
    2019-03-16 01:40

    Once again Ashton Lee has taken us to the town of Cherico,Mississippi to continue the storyline started in The Cherry Cola Book Club. However, this book can stand on its own, with enough background added that the reader can catch-up on the story, if need be.Any misgivings I had about the original story I admit may be ignorance of cultural differences: the etiquette of the Deep South is more delicate than I have experienced in twenty years in the South-cum-Mid West of Kentucky, apparently.The Reading Circle will offend few adult sensibilities, but it is more 'adult' than the previous volume.The bedroom doors are closed,but we know which consensual adults,(even senior citizens), are behind them and what they are doing is understood, but not described. It is also deeper, as many of the characters are more fully developed this time around . For instance, we find that the antagonist may be a corrupt small-town politician, but in his way, he is concerned for the future of Cherico, and has his own personal heartache along with the skeletons in his closet.It is impossible to 'lose track' in this series.The writing is straight forward and generally, people say is on their minds, if we are not privy to their thoughts,(which Ashton Lee often treats us to.)Once again,I believe the series would make a good book club/discussion group choice, and I look forward to the culmination of the storyline.

  • Teri
    2019-03-10 04:47

    The Cherry Cola Book Club reconvenes in Ashton Lee’s follow up The Reading Circle. Now they’ve taken the club into the bedroom. It’s springtime in Cherico, Mississippi and it seems like everyone in the book club has marital or relationship problems. Those that are married have issues and those that are not, want to be married. The men are talking football and the girls are….concerned about the bedroom. Then there is the ongoing battle with city council to save the library led by veteran librarian Maura Beth Mayhew. This short read is another cozy conundrum about small town life in the south.This was a cute and entertaining book and a nice respite from some of the heavy books I generally read. This is not a book of substance and is quite predictable and kitschy. It is worth the read if you're looking for something a bit mindless and a bit cozy. I enjoyed getting to know these characters a bit more, but I would have like a little less of the relationship issues. Most every couple was having a problem. I would have liked some of the struggles to be something completely different. It was still a cute read and I am starting to really enjoy the characters. It looks like Mr. Lee has another couple of volumes in the work to bring us back once again to The Cherry Cola Book Club, so I’ll definitely check back in to the Greater Cherico Library.

  • Beverly
    2019-03-13 06:03

    Ashton Lee, the author of this book, is going to be at our local library next month and he will be talking about this book so I wanted to read it before I see him. He has actually been here once before when his first book in this series came out, "The Cherry Cola Book Club". This book runs pretty true to the first book in that it is a really quick read, is a downhome heart tugging cozy and is just so sweet you could put it on your morning cereal. Don't get me wrong--there's a bad guy or two who need their "comeupance" really badly and some of the couples have some semi-serious tiffs but overall it's a rainbows and butterflies kind of cozy. In the first book, Councilman Durden Sparks attempts to shut the library down for good but Maura Beth, the red haired librarian who has done everything she can for the library in the 6 years since she graduated and started working in small town, Cherico, Mississippi, would have none of that and won a year's reprieve. In this 2nd book we find Maura Beth and all the members of Cherry Cola Book Club trying to decide what book to review next and what they're going to do at the end of their year's period of grace. Throw in a secretary who finally admits that she's dyslexic, a woman whose ex comes back to try again, a life changing car wreck and tons of good food (plus recipes at the end of the book)--what's not to like!!

  • Lynetta
    2019-03-10 00:33

    I am at the end of The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. In the first part I learn his mother, Mary Ann Schwalbe, is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, so the ending of the work is obvious, but in between I came to admire her enormously. To balance the dismay of her death I picked up a work at the library called “The Reading Circle.” It is truly on the other end of the spectrum. In the small town of Cherico Mississippi Councilman Durden Sparks and his cronies have run the town. Now he wants to build a business park bearing his name at the expense of the library. Librarian Maura Beth Mayhew runs the tiny library. She has gotten signatures on a petition and has started a book group. Forrest Gump is the first book chosen. There are posters and a huge potluck dinner amid discussions of football in the South. We follow several couples in various stages of courtship and marriage.For my librarian friends: “That’s the best thing about working for you, Miz Mahew. You’ve got loaded book carts of spunk, and I keep telling myself that when I grow up, I wanna be just like you.” (page 50)Think Mayberry. If you’re a fan, you should try this book. For my very ownself being irate with this book has balanced my grief over Schwalbe’s.