Good Reads

By Margo Graf

In April we asked our Facebook followers to submit their favorite books.
As it has been a bizarre time of quarantine, what better place to submerge ourselves than in a world outside of our confined homes? Although our travel has been limited, our imaginations are free to run wild.
Here is what you sent in:

The Mountain Between Us
by Charles Martin

When a blizzard strands them in Salt Lake City, two strangers agree to charter a plane together, hoping to return home. Ben Payne is a gifted surgeon returning from a conference, and Ashley Knox, a magazine writer, is en route to her wedding. But when unthinkable tragedy strikes, the pair find themselves stranded in Utah’s most remote wilderness in the dead of winter, badly injured, and miles from civilization. Without food or shelter, and only Ben’s mountain climbing gear to protect them, Ashley and Ben’s chances for survival look bleak. However, their reliance on each other sparks an immediate connection, which soon evolves into something more.

Days in the mountains become weeks, as their hope for rescue dwindles. How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever? Heart-wrenching and “unputdownable,” The Mountain Between Us will reaffirm your belief in the power of love to sustain us.

Beartown
by Fredrick Backman

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever-encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the workingmen who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

White Teeth
by Zadie Smith

This invigorating novel focuses on the later lives of two wartime friends–the Bangladeshi Samad Iqbal and the Englishman Archie Jones–and their families in London. The novel is centered on Britain’s relationships with people from formerly colonized countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Archie and Samad become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a new lease on life, and produces Irie, a child whose personality doesn’t quite match her name (Jamaican for “no problem”). Set against London’s racial and cultural tapestry, venturing across the former empire and into the past as it barrels toward the future, White Teeth revels in the ecstatic hodgepodge of modern life, flirting with disaster, confounding expectations, and embracing the comedy of daily existence.

Say You’re Sorry: Morgan Dane, Book 1
by Melinda Leigh

After the devastating loss of her husband in Iraq, Morgan Dane returns to Scarlet Falls, seeking the comfort of her hometown. Now, surrounded by family, she has finally found peace and a promising career opportunity-until her babysitter is killed and her neighbor asks her to defend his son, Nick, who stands accused of the murder.

Tessa was the ultimate girl next door, and the community is outraged by her death. But Morgan has known Nick for years and cannot believe he is guilty, despite the damning evidence stacked against him. She asks her friend Lance Kruger, an ex-cop turned private eye, for help. Taking on the town, the police, and a zealous DA, Morgan and Lance plunge into the investigation, determined to find the real killer. But as they uncover secrets that rock the community, they become targets for the madman hiding in plain sight.

Educated: A Memoir
by Tara Westover

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she had traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

We hope that reading these books keeps you entertained, inspired, and your head held high. “The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest (people) of the past centuries.” – Descartes

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