Library Column for December 3, 2021

@ Your Library

Winter has descended rapidly. I am definitely enjoying reading under a blanket and preferably a cat or two. Until the new year arrives, my reading tends to be very scattered as there are gifts to make, cookies to bake, parties to attend and letters and packages to get mailed. So I often re-read favorites, especially tales from childhood like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens or Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies, Emmet Otter’s Just-Band Christmas by Russell Hoban or The Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien.

It has been a while since I re-read any of my favorite children’s series, so maybe it is time to re-read the Sabriel novels by Garth Nix The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis, or Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I also enjoyed Carol Ryrie Brink and Caddie Woodlawn or the nursing series about Sue Barton by Helen Dore Boylston.

I also like reading short stories during December and love stories by Arthur Conan Doyle and Willa Cather. I went looking for other short stories to read this holiday season and may try some P.G. Wodehouse in A Few Quick Ones, as Christmas has always seemed very British. But maybe I want to stick close to home and try Sarah Stonich in Vacationland for tales set in northern Minnesota. And if the cold is what I want to read about then Tom Bodett and his Alaskan stories in The End of the Road might be fun.

Of course, I might check my ‘to read’ list and pull something off of that, or just wander the shelves either at the library or at homeand see what jumps out, asking to be read. If issues of Northern Gardener, Christianity Today, Good Hosuekeeping, Taste of Home, Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, Minnesota Monthly, Canada’s History or Minnesota History are out, it might be me reading them as I just needed something to read now.

I hadn’t heard about the Dakota War of 1862 before moving to Minnesota. I first read Candace Simar’s 4 volume fiction series that begins with Abercrombie Trail. I then read the non-fiction book 38 Nooses: Lincoln, Little Crow and the beginning of the Frontier’s end by Scott Berg. I’ve since read Never Let Go: Survival of the Lake Shetek Women by Pamela Nowak and have added the just published Dovetails in Tall Grass by Samantha Specks to my list of titles I’d Like to read. It is told from the point of view of two women, one a settler, one Dakota-Sioux who are connected by the fate of the thirty-ninth man.

My Enemy, My Beloved by Karl Vanghen takes place in the New Ulm area during World War II. Many of the residents of the area had arrived from Europe just as Hilter took over and still had family in Europe, but prayed for the American boys fighting overseas. And they definitely didn’t want a prisoner-of-war camp at the abandoned CCC camp south of town, not that they had any say in the matter.

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