By Angie Georgeff
It happens every year at about this time. The stack of books in my sunroom, which has been shrinking all winter, starts growing again as if it were some kind of flower. This happens because books by some of my favorite authors tend to be published in April or May. During these merry months, they are being released faster than I can read them.
I expect another harvest in September and October, so I will try to read through the early crop before then. While my copies are patiently gathering dust until I get around to them, the library’s copies are ready and willing to circulate. These are some of my titles-in-waiting.
If you need a little something British to tide you over between “Downton Abbey” and “Poldark,” then Helen Simonson’s “The Summer before the War” may be your cup of tea. Grieving for her recently deceased father and forced to earn her living, Beatrice Nash comes to the small coastal town of Rye to teach Latin in the local grammar school.
During the golden summer of 1914, she meets medical student Hugh Grange, who has come to Rye to visit his Aunt Agatha and her diplomat husband. Agatha ignores the rumors of war that are swirling around Europe, but she frets because Beatrice, her protégé, is too pretty to teach Latin. Too soon, “the war to end all wars” breaks over the town and suddenly everything changes.
Who says girls have no talent for math? Considering the current emphasis on the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Nathalia Holt’s “Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars” is an especially timely title.
It recounts the story of the early days of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory when female mathematicians were called “computers” because they computed. The machines came later. These women used pencils, paper and a penchant for numbers to blaze the trail into space. And while they were at it, they broke new ground for all women in the workplace.
Sharyn McCrumb’s newly released novel “Prayers the Devil Answers” has just come to rest on the top of the stack. The novel is set in a Tennessee mountain town during the depths of the Great Depression. After the death of her husband, Ellie Robbins reluctantly agrees to fill the remainder of his term as sheriff in order to support her young family. For the most part, her role will be symbolic, but there is one duty that cannot be delegated. Only the sheriff can execute a condemned prisoner.
We want to thank the Erwin Monday Club and Junior Girl Scout Troop 227 for the time and effort they have devoted to sprucing up the library’s landscaping. We appreciate all your hard work and the beautiful results! Thank you!