Another Year!

I started Library Luggage two years ago.  It began as a way to celebrate the books at my school library.  But it’s become so much more.  This past year I’ve explored public libraries throughout my state of Alabama.  I’ve hit estate sales for books to add to my own library.  And I purchased a few how-to books and learned new skills.  Here’s some highlights from 2017:

I visited Gulf Shores last February.  In addition to sugar-white beaches and tasty seafood, this coastal town boasts a thriving public library.  Read about this special place here.

A playful sculpture greets visitors to The Thomas B. Norton Public Library in beautiful Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Getting to Gulf Shores required a car and a chunk of cash.  But just $16, the cost of this amazing book, took me thousands of miles to Rwanda, a place of great beauty and great pain.  Read about it here.

Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza, 2006

This book took me millions of mile way!  Read about it here.

The Martian by Andy Weir, 2014

Books helped me indulge my creative side this past year.  Here’s a few projects I blogged about:

A treasure trove of reading gems can be found at estate sales.  Some books I bought at one sale gave me reading pleasure and new thoughts on life and death.  Read about it here.

From Sunset to Dawn by Leslie R. Smith, 1944

Like most folks, I don’t have much time to read.  I found a way around this problem using audio books.  Read about these excellent titles as well as a free way to get them here.

I added a few bookish games to the blog this year.  They only take a few minutes to play.  Click on END PAPER MATCH-UP GAME for a fun look at picture books and click IN THREE WORDS to test your knowledge of 1970s horror novels turned into films.

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone for joining Library Luggage and for sharing your own reading journeys.  I appreciate you all!

 

 

Listen Up!

Let’s be honest.  One lifetime isn’t enough to read all the good books out there.  But I’ve found a way to cheat Father Time — audio books.  Letting someone else do the reading while I’m cleaning my bathroom or driving around town allowed me to enjoy an extra four books this summer.  Here’s a quick run down of these entertaining titles.

Post Format: Quick Reviews

Sycamore Row by John Grisham

Grisham has been in the news lately because of his 2017 best seller, Camino Island.  But he’s been churning out good reads for decades.  This 2013 title is proof of that. Narrator Micheal Beck brings this story set in rural Mississippi alive.  I’m a Southerner and can recall only a handful of actors that truly nail the accent.  Beck does it superbly in this twisting, turning courtroom thriller.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

Anybody own a charm bracelet? I do. That’s why I was drawn to this 2016 tale of a widower who discovers his late wife’s charm bracelet while going through a box. He’d never seen it before.  He goes on a journey to learn about the exotic charms and the women he thought he knew.  Narrator James Langton does a good job with this British tale except when he’s doing the voice of a teenage character.  That dialogue just sounded dorky.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This book was first published in 1988 but the publisher dropped it because of slow sales.  Harper Collins republished it in 1993, and it became a world wide best seller.  I can see why.  I fell in love with this story about a shepherd boy on a journey to find his personal legend.  It was both profound and entertaining thanks in large part to the amazing narrator, Jeremy Irons.

Still Life by Louise Penny

Making small talk at parties can be tedious.  Thankfully, the conversation at a recent gathering I attended turned to books.  This author and her mystery series set in the Canadian province of Quebec came highly recommended.  I was told to start with the first in the series, this 2005 title.  The plot is captivating and the characters are plentiful and colorful. Narrator Ralph Cosham does a great job with the English and French required for the bilingual setting.

BONUS BIT:

I didn’t buy any of these audio books.  As a library patron, I borrowed them through Hoopla.  Hoopla is a free site that allows you to download or stream all kinds of media.  Check it out here.