Finding alternative ways to go green at the public library

It's so frustrating. The harder I try to be green, the more my world turns brown. I strictly adhere to the watering restrictions. I plant supposedly drought resistant flowers. I use mulch to hold in moisture. Yet my grass and flowers are just plain brown.

But still, in wanting to stay in the spirit of green, I decided to stop looking out my window and to turn my eyes to books.

There are lots of "green" books out there, and I'm not talking about how-to books about caring for the environment, which is going to turn brown no matter what we do.

I started brainstorming, and the first book that came to mind was "Anne of Green Gables," by Lucy Maud Montgomery, which I read several times as a kid and reread with my mother-in-law as an adult. "How Green was My Valley," a story about Welsh coal miners by Richard Llewellyn, is a book my friend Mary told me years ago that I'd enjoy. I checked it out at the library, and Mary was right. I'm enjoying it immensely.

And "Green Eggs and Ham," by Dr. Seuss, can lift anyone's spirits, no matter how much brown surrounds them.

Then I went online to see what the Gwinnett County Public Library System had to offer and came up with lots of other green goodies.

"Look Back All the Green Valley," a novel by Fred Chappell, takes place most appropriately in Greensboro, N.C., and unfolds a man's discoveries as he digs up his family tree.

I found two novels based on the green in golf. "Miracle on the 17th Green," by bestselling novelist James Patterson and sports writer Peter de Jonge, is a light read that can be digested in one sitting. "The Green," by Troon McAllister, is a fictional account of the Ryder Cup competition. I haven't read this one yet, but judging by the blurbs on the back of the book, I think McAllister addresses human nature more than he does golf.

A quote from Asian Week, "Green card seekers: Look no further" is printed above a picture of a green Statue of Liberty on the cover of "How to Get a Green Card" by Ilona Bray, J.D. and Loida Nicolas Lewis, J.D. Let it be known to all that information for getting a green card is free at any library.

This brings me back to my days as an ESOL teacher and how I loved finding things people from all cultures could relate to. Color is one of them and "Green," by Lisa Bruce takes the reader on a picture walk through nature with plants and animals that live all over the world. And "One Green Apple," by Eve Bunting, brought tears to my eyes as a little Muslin girl recounts how one green apple united her with her new friends in America.

So if you want to go green and nature is not cooperating with you, just check out some books at the library like I did.

Susan Larson is a Lilburn resident. E-mail her at susanlarson4@yahoo.com.