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LARSON: What to read across America

Susan Larson

Susan Larson

While the Gwinnett Public Library is celebrating Read Across America Week with songs, games and visits from the Cat in the Hat, I thought I’d celebrate by sharing readers’ response to the column I’d written about books a few weeks back. Since they read my column, they obviously have good literary taste, so I’m passing along their recommendations.

Sue Baum of Lawrenceville wrote, “Like you, I am part of a wonderful book club that has exposed me to great books I might have missed.

Her recommendations include “Half Broke Horses”by Jeannette Wallis, a prequel to “The Glass Castle” about her grandmother, “Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson, “My Own Country” by Abraham Vargheses, “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed and “Sum it Up” by University of Tennessee coach Pat Summit and anything by Fannie Flagg.

Doris Strickland wrote, “I just finished “Growing Up Amish,” by Ira Wagler and thought you might enjoy it. It is about a young man coming to adulthood and deciding whether to stay with the Amish or not.”

An interesting recommendation came in from Ann Malon of Statham. “Perhaps Tomorrow,” is a romance novel their mother, Erna Martha Russnak, had written on the backs of Christmas cards. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease before she was able to get it published.

“My sister and I published her book in November and it is available on Amazon and Kindle,” Malon wrote.

A most delightful response was a lovely thank you from Martha Phillips, author of “Written on a Rock.” This was a paperback that I had picked up at a used book sale benefiting Relay for Life. After reading it, I shared it with my book club, and then passed it along to a friend who collects books for Hospice.

Phillips, a resident of Elberton responded to my column by writing, “What a great surprise I had last week when I visited a friend who lives in the Deaton Creek area, not far from Chateau Elan. A couple of her neighbors talked about my book being mentioned in a local newspaper.

“When I got home and investigated, I found your great article from Jan.11, printed in the Gwinnett Daily Post. Thank you so much.

“I hope you’ll read “Carved,” my sequel to “Written on a Rock.” It’s been out for about 4 months and, like the first book is fiction.”

In further correspondence Phillips said, “I’ve conducted 13 tours of my first book. The old Elbert Theatre is worth the trip. It’s been redone to its 1940 Art Deco style. The Granite Bowl is awesome. If you make another trip, let me know and I’ll send you a map of things to see, including Dutchy.

“Also, if you like, I’ll donate a copy of Carved to you and your book club and love the idea that it will make its way to Hospice someday.”

Thank you, Martha! What a lovely way to contribute to reading across America!

Susan Larson is a writer from Lilburn. Email her at susanlarson79@gmail.com.