Leota’s Garden by Francine Rivers

Leota’s Garden is not the latest by Francine Rivers, but it is new to me. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

Leota is an 84 yr old woman, living alone, and estranged from her children. Her daughter, Nora, is very bitter towards her mother and has kept her children from getting to know her. However, Leota’s granddaughter, Annie, finds she needs to break away from her mother’s control over her life and seeks out the grandmother she has never really known.

Through getting to know her grandmother, Annie finds out the secrets of her grandmother’s past and the reasons for her mother’s misconceptions. In trying to live out her faith, Annie works to reconcile her family, helping them all to learn about love and forgiveness.

I liked this book because I could relate to the characters. I have seen how hurts and unforgiveness can be caused by not always

knowing the truth of other people’s lives. I appreciated the characters and the struggles they go through, and how Annie puts her faith into action. She has to step away from her mother’s control and stand up for herself, but she never stops loving her mother or trying to help her to understand how she feels.

eBooks at Union County Public Library, NC

Union County now has ebooks available for their patrons. If you are already familiar with using ebooks, you will find this a welcome new service. If you are new to reading in this way, it is very simple to start and you will find that you can read on several different devices.

For those who are new to ebooks and downloading, there will be an introductory class on Saturday at the Monroe branch. However, as of this writing, there was only one opening left.

Ebooks have been available at different public libraries for quite some time, but it was not until this past September, that Kindle books became available. Since that time, there have been many controversies between publishers and libraries. Expense and privacy issues have been the main concerns. Different publishers have put certain restrictions on their books and some have gone so far as to ‘take their books’ back. Penguin, for a time, withdrew all of their Kindle titles from libraries. Harper Collins put a restriction that their ebooks could only be checked out a total of 26 times. With their restriction of only being able to check out books for 2 weeks at a time, this would mean their titles would expire in about a year’s time. 

Still, with all the controversies and issues to be worked out, this will be a convenience that many can enjoy. In my library science classes at ECU, the question of ‘will ebooks ever totally replace paper ones?’ is constantly discussed. I don’t see ebooks totally replacing paper books for some time, if ever, but they are here to stay, so it is good for them to be available at our public libraries.

For more information about using ebooks and what devices you can use to read on, check out the library website: www.union.lib.nc.us

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Imagine a circus that just appears  in your town one day, is only open at night, and everything is in black and white. Imagine a circus that has so many tents that you will want to come every night to try and see them all. Imagine a circus that smells of caramel and cinnamon, has a bonfire that never goes out, an ice garden, and characters with names like Poppet, Widget, Celia, and Marco. Imagine the circus is gone one morning and you don’t know if it will ever be back.

I’ve never really been one for circuses, but this one is different. Why it is so different makes the story the compelling fantasy that it is. Who is really running the circus? Is it all illusion and mirrors or is there real magic involved? Is it all good or is there some kind of hidden evil involved?

Two children are trained and prepared for a trial or test. What kind of trial? How does one win? What does that have to do with the circus?

I loved this book. It has magic, love, and complicated characters. One that I wanted to finish to see how it would end, yet hated for it to be over. This is Erin Morgenstern’s first book and I hope she is working on another!