I just checked out Jennifer Chiaverini’s “Christmas Bells.” I was actually looking for another book for a shelf display, walked by this, and immediately checked it out (one of the perks of working in a library)! This book weaves the story of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s holiday season of 1863 with that of present-day teacher, Sophia, who struggles to find a way through adversity in her second job as a volunteer church music director. While I have just started this book, I have read the majority of Ms. Chiaverini’s Elm Creek Quilts series so I feel confident that I will enjoy her message of remaining positive during stressful times.
Another book in my daily reading schedule is Zhu Xiao-Mei’s “The Secret Piano-From Mao’s Labor Camps to Bach’s Goldberg Variations.” Whenever I am struggling with something, I inevitably will find myself at my piano. Hours later, I emerge hopefully refreshed and clear or at a minimum, more calm. While I am not typically drawn to Chinese history, I knew that piano prodigy Zhu Xiao-Mei’s story of clinging to her music through life in the labor camps of Mao’s Cultural Revolution to finding a new life post-revolution would profoundly resonate with me. Her story of the healing power of music is one that can be appreciated by everyone, regardless of musical ability.
Just for fun, I checked out “Writer to Writer-From Think to Ink” by Gail Carson Levine (of “Ella Enchanted” fame) last month from our NaNoWriMo display in the Young Adult department. I love popping into this book for a quick chapter read on writing tips, tricks, and inspiration. Considering I am close to my renewal limit on this one, I should just purchase a copy so that I can give other writers a chance to enjoy! One of many benefits of utilizing the library is “test-driving” books, movies, cd’s, etc…before purchasing!