Archive for June, 2012

Gone to Green [The Green Series]

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Gone to Green [The Green Series]

Judy Pace Christie

Abingdon Press, 2009

225 pages


Book Summary:

In Gone to Green, Lois goes from being a corporate journalist at a large paper in the Midwest to the owner of The Green News-Item, a small twice-weekly newspaper in rural North Louisiana. The paper was an unexpected inheritance from a close colleague, and Lois must keep it for at least a year, bringing a host of challenges, lessons, and blessings into her life.

When Lois pulls into Green on New Year’s Day, she expects a charming little town full of smiling people. She quickly realizes her mistake. After settling into a loaned house out on Route 2, she finds herself battling town prejudices and inner doubts and making friends with the most surprising people: troubled teenager Katy, good-looking catfish farmer Chris, wise and feisty Aunt Helen, and a female African-American physician named Kevin.

Whether fighting a greedy, deceitful politician or rescuing a dog she fears, Lois notices the headlines in her life have definitely improved. She learns how to provide small-town news in a big-hearted way and realizes that life is full of newsworthy moments. When she encounters racial prejudice and financial corruption, Lois also discovers more about the goodness of real people and the importance of being part of a community.

While secretly preparing the paper for a sale, Lois begins to realize that God might indeed have a plan for her life and that perhaps the allure of city life and career ambition are not what she wants after all.

My take:

I believe I have found a new favorite series. The novel is seamlessly written and drew me into the story from the first page. It moves briskly with no awkward scene changes.

While the newspaper’s struggle for survival is the lynchpin of the book, the counter balance is Lois’ unwilling examination of her anger towards God, stemming from the death of her mother. In her urban lifestyle she had been able to ignore God’s nudges, but in Green, smack in the Bible belt, where everyone goes to church and her nearest neighbor is an open and friendly female pastor, she gradually begins to deal with her misconceptions about God. Lois’ spiritual struggle is revealed through conversation between her and Jean, her pastor and neighbor.

I enjoyed getting an inside look at the newspaper business, and the politics involved in keeping it solvent in a small town, where the biggest advertisers are sometimes also the worst offenders and not happy at being on the front page of the paper.

The ending is predictable, but that’s one reason we read romances, right? Lois falls in love with Green and decides to settle forever, and we look forward to seeing if the hint of a developing love interest in a widower in town will go anywhere in the next book.

My Rating: I loved it, 5 out of 5

Think Only Kids Like to Be Read To? Think Again

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Readers are a snooty lot. We look down on others who ignore a book, and shudder at those who say they’ll wait for the movie to come out. In fact, we generally shun the movie, certain that it cannot equal the book. Readers cannot comprehend someone who admits “I haven’t read a book since high school.”  We’re so pretentious we have our own hierarchy.  The Only Classics readers claim top shelf, the middle ranks are the aficionados of non-fiction, mystery, biography and romance, while the bottom shelves are allotted to lovers of graphic novels.

As an avid reader, imagine my surprise to discover I married a non-reader. Let me clarify that statement: He is a non-recreational reader. He reads a lot in his job as a pastor. And what with sermon research and studying, reports and correspondence, when he gets home all he wants to do is relax in front of the TV. Coming belatedly to the understanding that he is an audio learner I now realize he chooses to relax watching TV because of the audio output.

But I still found myself wishing he read for leisure because there were books I’d like to discuss. One day on a long car trip he got bored and glancing at the book I was reading said, “Why don’t you read it to me?”  I did.  It was The Great Train Robbery by Crichton. We both enjoyed it so much that it started our book-sharing pastime.

I’ll let you in on a little secret of speed readers: We do not read every word.  In fact, we tend to go down the middle of a page, peripherally gathering the words along the edges. However, I discovered that when I read it aloud, I get every word – like a whole new story for me.

Since we began this pastime, we have met several other couples who also enjoy reading aloud. Archie reads to Verna each evening while she crochets, Cora reads to David while he fixes dinner, and Ty reads business/research books to her husband to free up his working hours for other responsibilities.

So if you’re a reader and despair of someone in your family not sharing your addiction. Maybe you can whet their appetite in another way: Read to them.

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