Back to School….Back to Reading….September is Here!
by Beth Goehring
Have you gotten your new shoes yet? Your backpack? Those divider thingees to put in your notebook? It’s September! No matter how old I get, that means back to school. A gold star to whomever gives these smart books to the teacher or student in her life.
It’s a miracle Tara Westover survived to get an education. Her father insisted she work in his scrap yard in rural Idaho. When she or any of her siblings suffered the inevitable accidents that happen in a dangerous place like that, they were sent home to Mom who treated them with herbs and tinctures. Positive the government was plotting to kill his family, Tara’s father refused to send his children to school, or even get them a birth certificate. After a brother escaped to attend university, Tara found an outdated math textbook and started to teach herself. She writes lyrically of the beauty of the western landscape, sensitively of her dreams of a bigger life, and with heartbreaking sensitivity about the wrenching separation from her family those ambitions caused. She succeeds, but at quite a cost. Get the book.
This belongs on the shelf with beloved classics like How Green Was My Valley, “The Miracle Worker,” and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. Michelle Kuo comes to rural Arkansas from Harvard, and leaves after a couple of years to go to law school. She’s drawn back by a promising student, Patrick Browning, who is unable to get out… literally. Awaiting trial in jail for murder, Patrick finds strength in Michelle’s devotion and the books she assigns him by Frederick Douglass and James Baldwin. Patrick’s own writing will make you cry. Get the book.
You’ll likely have read many of these 100 best-loved novels either as a kid (Charlotte’s Web), a student (Things Fall Apart), or more recently (The Help). There’s a lot of fun trivia here about this varied selection of American and world literature which all but the most fanatic will be surprised to learn. And don’t miss the entertaining launch special hosted by Meredith Viera. Get the book.
Beth Goehring believes, with apologies to Lorelei Lee, that rather than diamonds books are a girl’s best friend…and a boy’s, a man’s and a woman’s. For more than twenty-five years, through Book-of-the-Month Club and its related clubs, she’s sold popular fiction, mysteries, romances, cookbooks, children’s books, play scripts, behind-the-scenes tales of the movies and theatre, and lifestyle books. She lives with her husband in Manhattan.