Some Summer Reads


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” So says Dr. Seuss, and I believe him.

Because of the books I’ve read this month, I know more about American history, Comanche Indians, and different layers of meaning in the story of the Good Samaritan. I’ve visited a Southern sugar cane plantation, a church whose congregants were snake handlers, a bitterly cold Wisconsin town being terrorized by the Iceman, and a Revolutionary War battlefield in GA. Plus, I’ve made a few new friends including Chloe and Adelaide.

The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson raised my consciousness about how horribly slaves were treated by their owners. Little more than livestock, they were thought to be without emotion or importance. Thanks to Nancy Peacock’s brilliant writing  I now think of Percy, Chloe, Sedge, Feather Horse, and even Massuh Wilson as living, breathing people who, though fictitious, could very well have been real. People just like them were a huge part of America’s history. I also learned quite a bit about survival in brutally cold conditions and about life among the Comanche Indians.

A Land More Kind than Home takes place in a small town in the mountains of NC. Much of the action centers around Pastor Chambliss and the people of his church, a church whose services take place in a building with newspaper covered windows. The book is also about families, at least three generations, and about connections across generations and between townspeople. It’s also about forgiveness and loss and moving on. But mostly, this superbly written novel is about a boy named Jess and all of the hard lessons that he had to learn over a very short period of time.

I listened to John Sanford’s Winter Prey in the car, and while that’s a totally different experience from actually reading the chilling words of Sanford’s novel, it pulled me in within the first three or four minutes. Who was the Iceman? Was he really going to commit murder?  In a land where snow and ice prevail, many people ride around on snow plows, each pretty indistinguishable from the others. So who was this malevolent mystery man who committed these dastardly deeds and then drove off into the dark, snowy landscape?

The Battle of Brier’s Creek is an interesting and factual account of a victory that completed the conquest of Georgia by the British during the Revolutionary War. The author, Daniel Johnson, vividly portrays many of the events that took place during this battle, including the commander’s desertion of his men, a desertion that led to a court-martial and a “half-hearted vindication.” Reading about the men who died in this little known battle is a painful reminder that human causalities took place in famous places like Bunker Hill and little known ones like Brier’s Creek.

To discover what I learned about the layers of meaning in the story of the Good Samaritan, you’ll need to read one of my future  posts on In the meantime, please share some places you’ve been, people you’ve met, or things you’ve learned through reading this month.

About jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer
This entry was posted in book reviews, books, reading, stories, summer reading, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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