Won’t You Be My Neighbor? by The Stereotypical Librarian

Planning a little get together with your neighbors?  Perhaps you should do some recreational reading before you find yourself hosting the dinner party from hell as happens in this book titled “The Couple Next Door” by Shari Lapena.  The premise of the book is as follows: 

“You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.
Your neighbor told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.
Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take turns going to check her every half hour.
Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.  And compulsive page turning ensues.”  www.goodreads.com

“Safe from the Neighbors” by Steve Yarbrough is the story of Luke May who teaches history at the high school in Loring, Mississippi from which he graduated.  His passion is an honors class where he teaches local history.  The year 1962 is featured in this class as the civil rights movement swirled around Loring.   Having survived this civil rights turmoil as a child, he now passes these stories along to students far too young to have experienced or, in some cases, even heard about them.  It is an interesting story that shows how everything and everyone is connected especially in a small town, and how that affects the larger world.  Luke May discovers there is some “local” history that even he didn’t know.

“Hard Way Out of Hell:  The Confessions of Cole Younger” by Johnny D. Boggs tells the inside story of the James and Younger brothers gang.  Missouri was a tough place to grow up in the 1850’s.  Neighbors disagreed about slavery and states’ rights even before the civil war began lawlessness reign in western Missouri.  It shows how the choices a man makes when he feels he has no choice at all can affect his life and history.  Boggs researches his characters and the history to give you a very realistic story.  Some of my relatives arrived in Montana from Missouri soon after the Civil War and now I can better understand why they came.

Even with winter arriving I’m so glad to be here in Montana, where neighbors can be depended on. After reading these books it makes me realize that life goes in a circle for a reason.  Circles don’t have sides, so you can’t be on a side of life; we are all in this big circle together and have to choose to get along in order to survive.  Here is hoping you make wise choices and find a good book to read.

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