[booksandbeyond] Gentle Fiction: A Recommended Reading List fromWolfner Library

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Date:         Tue, 20 Nov 2007 10:56:34 -0600
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Subject: Gentle Fiction: A Recommended Reading List from Wolfner Library
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Gentle Fiction

Reader Advisor Carol Mathews has put together a list of fiction books
that are gentle, nostalgic and simple in nature.

As the Earth Turns by Gladys Hasty Carroll.
An enduring novel, written with deep affection, describes one year in
the life of a taciturn Maine farmer and his family. Their story
encompasses the flow of the seasons, details of farm life, and the
dramas of rural experience. RC 18555.

Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis.
The narrator describes a series of hilarious episodes in his boyhood,
beginning in the 1920s, when he went to live with his highly
eccentric aunt. He also satirizes would-be avant garde intellectuals,
suburban racial prejudice, and snobbism in general. Auntie Mame
series, book 1. RC 25837.

Breakaway by Louise Field Cooper.
When a sixty-year-old widow receives a visit from a garrulous brother
who appears to have no intention of leaving, she sets out to see the
world on her own. In France she meets a retired civil engineer and
suddenly is happier than ever. Humorous and charming. RC 10791.

Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.
An account of happy family life in the 1920s. The author's father, an
efficiency expert who believed in living fully, entertained and
practiced some very unconventional ideas about raising his many
children. This edition contains an update on the twelve original
Gilbreths and their many children. Gilbreth Family series, book 1. RC
23282, BR 353. Also available as a descriptive video, DV 516.

Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns.
Just three weeks after Granny's death, Will Tweedy's Grandpa marries
the pretty, thirtyish town milliner, Miss Love Simpson. It's 1906 and
the town of Cold Sassy, Georgia, is shocked. Fourteen-year-old Will
takes it all in--his Grandpa's rejuvenation and Cold Sassy's
reaction--while he experiences some major life changes of his own.
Will Tweedy series, book 1. For high school and older readers. RC 39112.

The End of the Road by Tom Bodett.
Bodett writes of his imaginary Alaskan hometown, in a style like that
of Garrison Keillor in "Lake Wobegon Days (RC 22969)." You'll meet
such characters as Mayor, Richard Weekly; Tamara Dupree, a vegetarian
activist and animal lover; Ed Flannigan, who drives a dump truck;
Argus Winslow and Bud Koenig, who are constantly at odds with each
other; and Doug McDoogan, who wins the salmon throw. RC 31841.

Good Morning, Miss Dove by Frances Gray Patton.
This novel celebrates the old-fashioned American schoolteacher, a
strict disciplinarian, dedicated to her work, and well acquainted
with her generations of pupils. Miss Dove remembers her thirty-five
years of teaching as she rests after an illness. RC 28208.

The Homecoming: A Novel about Spencer's Mountain by Earl Hamner.
On a snowy Christmas Eve in rural Virginia, a family of nine
anxiously awaits the return of the father from an out-of-town job.
Warm story of close family relationships and everyday happenings amid
the hardships of the Depression. RC 7544, BR 1474.

Julie by Catherine Marshall.
A novel which draws inspiration from the life of the late author.
Julie Wallace relates her family's ordeal in a flood-prone town in
western Pennsylvania during the 1930s. Her father buys the weekly
newspaper in a company town run by the ruthless owners of the local
steel mill. As a reporter for the paper, Julie crusades against the
steel barons and exposes a life-threatening dam they refuse to
fortify. She also discovers the miseries and delights of first love.
RC 21210, BR 6005.

Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor.
Autobiographical sketches with stories about the inhabitants of Lake
Wobegon, an imaginary Minnesota town that cannot be found on the map.
Lake Wobegon's history and mores are presented. Tales of the town are
outrageous, earthy, warm, sly, and sometimes both funny and sad.  RC
22969, BR 7581.

Let the Hurricane Roar by Rose Wilder Lane.
A short novel of frontier life in the Dakotas and the young couple
who face crop failure, winter storms, separation, and loneliness with
a staunch courage and steadfastness. RC 27780, BR 122.

Mama's Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes.
Sketches of life in a Norwegian-American family. The various members
have their small adventures, but Mama always emerges as the heroine.
 From her the children learn courage, honesty, and straight thinking. RC 
18124.

Mrs. Parkington by Louis Bromfield.
Charming and forceful old lady reminisces about her adventurous past
and plans for the happiness and security of her descendants. RC 12284.

Mrs. Tim Christie by Dorothy Emily Stevenson.
An amusing novel about six months in the life of a British Highlander
officer's wife. Hester Christie copes with Aunt Ethel's visit in her
Rolls Royce; social teas, a cross cook and cranky car, and some
marital misunderstandings. Mrs. Tim series, book 1. RC 7378.

Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley.
Life becomes an adventure for spinster Helen McGill when a
red-bearded "professor" sells her his wagon bookshop complete with a
horse, Pegasus, and a dog, Boccaccio. Together they set off to sell
the joys of literature and books in the hamlets of New England. RC
21108, BR 715.

The Plum Thicket by Janice Holt Giles.
A grandmother returns to the dusty Arkansas town where she spent her
most unforgettable summer with her own grandparents in the early
1900s. At age eight, with acute perception but little understanding,
she became a central character in a tense drama involving her aunt,
her grandmother, a young doctor, and a housemaid. RC 48128.

The Ponder Heart by Eudora Welty.
Edna Earle Ponder, who runs a hotel in a small Mississippi town,
relates the story of her beloved Uncle Daniel Ponder who was rich,
soft-hearted, and erratic. RC 9758.

The Rose Thieves by Heidi Jon Schmidt.
Kate's account of growing up in rural New England with her parents,
two sisters, and brother leaves the impression of looking through the
family photo album with her. Kate tells of the tea party for the
minister and his wife that turns into a social disaster; of her
sixteenth birthday, when she awakens to find the family car full of
flowers from her sister; of her parents' divorce; and of the hooker's
shoe. RC 33953, BR 10584.

Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly.
A woman recalls her seventeenth summer when she lived in a small
Wisconsin town in the leisurely days before World War II and fell in
love for the first time. RC 25758.

The Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright.
A sentimental and religious tale of the Ozark country. The main
characters are two mountaineers, old Matt and young Matt, a girl
named Sammy, and Jim Lane who is young Matt's rival for Sammy's hand. RC 
29860.

The Snow Ball by A.R. Gurney.
Memories of a special couple, Jack and Kitty, and their magical
dancing at the once-elegant annual ball are the focal point of this
nostalgic novel. Two middle-aged members of the old crowd decide to
revive the Snow Ball in Buffalo and bring Kitty and Jack back for one
last dance. RC 23498.

Spencer's Mountain by Earl Hamner, Jr.
Recounts a year in the life of the Spencer family, who live in the
foothills of Virginia, and especially that of Clay-Boy, as he
prepares to leave Spencer's Mountain for his first year of college.
RC 45671, BR 11544.

Suds in Your Eye by Mary Lasswell.
Sentimental novel about three elderly ladies who thumb their noses at
misfortune and constantly refresh their spirits with quantities of
cold beer. RC 14660.

Timepiece by Richard Paul Evans.
In this prequel to The Christmas Box (RC 43556), David and MaryAnne
Parkin of Salt Lake City, 1908, attach special significance to a
timepiece that becomes a symbol of the importance of time spent with
loved ones. Parkin Family series, book 1. RC 43227.

Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene.
Retired banker Henry Pulling, a sheltered bachelor, encounters spry
Aunt Augusta at his mother's funeral. When she persuades Henry to
leave his gardening and accompany her on some journeys. RC 52405, BR 1253.

The Two Farms by Mary Emily Pearce.
Gentle, pastoral tale set in nineteenth-century England where two
farms share a valley. John Sutton's lands prosper under the
management of Jim Lundy, while Morris Riddler's smaller property
declines. Sutton seems certain to acquire his neighbor's farm until
his spoiled son steals the affection of the woman Lundy loves. A
warmhearted, down-to-earth story of pluck and hearts on the mend. RC 26502.

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl by Fannie Flagg.
New York TV anchor Dena Nordstrom's career is flourishing, but her
private life is not. Then her high-stress job--combined with too many
nights out on the town--takes its toll, and Dena goes back to her
hometown to recuperate. Pondering her past and wondering about her
future, she finds unexpected pleasures in the small Missouri town.
Elmwood Springs series, book 1. RC 47006.

Wellspring by Janice Holt Giles.
Delightful collection of bright, touching tales about the land and
people of Kentucky and Appalachia. Included are reminiscences, short
stories, and factual pieces. RC 9374.


Office of the Secretary of State
Wolfner Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
PO Box 387, 600 W. Main
Jefferson City, MO 65102
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Phone: 1-800-392-2614
Wolfner Homepage:
<http://www.sos.mo.gov/wolfner/>http://www.sos.mo.gov/wolfner/
For Other Recommended Reading List Items:
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