Among the blogs I follow is one from an Arkansas author, Talya Tate Boerner. Her blog is Grace, Grits, and Gardening. I fell in love with the main character in her book The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee and began following her blog. The thing I most enjoy about her blog is a list of what she's read each month; she is an avid reader, and many of the books she features sound as if they are right up my alley. In listing her October reads, she mentioned one by author Kent Haruf, the third book in a trilogy. It piqued my interest, so I decided to read all three of the books of the trilogy in order. Turns out these stories are custom-made for me. I began with Plainsong, fell in love with the characters, and later checked it out for Cliff on his iPad; then I checked out Eventide, which continues the story, but with added characters, for myself. All of these take place in a small-town, rural setting in Colorado, and I feel I'm living right there with them. This author, Kent Haruf, died several years ago, so once I read the third book, that will be the last time I get to commune with these very real (to me) characters. He did write other books, though, besides those three. I'll be paying more attention to this author's book reviews from now on!
I have also gotten a lot of ideas for books to read from a blogger friend in Washington state, a retired teacher who has a list of her recent reads on the right-hand side of her blog. Sometimes a follower of this blog will leave a comment recommending a book they've loved, and I have read some of those.
I read a lot more in winter than any other time. Thank God for the free Public Library, and that through the miracle of the Internet, this non-driver can check out free, best-selling books for myself and Cliff while sitting in my easy chair. It's especially good for Cliff, since the only actual type of exercise he can do regularly is to ride on the recumbent bike for half-an-hour a day: he reads while he's pedaling to make the time pass. Being able to get free books immediately from the library is of most miraculous blessings I know of, one I would never have dreamed of even twenty years ago. And the library is the only free place to get the books recommended to me by people I know and trust.
Like anything one uses every day, I often take the library for granted; but this is the Thanksgiving season, so I remind myself how fortunate I am to be living in such a time as this.