A novel idea: Use extra time to read a book

Good morning. Hope you enjoyed the extra hour of sleep brought to you by the ever-popular daylight saving time.

How about spending that extra time taking a walk, starting a new hobby, spending time with your family and friends or – and here is a novel idea — reading!

If you are like me, and as one of my T-shirts proclaim, “Reading Makes Me Happy!” After all, who doesn’t want to be happy?

Your library staff is here to not only assist in locating library materials but to also aid in finding just the right book for you.

If you are interested in strong female characters, I present the following suggestions.

“A Girl of the Limberlost” by Gene Stratton-Porter was published in 1909. Growing up in Ohio, I had never heard of this Indiana classic until moving to Seymour in 1980. My introduction to the book was through a movie version. Chatting with a library patron about the film, I was told that the book was much better, and as often is the case, this proved to be true.

The book’s heroine, Elnora Comstock, grows up in the Limberlost Swamp area in the northeastern part of the state. Elnora lives with her mother, who treats Elnora poorly as she blames her daughter for the death of her husband in the swamp. But do not fear, as Elnora overcomes her mother’s bitterness, reaches above her station in life, learns how to play the violin like her father, attends public school and learns to love nature. The book is full of high and low points and is a must-read for all Hoosiers.

An on-going series of books by Linda Castillo featuring formerly Amish, and now chief of police, Kate Burkholder is set in Holmes County in my home state.

First in the series “Sworn to Silence,” published in 2009, has Burkholder returning to the small town of Painters Mill to be chief of police. She left her Amish roots and joined the police force in Columbus, Ohio, after a series of murders in Holmes County. Her crime-solving skills are enhanced by her Amish ties, but the case brings back horrible memories for Burkholder and we learn why she left Painters Mill in the first place.

“Sworn to Silence” also introduces the reader to state agent John Tomasetti. As the series progresses and Castillo provides more background for both characters, we learn about their heartbreaking pasts and then cheer them on as they build a relationship with each other.

“A Gathering of Secrets,” the latest in Castillo’s series, comes out next year.

Looking for more strong fiction females? Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone and Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski come to mind, as do Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone, Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and, of course, Nancy Drew.

As you enjoy your extra hour of time, you might consider attending a unique program we are hosting at 6:30 p.m. Monday: “Music of the Vietnam War.” Entertainer Dave Ehlert will sing “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,” “Eve of Destruction,” “The Game of Love,” the “Ballad of the Green Berets” and others.

You also can view a small display presented by the Heartfelt Honors Quilters group.

Mary Clare Speckner is the community services coordinator at the Bartholomew County Public Library and can be reached at mcspeckner@mybcpl.org.