Reader’s Lounge

by Jessica Grassmid

As we go through this busy holiday season, let’s enjoy the books that remind us of two of the most joyful and complicated things in our lives: community and family.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

This charming and poignant book tells its story entirely through letters. The main character, Juliet, is an author looking for inspiration as she lives through the aftermath of WWII. Through a series of unforeseeable events, she finds herself getting to know the people of the Titular Literary Society, who reside on Guernsey, an island located off the coast of England.  As she comes to know the members of the literary society and their stories, she falls in love, as will you, with the residents and their tales of what they suffered under Nazi occupation.

All Things Bright and Beautiful

by James Herriot

James Herriot tells the tale of a young veterinary assistant as he begins his career among the rough farmers of Yorkshire, England. The narrative takes on you through the gorgeous countryside and behind the hard-won wisdom of the farmers. The opulent hospitality of Herriot’s grandiose friend, Granville Bennett, will make you laugh out loud while a harrowing day at the fair will leave on the edge of your seat. Although an overarching story runs through the book, each tale can be enjoyed on its own.

Call the Midwife

by Jennifer Worth

The basis for the popular BBC show, this delightful book is the story of a new midwife and the community she serves. The book is set in London’s East End, where mothers suffer through the pain of bringing forth new life, and children live in squalor, but the indomitable spirit of the people shines through. From the beautiful to the tragic, the humorous to the shocking, all sides of life are shown here with both compassion and dignity.

Waves of Mercy

by Lynn Austin

Those interested in West Michigan history will find this story of two women facing different adversities a fascinating delight. Anna Nicholson is visiting Hotel Ottawa as she struggles to find her place in her parents’ world among Chicago’s elite. Geesje de Jonge regales readers with her immigration to Holland, MI with her parents and her struggles in this new world. She outlines many of the obstacles and fears of the first immigrants to this area, as well as the reasons they had for leaving everything familiar behind.


Jessica Grassmid is an Adult Services Para Pro at Kent District Library Caledonia.  She enjoys spending time outdoors and with her family, preferably at the same time.

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