Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Happy books for troubled times

Many take a break from dismal news by curling up with a good book

   HAPPY BOOKS
   Many people have been turning their TVs off and turning to books in an attempt to escape the constant barrage of depressing news since the World Trade Center attack, anthrax threats, and war in Afghanistan.
   In response to the trend, the Jefferson County Library staff has prepared a suggested list of uplifting books for troubled times:
   "Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self" by Sarah Ban Breathnach, (291.4 Ban). Discover what it's like to be truly happy by uncovering the secret dreams and desires hidden within yourself.
   "The Art Of Happiness: A Handbook For Living" by the Dalai Lama XIV, (294.344 Bstan). Through conversation, stories and meditations, the Dalai Lama shows us how to defeat day-to-day anxiety, insecurity, anger, and discouragement. He teaches how to seek out the happiness that you deserve.
   "A Fine and Pleasant Misery" by Patrick F. McManus, (765.5 McManus). A selection of McManus' writings spanning his eight years with File and Stream magazine offers humorous observations on the hapless victims of camping, fishing, hunting and hiking.
   "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris, (814.54). In his fourth autobiographical book, Sedaris uses his caustic wit to reminisce in short stories about his peculiar childhood, his career path, and his move to France with his lover.
   "Everything And A Kite" by Ray Romano, (L 817). As he does with his stand-up comedy and his TV show, Romano draws on his real life experiences as a husband, father, son and brother in this laugh-out-loud book that is both funny and true to life.
   "Homestead" by Jane Kirkpatrick, (OR). "Homestead" is the true story of the author's move to John Day, Ore., with her husband and what they went through to build their dream home. A beautiful Oregon book about faith, love and dreams come true.
   "One For The Money" by Janet Evanovich, (FIC). Stephanie Plum is an honest, funny and tough gal from New Jersey starting a job as an apprehension agent for her cousin, a bail bondsman. Her first assignment is to track down an ex-vice cop who is also a former lover.
   "Bridget Jones' Diary" by Helen Fielding, (FIC). A year in the life of Bridget Jones. Thirty-something and single, she struggles with men, her weight, smoking and her job in a hilariously funny and touching way.
   "Christmas Mouse And Village Christmas: Two Novels" by Miss Read, (FIC Read). Two quick novels that offer a warm and glowing glimpse at Christmas in an English country village. Charming without being silly or simplistic.
   "The American Claimant" by Mark Twain, (FIC). Classic mark Twain comedy of mistaken identities and multiple role switches that revolve around the serious debate between the aristocracy of Europe and the democracy of America.
   Books recommended for youth:
   "Hope Was Here" by Joan Bauer, (Youth-Bauer). When Hope Yancey and her aunt move to a small town in Wisconsin to work at a restaurant, she doesn't expect to like it but tries to stay positive. Sad in places, but never depressing, Hope is an unusually wise teenager who dishes up her own quirky philosophy along with Aunt Addie's apple pie.
   "A Year Down Yonder" by Richard Peck, (Youth). During the recession of 1937, 15-year-old Mary Alice is sent to live with her feisty, larger-than-life grandmother in rural Illinois and comes to a better understanding of the fearsome woman.
   "Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions Of Georgia Nicolson" by Louise Rennison, (Youth-Rennison). Humorous journal of a 14-year-old British girl who tries to deal with teenage life.
   "Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves" by P.G. Wodehouse, (FIC). When Jeeves' employer plays matchmaker, terrifying misunderstandings ensue, until the indomitable Jeeves saves the day.