I came across my first little library when I was visiting my sister in Austin a few years ago. While I walked around the neighborhood with her children, we spied two tiny houses on poles in someone’s yard. The houses were too large and low to the ground for birds, but just the right height for a pair of toddlers and me to peer into to find the treasure: books! The note on the door of each house said, “Free lending library. Leave a book, take a book.” We were hooked. That little library was our daily destination for the rest of the week.
Since then, I have found a little library everywhere I go: in Seattle by the library near my son’s tiny house, in Wisconsin near my other son’s college dorm, at the elementary school near my mother in Texas. There are even three within a mile of my house in New York. I frequently swap out books and find new favorites on my daily walks. What better way to do more reading and find interesting books than to share with your neighborhood friends?
The Little Free Library is a non-profit that helps people build the tiny book houses and keeps track of where you can find one near you. They offer kits so you can put together one that suits your needs for your neighborhood. Some are run by public libraries within towns, and others are part of a service project for scouts or a book-loving homeowner.
This month, I am taking these current favorites below to the three little libraries near me and swapping them for some new treasures! What treasures will you be sharing?
The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia
In Northern Mexico at the beginning of the twentieth century, a baby with a facial deformity is discovered abandoned under a bridge protected by a hive of bees. The Morales family and their community raise the baby, named Simonopio, and “his bees” as their own. His presence and their faith in this mysterious child helps protect and define the family through the Spanish Flu, revolution, and reconstruction. This book, translated from Spanish by Simon Bruni, is a treasure.
The Opposite of Fate by Allison McGhee
This new release delves into the tough subject of what should be done when a rape results in pregnancy with dignity and grace. It is told from the viewpoint of the victim, who wakes from a coma to find that her life has changed forever and the family members that love her as they try to protect her – but have different ideas about how that should be done.
Into the Raging Sea by Rachel Slade
Reminiscent of The Perfect Storm, by Sebastian Junger, this book takes an in-depth look at the merchant ship El Faro, which sank in Hurricane Joaquin. The lives of the crew, the decisions they and their company made that put them in harm’s way, and the enormous effort the Coast Guard made to save them are all told from recovered logs and interviews that bring this tragedy to life.
When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald
Zelda has fetal alcohol syndrome, is obsessed with Vikings and lives with her older brother, who goes to college and makes ends meet by dealing drugs. When Zelda realizes her brother is doing illegal things, she sets out to protect her tribe because that is what Vikings do.
Freefall by Jessica Barry
A private plane carrying Allison crashes in the wilderness, and she is presumed dead. Maggie, her estranged mother, believes Allison may be alive and will do whatever it takes to find her.
As Many Nows As I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl
In this young adult novel, Scarlett and David had known each other all their lives, but after they become romantically involved at the end of high school, Scarlett’s life is not the same. A few years later, on a cross-country trip with her college roommate Mina, Scarlett reflects on everything that went wrong.
Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict
This incredible historical fiction novel tells the story of the unflappable Clementine Churchill, wife of Winston. Without her, there would have been no him.