What books caught my eye this week as they passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Well, this weeks it's memoirs about finding one's self - in very different ways....
First up was Mud Season: How One Woman's Dream of Moving to Vermont Raising Children, Chickens, and Sheep & Running the Old Country Store Pretty Much Led to One Calamity after Another by Ellen Stimson.
From the publisher, The Countryman Press:
"After a getaway in gorgeous rural Vermont—its mountains ablaze in autumnal glory, its Main Streets quaint and welcoming—Ellen Stimson and her family make up their minds even before they get back to St. Louis: “We’re moving to Vermont!” The reality, they quickly learn, is not quite as glorious, often far too quaint, but, happily, worth all the trouble.
In self-deprecating and hilarious fashion, Mud Season chronicles Stimson’s transition from city life to small Vermont farmhouse. When she decides she wants to own and operate the old-fashioned village store in idyllic Dorset, pop. 2,036, one of the oldest continually operating country stores in the nation, she learns the hard way that “improvements” are not always welcomed warmly by folks who like things just fine the way they’ve always been,
She dreams of patrons streaming in for fresh-made sandwiches and an old-timey candy counter, but she learns they’re boycotting the store. Why? “The bread,” they tell her, “you moved the bread from where it used to be.” Can the citified newcomer turn the tide of mistrust before she ruins the business altogether?
Follow the author to her wits’ end and back, through her full immersion into rural life—swapping high heels for muck boots; raising chickens and sheep; fighting off skunks, foxes, and bears; and making a few friends and allies in a tiny town steeped in history, local tradition, and that dyed-in-the-wool Vermont “character."
The Answer to the Riddle is Me: A Memoir of Amnesia by David Stuart MacLean.
From the publisher, Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt:
"On October 17, 2002, David MacLean “woke up” on a train platform in India with no idea who he was or why he was there. No money. No passport. No identity.
Taken to a mental hospital by the police, MacLean then started to hallucinate so severely he had to be tied down. Soon he could remember song lyrics, but not his family, his friends, or the woman he was told he loved. All of these symptoms, it turned out, were the result of the commonly prescribed malarial medication he had been taking. Upon his return to the States, he struggled to piece together the fragments of his former life in a harrowing, absurd, and unforgettable journey back to himself.
The Answer to the Riddle Is Me, drawn from David MacLean’s award-winning This American Life essay, is a deeply felt, closely researched, and intensely personal book. It asks every reader to confront the essential questions of our age: In our geographically and chemically fluid world, what makes me who I am? And how much can be stripped away before I become someone else entirely?"
(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)