The Bookmark: Book Clubs and Little Free Libraries


By Nancy Carol Sanker, The Bookmark

Have you ever opened a book and been knocked over by the deliciousness of it? I mean, homemade pecan pie with real whipped cream delicious? That’s how I felt when I opened Hello Lighthouse by author/illustrator Sophie Blackall. This 2019 winner of a Caldecott Medal was written for ages 4-8, but adults will be tantalized by the circular drawings and story of lighthouse living. Who knows? This book could illuminate a visit to a real lighthouse.

If you need suggestions for more books to read on the way, visit for exceptional recommendations. Then drop into Newnan’s relatively new Southern Fried Books ( at 29 Jackson Street (next to Christy’s Cafe) to find your reading treasure.

• Book clubs – lighting the way to new reads + frequent side trips to friendship

There are now more than 5 million book clubs in America. Are you a member of one of them? You can participate at several locations in Newnan including:

The Barnes and Noble book club will discuss The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin on Tuesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. I enjoyed being a part of their rousing discussion in February. Bonuses were the B&N café treats and additional “must-reads” noted by members. Visit club to register.

The Central Library offers three book clubs:

Inspiring Reads meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday and focuses on books related to self-improvement, overcoming hardships and positive perspectives. Between Two Worlds by Zainab Salbi will be discussed on March 12.

Page Turners meets on the third Thursday at 6:30 p.m.. Attendees nominate books including fiction, nonfiction, biographies and classics. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware will be discussed on March 21.

The Millennial Book Club meets the last Thursday at 6:30 p.m.. The focus is on literature relevant to Millennials, but all ages are welcome to discuss Severance by Ling Ma on March 28.

*Visit the Coweta Public Library System online to discover events/programs at the other three libraries.

The Carnegie Library offers As the Page Turns on the fourth Tuesday from 3:30-4:30 p.m.. Reserve your spot at or by calling 770-683-1347.

The host of our neighborhood book club, Wine & Words (I can hear you chuckling) selected The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni for March. The host for one month leads the discussion at the following meeting. After our Little Free Library (LFL) opens this Spring, the discussion leader(s) will also be responsible for checking on it. We are excited to add our library to the 80,000 LFLs serving 91 countries!

• And speaking of Little Free Libraries….

I received a note from Barbara Hiestand, who has a granddaughter, Amethyst (Amy) who is homeschooled due to a chronic condition. Setting up a Little Free Library in the driveway of her church. Northside Baptist, 3070 Hwy 29 North has been a learning project for her, as well as a way to give to the community. Amy, who loved reading as soon as she could hold a book, also stocks the libraries at DFCS and Chattahoochee Bend Park and still has books to spare! Amy, we appreciate you and your mom,

Amy Hiestand’s Little Free Library at Northside Baptist

Tawny Hiestand, too!

Who knew that lighthouse families were some of the first participants in a traveling type of Little Free Library system? The last pages of Hello Lighthouse explain that the supply ships or tenders, true lifelines of supplies, also delivered small cupboards stocked with books that made the rounds of all lighthouses. Children’s books absolutely enlightened adults then, just as they do now.  Still not convinced? Next month I’ll share details of a children’s book about a rabbit that might change your life.


Nancy Carol Sanker landed in Newnan via Ohio, Colorado and California. The constants in her life are her love of family, friends, fundraising and books. Nine years ago, she created Lights for Linda to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in memory of her sister. Now she will illuminate the literary opportunities and fundraisers our community offers readers of all ages.  Nancy’s 11-year-old book club provides fresh, new titles while her two and eight-year-old grandchildren keep her aware of books for “littles.” Who knew a cow could type? Your contributions about book clubs, Little Free Libraries, events and fundraisers will lead the The Bookmark to success! [email protected].

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