The Bookmark: May Literary Happenings


By Nancy Sanker, Special to The Paper

What a month! We have paddled through a wild chapter in our lives we never could have imagined. Turbulent waters, a tsunami and Niagara Falls? Some people have experienced at least one crisis and the rest of us have cycled through all three in the same week. Ouch.

Readers have reported that they have not been able to consume books because they can’t focus. Parents can’t concentrate because they are attempting to work from home, wading through the unfamiliar streams of homeschooling and trying to wear out children who have no recess or playground visits to burn off steam.

Allow me to throw you a raft full of options including popular books of short stories, new books by local authors, library updates and online reading possibilities. Crawl into my heavy-duty flotation device and know a little respite lies ahead.

Short stories

 Did you know that only one person, Alice Munro, has ever won a Nobel Prize in Literature solely for writing short stories? That’s a testament to the amount of skill it takes to create a memorable world in 4000 words or less.

  • Dance of the Happy Shades: And Other Stories by Alice Munro – a sparkling lake of words by this Canadian author will resonate with you. I promise.
  • Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl – A lush offering of essays about life, family and nature, sure to introduce you to a wide river of emotions.
  • The Best Short Stories – 2019 – Selections from U.S. and Canadian Magazines, introduced by Anthony Doerr.

Short stories for children: I vividly remember yawning through even the shortest of stories at bedtime. Of course, Mommy/Daddy-read tales are best, but if you need a break, visit to access five minute stories, told with a delightful English accent.

Local authors

  • T. M. ‘Mike’ Brown will finally be able to introduce Purgatory, A Progeny’s Request, on Memorial Day weekend. Purgatory, the final addition to Mike’s Shiloh Mystery Series trilogy, follows newly released editions of Sanctuary, A Legacy of Memories and Testament, an Unexpected Return which will be available in the Kindle version for only .99 cents each during May 21-26. Mike is looking forward to signing copies of his newest Southern literature offering for you as soon as life returns to the new normal.

Library updates

  • Coweta County Library System   – An opening date has not been announced so check in at for the latest information. Coming soon – curbside delivery of holds and other requested items. Visit Facebook or the site above for the dates and times.
  • When is a Little Free Library more than a library? When it contains pre-packaged art supplies – over 100 have already been distributed! Kim Ramey of Backstreet Community Arts believes that “art saves lives.” She does her part by stocking her library outside her green door, purple awninged studio at 19 – B First Avenue, right behind Bridging the Gap. Video craft and music tutorials are on Backstreet Arts Facebook page. To reserve a ukulele or request an art packet contact Kim at [email protected] or 706-940-2787.
  • Carnegie News (– Susan Crutchfield, Carnegie Director, reports that even though the building is shuttered, many options await at the Carnegie website, Facebook, Instagram and even a new YouTube Channel. Discover new crafting with Elizabeth and Ms. Teri, recipes and an extensive list of resources including virtual tours and special live streaming of opera and storytimes. Wow – great options to entertain kids. My grandson and I had so much fun virtually visiting an aquarium via Zoom.

Join Brittany Partington for Carnegie Chats, a virtual Instagram book club. The April book choice was Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Questions were posted on the Carnegie Instagram and Facebook pages. We’re excited to discover the May selection.

Additional online book clubs

  • Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club – Untamed by Glennon Doyle tries to help you discover who you were before the world told you who to be.
  • Jenna Bush Hager’s Book Club – This debut novel, Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore, explores the tidal wave that consumes a small Texas town after a brutal crime.
  • Wild Geese Bookshop Book club– Did you ever think of running away to start a farm? Good Husbandry by Kristin Kimball details the delights/disasters of keeping a Northern New York farm afloat. Join the discussion via Zoom on May 21 at 7 p.m.

I hope that reading these options was somewhat akin to tossing you literary life vests. What books or online sites have rescued you during these challenging weeks?


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 looks forward to illuminating 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! To email Nancy … [email protected].

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