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Small Towns

Readers' Cafe

Anything Is Possible
The Darling Dahlias and the Eleven O'Clock Lady
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Last Midwife
Miller's Valley
Miss Dimple Disappears
The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade
A New Song
Nineteen Minutes
No One Is Coming to Save Us
Our Souls at Night
Pie Town
A Place in Time Twenty Stories of the Port William Membership
Stars in the Grass
Us Against You
The Whole Town's Talking
Willnot
Anything Is Possible / Elizabeth Strout

Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother's happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of?My Name Is Lucy Barton,?returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.

Recalling?Olive Kitteridge?in its richness, structure, and complexity,?Anything Is Possible?explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others.?

The Darling Dahlias and the Eleven O'Clock Lady / Susan Wittig Albert

New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert transports readers to the summer of 1934, when a sensational murder shakes up the small Southern town of Darling, Alabama - and pulls in the ladies of the Darling Dahlias' garden club, who never let the grass grow under their feet when there's a mystery to solve ... The eleven o'clock lady has always been one of garden club president Liz Lacy's favorite spring wildflowers. The plant is so named because the white blossoms don't open until the sun shines directly on them and wakes them up. But another Eleven O'Clock Lady is never going to wake up again. Rona Jean Hancock - a telephone switchboard operator who earned her nickname because her shift ended at eleven, when her nightlife was just beginning - has been found strangled with her own silk stocking in a very unladylike position.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society / Mary Ann Shaffer

"I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers." January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb ...?

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends - and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island - boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society's members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

The Last Midwife / Sandra Dallas

It is 1880 and Gracy Brookens is the only midwife in a small Colorado mining town where she has delivered hundreds, maybe thousands, of babies in her lifetime. The women of Swandyke trust and depend on Gracy, and most couldn't imagine getting through pregnancy and labor without her by their sides.But everything changes when a baby is found dead...and the evidence points to Gracy as the murderer.She didn't commit the crime, but clearing her name isn't so easy when her innocence is not quite as simple, either. She knows things, and that's dangerous. Invited into her neighbors' homes during their most intimate and vulnerable times, she can't help what she sees and hears. A woman sometimes says things in the birthing bed, when life and death seem suspended within the same moment.

Miller's Valley / Anna Quindlen

In a small town on the verge of big change, a young woman unearths deep secrets about her family and unexpected truths about herself. Filled with insights that are the hallmark of Anna Quindlen's bestsellers, Miller's Valley is an emotionally powerful story about a family you will never forget.

For generations the Millers have lived in Miller's Valley. Mimi Miller tells about her life with intimacy and honesty. As Mimi eavesdrops on her parents and quietly observes the people around her, she discovers more and more about the toxicity of family secrets, the dangers of gossip, the flaws of marriage, the inequalities of friendship and the risks of passion, loyalty, and love. Home, as Mimi begins to realize, can be "a place where it's just as easy to feel lost as it is to feel content."

Miss Dimple Disappears / Mignon F. Ballard

It's 1942, almost a year since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and the residents of the small town of Elderberry, Georgia, have been rattled down to their worn, rationed shoes. For young teacher Charlie Carr, life and love aren't going exactly as planned - her head dictates loyalty to the handsome corpsman, Hugh, but whenever she thinks of her best friend's beau, Will, her heart does the Jersey Bounce. Charlie is doubly troubled by the disappearance of beloved schoolmistress Miss Dimple Kilpatrick one frosty November morning just before Thanksgiving. Miss Dimple, who has taught the town's first graders - including Charlie - for almost forty years, would never just skip town in the middle of the school year, and Charlie and her best friend, Annie, are determined to prove it.

The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade / Virginia Smith

Approaching retirement, Al and Millie Richardson are at odds about what they want to do with their golden years. For Al, it's all about relaxation and travel. Millie, however, wants to open a bed-and-breakfast in their quiet Kentucky town. Meanwhile, the locals are boycotting the new and young female veterinarian after her predecessor's retirement.?

A New Song / Jan Karon

In A New Song, Mitford's longtime Episcopal priest, Father Tim, retires. However, new challenges and adventures await when he agrees to serve as interim minister of a small church on Whitecap Island. He and his wife, Cynthia, soon find that Whitecap has its own unforgettable characters: a church organist with a mysterious past, a lovelorn bachelor placing personal ads, a mother battling paralyzing depression. They also find that Mitford is never far away when circumstances "back home" keep their phone ringing off the hook. In this fifth novel of the beloved series, fans old and new will discover that a trip to Mitford and Whitecap is twice as good for the soul.

Nineteen Minutes / Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult bestselling author of My Sisters Keeper and The Tenth Circle pens her most riveting book yet with a startling and poignant story about the devastating aftermath of a small-town tragedy. Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens--until the day its complacency is shattered by a school shooting. Josie Cormier the daughter of the judge sitting on the case should be the states best witness but she can't remember what happened before her very own eyes--or can she?? As the trial progresses fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show--destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society who has the right to judge someone else and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.

No One Is Coming to Save Us / Stephanie Powell Watts

JJ Ferguson has returned home to Pinewood, North Carolina, to build his dream house and to pursue his high school sweetheart, Ava. But as he reenters his former world, where factories are in decline and the legacy of Jim Crow is still felt, he's startled to find that the people he once knew and loved have changed just as much as he has. Ava is now married and desperate for a baby, though she can't seem to carry one to term. Her husband, Henry, has grown distant, frustrated by the demise of the furniture industry, which has outsourced to China and stripped the area of jobs. Ava's mother, Sylvia, caters to and meddles with the lives of those around her, trying to fill the void left by her absent son. And Don, Sylvia's unworthy but charming husband, just won't stop hanging around.

JJ's return - and his plans to build a huge mansion overlooking Pinewood and woo Ava - not only unsettles their family, but stirs up the entire town. The ostentatious wealth that JJ has attained forces everyone to consider the cards they've been dealt, what more they want and deserve, and how they might go about getting it. Can they reorient their lives to align with their wishes rather than their current realities? Or are they all already resigned to the rhythms of the particular lives they lead?

Our Souls at Night / Kent Haruf

A spare yet eloquent, bittersweet yet inspiring story of a man and a woman who, in advanced age, come together to wrestle with the events of their lives and their hopes for the imminent future.?In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf's inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis's wife. His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with.?

Pie Town / Lynne Hinton

Welcome to Pie Town! Bestselling author Lynne Hinton - who has delighted readers with her heartwarming tales of faith, food, and friendship - has cooked up a delectable treat for fans of Fannie Flagg, Whitney Otto, Kaye Gibbons, and Jan Karon's Mitford books ... as well as the dedicated readers of her own popular Hope Springs novels.

The first in a series centered around the inhabitants of a small New Mexico town once renowned for its homemade desserts, Pie Town is the touching and funny tale about the unexpected changes a sleepy little southwestern community undergoes following the arrival of a well-meaning but woefully unprepared priest and a young hitchhiker who looks like big trouble.

A Place in Time: Twenty Stories of the Port William Membership / Wendell Berry

For more than fifty years, Wendell Berry has been telling us stories about Port William, a mythical town on the banks of the Kentucky River, populated over the years by a cast of unforgettable characters living in a single place over a long time. In this new collection, the stories date?s range from 1864, when Rebecca Dawe finds herself in her own reflection at the end of the Civil War, to one from 1991 when Grover Gibbs? widow, Beulah, attends the auction as her home place is offered for sale. It feels as if the entire membership, all the Catletts, Burley Coulter, Elton Penn, the Rowanberrys, Laura Milby, the preacher?s wife, Kate Helen Branch, Andy?s dog, Mike, nearly everyone returns with a story or two, to fill in the gaps in this long tale.

Stars in the Grass / Ann Marie Stewart

The idyllic world of nine-year-old Abby McAndrews is transformed when a tragedy tears her family apart. Before the accident, her dad, Reverend John McAndrews, had all the answers, but now his questions and guilt threaten to destroy his family. Abby's fifteen-year-old brother, Matt, begins an angry descent as he acts out in dangerous ways. Her mother tries to hold her grieving family together, but when Abby's dad refuses to move on, the family is at a crossroads. Set in a small Midwestern town in 1970, Abby's heartbreaking remembrances are balanced by humor and nostalgia as her family struggles with - and ultimately celebrates - an authentic story of faith and life after loss.

Us Against You / FREDRIK BACKMAN

A small community tucked deep in the forest, Beartown is home to tough, hardworking people who don't expect life to be easy or fair. No matter how difficult times get, they've always been able to take pride in their local ice hockey team. So it's a cruel blow when they hear that their town's ice hockey club might soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the obvious satisfaction that all the former Beartown players, who now play for a rival team in the neighboring town of Hed, take in that fact. But the arrival of a newcomer gives Beartown hockey a chance at a comeback.

Soon a team starts to take shape around Amat, the fastest player you'll ever see; Benji, the intense lone wolf; always dutiful and eager-to-please Bobo; and Vidar, a born-to-be-bad troublemaker. But bringing this team together proves to be a huge challenge, especially as the town's enmity with Hed grows more and more acute as the big game approaches.

By the time the last goal is scored, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and the people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after everything, the game they love can ever return to something as simple and innocent as a field of ice, two nets, and two teams. Us against you.

The Whole Town's Talking / Fannie Flagg

Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it's called, is anything but still. Original, profound, The Whole Town's Talking, a novel in the tradition of Thornton Wilder's Our Town and Flagg's own Can't Wait to Get to Heaven, tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die, and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways.

Lordor Nordstrom created, in his wisdom, not only a lively town and a prosperous legacy for himself but also a beautiful final resting place for his family, friends, and neighbors yet to come. "Resting place" turns out to be a bit of a misnomer, however. Odd things begin to happen, and it starts the whole town talking.

With her wild imagination, great storytelling, and deep understanding of folly and the human heart, the beloved Fannie Flagg tells an unforgettable story of life, afterlife, and the remarkable goings-on of ordinary people. In The Whole Town's Talking, she reminds us that community is vital, life is a gift, and love never dies.

Willnot / James Sallis

In the woods outside the town of Willnot, the remains of several people have suddenly been discovered, unnerving the community and unsettling Hale, the town's all-purpose general practitioner, surgeon, and town conscience. At the same time, Bobby Lowndes mysteriously reappears in his hometown, at Hale's door. Over the ensuing months, the daily dramas Hale faces as he tends to his town and to his partner, Richard, collide with the inexplicable vagaries of life in Willnot.

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Including the collection of Front Range Community College, Larimer Campus