Western Clark County residents share what’s on their winter reading lists

The Clark County Library is now open for in-person services. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
The Clark County Library is now open for in-person services. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Not all of us are readers, but some of us literally devour books especially during the frigid winter. Even though the weather is getting nicer now, there are still some chilly days and some rainy weeks ahead to read at least another book or two before mowing starts.

Here are some reading suggestions from our western Clark County neighbors. Their favorite reads are as varied as this group’s interests and roles in our community.

“I’ve read 67 books so far this year said Clark County Commissioner Lowell McGlothin who is the former Mayor of New Carlisle said he loves mysteries especially books by Stewart Wood, Robert B. Parker and Lee Child. Often he reads while watching or more likely listening to a game on television. The New Carlisle Library is his favorite book source.

McGlothin is not the only reader on the Board of Commissioners. Melanie Flax Wilt read around 35 books last year.

“Oh you’ve got the right person for this topic,” said Wilt. “I’m an avid reader and audio book listener. I just finished “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown and really enjoyed the simple lessons for a more focused and purposeful life. I rarely get excited about non-fiction, but this was a gem and aligned very well with my personal goals.”

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“My favorites from last year were: “American Wife” by Curtis Suttenfeld, “Resistence Women” by Jennifer Chiavarini, and “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins.

Former Greenon Educator Terri McClain may be retired but she still keeps up with the literature world. McClain grew up in Texas so she has a southwestern perspective of American History and enjoys Texas authors.

“I listen to Books on CD while I exercise or clean the house. I have read almost all the Nevada Barr series set in the various National Parks with a female park ranger as the heroine and I, also, love the Linda Castillo books with a female sheriff who left the Amish life to work as a police officer. Linda Castillo lives in Austin and her books are set in The Ohio Amish communities.”

“Over There” by Thomas Fleming is her current read. One of the elements she finds fascinating is that World War I blended soldiers with former Confederate and Union ties, in order to fight a foreign enemy,

McClain keeps up with former students too. She is listening to the audio book, “Dear Edward”, recommended by Lacey Lee, a former student. “It is the story of a sole 12 year old survivor of a passenger plane crash, a little less than halfway through with that read. Lacey gave it five stars.”

The President of the Clark County Historical Society, Bill Smith, was once a teacher and basketball coach at Greenon in addition to Athletic Director at Kenton Ridge. He portrays the Rat Catcher at the Fair at New Boston and is recognized as one of the local authorities on the Battle of Peckuwe. His book choices reflect his interest in history; “Private Yankee Doodle,” “The Ohio Frontier 1720-1830”, “Hillbilly, an American Icon” and “The Women at Valley Forge.”

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Another Fair at New Boston participant and Bethel Township resident, Doris Dresel is enjoying an historical novel “Bright Captivity” written by Eugenia Price. It’s the first of a trilogy. The novel takes place along the Georgia coast line as most of Price’s novels do and is almost like a vacation to a warmer climate.

Greenon Graduate and Vietnam Veteran Randy Ark, is known for his work with local veterans.

“I read hours every night,” said Ark. “One of my favorite most recent reads is ‘Killing Crazy Horse’ by Bill O’Reilly…..Brian Kilmeade’s books are good, too.”

Bethel Township Trustee Nancy Brown spent most of her free time this winter quilting.

“I’ve read several books and watched dozens of tutorials on free motion quilting this winter. I’ve quilted for many years but am trying to improve my skills. My favorite book is ‘Shape by Shape - Free Motion Quilting’ with Angela Walters.

“My reading always leans heavily on non-fiction…. I also spend several hours a day reading online news sites, including the Springfield News Sun,” Walters said. “A free press is one of our country’s most precious inheritances, and keeping ourselves informed about current events is one of our most important responsibilities.”

Tecumseh folks may remember Jo Ruiz who recently left this area to move east of Columbus where her husband Tony Ruiz is an Air Force JROTC Instructor.

“I have been revisiting some classics by Charles Dickens,” said Jo. “Amazing to think they would probably be banned in today’s political climate.”

Long time Enon Resident, LaJoi Culbertson has recently read “Wild”, by Cheryl Strayed and “Finding Chika” By Mitch Albom.

LaJoi has always loved reading and has passed that passion on to her children and grandchildren.

Another avid Enon reader, BJ DeVore usually reads older books since she says she haunts used book sales

Her favorite finds this winter were “Pursuit” by Robert L. Fish. “Put Out the Light,” Rae Foley, “Black Cross” by Greg Iles, and “Lessons Learned,” Nora Roberts.

“The spookiest was ‘Contagion’ by Robin Cook,” said DeVore. “I happened to read that at the very beginning of the pandemic, before the lockdown.”

Bonnie Hardacre told me she has been reading the Bible more this year. She is not the only one who shared this. Her husband Rich is recovering from knee replacement and is working his way through Allan W. Eckert’s books, starting with “The Frontiersmen.”

My husband Rusty and I are sharing a fun read, “Clanlands” which is the companion books for “Men in Kilts” on Starz. It is about two of the Outlander actors who take the reader on a tour of Scotland. We hope someday to take a back roads tour of Scotland and the book has been inspiring in addition to giving us a few laughs.

Compiling this list has been fun. The best part was talking to all these people and catching up with local news plus the books they have read.

I hope I can gather more book recommendations next year, but without the facemasks.

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