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It's Germane

Dear April – Please write me a letter

Dear April,

I am hoping this letter finds you in good health, and your gardens blooming with the rain that you are famous for. Although, it has been really lovely to see a couple of days filled with sunshine. 

I’m doing as well as can be expected, while I work from my cozy home and observe the niceties of social distancing and self-quarantine. I ponder the many ways that you, April, have an effect on the daily planning of librarians, as we strive with the complexity of your nature. After all, you are well known for being National Poetry Month, as well as Autism Awareness Month. However, today, I write about your nature as (you may have guessed it by now) National Letter Writing Month.

I’m hoping to share a few books with you that are written through letters. While there are many books written in the epistolary format, I think you’ll particularly enjoy the choices below. Each title here is available for you to borrow with a library card, either at the library, or through one of our online e-book services (Overdrive with the Libby App, or Hoopla). 

Now to the exciting part – the books! I sincerely hope that you you’ll find a new one to pick up and enjoy, or fondly remember reading one mentioned below:

84, Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff
This classic love story, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, at the time, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London at 84, Charing Cross Road.
Available at the library in: print, Spanish eBook & audiobook download

Between The World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Written as a letter to the author’s teenage son about the feelings, symbolism, and realities associated with being Black in the United States.
Available at the library in: print, eBook & audiobook download

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Celie has grown up in 1930s rural Georgia, navigating a childhood of ceaseless abuse and poverty. As a teenager she begins writing letters directly to God in an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear. Her letters span twenty years and record a journey of self-discovery and her own implacable will to find harmony.
Available at the library in: print, eBook 

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, by Chimomanda Ngozi Adichie
A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response. 
Available at the library in: print, eBook & audiobook download

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley 
Victor Frankenstein is a scientist who learns how to create life and creates a being in the likeness of man, but larger than average and more powerful. The story is told through fictional correspondence between Captain Robert Walton and his sister, Margaret Walton Saville.
Available at the library in: print, eBook & audiobook download

Griffin and Sabine, by Nick Bantok
Griffin & Sabine is part romance, part mystery, and work of art. Each turn of the page contains a new card or letter to be unfolded from its envelope, and is vibrant with wildly imaginative creatures, landscapes, and intrigue.
Available at the library in: print

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton corresponds with a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, and discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey. A club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island.
Available at the library in: print, eBook & audiobook download

The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova
A young woman discovers an ancient book and a cache of old letters in her father’s library, and thus begins her adventurous quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, a search that will span continents and generations, and a confrontation with the darkest powers of evil.
Available at the library in: print, eBook & audiobook download

Letters from Skye, by Jessica Brockmole
A love story told in letters spans two world wars and follows the correspondence between a poet on the Scottish Isle of Skye and an American volunteer ambulance driver for the French Army, an affair that is discovered years later when the poet disappears.
Available at the library in: print, eBook & audiobook download

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
A series of letters to an unknown correspondent reveals the coming-of-age trials of a high-schooler named Charlie.
Available at the library in: print, eBook & audiobook download

It is my sincere hope that you will find a title here to enjoy and that you continue to remain healthy and happy. I look forward to hearing back from you, please write me a letter.

Fondly,
JJML Book Review
℅ John Jermain Memorial Library
201 Main Street
Sag Harbor, NY 11963

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