Have you ever found a subject you want to know more about, so you dive into learning as much about it as you can? I know I do! The subject I have been researching for the past couple months is packhorse librarianship. In addition to the nonfiction books and research articles I have read, I have curated a list of fiction books about packhorse librarians that I have been making my way through.
The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow by Kim Vogel Sawyer is the third adult fiction book about packhorse librarians that I have read thus far. Taking place during the Great Depression, Sawyer’s novel draws inspiration from the real Works Progress Administration program that sent librarians on horseback to deliver books to hill families in Kentucky.
Addie Cowherd wants to be a novelist. Adopted by her parents at a young age, Addie wants to give readers an escape into books like what she experienced during her tragic childhood. Working at a library while going to college, Addie believes that she has finally found a way to make her dreams come true. Life has other plans for her as her adoptive father loses his job and Addie realizes that she doesn’t have the funds necessary to complete her degree. Forced to leave college and without the safety net of her parents to fall back on, Addie sets out to find a job which proves difficult given that it’s the Great Depression. Addie finally finds a job delivering books on horseback in the hills of Kentucky to poor coal mining families. Working in a library delivering books sounds perfect to Addie. She quickly spins ideas of what she’ll do and all the friends she will make once she gets to town.
As soon as Addie sets foot in Boone’s Hollow, her perfect ideas go up in smoke. The library in Boone’s Hollow is nothing like she thought. The residents in Boone’s Hollow are superstitious and wary of any outsiders. Locals who leave and come back are even subject to scrutiny. As Addie tries to find a new rhythm and gain the trust of the locals, she learns the truth about a decades-old rivalry that dictates many of the town’s actions. When someone decides to sabotage the library program, Addie and the other librarians have to work together to keep the program going or it will crumble into nothing.
Want to check out other fiction books about packhorse librarians? Below are two others available at the Davenport Public Library:
I have inadvertently been reading a lot of historical fiction about World War II. How is this inadvertent you ask? I put a bunch of audiobooks on hold through OverDrive and as it so happened, five came ready at the same time. The last two that I’ve listened to have all been about World War II with the main women both playing the violin and one of the main men named Max. During the second book, I had to pay very close attention, so I wouldn’t mix up the books. Hidden Among the Stars was the second World War II fiction I listened to this week. It may be time for a lighthearted read…
Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson slips from the past to the future in this gripping tale of hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people fighting to resist evil any way possible. This piece of inspirational fiction unites 1938 Vienna, Austria with 2018 United States.
1938. Austria. Hitler’s troops are sweeping into Vienna, much to the chagrin of Max Dornbach. With political views that differ from his parents, Max has no desire to shun his Jewish friends. Max offers to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions, so they won’t fall into the hands of the Nazis. Max works closely with the father of Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman he has grown to love. Smuggling those goods to his family’s summer estate near Hallstatt, Max quickly finds himself needing the help of Annika Knopf. Annika’s father is the current caretaker of the summer estate, meaning that Annika and Max have grown up together. Annika has loved Max for as long as she can remember and has thusly decided to help him however she can. Her loyalty and love for Max is stretched when Max brings Luzia with him on one of his trips to the summer estate. Agreeing to hide Luzia in the castle, Annika doesn’t realize the full extent of what is on the line until the Nazis come to Hallstatt and destroy the castle. Luzia and the treasure have disappeared, throwing everyone’s lives into turmoil.
Flash forward eighty years. Callie Randall may not be living the life she thought she’d have at this point, but she’s mostly happy with what she has. Callie is running a small local bookstore with her sister where she is known as Storygirl with amazing striped socks. Callie also runs a blog where she writes stories about different authors. While working on her current article, Callie stumbles upon a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that introduces her to the bewildering world of Annika’s story. Digging into Annika’s life, Callie finds that this story may be connected to the life of a close dear friend of hers. In order to find the truth, Callie must venture outside of the safe place she has built for herself. She soon finds herself on an adventure with a chance for new love and long-awaited for answers.
This book is also available in the following formats: