By Jami Gaither
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Imagine yourself as the young, Swedish woman, Sara Lindqvist, working in a bookstore where books are your life and your only love. You have started swapping books with an Amy Harris in Broken Wheel, Iowa – yes, across the ocean in the USA! These swaps begin a friendly and beautiful correspondence between two book lovers. Over time, Amy tells you more and more about the little town of Broken Wheel where she lives and the people with whom she shares it. You begin to feel as if you know these people.
One day, your world collapses as you learn that your bookstore will be closing. But when Amy offers you a chance to visit her in Iowa for “as long as you like,” you decide to take the opportunity and visit your friend.
You take the Greyhound, arriving in Hope, Iowa where Amy will be meeting you to take you to the tiny town of Broken Wheel. You wait on the bench. She is late. Hank from Hope finally offers to give you a ride, at the insistence of his wife, and you enter the diner in Broken Wheel to find someone who can tell you where Amy lives. Grace, the owner, is expecting you. “You must be the tourist,” she says. When you ask which house is Amy’s, Grace nods, takes a deep breath, and leans across the counter to say, “She’s dead.”
What will they do with you, “The Tourist?” What will you decide to do?
This is a heartwarming story of an individual’s and a town’s transformation.
“The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend” by Katerina Bivald was the #1 selection in January’s Indie Next – Recommendations from Independent Book Sellers. This is Bivald’s first novel and is released in paperback.
Jami Gaither is a staff member at Cherry Street Books.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Ph.D.
In this book, Dweck explains why it’s not just our talent and abilities that bring us success, but how we approach our goals with a fixed or growth mindset. Praising intelligence and ability doesn’t build self-esteem ,but may actually get in the way of success. Dweck explains with the right mindset, we can motivate ourselves and our children to help improve and reach personal goals.
I enjoyed Dweck’s perspective. The author provided several examples of fixed and a growth mindsets. I appreciated gaining insight on ways to continue a growth mindset personally. I also found her ideas of influencing my students toward more of a growth mindset helpful. We need to continue to nurture a love for learning and fulfilling individual personal potential as well as in our children.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in continued personal success and positively motivating those around them.
Rhonda Blaser of Alexandria is the general music instructor at Voyager Elementary School in Alexandria and coordinator of the Vikingland Band Festival.
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Boys in the Boat is a historical nonfiction book with exceptionally well-developed characters in the working-class college boys who comprise the American Crew Team.
The story centers around the 1936 Berlin Olympics where the American team hoped to face the greatest teams in the world, including Hitler’s German team in their home territory. The story is educational, full of historical references, and includes great pictures from that unimaginable time.
I loved the book because it gave me such insight into the sport. Our youngest son is on the University of Minnesota men’s crew team, and now I can use the correct terms when I talk about his new sport!
I give this book my highest recommendation. It reads like a novel, but with the impact of historical research.
Joni Jacobson of Alexandria is a wife, mother of three adult boys, and a new empty nester. She works at Alexandria Technical and Community College in the Early Childhood Education program and is coordinator of the Human Services Practitioner program.