Writers are, more often than not, readers as well.
I was a member of a fiction reading group at the Belair branch of the Harford County Library. Meeting once a month, we'd discuss a selected work that was read by everyone in the group the previous month. No stranger to expressing my opinions about anything worthy of discussion, and not short on opinions, I looked forward to our meetings, but being the one of only a few blacks in the group, our selections were often not my particular taste, though I have to admit to enjoying most of the books chosen, such as the selection on one of my last months, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson.
I liked this book about a young woman, Cussie, who had two interesting personal distinctions, the first being that she was a Pack Horse Librarian. The Pack Horse Library Project was a Works Progress Administration (WPA) program designed to bring books to remote regions of the Appalachian Mountains between 1935 and 1943. Many women were involved in the project.
Cussie's other distinction was that she was a 'Blue", a member of a family who carried a genetic defect that caused their skin color to be blue. Cussie was often called, "Blue-it." The story was a revelation of this affliction and an examination of depression era poverty, racism, sexism and superstitions. The authors tale was simple, yet complicated in its resolution of difficult and intimate issues. The kindhearted and evil occupied this mountain together, and my personal hero wasn't human at all. Not willing to give the story away, or to do the author a disservice by attempting to re-tell a beautifully scripted story, I will simply recommend it to anyone who likes a good, touching, authentically told story rooted in our common history.