Pastor Patti's Picks

“The Mitford Series”
            A parishioner recently asked me for a recommendation on something to read to take on her long-distance travels.  She had read all the Eureka! Book Club selections and was looking for something that was “lighter” and simply, enjoyable reading.  Unfortunately, I did not get back to that parishioner before she left town but I have not forgotten her question. 
            After much thought, I am recommending to all of you one of the most delightful series I have ever read - the Mitford Series by Jan Karon.  I purchased the first novel at a bookstore out west and first opened it on a plane headed home.  The woman sitting next to me noticed the book I was reading and exclaimed that she had read it and was a big fan of its author.  After some discussion, I found out my co-passenger was a pastor – and this was long before I even considered seminary and the ministry.  Funny how things turn out, isn’t it? 
            Karon’s Mitford books are Christian-themed novels that center on the life and ministry of an Episcopal priest, Father Tim.  The setting is a small mountain town named “Mitford” that is based on the town of Blowing Rocket in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina where the author hunkered down to write many of her books.  Filled with endearing characters, you will be sure to smile and chuckle your way through these books – and fall in love with their characters. I recommend starting at book one, “At Home in Mitford” and work your way through the series.  Easy reading and fun!  Also, great Christmas presents! 
            Dannye Romine Powell, a reporter for the Charlotte Observer interviewed Jan Karon in March of this year as the author was completing her 14th Mitford novel.  Powell had been looking at a 2014 New York Times fiction bestseller list and noticed that Jan Karon’s Mitford novels were right up there along with hardcore detective writers.  Karon’s novels contain no murders or espionage, nor are they legal thrillers.  “What’s their appeal?”  Powell asked Karon.  Her response says it all,” What we didn’t have was a book that you could read safely, and if you turned a page you wouldn’t be mugged or butchered.  There was so much violence and audacity and, in my opinion, blasphemy, out there in the marketplace that I didn’t want to read.  I said, ‘I am going to write a book that I would like to read and that would give readers a safe place to go.’”  Amen! 
            Wishing you a safe, happy, and blessed Christmas and New Year, and when you want to “get away,” spend some time in Mitford.