“You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time,” was a favorite saying of my Mom’s. One thing that I think we can all agree on, though, is that the price of gas these days is intimidating.
Driving past the gas station while my gas gauge is dropping to the quarter of a tank level is a gamble, because if I make the decision to get it on the way back, it may be 20 cents higher on the return trip.
This got me to wondering how prices now compare to prices the year I was born. I’m dating myself, I know, but in 1959 (yes, I’m oooold!) you could buy a gallon of gas for a mere 30 cents, a loaf of bread for 20 cents, a gallon of milk for $1.01, a postage stamp for 4 cents, or a house for $18,500 (easily the price of new car these days).
Some things, however, don’t have to change, and that’s what I love about the public library. In 1959, you could choose some books, present your library card to a librarian, check them out, take them home, read them and return them when you were done. Amazingly, you can still do that today. What a great system! The Jasper County Public Library has shelves and shelves of new fiction, waiting for you to do just that! Check these out!
Molly Ayer is nearly eighteen years old, and ‘aging out’ of the child welfare system. Her only chance of making it on her own comes in the form of 91 year old Vivian Daly, a quiet woman who has lived a surprisingly turbulent past. Once an orphan herself, Vivian was also raised by strangers, and as Molly’s community service position helping Vivian out ensues, she and the older woman form a very unlikely bond, discovering that the power of friendship can break the barriers of the past in “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline.
Sixteen year old Nao is a lonely young girl living in Tokyo. Bullied by her classmates, Nao decides to begin documenting the life of her great grandmother before she escapes her miserable life by ending it all. Across the Pacific Ocean, Ruth uncovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed ashore. The artifacts within pull Ruth into the past, and the mysteries of Nao’s dramatic life begin to unfold in “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki.
One stormy night, a man covered in blood shows up at Fen Dexter’s front door, claiming to have been in a car accident. The storm is so bad that he takes shelter in Fen’s home for the night, also claiming that his fiancé has been murdered, and that he is trying to get to San Francisco to help police solve the case. When the storm breaks the next morning, and Fen’s overnight guest finally makes it to the hospital to have his wounds treated, Vivi, Fen’s niece is the ER doctor on call, finding his story questionable due to the fact that she has just treated the most recent target of a serial killer, and has real suspicions about his identity in “Please Don’t Tell” by Elizabeth Adler.
Suffering a meltdown after solving one of the biggest cases of his life, Dan Champion of the NYPD began taking drugs, having hallucinations, visualizing a dead child on the streets of New York and a beautiful woman called Samantha, who Champion only wishes were real enough to give him the love he needs. Now back on the police force of a small town, Champion’s ghosts are long behind him, or so he thinks, until the body of a woman washes up on shore and her face is that of Samantha, the woman of his dreams in “A Killer in the Wind” by Andrew Klavan.
The year is 2013; the price of gas is around $3.69 (on a good day), the price of milk is $3.48 per gallon, the price of a loaf of bread is $2.05, and a trip to your local branch of JCPL for a stack of new adult fiction is…priceless!
Photo credit: Sign marking the former location of Dixie Gas Station, formerly listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Meridian, Mississippi by Wikimedia Commons user Dudemanfellabra.