Bedtime Stories: Nov. 2018

  • November 29, 2018

What do book lovers have queued up on their nightstands and ready to read before lights-out? We asked one of them, and here’s what she said.

Bedtime Stories: Nov. 2018

Patricia Harman:

The book I’ve been reading in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep is my new historical novel, Once a Midwife, set in 1941 just before the attack on Pearl Harbor. You might want to know why an author would be reading her own work. As soon as I finish one book, I start another, and it’s been over a year since Once a Midwife was finished and at the publishers…so you see, I need to review it before I go to bookstores or appear on TV.

I often read books more than once, especially if they are beautifully written. The second book is like that. It's a kid's book, The War that Saved My Life, a story about a little girl with a club foot who escaped an abusive home when she was taken from London, along with thousands of other children, to stay with families in the country during WWII. It's a Newbery Honor book written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. My granddaughter, Alice, told me it was great, and she’s right. This is the second time I’ve read it, so you know it’s good.

The third volume is All Things Bright and Beautiful, a memoir by James Herriot, a veterinarian who lived and worked in England in the 1930s and 40s. I love the warm characters and the interesting experiences he has with his animal patients. An added benefit, since one of the main characters in my Hope River series is a veterinarian, is that I can actually learn about how to deliver a lamb or dehorn a bull…just in case I ever need to.

Finally, there’s a self-help book that I keep for those nights when I’m pretty sure I’m doing everything wrong: Self-Compassion by Kristen Neff, Ph.D. Sharing both personal experience and research, the author informs us that self-compassion, once learned, will always be there waiting for us — a safe haven. Whether we are on top of the world or at the bottom of the heap, compassion for ourselves will help us keep going and help us move to a better place.

Patricia Harman lives near Morgantown, West Virginia, has three sons, and is the author of two acclaimed memoirs. Her first novel, The Midwife of Hope River, was successful around the world, and her most recent release, Once a Midwife, went on sale from William Morrow on November 6, 2018.

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