Our State's Summer Reading List presented by Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Our sixth Summer Reading List of the year comes from Purple Crow Books in Hillsborough. See what the staff recommends for your next read. Scroll down to see their picks.

The Girls of Atomic City by Denise KiernanThe Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan
This non-fiction book tells the story of the women who played an essential role in the development of the bomb used by Americans for success in World War II. These women were lured to Oak Ridge, Tennessee with the promise of solid wages and consistent work. Until the end of the war, most had no idea of the true nature of their work. The book serves as a tribute to the spirit and courage of these unsung heroes. One of the main characters was a chemist and a UNC graduate from Louisburg, N.C.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. SteadmanThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. Steadman
After spending World War I on the war front and seeing the horrors, the main character returns home to Australia and takes a job as a lighthouse keeper on a remote island. He also takes a wife. Life on this remote island is happy except for their inability to have a child. One day, a baby appears and the couple is faced with a moral decision of what is right. This book is about the long-term consequences of the decisions we make, how difficult some of those decisions can be, and how long the ramifications can last.
How Children Succeed by Paul ToughHow Children Succeed by Paul Tough
What a refreshing discovery! This book dares to suggest that success in academia and life depends on something besides I.Q. and social economic status. It puts forth the notion that character, creativity, and perseverance may matter at least as much, if not more. The author challenges the notion of traditional school reform and reminds us we all can help a child reach his or her highest potential.
Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer ChiaveriniMrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
Historical fiction fans will love this book! It follows the life of Elizabeth Keckley, dressmaker and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln. The book begins with Elizabeth’s life in Washington, D.C. Her fame as a seamstress brings her in contact with political wives and eventually leads her to meet Mrs. Lincoln. It follows her amazing life to the very end. Though it is classified as fiction, the story closely follows Elizabeth’s role in the movie Lincoln. Elizabeth even has a North Carolina connection. She was a slave at the Burwell School in Hillsborough, N.C. before purchasing her freedom. What an amazing life!
The Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole WhiteThe Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole White   
This is quite a love story! Tilly is a recent widow trying to make a life for herself and her son by gardening in North Carolina. James Nealy, with his obsessive compulsive behavior, comes into her life and ever so slowly, the two begin to build a garden together. Set in North Carolina and England, this book is a must for all who believe in love and its transforming power to heal. 
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka BruntTell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
The main character in this book, June, is a fourteen year old girl who doesn’t fit in anywhere except with her uncle who is a famous painter. He becomes her dearest friend. When he dies from a mysterious illness, June is devastated and has a difficult time expressing her grief. She is befriended by a stranger she saw at the funeral, and she realizes she is not alone in her loss. This story reminds us of how hard it can be to say goodbye and that comfort can come in unexpected places.

About Purple Crow Books

Purple Crow Books is located in the heart of Historic Downtown Hillsborough. Hillsborough was recently named “the most literary town in the South.” It is home to noted authors Alan Gurganus, Michael Malone, Lee Smith, Craig Nova, Randall Kenan, David Payne, Zelda Lockhart, Hal Crowther, Frances Mayes, Jill McCorkle, John Bemis, and others.

Purple Crow is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. They specialize in local authors and children’s books. They welcome special orders and are always happy to hear what you’re reading. They can be reached at (919) 732-1711 or purplecrowbooks@gmail.com.

Click here to read more about Purple Crow Books in this Our State story.

Purple Crow Books
109 W. King Street
Hillsborough, N.C. 27278
(919) 732-1711

About Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Great Smoky Mountains RailroadSit back, relax, and let us do the driving! Hop on board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and adventure through a remote corner of western North Carolina into river gorges, across fertile valleys and through carved tunnels. In the spring the mountains bloom with extravagant color and wildlife lasting throughout the summer. As the season fades into fall a dramatic display of fiery sugar maples, buttery poplars and crimson oak begin taking center stage. As the mountains burst with color the cool crisp winter air ushers in the quiet and calm season of restoration, all in preparation of the cycle of beauty to begin again! The Smokies are a great place to be, and the best way to see it is by train!

Choose from a variety of excursions; including a Raft & Rail or Zip & Rail combinations, BBQ & BREWS Dinner Train, or one of our Premier Special Events like the DINOSAUR TRAIN™ coming this July! Travel in comfort and style with our First Class service on a vintage restored dinning car! First Class passengers receive a delicious lunch served by the car’s private attendant, a souvenir tumbler with unlimited fountain sodas and a GSMR embroidered gift tote bag. Ride in the Open Air Gondolas and take it all in as you breathe the fresh mountain air!

It’s time to ride the rails, and we are saving you a seat! All Aboard!

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
226 Everett Street
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
(800) 872-4681

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Bonney is the marketing manager at Our State. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University and an active member in the Junior League of Greensboro.