Tisbury: Discovering new books

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— Kyra Steck

Heard on Main Street: When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?”

One of my best friends, since our early school days, has just written to tell me she has cancer.  Fortunately for me, she waited until she had a fair idea of what to expect. She worked for many years as a professor teaching nursing so she knew what she could do. One of my issues was what can I do to try to make this easier on her.

I can’t visit, though off-Island, she is not that far away. I will call and keep in touch. She has also moved in with her daughter’s family — and I hate to admit that I don’t have that address. Thank you. Writing this reminded me. There is nothing like some lovely flowers when you are not up to par. So now there is at least something I can do.

When I was in the hospital, besides brief visits and phone calls, nothing could beat the bright and happy flowers and plants, not to mention pretty cards and good wishes. Except maybe for the lovely balloon I was sent when I entered rehab. And the friends who brought me some books. These all reminded me of the people who were thinking of me — and helped me appreciate all the good friends who had sent them.

Next Tuesday, August 16, at 6 pm, you can visit in person on the main floor at the Vineyard Haven library (or online) with Island author Rob Kagan. He is a summer home caretaker on Chappy. He’ll share some of his book, called “Noah’s Rejects.” These stories, from heartbreaking to hilarious, are about his life on Chappy. If you come in person, you must wear a mask, or contact the library for how to watch online.

The last day of the West Tisbury Book Sale is next Sunday, from noon to 4 pm, in the parking lot and on the porches of the West Tisbury library. That day books will be sold by the bag. Fit all the books you want in your paper shopping bag for $15 or recyclable shopping bag for $20. Bring your own bag. Larger bags cost more.

I always took full advantage of the summer book sales by our libraries. Last year I happened to find a Nicholas Sparks book I hadn’t read. A volunteer said there were several more under another table and pulled them out for me. I took all but one and have enjoyed reading and rereading several of these.

A side benefit of getting older is that I cannot always remember what happens even if I have read a book before. These times are not bad, I just enjoy it again.

I also loved some selections from the listing our library sends out of current books. I’ve had fun, since COVID hit, reading new authors — and deciding to order another book by one or two. Don’t misunderstand. Sometimes I discover one is just not to my liking and don’t even finish the book. It took me a while to give myself permission to quit mid-book.

I just ordered a new book by an author who grew up with my daughter. When I first read one of hers, I was surprised how much I enjoyed her stories — murder mysteries, and not being solved by sweet old ladies in English villages. Though I am partial to all of those stories.

I also take full advantage of the library’s offer to select a few authors whose new books I would like to see. Often I am surprised at the variety written by one, even the most popular. Of course, that is just why I had put them on my list.

Next Thursday, August 18, is the start of the 160th annual Ag Fair. The fair is the ultimate Island party. Let me know if you see something special because I have to miss this year. I love the animals, adore the quilts, and also look for the children’s exhibit of delightful characters created from vegetables.

I was happy to learn that this year’s Fair poster was designed by Island artist, Saundra LaBell,  the owner of Saundra LaBell Designs, specializing in Island-themed art, clothing, and home goods, including colorful gingerbread cottage pillows. She was also in my writing group at Oak Bluffs, a woman of many talents.

Anniversary congratulations go out on Sunday to Skip and Carol Bailey. They were married at Icehouse Pond by John Alley.

Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out Saturday to Goodie Stiller Corriveau. On Monday wish the best 95th birthday to Leigh Smith, along with a welcome to her visiting family. Happy birthday also on Monday to Braden Kuehne.

Heard on Main Street: Be the person your dog thinks you are.

If you have any Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Kay Mayhew, tashmoorock@gmail.com.