A Tale for midwinter

Commentary:
By Ben Beagle, Daily News Lifestyles Editor

If the bleak winter is getting you down, well, try the bleak midwinter — that is, as in this year’s Tale for Three Counties reading selection.

The first chapter of Julia Spencer-Fleming’s In the Bleak Midwinter was printed in a supplement to Saturday’s Daily News. Just to get readers in Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties started. If you set it aside to look at later, or missed that free sample, the book is available for loan at libraries throughout the three counties. It is also available for sale at a modest price at libraries, Java Books in downtown Batavia and The Book Shoppe in Medina.

This is the third year librarians have organized and led the ”Tale” project, which encourages everyone in the three counties to read a select book, participate in discussions, perhaps write a review and at the end, meet the author. The selection in 2003 was Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River; in 2004 it was Howard Frank Mosher’s Northern Borders.

This year, librarians chose a mystery that explores ”the dark side” of a small town.

Also this year, Genesee Community College has joined in the project, hosting a discussion and a talk by the author. Several professors are incorporating In the Bleak Midwinter into their courses, and the infusion of college students should add much to the venture. Often times college students don’t have the time to read for pleasure, but this is homework as well as pleasure.

Book discussions are scheduled throughout the three counties beginning Feb. 7 in Medina and winding up March 8 in Corfu. The deadline for book reviews is Feb. 10. Ms. Spencer-Fleming is giving talks and signing books at 1 p.m. March 10 at GCC in Batavia; 7 p.m. March 10 at Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia; 7 p.m. March 11 at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library, Medina; and 2 p.m. March 12 at Perry Elementary/Middle School Auditorium, Perry.

A Tale for Three Counties is wonderful encouragement for aspiring authors in the three counties. It’s also great fun for those who simply enjoy reading and talking about what they’re reading.

Our thanks again go to the organizers of this project. The enrichment A Tale for Three Counties brings this region is incalculable and precious.

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Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation

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