By Angie Georgeff

“It was the best of books; it was the worst of books.” Even though my bookcases at home are filled to capacity, not every novel I have read has been a keeper. Some of the books I had to read in high school were downright awful, while others are still favorites that I have enjoyed a dozen times or more.

I apologize to Charles Dickens and “A Tale of Two Cities” for the liberties I took with his famous first line, but I’m curious: Which novels do our patrons consider the best – and worst – they have ever read? Well, let’s find out. Starting today and continuing throughout the month of May, vote for the novels you like most and least whenever you come into the library. Both the winner and the loser will be announced in June when we have tabulated all the votes.

The ballots, boxes and pens are located on top of the bookcases where our Spanish-language books are shelved, to the right of our main entrance. You may vote once in each category every time you come into the library, since a new book could supplant a best-loved or least-liked choice at any time.

Spotlight Book

I recently finished reading Diane Setterfield’s “Once upon a River” (thumbs-up!), so now I’m moving on to the next novel in my teetering home library stack of books-to-be-read.

Delia Owens’s “Where the Crawdads Sing” is now in the batter’s box. The title alone was enough to attract my attention, but seeing that title on top of the bestseller list week after week has compelled me to move it to the top of the stack.

Our library’s copy has already checked out twenty times and every copy in the OWL consortium is currently checked out.

Kya Clark was abandoned by her mother when she was only six. Her older siblings moved out of the home soon thereafter. When her alcoholic father left, too, Kya grew up on her own in the marshes outside the coastal community of Barkley Cove, North Carolina.

Having forsaken school because she didn’t fit in and surviving in isolation, Kya is christened the “Marsh Girl” by the town’s residents. Tate Walker, the son of a local shrimper, is one of few people who befriend Kya. He teaches her how to read, but the wild coastal marshes are her true teacher, as well as her home and classroom.

When Tate goes away to college, Kya meets ladies’ man Chase Andrews and they commence a stormy relationship.

In 1969, the young man falls from a fire tower and dies. Foul play is suspected and the murder investigation soon focuses on Kya, but is she guilty?