Nothing But Reading Challenges discussion

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
Buddy Reads: Current & Upcoming > Richardson,Michele Kim--The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek informal buddy read starts May 14, 2020

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Moderators of NBRC | 31132 comments Mod
This thread is open to discuss The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

The New York Times and USA Today bestseller!

In 1936, tucked deep into the woods of Troublesome Creek, KY, lives blue-skinned 19-year-old Cussy Carter, the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry. The lonely young Appalachian woman joins the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her faithful mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky.

Along her dangerous route, Cussy, known to the mountain folk as Bluet, confronts those suspicious of her damselfly-blue skin and the government's new book program. She befriends hardscrabble and complex fellow Kentuckians, and is fiercely determined to bring comfort and joy, instill literacy, and give to those who have nothing, a bookly respite, a fleeting retreat to faraway lands.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a powerful message about how the written word affects people--a story of hope and heartbreak, raw courage and strength splintered with poverty and oppression, and one woman's chances beyond the darkly hollows. Inspired by the true and historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek showcases a bold and unique tale of the Packhorse Librarians in literary novels — a story of fierce strength and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere — even back home.

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Moderators of NBRC | 31132 comments Mod

message 3: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 31132 comments Mod

Laura | 9707 comments checking in

Jenny | 5214 comments I bought the book, and am ready to start tomorrow as well.

Stacey | 575 comments I can start tomorrow.

Laura | 9707 comments Ah darn, you couldn't get it for free?

Jenny | 5214 comments I didn't look. I tend to buy books anyway. I am a big proponent of paying authors for their work. I don't spend a lot of money on other things, so it all works out.

Stacey | 575 comments Have you started? I didn't realize that blue people was a real thing. I just looked it up and saw picks. Crazy!

Jenny | 5214 comments Starting when I get home in about an hour. Blue people? Now I am intrigued.

Laura | 9707 comments I started but I'm not far in. I also had to do a google search. Amazing!

prologue & chapter 1
(view spoiler)

Jenny | 5214 comments A few chapters in. I love Cussy! I cannot imagine living in that era, and being so disadvantaged by being a woman, and odd looking, when those things are so looked down upon. But, she reads!
I want her to have a good life, and I barely know her.

The courting candle reminded me of speed dating. Its precursor perhaps?

Stacey | 575 comments I'm about a third of the way in having read through Chapter 13. I really like Cussy, too! And it has been so interesting to see how different some things are yet how similar.

I don't normally read historical fiction but tend to love books about libraries and books, so when it was recommended I decided to check it out. It is way more interesting than I expected! I had no idea about this group of people but I am fascinated by medical anomolies like this. The human body is so fascinating.

Jenny | 5214 comments On chapter seven, and Cussy has just met Jackson Lovett. Hmmm.
No clue where this will go, but I am torn between wanting her to find happiness in a man, or happiness without a man entirely.

So far, this is an interesting story. I am reminded that even if the Me Too movement goes a bit too far sometimes, it is long overdue. When I read about women in history or even women of today being treated like chattel, I get really angry. Nice that the men of today are being forced to realize that women are people.

(And when I write that me too goes too far, I mean that Al Franken should not have been excoriated, but chastised and perhaps forgiven for having lived through the eighties like the rest of us, when we all slept with each other and every workplace was a hotbed of sexual harassment.)

Laura | 9707 comments Jenny wrote: "A few chapters in. I love Cussy! I cannot imagine living in that era, and being so disadvantaged by being a woman, and odd looking, when those things are so looked down upon. But, she reads!
I wan..."

Good point!

Laura | 9707 comments I 'm somewhere in chapter 12
(view spoiler)

Stacy, are you still enjoying the book?

Stacey | 575 comments Laura, I am enjoying it. I'm in Chapter 20 and Cussy is still a very likable character. There are definitely some parts where I feel lots of frustration for how she is treated by others due to being a 'blue'.

Jenny, I agree mostly with your comments and about Jaskson Lovett. Still waiting to see what happens (though I'm guessing). Still, I really like the fact that the Jackson part of the story isn't a major part, at least at this point. He's there, but the story is really about Cussy and her interactions with others.

I really smiled at the part where one of the women on the route wouldn't let Cussy onto her property since she was a government worker and was bringing government property. So her son could pick up the library books off the property. Honestly, this sentiment about government help is something I've heard before and can imagine now with other things.

Jenny | 5214 comments The pineapple lifesaver!!!!!!! Tears in my eyes.

I didn't meant to get political with the above post. I was born a tree-hugging-liberal-science-loving-feminist-humanist-atheist, and sometimes it slips out. I'm all for the me-too movement, I just think that the pendulum tends to swing too far (especially with social media) before a rational swing is achieved.

I like your comment, Stacey, on the government help. That was a good scene. Times don't change much for some, do they?

Jenny | 5214 comments Up to chapter sixteen, and...
(view spoiler)
Ok, back to the book.

Jenny | 5214 comments Chapter 29.
(view spoiler)

Stacey | 575 comments Jenny, it's fine. I get it. I think I'm still a bit annoyed at gender inequality after one of the last books I read.

I think I understand the father. I mean, he has to work so... It was a different era.

All right. I'm only at chapter 22. I'll have to read more tomorrow.

Jenny | 5214 comments I couldn't stop reading this book! So, done now. Thank you for recommending this one.

Stacey | 575 comments So glad you liked it! I slowed yesterday to hang out with the kid. Don't think I'll get done tonight but will likely get close. It has been very interesting. I'll never think of Lysol the same way.

Jenny | 5214 comments Right?
I kind of want to know the back story on Harriet. Such as ass of a character, but who raised her that way?

Stacey | 575 comments Ok, I did finish. I also loved this book. It really made me feel for Cussy and at the same time realize that judging based on appearance or fear of differences is such a human trait.

Laura, how do you feel? I hope you like it and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Jenny | 5214 comments You know over time, we humans tend to get better at being human. I wonder if we will mature past our silly differences into a species that is just sublime? The good parts of us are just wonderful. I wish they were a bit more prevalent. And not to get into a sci-fi realm, but what would it take to be better humans over time? Finding a cure for sociopathy? Somehow banning the teaching of intolerance and prejudice? Losing one's social media privileges if one is an ass? Having a shared enemy such as an alien space invasion? Food for thought. Or giggles.

And And, who gets to chose next? I am loving getting to read books I wouldn't normally choose for myself. And of course getting to read books I did choose. teehee.

Stacey | 575 comments I think it is Laura's turn.

Hmmm, we tend to get a bit better but I'm not sure how much. . I listened to an interesting short where all it took was the fringe groups leaving due to a pending natural disaster. Those who stayed worked together and fixed it all. I was going to say more, but it was feeling too political. I hope one day we will figure it all out, but I think sometimes we are just selfish and that is hard to overcome.

Jenny | 5214 comments What's the story? It sounds interesting.

I do agree on the selfish part. That and learned bad behavior. What would be brilliant (and probably unattainable) would be that somehow everyone learned critical thinking skills, and self reflection, and parents taught their kids to be better people than they are themselves. The upward curve of good would be amazing then. That and getting rid of nationalism, xenophobia, and the taught "truth" that one religion is true and all others are false and dangerous.

I dream big.

I am sitting here after having finished another amazing book The City We Became, doing a crossword while watching a serial-killer based murder mystery on TV. Clearly I am a completely evolved human! Ooh, and drinking a lovely glass of 14 year old scotch. Life can be good. And weird.

Laura | 9707 comments Sorry, I haven't read much the last two days. We are finally able to interact with one other household- so that's what we have been doing. I'll be back soon because I was really enjoying the book.

Stacey | 575 comments It was an audible original called Emergency Skin. Some of my research is on skin substitutes, so I was intrigued by the name. It isn't much about that. It is interesting and short but not nearly as nuanced as this one.

That sounds like a lovely way to spend an evening.

Stacey | 575 comments Laura, sounds good. Glad you are able to be a bit social.

Jenny | 5214 comments Oh, that short is by the author of The City We Became!!!!!! Off to read that now...


Jenny | 5214 comments That short story was so cool!
Back to Tony Hill and Carol Jordan and serial killers now.

Laura | 9707 comments up to 60%
I am really enjoying reading about Cussy and her life. She has such a heart of gold wanting to help everyone despite being ridiculed and discriminated against. Stacey, yes, I am also feeling frustrated at the way she is treated for being "blue".

Ugh the hospital scene was horrible. Can you imagine treating someone like that today? All they had to do was give her a little more bedside manner and explain how to put on the gown and what they were going to do ---it probably would have helped calm Cussy's fears.

Jenny | 5214 comments Whyever would they think that bedside manner was a thing that was needed for an unfortunate like her? Really? "They" don't feel things like we do, right?

Yeah, ugly.

Cussy is a good character in every sense of the word.

Laura | 9707 comments I finished this morning but didn't have a chance to post until now. I loved it! Great recommendation Stacey.

I put off reading this because someone mentioned that it was similar to The Giver of Stars but the only similarity was the two main characters delivered library books. Two totally different and awesome books!

Jenny | 5214 comments I have never read Jojo Moyes before, and I am not a huge historical fiction fan, So, knowing that, should I read Giver of Stars? I do see a lot of 5 star reviews for it.

And, your turn to choose a book. Good luck following this last one!

Laura | 9707 comments I enjoyed both a lot but I enjoy historical fiction. (and I like Moyes)
Oh boy, that's going to be tough to follow after this one. My OverDrive is historical fiction atm... hmmm let me check my kindle and see what I might have there.

Laura | 9707 comments She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper and I will soon be getting
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0) by Suzanne Collins
Do either of those interest you both?

Stacey | 575 comments Thank you both for reading this with me. So glad you liked it.

Laura, I'm up for either.

Jenny | 5214 comments Wow. I looked at GR reviews for both of these. There are none for the Collins book. No ARCs given out for this one apparently.
I am good with either as well. Laura, flip a mental or actual coin, and set up the thread...

Jenny | 5214 comments Did either of you do the NBRC Harry Potter Tower Teams? A bunch of us are trying to get the mods to schedule another Quidditch match, and they said they would if we get enough players.
If you didn't do it, it is brilliant!
If you are interested, go to and say you will play!

If you want stories of the matches, let me know. Damn it was fun.

Laura | 9707 comments Okay, I 'll pick She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper and get a thread made for TBD.
How about Monday?

Jenny | 5214 comments Hey! I just got it for free on KU!
Monday is fine with me.

Stacey | 575 comments Sounds good. I was able to get it from the library no problem. Monday will also let me finish my current book. Look forward to it!

Laura | 9707 comments Thanks Stacey for requesting a thread. A migraine put me a bit behind:-(

Here is our thread

Laura | 9707 comments Jenny wrote: "Did either of you do the NBRC Harry Potter Tower Teams? A bunch of us are trying to get the mods to schedule another Quidditch match, and they said they would if we get enough players.
If you didn'..."

Thanks Jenny for the invite but I 'm already participating in as many challenges as I can handle and I'm not ready to add more yet.

Jenny | 5214 comments I hope your migraine is gone now!!!! I have only had a migraine twice in my life. I'm lucky as my family tends to get them. Damn that sucks to go through.

Just to add to your potential challenge overload, Wheel is taking signups now too!

Stacey | 575 comments Laura, hope you are feeling better! I figured it was probably my turn anyway. Are you still up for starting tomorrow? See you there!

Jenny, I haven't tried many challenges yet. Interesting.

Jenny | 5214 comments A good challenge is starting in June, and the explanation and sign ups are here...

This will be my third Wheel, I think, and it is very fun. You can go crazy, or be relaxed.

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