The Friends of the Library bookshelf is a convenient and tempting place to pause on the way in or out of the Fraser Rec Center, but I never suspected it would help to plan a vacation.

Northern Nurse by Elliot Merrick caught my eye one day as I stopped to peruse the shelves. The true-life story of Kate Austen, a young Australian nurse at the remote Grenfell medical mission in North West River, Labrador in the 1920’s, would make the perfect surprise gift for my R.N. wife, so I paid a buck for the paperback and walked out with it tucked under my arm. “I don’t like nurse stories,” she said. Nevertheless, it eventually found its way onto her lap and then seldom left it until the final page was turned (Northern Nurse was on the New York Times bestseller list for 17weeks). Can’t say that nurse stories place high on my reading list either, but read it I did and with no regrets. “Gotta see this place,” we agreed. Thus plans were laid to extend our already scheduled 2014 driving vacation to Nova Scotia to include the newly completed Trans-Labrador Highway to North West River, the settlement at the end of the northern most road in northeastern North America.

Incidentally, Elliot, Yale graduate and unpaid summer worker at the mission, married Kate and wrote several other excellent books telling of their adventures in the wilds of Labrador as well as rustic farm life in northern Vermont.

Planning a vacation? Don’t forget to check the shelves of the Friends’ bookcases at various locations around Grand County. You might stumble onto something more than just a great read!

Do you have a story about a book you picked up from the Used Books on the Friends of the Library bookshelves, that you would like to share.
If so email it to Friends