Prather’s Pick: “A Seasoned Life Lived in Small Towns” is a book you can’t put down

— I so admire Janet Sheridan’s talent for writing. I thoroughly enjoyed her new book “A Seasoned Life Lived in Small Towns: Memories, Musings and Observations.”

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Diane Prather

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Janet Sheridan/courtesy

Janet Sheridan's book cover for "A Seasoned Life Lived in Small Towns: Memories, Musings and Observations."

After I started reading, I couldn’t put her book down. I read while supper cooked, while waiting for students to arrive and while filling the livestock water tank. I even took the book with me when we helped my brother gather cows one day and was waiting at the gate. I read the book in a short time — then I wanted more.

The book is a compilation of the columns that Sheridan has written for The Denver Post and Craig Daily Press plus some other unpublished works. It is divided into four parts, each representing a season. Within each part are about 15 of Sheridan’s columns/works from different times and places in Sheridan’s life: “a child in Utah, an adult in Nevada and a woman facing the reality of her advancing years in Colorado.”

In the book, Sheridan writes about her family, childhood school days, childhood friends and teaching days. She has thoughts about retirement, the advancing years, pills, hearing aids — even spring cleaning. And more.

Readers certainly will be able to relate to Sheridan’s stories. I did. For example, when I read “Would That Be Honest?” (Part Two of Summer), I remembered being a 4-H member myself. In this column, Sheridan recalls a time when she was 11 years old. She had been working on a blouse to exhibit at the fair, and finally, all she had left was to clip the fabric in the buttonholes. But in doing so, Sheridan accidentally clipped the left side of the blouse, leaving a hole.

This was a huge disappointment because she had dreamed of getting a blue ribbon. The next morning, she found the blouse on her bed. The fabric in the blouse had been replaced and the buttonholes had been cut. But Sheridan’s mother surprised her daughter when she told her she could not exhibit the blouse.

“Would that be honest?” she asked.

This is an absolutely delightful book!

“A Seasoned Life Lived in Small Towns” is published by Outskirts Press Inc., 2013. The book is available at the Museum of Northwest Colorado, Downtown Books, Colorado Northwestern Community College, the Little Snake River Museum and on Amazon. It costs $12.95.

Sheridan will do a reading and signing at Downtown Books from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday and then at the Museum of Northwest Colorado from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 7.

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