My friend Betty Wright stopped by the house one day last week. She said she was reading a book and on almost every page she thought of me. She said it sounded like what she had heard me tell about my youth.

My friend Betty Wright stopped by the house one day last week. She said she was reading a book and on almost every page she thought of me. She said it sounded like what she had heard me tell about my youth.
I knew right away what book she was speaking of, and I just smiled when she said it was "A Painted House," by John Grisham.
Yes, "A Painted House" reads like my childhood and, even though I first read it years ago, I often think of it. I lost my copy of the novel because I often lend books and some are never returned. I need to buy another copy and re-read it again.
I wonder if it will be as good as it was to me when I first opened it. We will see.
One of my older sisters introduced me to "A Painted House," and I think it was she who gave me the book. She was almost crying as she told me that it was very much the story of our family.
Thanks Mr. Grisham for writing this book.
I don't read enough books. Russell probably reads three or four a week and we have a tough time keeping him in reading material. People give him books, and he buys them in used bookstores or at garage sales. Our daughter-in-law is a reader so they swap books back and forth.
He reads new books, old books and classics. A couple of weeks ago he read "The Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling. I never think of this author without remembering the first time I went to England and we were in a crowd touring Westminster Abbey. The crowd was so large that we could hardly move. Once, as we stood listening to our guide, I looked down and was shocked that I was standing on the Mr. Kipling's grave. As one who was always taught not to step on a grave, I remember giving a gasp and stepping aside as best I could.
When I moved to safety, I felt better— until I looked down and saw I was standing on Charles Dickens. Then I knew there was no safe place for me to stand in Poets' Corner. I just decided to enjoy seeing all the names on the floor and to forget about walking on graves.
The Newton County Fair is coming soon. It is always as hot as a pistol and sometimes it storms during the fair. This is the  place for everyone to show off their skills, especially young people who are in 4-H or FFA. I have a special place in my heart for these kids who take time to learn a skill or craft worthy of being in the fair. Many kids choose animals as their project and spend hours training the animal and themselves to show in the ring.
Other kids chose to learn a skill such as gardening, photography, arts and crafts, sewing, welding, carpentry or woodworking. These are the kinds of activities that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.
Please go out and support both the Newton and McDonald County fairs. Maybe you should enter something yourself.

Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.