Two Hastings octagenarians share lifetime of reading—September 14, 2007
When it comes to reading and recommending books, two local ladies have no match in Hastings. Each rightfully can boast having read more books, literally thousands, in their lifetimes than most anyone else in the history of Hastings Public Library!
Now in their 80s, these ladies still are reading and are happy to share their latest reads and passion for books.
In local and statewide literary circles, mention the name “Oline” and you needn’t say her last name, Marvel, for folks to know about whom you’re talking. Oline is a former HPL staffer of 28 years. During her tenure, Oline gave frequent book reviews to reading and service clubs and was featured on a weekly KHAS television show giving library news and book chats.
She also hosted her own daily KHAS Radio show called “Basket of Books,” so named for her carrying one wherever she presented a review.
“I’ve slowed down but am still reading,” Oline noted. “Mysteries have been my main love and as a sideline, books about Nebraska.”
Oline has high praise for her favorite Nebraska poet, Ted Kooser. “I love his phraseology.” She’s quick to recommend other Nebraska authors as well, among them: Lisa Dale Norton (“Hawk Flies Above, Journey to the heart of the Sandhills”) and Edith Robbins (“Marching with the First Nebraska: A Civil War Diary”).
If any local reader comes close to Oline’s extensive have-read repertoire, it’s her good friend, Betty Sheehy. Betty also is a former HPL staffer of 27 years who wrote reviews for the Tribune’s weekly library column. Her reviews were well-known for helping fellow mystery lovers find their way to a good whodunit.
Oline and Betty both favor mysteries connected with a hobby or profession. Betty’s top picks lately have been mysteries from the “Women’s Murder Club” series by James Patterson. All four books in this series pit a murderer against four professional women: a homicide inspector, a medical examiner, a news reporter and an assistant DA who form an unlikely alliance to pool their information and wrap up the case. Betty recommends reading the books and then watching for the debut next month of a television series based on these characters.
Oline recently read a contemporary series by Cleo Coyle which she says is “fun to read, especially for coffee drinkers.” Since 2003, Coyle has written five books in the “Coffeehouse” series: “On What Grounds,” “Latte Trouble,” Murder Most Frothy,” “Through the Grinder,” and just released - “Decaffeinated Corpse.”
Another series of murder mysteries, Oline found “fascinating,” all have the word, “thou” in their titles and feature Sister Joan, a sleuthing nun who finds adventure while trying to mind her Mother Superior.
The Jewish faith is presented in the “Lt. Decker and Rina Lazarus” series. Interesting facts about Judaism, interwoven in a suspenseful plot make for a real page-turner, highly recommended reading by Betty.
Oline and Betty both enjoy Lilian Jackson Braun’s “Cat Who. . .” books and suggest that her fans take a look at “The Cat Who Companion,” the complete guide to Braun’s beloved “Cat Who. . .” mysteries; complete with plot summaries, character lists, and more.