NEW BERLIN – Local author Shelly Reuben will launch her new book "My Mostly Happy Life: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree" at the Unadilla Public Library on Friday evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is free and open to the public to attend.
The book launch, taking place on Arbor Day, will take place just feet away from the library ground's giant climbing tree that inspired the tree on the cover of Reuben's new book.
Reuben will tell stories at the book launch, read excerpts from her new book, answer questions––and also introduce attendees to her ferret, Homer, who inspired the character Winston the ferret in her book. Marigold the goat, who is also featured in the book, will also be a 'guest speaker' at the launch, and Reuben said petting will be encouraged.
"It's an illustrated urban fable for grown-ups, inspired by some sort of convoluted process in my mind that makes me wake up with an idea – I have no idea where it came from – but the illustrations were inspired by the trees that are growing alongside the library in Unadilla," said Reuben, adding that artist Ruth McGraw created the illustrations.
Reuben will follow-up her book launch on Friday with another talk at the Afton Free Library on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. At the Unadilla Public Library and Afton Free Library, Reuben will ask attendees to participate in a poetry contest under the prompt, "Write a poem about your favorite tree."
On Sunday, Reuben will take to the Guernsey Memorial Library in Norwich from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. All of the talks are free to attend and refreshments will be served.
"I imagine that my ideal reader – no matter what life has done to him or her – has a happy heart," Reuben said. "Somewhere in there, even if they don't want to show it to anybody, they have a happy heart and underneath the cynicism there's a romantic."
Asked what she hopes a reader might take away from her book, Reuben said, "A happy tear in their eye at the end of the book would really put a smile on my face."
"My Mostly Happy Life: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree" is Reuben's tenth book and is currently available at each of the libraries in Chenango County. It is also available for purchase on Amazon and all digital reading stores.
A review of "My Mostly Happy Life: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree" is featured on Page 4 in today's edition of The Evening Sun.
Pictured: Shelly Reuben stands with the tree that inspired the illustration on the cover of "My Mostly Happy Life: Autobiography of a Climbing Tree." (Submitted photo)