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Everything Old is New Again

A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books Suitable for Holiday Gift-Giving The holidays are right around the corner, and chances are you’re looking for great gift ideas. You’ve come to the right place. There's nothing like a classic book, and this year there's a bumper crop of beautiful new anniversary editions sure to make adults nostalgic and kids engaged. Reissued Classics and Anniversary Editions The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson Robinson’s classic story of the Herdman children first appeared in 1971. A picture book version is also available.     The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander Originally published in 1964, The Book of Three is the first book in the Newbery Award winning fantasy series.     Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, illus. by Quentin Blake Can Charlie Bucket really be fifty years old? Yes he is, and everyone can celebrate by reading this 50th anniversary edition printed on candy colored pages.     The Christmas Alphabet: Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition by Robert Sabuda This book launched Sabuda’s career in 1994. The anniversary edition of this famous pop-up classic is a joy to open.     Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow Included in this 25th anniversary edition is a free audio download, a "How to Draw a Monkey" activity, and music and lyrics for the much-loved song.     Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, illus. by Anita Jeram First published in the United Kingdom in 1994, this cherished tale now celebrates twenty years.     Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh This 50th anniversary edition features a map of Harriet’s spy route and a section in which grown-ups, [...]

Family Friendly Halloween Makeup Tips

If your family is like mine, they want to look exactly like the character they plan to be for Halloween. With these tips from our on-staff makeup artist, you and your family can look great for Halloween. Research your character and have some pictures to refer to.  Your makeup will look best if you know what it is you’re doing. Set up your area- Put down newspaper or disposable tablecloth down to protect your workspace. Prep your skin- A good makeup artist washes her hands first.  The skin of the person you’re applying makeup to should also be cleansed with soap and water.  This will ensure that the makeup lasts all night. Tools of the trade- the basic tools needed for makeup application are: Latex sponges, q-tips, black eyeliner, cream makeup in a variety of colors, translucent powder, inexpensive makeup brushes. Start with the base coat, apply in gentle patting motions all over face and down neck.  Cover any areas that will be exposed by the costume. Contour your subject.  Vampires, zombies, witches and the like have sunken features.  Use dark grey/ black to create the effect under cheekbones, eyes and neck. Powder using large brush or old clean sock filled with baby powder.  Pat lightly all over makeup to give it staying power! Add details.  Warts on your witch, rotten zombie teeth, and fangs for a vampire are necessary and will make your character more realistic. Blood guts and gore.  Make your own stage blood using corn syrup, red food coloring and glycerin. Stay in character.  Witches cackle, Vampires with an accent, zombies groan and shuffle. Be sure to post your Halloween pictures to the Library’s Facebook page for us to see!

By |October 19th, 2015|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL|0 Comments

Finding Home: The Immigration and Refugee Experience

            With immigration currently such a hot topic, picture books can be the perfect way to start a conversation about this complex and complicated social issue. These books, that are suited for a wide age range, can be used to inform and enlighten as well as encourage compassion and understanding. And for the child that may have lived such an experience, these books just might provide comfort or support. A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about Immigrants and Refugees New Picture Books Adrift at Sea: A Vietnamese Boy’s Story of Survival by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch with Tuan Ho, illus. by Brian Deines Tuan Ho was just six years old when he and his mother and two sisters fled Ho Chi Minh City in 1981. Adrift at sea for several days, they were finally rescued by a U.S. aircraft carrier. The plight of the Vietnamese “boat people” is recounted in this moving story. Actual photographs and detailed author’s notes provide additional information about this period in world history. This is a powerful story with visually stunning illustrations.       Calling the Water Drum by LaTisha Redding, illus. by Aaron Boyd A young boy uses his drum to communicate and find solace after tragedy strikes as he and his family attempt to flee Haiti. The watercolor illustrations convey the emotions and resiliency of this tender story.       Chee-Kee: A Panda in Bearland by Sujean Rim The author wrote this story based on her own family’s journey from South Korea to the United States. A panda family leaves their home to seek new opportunity in Bearland where the bears are so very different from them. Young Chee-Kee [...]

The Fort Ancient Mound Builders of Northern Kentucky

If you grew up on a farm in rural Northern Kentucky, you may have seen prehistoric stone artifacts that were churned up out of the earth by a plow prior to planting. We are fascinated with prehistoric peoples and their ways of life, and burial mounds are no exception. Mounds are quite common in the region and can be found throughout many Northern Kentucky and Southeast Ohio counties. With the help of archaeology, we have gotten to take a peek back in time into the daily life of the peoples who inhabited the region prior to European settlement. One of the many cultural groups that had a prehistoric presence in the Ohio Valley region was the Fort Ancient, believed to be an offshoot of the widespread Mississippian culture that dominated the Midwest and Southeast United States. The Fort Ancients lived in the region during the Late Prehistoric Period between 1000-1750 CE. Fort Ancient habitation sites are divided into three temporal spans (3): Fort Ancient prior to 1200 CE Middle Fort Ancient 1200-1400 CE Fort Ancient after 1400 CE They lived in small villages and relied on farming to cultivate most of their food, but also engaged in hunting, fishing, and gathering of wild plants (3). Fort Ancients organized their societies differently than the Mississippians, which is why we find fewer mounds of Fort Ancient origin (3) than Mississippian. Though the Fort Ancient were not the only ones, they were the most recent to build mounds in this region. Most notably, the Fort Ancients are known for their construction of the Alligator Mound in Licking County, Ohio and their modification of the Serpent Mound in Adams County, Ohio. Mound building may have served a number of functions for the Native Americans, including protection, observation, shelter, in addition ceremonial or sacrificial purposes and [...]

From the Head of Lettice: Recipes from Historic Kentucky Cookbooks Part One

When looking back on our favorite family memories and holidays, food is often a highlight. Nothing can be quite so nostalgic as Grandma’s cookies or Mom’s best soup. Here at the library, cookbooks are among our most circulated items. For those of you learning to cook or wanting to add some local flair to your home cooked meal, the Local History & Genealogy department has four shelves of cookbooks that you can check out, bring home, and test out. These range from local restaurants’ favorite recipes, to chefs who focus on modern Kentucky cuisine, to historic cookbooks written as early as the 1800s. In an effort to get to know this section of our collection better, I tried out three recipes from two different books and documented my progress. I decided to focus on dishes with earlier origins. With some of the recipes, or receipts as Lettice Bryan of The Kentucky Housewife (1839) calls them, it took a little creative reimagining in order to modernize the measurements and equipment to something I have in my kitchen. In other words, I opted to bake in a modern oven with set temperatures. I’m also a vegetarian – so, sorry to all you Squirrel Soup lovers, I stuck to finding something I could enjoy! Let’s get started: Baked Potatoes, from The Kentucky Housewife (1839) by Lettice Bryan This recipe is from one of our earliest cookbooks by the thorough Lettice Bryan. The collection contains thousands of recipes along with suggestions of accompanying dishes, for which meal a recipe works best, and other tidbits which give a wonderful glimpse of the time period. I chose this recipe because it is simple, contains few ingredients, but also takes a familiar [...]

From the Head of Lettice: Recipes from Historic Kentucky Cookbooks Part Two

Welcome back! As we approach the holiday season, I thought it would be the perfect time to dive back into some historic Kentucky recipes. If you are looking for a few savory ideas, please check out Part One. This time I decided to focus on baking and desserts. I once again used Lettice Bryan (1839) and The Historic Kentucky Kitchen as my two main sources of inspiration, but there are plenty of other books in our collection that can help you find the local recipe you desire. Another of my favorites is The Blue Grass Cookbook, so check that out if you’re interested. If you would like any help finding local cookbooks or recipes, please feel free to reach out to our department and talk to a staff member, or watch a periscope video that I did on how to find recipes. I wanted to use simple recipes that included ingredients I mostly had on hand. For me, that included lots of apples. However, I also love to bake bread and I couldn’t resist trying my hand at a bread recipe. Lettice has quite a few examples of biscuits, rolls, and loaves of bread. Unfortunately for the modern baker, the measurements, which are more exact in baking than other forms of cooking, are quite loose in her descriptions. This wasn’t quite so troublesome for a pie or cookies, but more complicated creations like cakes and breads run into errors of translation. Ingredients diverge from their modern counterparts more dramatically in baking than in cooking. Nineteenth century bakers would obtain yeast from beer brewers, or utilize wild yeast in the form of their own sourdough starters, instead of using the instant dry yeast that is now [...]

By |November 21st, 2017|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL|0 Comments

Galentine’s Day at the Library

Attention world, Galentine's Day is fast approaching! You may have already marked the occasion on your calendar or you may be scratching your chin in confusion at this turn of phrase. For those that have not already embraced this beautiful land mermaid of a holiday let me give you a brief history.    A little show known as "Parks and Recreation" let it be known to all us mere mortals that Galentine's Day would forever and always be February 13th; otherwise known as the day before Valentine's Day. Traditionally, the second week of February has been devoted to celebrating romantic love but the glory of Leslie Knope's creation is that it celebrates the awesomeness of female friendships. Our gal pals are with us all year long. They listen to us complain, they shoulder our tears, they dance it out with us, and they make us laugh harder than is probably healthy. Why haven't we already been celebrating them!?        This year you can celebrate with us! The Erlanger Branch Library is having a Galentine's Day celebration February 7th at 7:00 PM. We'll be making our BFFs Galentine's Day cards, watching the two hilarious Galentine Day episodes of Parks and Rec as well as stuffing our faces with waffles at our waffle bar.        After you hang out with us at Erlanger you can wander over to the Durr Branch on the actual Galentine's Day, February 13th, for a full day of galentine shenanigans. Starting at 11:00 AM with everyone's favorite meal: brunch with (you guessed it) waffles! Movies will be playing through the afternoon with an enviable array of crafting choices until 4:30 PM when you'll be able to paint ceramic [...]

Get Cookin’

Need some inspiration for your Thanksgiving dinner?  Download a free magazine from one of our great magazine services.  There is no limit to your ideas or to magazine checkouts.  So let's get cookin'!  The magazines also have great ideas for creating a beautiful table to display your feast.                                    

By |November 1st, 2015|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL|Tags: |0 Comments

Get Started With Homeschooling at the Library

Being a homeschooler can be tough; not only do you have all of the usual household responsibilities to tend to, but you’re also your child’s teacher and mentor. Finding the time to plan a lesson and gather all of the materials can be difficult, but the library is a valuable resource and we’d love to help you out! Homeschool teachers can apply for a special library card as an educator, just as a traditional teacher could. They’re a little different than normal cards, so here are the basics: *You can check out 100 items *You can request up to 30 items on the same subject *We’ll renew your items, without you even having to ask, up to five times *All items that were returned overdue receive a one week grace period where overdue fines are not charged Sounds great, right? That’s not even the tip of the iceberg! We can also put together a teacher collection for you and save you time. Just let us know what you’re teaching, grade/reading level of your students and when you need it and we’ll have it ready for you to pick up. You can also request book kits containing 15 copies of the same elementary-level book so that your children or co-op can all read the same book as part of a lesson. We have lots of titles that will keep your kids reading all year long! We’re not stopping there! We've put together curriculum packs, essentially a lesson plan in a bag! They’re bags of materials (books, music, manipulatives, games) geared for elementary-age children on different subjects like fractions, anatomy, poetry and world cultures, just to name a few. You can request these and use them in your classroom as a supplement [...]

By |October 6th, 2014|Categories: Featured Post|Tags: , |0 Comments

Go Reds! Reds History…Reds Future

We all hope for a great Reds season, but why not also learn a little about the history of the Reds? We have eBooks for adults and children to help get you started. In entertaining—and unsparing—fashion, this book sparkles with Reds highlights, lowlights, wonderful and wacky memories, legends and goats, the famous and the infamous. You'll relive the Big Red Machine's World Series crown in 1975 but also horrendous moments such as the disastrous 1982 season.   The 1975 Cincinnati Reds, also known as the "Big Red Machine," are not just one of the most memorable teams in baseball history—they are unforgettable. The Local Boys tells the stories of men who achieved the boyhood dream of playing for the hometown team. From Ethan Allen to Don Zimmer, they're all here, including Charlie “Bushel Basket" Gould, who played on the first team in 1869 to Junior Griffey, soon to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Reds Hall of Famer Tom Browning and sportswriter Dann Stupp bring the Reds last championship era to life in Tales from the Cincinnati Reds Dugout. As part of every Reds game broadcast on the Reds Radio Network, Greg Rhodes, noted baseball historian and director of the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, presents a brief, colorful account of a memorable moment in the history of America's longest-running baseball team.

By |April 7th, 2017|Categories: Featured Post|0 Comments

Gotta Love Libraries!

A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about the Library “Gotta Love Libraries!” A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about the Library       September is Library Card Sign-Up Month - a time when the American Library Association and libraries across the country remind parents that the most important school supply of all is a library card. This fall Snoopy comes to the big screen in The Peanuts Movie, and in September he serves as Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month. In support of this national campaign, we decided to feature some of our favorite books, both new and old, about libraries and the treasures within. Books about Libraries   Bats at the Library by Brian Lies In this episode (part of the Bats at the … series of books), these book-loving bats find an open window at the local public library and discover fun things to do such as using the copier, playing with pop-up books, and bathing in the water fountain.       The Book Boat’s In by Cynthia Cotton, illus. by Frané Lessac Set on a book boat on the Erie Canal in the 1800’s, a young boy saves his money in order to buy a tattered copy of Swiss Family Robinson. Illustrator, Frané Lessac will be visiting our library in September.         Books for Me! by Sue Fliess, illus. by Mike Laughead This story about Hippo pays tribute to the many types of books available at the library. The sing-song text and adorable illustrations create a fun story about finding just the right book.         Check it Out!: Reading, Finding ,Helping by Patricia Hubbell, illus. by Nancy Speir The [...]

Guest Post: Alia Jones’ Ten Best Picture Books of 2016

We’re experiencing a renaissance in children’s literature; never before has there been such a large pool of talented authors & illustrators. Though we’re getting more diverse books, we still have a long way to go. There simply are not enough books that feature diverse perspectives for children and we especially need more books written by authors of color and marginalized voices. Why are diverse books so important? They’re important because they give children the chance to see themselves in stories and they nurture open-mindedness. Children’s book characters are still mostly white, straight, cis-gender, non-disabled, humans…and cute animals/creatures. 2016 produced many exceptional books but these are ten that left an impression on me. They all have great stories, amazing illustrations and lots of heart! 1) Plants Can’t Sit Still written by Rebecca E. Hirsch & illustrated by Mia Posada This is a beautiful and creative book! Just like antsy children, plants can’t sit still and move around as they grow and thrive. Strong roots creep, brave seedlings fly and plants climb high! Posada’s collage and watercolor illustrations are pretty, delicate and realistic. Her art reminds me of Lois Ehlert’s. If you have a child who loves nature and learning about plants, they’ll love this book.       2) Thunder Boy Jr. written by Sherman Alexie & illustrated by Yuyi Morales A spunky Native American boy wants a name that is uniquely his own, a name that celebrates how cool he is! This is Sherman Alexie’s first picture book and his writing is heartfelt and funny. This book is excellent storytelling and makes a great read aloud. It’s encouraging to see more positive portrayals of modern Native peoples in children’s literature. Yuyi Morales’ mixed media art [...]

By |January 3rd, 2017|Categories: childrens, Featured Post|0 Comments

Harry Potter Wedding

  How to Plan a Harry Potter Wedding Andrew and I were deeply and irrevocably committed from our first meeting—to our deep and abiding love for Harry Potter that is. I knew with a kitschy wedding theme that I would have to tread carefully. I wanted my wedding to be fun, and have our personalities stamped front and center—yet not have the theme take away from the point of the day. We were there, for the most part, for a wedding. In the ceremony itself, the only aspect of HP that I implemented was our recessional song as we walked out of the church. As the instrumental song Hedwig’s Theme soared from the speakers, I heard appreciative chuckles from the audience. But ultimately, I did it for me. I would strongly recommend NOT allowing any part of the fandom into your ceremony/reception that you aren’t in love with. If you are only implementing a prop/song/food into your big day for the sake of fandom purity—please give yourself a break. The day is not meant to celebrate Harry Potter or Dr. Who or Star Wars. It is to celebrate you, so pick what you want. The Reception Music The entire dinner (an hour) was all instrumental music from the soundtracks to the many Harry Potter movies. My fiancé, sister, and I listened to all 7 soundtracks and picked our favorite songs by hand. That is dedication. Afterwards, it was music to make people dance. Candy Bar/Punch Table Our candy bar was inspired by Honeydukes, a candy shop in the Harry Potter books. We had golden snitches by adding wings to Ferrero Rocher chocolate covered hazelnuts. We had Twizzlers that were licorice wands. There was Double Bubble [...]

By |February 14th, 2017|Categories: Featured Post|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Haunt Your Library Writing Contest 2014

Writing Contest for Grades 1-6 Enter an original poem or tale in the Library's 12th annual Spooky Writing Contest (700 word limit).Winning stories will be featured in the Community Press! Submit entries to the Covington Children's Department or email a Word document to writingcontest@kentonlibrary.org. Winners will be announced and awarded prizes on October 17. Winning stories will be featured in the Community Press paper. Entries must be received by October 10. Entries must include child's name, age, address, phone, email address,school, grade and a color photo of the child.

By |September 9th, 2014|Categories: childrens, Featured Post|0 Comments

Have a Ball at the Beach

A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about the Beach Have a Ball at the Beach In our eyes, summer isn’t complete without a trip to the beach.  Splashing in the waves, feeding seagulls, building sandcastles, collecting shells … creating memories. Prepare for that trip to the beach by sifting through some of the many new gems that you can dig up at the library. New Books about the Beach ABC Oceans This big, colorful board book—developed with the American Museum of Natural History—features fun facts about twenty-six creatures of the ocean, with each one representing a letter of the alphabet.     Aqualicious by Victoria Kann This is a splashy addition to the ever popular Pinkalicious series. Sharing a fun-filled day at the beach with her family, Pinkalicious befriends a miniature mermaid. Pinkalicious and her brother Peter promise to help the mermaid find her way home, after they show her all of the fun things to do at the seashore, from building sand castles to surfing in the ocean.   Beach Bummer by Michele Jakubowski, illus. by Erica-Jane Waters This is another in the Perfectly Poppy beginning reader series. Poppy and her best friend Millie are at the beach, but Poppy is not having much fun because she finds the water too cold, the wind too strong, and the sand too itchy.       Beach House by Deanna Caswell, illus. by Amy June Bates The author and artist convey the joy of a day spent at the ocean.     Beachcombing: Exploring the Seashore by Jim Arnosky Friendly notes and detailed illustrations give kids the knowledge they need to become avid beachcombers! This is a helpful resource for young students.   [...]

Healthy Cooking With the Library

Hi. I'm Erin. I write at A Bird and A Bean and I love summer. Hot, lazy days with the kids. Gardening. Cookouts. Swimming. Vacations with the family. Time "off." But, moms don't really get a vacation....even on vacation. I actually don't mind. Vacations look different when you have little kids. Still awesome and fun, but just not as relaxing. The Onion sums that whole thing up pretty well in this hilarious article that I like to share, "Mom Spends Beach Vacation Assuming All Household Duties In Closer Proximity To Ocean."Cracks me up. One thing I do try to do less of in the summer whether we are on a vacation or a stay-cation... is turn the oven on. It just heats the whole house right up. No thank you. But, I like to still get the veggies in and keep things on the healthy side. We love utilizing the grill and crock-pot in the summer. But, things can get boring. Grilling the same burgers and hotdogs. Making the same old chili in the crock-pot. I decided to keep things interesting by checking out the library's cookbook and food magazine selection. There are so many choices. You know all those magazines you see in the line at the grocery store and want to buy?? They are all at the library! Look at this fantastic cookbook selection! And this is just a small portion of what they have. You can easily find some new fresh and healthy recipes for your family this summer. It was hard to narrow it down. I was drawn to so many.. crockpot books, grilling cookbooks and a popsicle recipe books. I loved the zucchini and tomato recipe book idea, too. I [...]

Holiday Fiction for Adults

Get into the holiday spirit with a great book. Print this list Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere The New York Times bestselling author of the timeless The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Hope is back with this moving and uplifting story about finding love, hope, and family in unexpected places.             Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand   Some of the stormy weather of the past few seasons seems to have finally lifted for the Quinns. Kevin is about to tie the knot with Isabelle, and there's hopeful news about Bart, who has been captured by enemy forces in Afghanistan. That doesn't mean there aren't a few dark clouds on the horizon as the family juggle health scares and love triangles. But if there's one holiday that brings the Quinn family together, it's Christmas. And this year promises to be a celebration unlike any other as they prepare to host Kevin and Isabelle's wedding at the inn.         Mistletoe Secret by Richard Paul Evans Mourning her husband's abandonment and the loss of her stillborn child, Kelly begins an anonymous blog about her losses and catches the attention of fellow lonely-heart Tyler. By the best-selling author of The Christmas Box           Choose Your Own Misery: The Holidays by Mike MacDonald & Jilly Gagnon Christmas is full of fun surprises for kids, but for adults, it's just an endless series of aggressive crowds, overwhelming credit card debt, and pretending to like the people you're forced to spend it with. Once you unwrap all the holiday misery hiding in these pages, the blackness of your heart will rival any lump of coal.           [...]

By |December 1st, 2016|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL|0 Comments

Hot Audiobooks from Hoopla & Overdrive

Best Enemies by Jane Heller read by Rachel Fulginiti Amy Sherman has a nice apartment in Manhattan, a good job as publicity director at a publishing company, and a decent social life. Then she runs into Tara Messer, prom queen and Amy's ex-best friend. It's been four years since Tara stole Amy's fiancé, and Amy swore she'd stop playing second fiddle to spotlight-hog Tara. Or so she thought. Tara, now married to the man who broke Amy's heart, is a lifestyle guru with her own book deal-and Amy gets tapped to be her publicist. When Amy enlists a commitment-phobic mystery writer as the pawn in her game of payback, she stumbles on the surprising truth about Tara's lifestyle and her own fears about falling in love.   Zak George's Dog Training Revolution by Zak George The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love.  Celebrity dog trainer, YouTube sensation, and Animal Planet star Zak George presents a next-generation guide that uses his infectiously energetic style to teach dog-lovers everything they need to know about raising and training their unique pup. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly read by Robin Miles The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America's greatest achievements in space. How to Party With an Infant by Kaui Hart Hemmings read by Joy Osmaski The new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Descendants—a hilarious and charming story about a quirky single mom in San Francisco who tiptoes through the minefields of the "Mommy Wars" and manages to find friendship and love. When Mele Bart told her boyfriend Bobby she was pregnant with his child, he stunned her with an announcement of his own: [...]

By |February 22nd, 2017|Categories: Featured Post|0 Comments

Hot New Reads – April

Sisters of Heart and Snow by Margaret Diloway The award-winning author of How to Be and American Housewife returns with a poignant story of estranged sisters, forced together by family tragedy, who soon learn that sisterhood knows no limits. Rachel and Drew Snow may be sisters, but their lives have followed completely different paths. Married to a wonderful man and is a mother to two strong-minded teens, Rachel hasn't returned to her childhood home since being kicked out by her strict father after an act of careless teenage rebellion. Drew, her younger sister, followed her passion for music but takes side jobs to make ends meet and longs for the stability that has always eluded her. Both sisters recall how close they were, but the distance between them seems more than they can bridge. When their deferential Japanese mother, Haruki, is diagnosed with dementia and gives Rachel power of attorney, Rachel's domineering father, Killian becomes enraged. In a rare moment of lucidity, Haruki asks Rachel for a book in her sewing room, and Rachel enlists her sister's help in the search. The book-which tells the tale of real-life female samurai Tomoe Gozen, an epic saga of love, loss, and conflict during twelfth-century Japan-reveals truths about Drew and Rachel's relationship that resonate across the centuries, connecting them in ways that turn their differences into assets.   Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight From the author of the New York Times bestseller and 2014 Edgar and Anthony nominee Reconstructing Amelia comes another harrowing, gripping novel that marries psychological suspense with an emotionally powerful story about a community struggling with the consequences of a devastating discovery. At the end of a long winter in well-to-do Ridgedale, New [...]

Hot New Reads – April 2016

Glory Over Everything: Beyond the Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom The author of the New York Times bestseller and beloved book club favorite The Kitchen House continues the story of Jamie Pyke, son of both a slave and master of Tall Oakes, whose deadly secret compels him to take a treacherous journey through the Underground Railroad. Published in 2010, The Kitchen House became a grassroots bestseller. Fans connected so deeply to the book’s characters that the author, Kathleen Grissom, found herself being asked over and over “what happens next?” The wait is finally over. This new, stand-alone novel opens in 1830, and Jamie, who fled from the Virginian plantation he once called home, is passing in Philadelphia society as a wealthy white silversmith. After many years of striving, Jamie has achieved acclaim and security, only to discover that his aristocratic lover Caroline is pregnant. Before he can reveal his real identity to her, he learns that his beloved servant Pan has been captured and sold into slavery in the South. Pan’s father, to whom Jamie owes a great debt, pleads for Jamie’s help, and Jamie agrees, knowing the journey will take him perilously close to Tall Oakes and the ruthless slave hunter who is still searching for him. Meanwhile, Caroline’s father learns and exposes Jamie’s secret, and Jamie loses his home, his business, and finally Caroline. Heartbroken and with nothing to lose, Jamie embarks on a trip to a North Carolina plantation where Pan is being held with a former Tall Oakes slave named Sukey, who is intent on getting Pan to the Underground Railroad. Soon the three of them are running through the Great Dismal Swamp, the notoriously deadly hiding place for escaped slaves. Though they have help from those in [...]

Hot New Reads – August

Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof Tom Putnam, an English professor at a Virginia women’s college, has resigned himself to a quiet and half-fulfilled life. For more than ten years, his wife Marjory has been a shut-in, a fragile and frigid woman whose neuroses have left her fully dependent on Tom and his formidable mother-in-law, Agnes Tattle. Tom considers his unhappy condition self-inflicted, since Marjory’s condition was exacerbated by her discovery of Tom’s brief and misguided affair with a visiting poetess. But when Tom and Marjory meet Rose Callahan, the campus bookstore’s charming new hire, and Marjory invites Rose to dinner, her first social interaction in a decade, Tom wonders if it’s a sign that change is on the horizon. And when Tom returns home that evening to a letter from the poetess telling him that he’d fathered her son, Henry, and that Henry, now ten, will arrive by train in a few days, it’s clear change is coming whether Tom’s ready or not.           The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero Inheriting an eerie estate in the Virginia woods, a skeptical man wonders about his family member's suicide and realizes that the house harbors both ghosts and terrible secrets, in a story told through journal entries, scrawled notes, security footage, audio recordings and advertisements.                 The Frozen Dead by Bernard Minier In a snowbound valley, deep in the French Pyrenees, a dark story of madness and revenge is unfolding. The first victim is a horse: its headless, flayed body hangs suspended from the edge of a frozen cliff. On the same day as the gruesome discovery takes place, Diane Berg, a young psychiatrist starts her first [...]

Hot New Reads – August 2015

Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford It's 2006 in the Manhattan of the young and glamorous. Money and class are colliding in a city that is about to go over a financial precipice and take much of the country with it. At 26, bright, funny and socially anxious Evelyn Beegan is determined to carve her own path in life and free herself from the influence of her social-climbing mother, who propelled her through prep school and onto the Upper East Side. Evelyn has long felt like an outsider to her privileged peers, but when she gets a job at a social network aimed at the elite, she's forced to embrace them.   Recruiting new members for the site, Evelyn steps into a promised land of Adirondack camps, Newport cottages and Southampton clubs thick with socialites and Wall Streeters. Despite herself, Evelyn finds the lure of belonging intoxicating, and starts trying to pass as old money herself. When her father, a crusading class-action lawyer, is indicted for bribery, Evelyn must contend with her own family's downfall as she keeps up appearances in her new life, grasping with increasing desperation as the ground underneath her begins to give way. Bracing, hilarious and often poignant, Stephanie Clifford's debut offers a thoroughly modern take on classic American themes - money, ambition, family, friendship - and on the universal longing to fit in.    Coming of Age at the End of Days by Alice LaPlante Never one to conform, Anna always had trouble fitting in. Earnest and willful, as a young girl she quickly learned how to hide her quirks from her parents and friends. But when, at sixteen, a sudden melancholia takes hold of her life, she loses her sense [...]

Hot New Reads – December

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant Addie Baum is The Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can’t imagine—a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love. Eighty-five-year-old Addie tells the story of her life to her twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, who has asked her “How did you get to be the woman you are today.” She begins in 1915, the year she found her voice and made friends who would help shape the course of her life. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, Addie recalls her adventures with compassion for the naïve girl she was and a wicked sense of humor. Written with the same attention to historical detail and emotional resonance that made Anita Diamant’s previous novels bestsellers, The Boston Girl is a moving portrait of one woman’s complicated life in twentieth century America, and a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their places in a changing world.     Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar For readers of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank, here is the first novel to offer a fascinating glimpse into the adult lives of sisters Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell, set against the backdrop of a new era—early 1900s London—and focusing on the [...]