Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of playtime. They are happy, and the day has been close to perfect. But what Joan sees as she hustles her son toward the exit gate minutes before closing time sends her sprinting back into the zoo, her child in her arms. And for the next three hours—the entire scope of the novel—she keeps on running. Suddenly, mother and son are as trapped as the animals. Joan’s intimate knowledge of this place that filled early motherhood with happy diversions—the hidden pathways and under-renovation exhibits, the best spots on the carousel and overstocked snack machines—is all that keeps them a step ahead of danger. A masterful thrill ride and an exploration of motherhood itself—from its tender moments of grace to its savage power—Fierce Kingdom asks where the boundary is between our animal instinct to survive and our human duty to protect one another. For whom should a mother risk her life? The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple—young, beautiful, successful, and in love. But after receiving an odd gift at their wedding, they find themselves initiated into a mysterious organization known as The Pact. The goal of The Marriage Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And some of the rules make sense: Always answer the phone when your spouse calls, plan a trip together once per quarter, exchange thoughtful gifts regularly. But other rules—and their methods of enforcement—prove to be far more terrifying. What follows is a relentlessly paced tale of deception, unfaithfulness, and duplicity in which the twists and turns just keep [...]
If you have driven by the Erlanger Branch Library recently, you may have wondered what’s going on. Last fall, construction started on three projects at the branch: a makerspace, a large auditorium/meeting room and a separate building to house the administration offices. Far left Executive Director, Dave Schroeder, Board of Trustees (left to right): Douglas Stephens, Louise Canter, Susan Mospens, Casey Ruschman (Duke Energy), Julie Roesel Belton, Dan Humpert On Tuesday, May 15, Duke Energy gave a big boost to this anxiously awaited project. Duke Energy presented the Kenton County Public Library Board of Trustees with a $10,000 grant that will go towards materials and equipment for the new makerspace. Republic Bank was the first sponsor of the makerspace with a donation of $5,000. Schultz Marketing and Communications and The Lawrence Firm, PSC, have also contributed. Many ask “what is a makerspace?” By definition, it is a place in which people with shared interests, especially in computing or technology, can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge. The Library provides the space, equipment and materials, and visitors are the makers. The Library’s Executive Director Dave Schroeder explains why this space is so important. “As we look toward the future, we realize there is great need for a stronger focus to provide STEM and STEAM related activities. STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. However we at the Library have realized that while STEM and STEAM are wonderful movements, there is one critical component being left out – reading.” Schroeder goes on to explain, “Without having a strong [...]
The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later. Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah’s credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name. Everyone in this rural Pennsylvanian town has something to hide—including Leah herself. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own? Miss You by Kate Eberlen “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Tess can’t get the motto from her mother’s kitchen knick-knack out of her head, even though she’s in Florence on an idyllic vacation before starting university in London. Gus is also visiting Florence, on a holiday with his parents seven months after tragedy shattered their lives. Headed to medical [...]
The Gargoyle Hunters by John Freeman Gill In 1974, with both his family and his city fracturing, thirteen-year-old Griffin Watts is recruited into his estranged father's illicit and dangerous architectural salvage business. Small and nimible, Griffin is charged with stealing exuberantly expressive 19th-century architectural sculptures-- gargoyles--right off the faces of unsung tenements and iconic skyscrapers all over town. As his father explains it, these gargoyles, carved and cast by immigrant craftsmen during the city's architectural glory days, are an endangered species, hundreds of them consigned each month to the landfill in an era of sweeping urban renewal. Desperate both to forge a connection with his father and to generate income from gargoyle sales so that his father can make the mortgage payments on the brownstone where Griffin lives with his mother and sister, he is slow to recognize that his father's deepening obsession with preserving the architectural treasures of Beaux Arts New York is also a destructive force, imperiling Griffin's friendships, his relationship with his very first girlfriend, and even his life. As his father grows increasingly possessive of Griffin's mother as well as of the lost city, Griffin must learn how to build himself into the person he wants to become and discover which parts of his life can be salvaged-- and which must be let go. Maybe loss, he reflects, is the only thing no one can ever take away from you. The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel Lane Roanoke is fifteen when she goes to live with her maternal grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, at the Roanoke family estate in rural Osage Flats, Kansas, following the suicide of her mother. Lane knows little of her mother’s family, other than the fact [...]
Universal Harvester by John Darnielle Jeremy works at the counter of Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa. It’s a small town—the first “a” in the name is pronounced ay—smack in the center of the state. This is the late 1990s, pre-DVD, and the Hollywood Video in Ames poses an existential threat to Video Hut. But there are regular customers, a predictable rush in the late afternoon. It’s good enough for Jeremy: It’s a job; it’s quiet and regular; he gets to watch movies; he likes the owner, Sarah Jane; it gets him out of the house, where he and his dad try to avoid missing Mom, who died six years ago in a car wreck. But when Stephanie Parsons, a local schoolteacher, comes in to return her copy of Targets, starring Boris Karloff—an old movie, one Jeremy himself had ordered for the store—she has an odd complaint: “There’s something on it,” she says, but doesn’t elaborate. Two days later, Lindsey Redinius brings back She’s All That, a new release, and complains that there’s something wrong with it: “There’s another movie on this tape.” So Jeremy takes a look. And indeed, in the middle of the movie the screen blinks dark for a moment and She’s All That is replaced by a black-and-white scene, shot in a barn, with only the faint sounds of someone breathing. Four minutes later, She’s All That is back. But there is something profoundly disturbing about that scene; Jeremy’s compelled to watch it three or four times. The scenes recorded onto Targets are similar, undoubtedly created by the same hand. Creepy. And the barn looks a lot like a barn just outside of town. Jeremy doesn’t want to be curious. In truth, [...]
I have one child in middle school and one in high school. I am lucky that they both have a natural love of reading. My son will find a series he loves and read every single book (Conspiracy 365 being the most recent). Once he’s finished, he’ll look for other books written by that author. My daughter mostly chooses her books based on her friends’ recommendations but once in a while she’ll still ask Ms. Amy at the Covington Branch what she should read next. I always loved sharing children’s books with my kids but now that they are older, I really enjoy sharing some of my favorite adult and YA books with them. We are also able to discover new books together. Continue Reading the Post...