Asking a roomful of librarians “What’s your favorite book?” can cause a riot. It’s not an easy task to narrow a long list down to the top 15 and select one of those novels as the Howard County Reads book. But they did it. And the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library expects this year’s selection it to be one of the most popular.
“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens is the 2019 Howard County Reads Book.
“It’s a book a lot of people are talking about,” said Lisa Fipps, KHCPL director of marketing. “And we’re excited and privileged to be able to bring the author to Kokomo. It was hard to keep it a secret this long.”
The author visit will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, at Kresge Hall at Indiana University Kokomo.
In this intimate talk, Owens shares the inspiration behind her No. 1 New York Times best-selling novel, from her lifelong friendships to humanity’s evolutionary past. She dissects the storylines and deeper themes that run through her work, and provides insight into the writing process that helped her produce a novel the New York Times Book Review calls “painfully beautiful … at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature.”
For more information on this speaker, visit prhspeakers.com. Tickets will be free and available at all KHCPL locations starting Sept. 10.
“We fully expect to run out of tickets,” Fipps said. “So if you really want to hear Owens talk about the book and get her to autograph your copy, come to KHCPL to get your tickets as quickly as possible.”
Howard County Reads events
“A popular event that helps celebrate the Howard County Reads book is the annual interactive whodunit,” Fipps said. “This marks our fifth year for it. It’s back by popular demand. We sell out every year.”
Howard County Reads Murder Mystery Theatre: Where the Crawdads Die will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, at the Elite Banquet and Conference Center, 2820 S. Lafountain St. Murder lurks in the swamps of 1950s North Carolina. Come prepared for a good ol’ Southern dinner and lots of mayhem and murder as local celebrities pull off the whodunit of the year! Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets will be $25 each or $225 for a table of 10. They’ll be available at all KHCPL locations starting Sept. 1. Only 125 tickets available. For more information, call Trisha Shively at 457.3242.
“KHCPL will host a poet as well, thanks to the Indiana Humanities,” Fipps said. The program “This Road: A Poetic Search for Home” will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at KHCPL South. The Indiana Humanities Inseparable Initiative selected KHCPL as one of 24 state organizations to host a Hoosier scholar, poet Adam Henze. Teens and adults, join us when he shares poems about big cities, small towns, and the search for home on the roads between them.
Top 15 Howard County Reads
“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
“The Alchemist” by Paul Coelho
This adaptation is a modern classic, in graphic novel format, about the spiritual journey of a humble shepherd boy. What starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within.
“An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice” by Khizr Khan
Like millions of other American immigrants, Muslim American Gold Star father, Khizr Khan, is a patriot and a fierce advocate for the rights, dignities, and values enshrined in the American system.
“American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures” edited by America Ferrera
A vibrant and varied collection of first-person accounts from prominent figures about the experience of cultural diversity. Ranging from the heartfelt to the hilarious, their stories shine a light on the American experience.
“American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment” by Shane Bauer
Investigative journalist Bauer worked as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Louisiana for four months until his employment came to an abrupt end. He soon realized that we can’t understand the cruelty of our current system of mass incarceration without understanding where it came from.
“Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya
In 1940s New Mexico, a boy must come to terms with his own place in the world, his faith, and the people around him. Pulled between the worlds of his father, a man of the plains, and his mother, who wants him to be a priest, Antonio finds understanding with Ultima and her indigenous magic.
“Calypso” by David Sedaris
A collection of essays on approaching middle-age with humor and hope, Calypso stitches together the poignant and the satirical. Sedaris takes on a wide array of lighthearted topics as well as serious subjects, such as illness, addiction, and death. His wit shines no matter what he discusses. He paints a vivid portrait of his family, including his sister’s suicide and his mother’s alcoholism.
“The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah
Winter lives the high life as the daughter of a big-time drug lord, but life becomes a lot grittier when she has to make it on the street. Activist Souljah paints a realistic coming-of-age story of debauchery with a grave moral.
“Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover
Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Westover grew up so isolated from mainstream society that she received no education. She educated herself, well enough Brigham Young University admitted her. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, helping her to see life through new eyes and to spur the will to change it.
“Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be” by Rachel Hollis
The author presents a guide to becoming a joyous, confident woman by breaking the cycle of negativity and burnout to pursue a life of exuberance.
“The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara Batista lets her fists and fierceness do the talking, but pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a notebook. Mami is determined to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, so Xiomara keeps her thoughts to herself. Invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she has a chance to perform her poems.
“The Proposal” by Jasmine Guillory
At a Dodgers game, Nikole Paterson is blindsided by a scoreboard proposal. When she rejects the proposal, Dr. Carlos Ibarra is there to rescue her.
“Racing to the Finish: My Story” by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
When NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. retired from professional racing in 2017, he walked away from his career as a healthy man. But, for years, he had worried that the worsening effects of multiple racing-related concussions would end not only his time on the track but his ability to live a full and happy life.
“Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel” by Maria Semple
When her mother goes missing, 15-year-old Bee weaves together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past that Bernadette has been hiding for decades.
“Whichwood” by Tahereh Mafi
Thirteen-year-old Laylee has inherited the role of Whichwood’s only mordeshoor with magical skills to wash and package the dead destined for the Otherwhere, an unappreciated task, which is sapping her body and soul. Suddenly, well-meaning visitors arrive to try to help her.