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What I Read Banner

Every reader faces the challenge of trying to find that next great book. The staff at KHCPL are more than happy to help you find your next read. Here are some resources to help you!



BookPage is a monthly book magazine KHCPL subscribes to for you! You can pick up a free print copy at any library location or you can click the image below to read it online.


Booklist Reader:

Booklist Reader is Booklist’s new library patron–facing magazine, featuring diverse readers' advisory recommendations, in print and on audio, for readers of all ages.



LibraryReads is the monthly nationwide library staff picks list for adult fiction and non-fiction. Our goal is to help connect readers to as many books as possible, while drawing upon the incredible power that public library staff has in helping to build word-of-mouth for new books, and the important role that libraries play in creating audiences for all kinds of authors.

Personalized Recommendations:

Did you know you can fill out a form to get personalized recommendations from our Readers' Advisory staff? Go to, click on the "We Recommend" tab and select "Personalized Recommendations." Once you fill out the form, our librarians will begin looking for books to recommend to you!



Novelist will help you find your next book! With an extensive database and a search engine that allows you to search by genres, themes, characters and much more, Novelist is a wonderful resource for finding your next book!


NextReads Newsletters:

Get monthly newsletters to your email inbox with NextReads! You choose which emails you want to receive and can get updates on the latest books coming out in your favorite genres!

NextReads newsletter title from khcpl We Recommend page

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Ask our Staff!

We are always happy to help you. Please feel free to ask us what we are reading or what we would recommend!



Inheritance Games Book CoverTitle: The Inheritance Games

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Series: Inheritance Games series; 1 (Book two, The Hawthorne Legacy is due out September 2021)

Description: Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why -- or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man's touch -- and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.*

Genre: Mystery, Young Adult*

Call #: YA FIC Barnes, J 2020

Formats: Book, Overdrive eBook, Overdrive Audiobook


Staff Review:

This week I finished The Inheritance Games, and let me tell you… I was BLOWN AWAY. Not only did this gem incorporate mystery, but it gives you clues to channel your inner detective from cover to cover!  There is also a sprinkle of a love triangle for all of my romance fans out there!

Avery Kiley Grambs is an ordinary girl who is struggling to make ends meet. She is living in her car when she gets news that is going to change her life forever. Avery has been included in the will of billionaire Tobias Hawthorne. But why? Avery has never even met this man in her entire life. She is sent to Hawthorne House to learn how to go from rags to riches and deal with the four Hawthorne grandsons. And they are definitely not eyesores. Will Avery discover her role in the Hawthorne inheritance? Or is this all just a game?

When I say this book had one of the most iconic, phenomenal endings…I am NOT lying! I never saw this one coming. The way Jennifer Lynn Barnes dropped this crazy bomb at the end was one of the most mind-blowing plot twists I have ever read!!

5 stars   This book was a solid 20/10 for me, and I hope you all will love it as much as I did!

You can check out this book at any of our branches and in ebook/audiobook form on Overdrive/Libby!



Samantha is co-host of KHCPL's podcast Off the Books with B&S. You can tune into their podcast on SoundCloud.



*Genre and description information from Novelist. Use Novelist to find your next book!

Novelist button

crave book coverTitle: Crave

Author: Tracy Wolff

Series: Crave series; 1

Description: Grace's world changed when she joined the academy. At the academy she is a mere mortal among gods...or monsters. She can't decide which faction she should join, or it she should join any of them. The one thing that unites them is their hatred of her. Then there's Jaxon Vega, a vampire with deadly secrets who hasn't felt anything for a hundred years. Jaxon has walled himself off for a reason. Does someone want to wake the sleeping monster in him? Is Grace the bait?*

Genre: Paranormal romances, Young Adult*

Call #: YA FIC Wolff, T 100.1 2020

Formats: Book, Overdrive eBook, Overdrive Audiobook, Hoopla Audiobook

Staff Review:

Fans of Twilight and all things vampire/supernatural….LISTEN UP!!!! I picked up Crave by Tracy Wolff the other day and was skeptical on whether to read it or not. The book cover was a little too Twilight for me, and I thought it may be pretty much the same plot line. But listen here folks… BOY. WAS. I. WRONG.

After the passing of her parents, Grace is sent to Katmere Academy….but not everything is as it seems with the students here at Katmere. She meets Jaxon Vega…mysterious, sexy, and all around bad boy who is hiding something that Grace cannot quite put her finger on. Can Grace uncover Jaxon’s secrets and discover the real reason she was sent away to Katmere?

Ladies and gents…This book had it all!! The romance was not overbearing, but just enough to make you want to hear more. This book is an excellent escape for all lovers of action and romance…and maybe a few plot twists to keep the story going.

4 star raiting   This book was definitely a 4.9/5.0 for me!


Samantha is co-host of KHCPL's podcast Off the Books with B&S. You can tune into their podcast on SoundCloud.

*Genre and description information from Novelist. Use Novelist to find your next book!

Novelist button


Title: The Fountains of Silence

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Call #: YA FIC Sepetys, R 2019

Formats: Book, Large Print, Playaway, Overdrive eBook, Overdrive Audiobook

Book Cover for Fountains of Silence

I talk about Ruta Sepetys's books a lot; according to my co-worker Samantha, too much. With that said, I am definitely going to be talking about her more if she keeps dropping these pieces of art! If you have never read any of Sepetys's books and you love historical fiction then, what are you waiting for? Sepetys intertwines history and the lives that it influences into a beautiful tapestry that the reader sees, feels, and experiences. Sepetys's books are also great starters for people who are interested in this specific genre.

The Fountains of Silence is my favorite of her books because of the way that Sepetys chooses to tie in history with her narrative. She accomplishes this by strategically placing something I call "plaques" within the books chapters. These plaques are taken from actual historical articles about the place and time period that she is writing about thus making her words and the characters more real and believable. As the story comes alive, the reader immediately feels a sense of nostalgia and longing for the people and places, you see. When the author is able to make you feel everything that is happening to the character as if it is happening to you, I say that is a mark of an amazing writer.

Pick up this book and jump in feet first. Do not hesitate to pick this beautiful and tragic love story about a world that is so much different from our own and yet, sweetly the same.

4 star raiting   I give this book 4.8 out of 5 stars.

You can find this book at your local branch or through Overdrive/Libby.



Bethann is co-host of KHCPL's podcast Off the Books with B&S. You can tune into their podcast on SoundCloud.


KHCPL 2021 Read or Dare Challenge

Read or Dare Challenge Logo


You may notice that this year we are having a KHCPL Read or Dare Challenge and some of you may be wondering what we mean by Dare. Well, KHCPL is challenging our staff to be more proactive about readers advisory. For those unfamiliar with the term readers advisory, it simply means helping our readers find materials they want to read in our library. This includes displays, social media posts, podcasts, book videoes, book marks, bibliographies, and many other ways of making our materials and books discoverable to our patrons. To get our staff thinking more about Readers Advisory, we offered to let them have freebies on some of our more challenging book categories by participating in a Dare to actively promote our book collections. So this year, they can read or step up their game by participating in a Dare. We invite our patrons to participating in our reading challenge, you can print a copy of the challenge by clicking one of the images below, or you can track your challenge in Beanstack online or with the app. If you have ideas for our Dares, you are welcome to send them to our Readers' Advisory Librarian, Melissa at


Book Challenge Image Link               Image Link to Read or Dare Challenge with Book List and Dares

NextRead Newsletters

If you need books for your 2021 Reading Challenge, try signing up for our NextRead Newsletters! Receive updates on books coming out in your favorite genres as well as other titles you might have missed. You control which newsletters you receive. Most NextReads Newsletters only come out monthly, though the New York Times Bestsellers are updated weekly.

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January 2021 Books on Our Radar

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

For fans of Sorry to Bother You and The Wolf of Wall Street—a crackling, satirical debut novel about a young man given a shot at stardom as the lone Black salesman at a mysterious, cult-like, and wildly successful startup where nothing is as it seems.

There’s nothing like a Black salesman on a mission.

An unambitious twenty-two-year-old, Darren lives in a Bed-Stuy brownstone with his mother, who wants nothing more than to see him live up to his potential as the valedictorian of Bronx Science. But Darren is content working at Starbucks in the lobby of a Midtown office building, hanging out with his girlfriend, Soraya, and eating his mother’s home-cooked meals. All that changes when a chance encounter with Rhett Daniels, the silver-tongued CEO of Sumwun, NYC’s hottest tech startup, results in an exclusive invitation for Darren to join an elite sales team on the thirty-sixth floor.

After enduring a “hell week” of training, Darren, the only Black person in the company, reimagines himself as “Buck,” a ruthless salesman unrecognizable to his friends and family. But when things turn tragic at home and Buck feels he’s hit rock bottom, he begins to hatch a plan to help young people of color infiltrate America’s sales force, setting off a chain of events that forever changes the game.

Black Buck is a hilarious, razor-sharp skewering of America’s workforce; it is a propulsive, crackling debut that explores ambition and race, and makes way for a necessary new vision of the American dream. (From Publisher)

Book Cover Black Buck


The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

In December 1926, Agatha Christie goes missing. Investigators find her empty car on the edge of a deep, gloomy pond, the only clues some tire tracks nearby and a fur coat left in the car--strange for a frigid night.

Her husband and daughter have no knowledge of her whereabouts, and England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt to find the up-and-coming mystery author. Eleven days later, she reappears, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming amnesia and providing no explanations for her time away. 

The puzzle of those missing eleven days has persisted. With her trademark exploration into the shadows of history, acclaimed author Marie Benedict brings us into the world of Agatha Christie, imagining why such a brilliant woman would find herself at the center of such a murky story. 

What is real, and what is mystery? What role did her unfaithful husband play, and what was he not telling investigators? 

A master storyteller whose clever mind may never be matched, Agatha Christie’s untold history offers perhaps her greatest mystery of all. (From Publisher)

Book Cover Mystery of Mrs Christie


Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

Jane the Virgin meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this charming debut romantic comedy filled with Black Girl Magic. Perfect for fans of Mary H. K. Choi and Nicola Yoon, with crossover appeal for readers of Jasmine Guillory and Talia Hibbert romances.

Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. She’s rarely seen herself reflected in the pages of the romance novels she loves. The only place she’s a true leading lady is in her own writing—in the swoony love stories she shares only with Caroline, her best friend and #1 devoted reader.

When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she’s excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just...gone. Fortunately, Caroline has a solution: Tessa just needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own. And she’s ready with a list of romance novel-inspired steps to a happily ever after. Nico, the brooding artist who looks like he walked out of one of Tessa’s stories, is cast as the perfect Prince Charming.

But as Tessa checks each item off Caroline’s list, she gets further and further away from herself. She risks losing everything she cares about—including the surprising bond she develops with sweet Sam, who lives across the street. She’s well on her way to having her own real-life love story, but is it the one she wants, after all? (From Publisher)

Book Cover Happily Ever Afters


January Book Page Now Available

The January issue of Book Page is now available. Read it by clicking on image below, or stop by any library location to pick up your copy. The January issue features their 2021 Preview, personal favorites of the Book Page editors, Q&A with the husband and wife writing team that publishes under the name Ellery Lloyd, and much more.

You can also get emails from Book Page by signing up for their newsletter.


 Image of January 2021 Book Page Issue


Most of us think of February as the romantic month, but August actually holds the official title of Romance Awareness Month.

Do you feel like you don’t know much about the romance genre? Here’s some information from the Romance Writers of America to help:

•    Romance novels have two basic elements; they feature a central romance and have a HEA (Happily Ever After).
•    Click here to read more about the Romance genre from Romance Writers of America.
•    Can include other sub genres, mystery, thriller, adventure, history, etc…

Romance recommendation:

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Cover image of the book The Kiss Quotient by Helen HoangWhy I chose this book:
This is a book I didn’t expect to like. I am not a big romance fan myself, I actually prefer mysteries, but this book was getting a lot of hype and I was curious what it was all about. When I started reading it, I discovered I really liked what the author was doing with this novel. Her characters are realistically portrayed and her writing draws you into their lives. The author is quite remarkable. In 2016, while she was writing The Kiss Quotient, she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder ( and some of her experiences with Asperger's syndrome can be seen in her main character Stella. In an interview with NBC News Hoang states, “When it comes to media, not only is accurate representation needed, but also positive representation so that they know it’s not bad to be different.” Her romance focuses on bridging gaps, promoting acceptance and helping the reader understand what makes her main characters remarkable and unique. The main character of The Kiss Quotient, Stella, has Asperger’s Syndrome. Stella has difficulty relating to people and understanding interpersonal relationships in the same way other people do. Despite her difficulties, she is a brilliant, and most importantly, feeling character struggling to understand relationships, a subject even those without Asperger's Syndrome often struggle to understand.

Description (From the author’s website):

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

As Michael and Stella’s no-nonsense partnership takes them out of the bedroom and into a fulltime practice relationship, being together starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

Romance Heat Index (see image below):


This book registers as VERY SPICY on our Romance Genre Heat Index. Get your fans out…you will need them. It won't be for everyone, but those who don't mind the heat will enjoy this book.


KHCPL Heat Index bookmark image. Text of bookmark: Romance Genre Heat Index Sweet & Chaste  Sensuality: Kissing and Allusion (“closed” door) One Partner Emotional Focus Commitment: Marriage Authors:  Kristan Higgins Debbie Macomber Betty Neels Pamela Morsi Deborah White Smith LaVryle Spencer Lisa Wingate  Warm  Sensuality: Mild Description and Euphemism, 1 to 2 scenes (“open” or “closed” door) One Partner Emotion Focus Commitment: Engagement or Marriage Authors:  Judith Arnold Mary Balogh Gail Carriger Dakota Cassidy Jennifer Crusie Edith Layton Nora Roberts Susan Wiggs Rebecca York  Hot  Sensuality: Detailed Description, Multiple scenes (“open” door) One Partner Equal Emotional and Physical Focus Commitment: Monogamous Authors:  Leanne Banks Diana Gabaldon Linda Howard Sherrilyn Kenyon Lisa Kleypas Linda Lael Miller Karen Marie Moning J.D. Robb Nora Roberts  Spicy  Sensuality: Graphic Description, Multiple scenes  Multiple partners and/or light novelty Physical Focus  Commitment: Possible Authors:  Jacqueline Carey Christine Feehan Lori Forster Laurell K. Hamilton Lora Leigh Lynsay Sands Gena Showalter J.R. Ward   Explicit  Sensuality: Intensely Graphic Description  Multiple partners, alternate lifestyles, and/or fetish Physical Focus Commitment: None Authors:  Wahida Clark Olivia Cunning Laurell K. Hamilton Emma Holly E.L. James Alison Kent Angela Knight Madeline Sheehan Nikki Turner Joanna Wylde

fall foods photo 

With cold weather and winter holidays approaching, our food needs turn from something cool, crisp, and refreshing to meals that are warm, cozy, and comforting, filled with memories and traditions.

The Cozy Apron logo

Stop by The Cozy Apron for some easy and delicious recipes. There is everything from Oktoberfest potato stacks complete with sausage and beer to wonderful soups, including chili cheesesteak stew, rigatoni meatball soup, and chicken tortilla soup.

The Cozy Cook logo

The Cozy Cook is another website that offers simple and delicious recipes for busy cooks. It contains ciabatta bread for dipping, copycat Texas Roadhouse rolls, and numerous Instant Pot recipes such as homemade Hamburger Helper, mashed potatoes, and broccoli cheddar soup. If you still love your crockpot, there are plenty of slow cooker recipes, including Mississippi pot roast and macaroni and cheese.

KHCPL is rich in cooking magazines from old favorites like Good Housekeeping and Woman’s Day to modern classics like Cook’s Illustrated, Bon Appétit, and Food and Wine. Special dietary concerns don’t need to keep you from enjoying fall treats. Checkout Weight Watchers Magazine, Veg News, Clean Eating, Gluten-Free Living, Diabetic Living, and MaryJanesFarm, which features the article “The Secret to Perfect Pumpkin Pie” in the October/November issue.

slow cooker photo

For this busy time of year, be sure to make use of time-saving kitchen appliances! Pick up a slow cooker cookbook such as Fix-it and Forget-it Lazy and Slow Cookbook: 365 Days of Slow Cooker Recipes by Hope Comerford or Taste of Home Slow Cooker Throughout the Year: 495 Family Favorite Recipes: Simmering for Every Season!

instant pot photo

Instant Pots are really popular, and KHCPL has the cookbooks! Try How to Instant Pot Book: Mastering All the Functions of the One Pot That Will Change the Way You Cook by Daniel Shumski or The Instant Pot Bible: More Than 350 Recipes and Strategies: The Only Book You Need for Every Model of Instant Pot by Bruce Weinstein.

For cookbooks that are seasonal, try Purely Pumpkin: More Than 100 Wholesome Recipes to Share, Savor, and Warm Your Kitchen by Allison Day or Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes by Andrea Reusing.

book cover

Sometimes cooking connects to our lives in deep ways. My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Changed My Life by Ruth Reichl follows Ruth as she heals through the simple pleasures of cooking after the abrupt closing of Gourmet Magazine. Each dish Reichl prepares for herself -- and for her family and friends -- represents her lifelong passion for food.

book cover

Food is also a profound reflection of a person's life. One of our top Howard County Reads titles for 2018 is What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories by Laura Shapiro, which is not a cookbook but a fascinating study of food in the lives of six prominent women.

Enjoy the season with food that makes you happy!


All Hallows Read Banner


All Hallows’ Read is the brainchild of author Neil Gaiman. In 2010 he had the sudden inspiration to start a new holiday tradition that involved giving books. The next major holiday was Halloween, and All Hallows’ Read was born. The idea behind All Hallows’ Read is to encourage people to “give someone a scary book for Halloween.” Old books, new books, secondhand books, hardcovers, paperbacks, eBooks, audiobooks, they are all fair game. Gather together and share a book with family or friends, or gift a total stranger as a random act of kindness. Rather than a sugary treat, All Hallows’ Read gives someone an experience by connecting that person with a story.

scary book

While booksellers were quick to embrace the book giving aspect of All Hallows’ Read, libraries quickly embraced the reading aspect. During the month of October, librarians encourage patrons to read a scary book to celebrate Halloween, making All Hallows’ Read a celebration of reading as well as of books.

scary book

The horror genre isn’t all blood and guts and homicidal clowns. If you don’t want a book that will keep you up all night, there are plenty of other options. Give something with spooky atmosphere a try. Check out a book with a post-apocalyptic setting. Pick up a thriller from the mystery section. Find a book with a supernatural element or, better yet, explore folklore about “real life” hauntings. If none of these appeal to you, try something seasonal. And if you’re still unwilling to dip your toes into the horror genre, then simply read a book this Halloween.


Gothic Literature Title

As nights grow longer and darker, chilly winds begin to blow, bringing us darker thoughts and thrills, Halloween, corn mazes, and spooky fiction! KHCPL has the books of the season! Gothic fiction is as old as Walpole’s 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto and as fresh as The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, which is now showing as a PBS series. The genre gets its name from the style of architecture seen in old castles, cathedrals, and spooky mansions that appear in the narratives. To learn more about the characteristics of Gothic literature, check out The Guardian's pictorial article "How to Tell You're Reading a Gothic Novel."

Gothic Book Illustration 

Try curling up in front of the fireplace with some classic short stories from well-known authors:

 Gothic Book Illustration

These classic favorites are worth reading and re-reading, combining romance with spooky chills:

 Gothic Book Illustration

Great Gothic tales are still being written. Here are some more recent titles:

Gothic Book Illustration

These newer titles continue Dracula's vampire tradition:

Gothic Book Illustration

Wrap it all up with The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. This tale of 17th century Amsterdam involves young Petronella who arrives in the city to fulfill an arranged marriage that turns out to be different than she had imagined. She is gifted with a large cabinet representing her new home, filled with miniature people and furniture representing the mysterious household where she now resides. Enjoy the intriguing book, borrow the DVD, or enjoy watching it on PBS.




August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Within the month of August, the first week is World Breastfeeding Week, and the last week is Black Breastfeeding Week. The goal of these observances is not only to inform and empower women in their childbearing years but to highlight the critical importance of community support for breastfeeding success.




Part of the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) 2018 campaign’s call to action is to spread awareness that everyone can help make breastfeeding easier, and KHCPL has resources for new mothers and mothers-to-be as well as their partners, relatives, and friends. There are over a dozen books in the library's collection on the topic of breastfeeding as well as a DVD. These materials offer information, guidance, and troubleshooting assistance.


book covers

For additional support, Howard Community Hospital offers a breastfeeding drop-in center on Friday mornings as a free community service.


breastfeeding logo





car with headphones

One of the grand traditions of summer is the family vacation. The mere thought of a family road trip often conjures memories of endless hours of boredom punctuated by sibling squabbles in the back of a minivan, especially for people born in the era before walkmans, iPads, and vehicles with built-in DVD players.

To combat the tedium of long car trips, consider taking an audiobook along this summer! They are available on CD and mp3 discs that can be played on a car’s stereo and in digital formats that can be broadcast via Bluetooth from a personal mobile device. For long drives, select a books in a series, and for short drives, pick a stand-alone book.

Below are some suggestions for a variety of age ranges:


Family Friendly

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery

Fudge series by Judy Blume


Younger Children

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel

Brown Bear & Friends by Bill Martin, Jr.

Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm


Preteens & Teens

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Time Quintet series by Madeleine L'Engle

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


18 & Over

The Outsider by Stephen King

Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

The Martian by Andy Weir


car with books



blues neon sign

Blues music is most commonly known for its subject matter – melancholy songs about love, loss, and injustice. But the genre actually began as a specific pattern of chord progressions that evolved from a uniquely American, Afro-Anglo musical blend. The twelve-bar blues remains the most famous as well as the most common form of blues music.

The history of the blues is hotly debated among musical historians and fans alike. Many books attempt to clarify the murky origin of this musical genre and trace its evolution from the Mississippi Delta to Texas, then Chicago, and finally across the entire globe. Check out these books from KHCPL’s collection to learn more.

book cover

 book cover

Others like to frame blues history around one of its most legendary musicians. Here are some of the many blues biographies:

But there is no need to understand its rich and complex history to appreciate blues music. All one needs to do is listen.

One of the best resources for blues music, especially for digitally remastered recordings of early blues musicians, is Freegal. Freegal is a free music service that can be accessed with your library card. KHCPL patrons can download 5 songs in mp3 file format per week and stream 5 hours of music per day.

Lead Belly photo

Early Blues Musicians on Freegal include:

  • Lead Belly
  • Willie Brown
  • Son House
  • Skip James
  • Blind Lemon Jefferson
  • Robert Johnson
  • Tommy Johnson
  • Charley Patton
  • Bukka White

Bessie Smith photo

Influential Blues Musicians on Freegal include:

  • B.B. King – “The King of Blues”
  • Bessie Smith – “The Empress of Blues”
  • Big Bill Broonzy – brought blues north to Chicago
  • Elmore James – “The King of Slide Guitar”
  • Howlin' Wolf – Chicago Blues pioneer
  • John Lee Hooker – electric Delta Blues pioneer
  • Lead Belly – “The King of the 12-String Guitar”
  • Lonnie Johnson – first jazz guitarist
  • Ma Rainey -- “The Mother of the Blues”
  • Muddy Waters -- "Father of Modern Chicago Blues"
  • T-Bone Walker – first blues musician to use an electric guitar
  • Tampa Red – “The Guitar Wizard”

Blind Willie Johnson photo

Visually Impaired Blues Musicians on Freegal include:

  • Blind Gary Davis
  • Blind Lemon Jefferson
  • Blind Willie Johnson
  • Blind Willie McTell

Kokomo Arnold photo

Freegal even has music by Kokomo Arnold. Although he is not a native son, he takes his name from the city of Kokomo. This blues artist received the nickname Kokomo in 1934 after he released a cover version of "Old Original Kokomo Blues" by Scrapper Blackwell, which is a blues song about Kokomo, Indiana.

Blues Hall Photo

If you’re interested in a mix of music and styles, Freegal also has blues compilation albums. These include:

  • “100 Early Blues Recordings"
  • “American Epic: The Best of Blues”
  • “The Delta Blues Collection”
  • “Early Morning Blues”
  • “Rarest Blues Songs”
  • “Robert Johnson and Heroes of the Delta Blues”

guitar photo

Because almost every genre of popular music today has its roots in blues music, the blues are worth taking a listen to. Just plug in a set of headphones and cue up a track that strikes your fancy. There’s never a better time to play the blues.


Monstrumologist Series Book Covers

Since we skipped spring and went straight into the beautiful whims of summertime, we must talk about those must-read, head over heels, shoot for the stars, lay in the starlight, feel the firelight, have to read kind of books! Summer is here, and that means it is time for an ultimate adventure. You know, the one you have been waiting on all winter long while the night came early and the cold bit at your face?! These are those precious moments of fresh air and vitamin D that you need to escape from the drone of everyday! So, let’s talk EPICS and ADVENTURES; let’s tell stories by the fire while we chase fairies in our dreams and capture trolls! Now is the time to seize those precious moments to treat yourself to a mesmerizing read!

monstrumologist definition

My current personal obsession comes in the form of a Monstrumologist -- a scientist devoted to studying the stuff nightmares are scared of, monsters that know the hunger of blood and yet are never satiated. This story follows after the adventures of Dr. Pellinore Warthrop and the indispensable services of a young William Henry while outlining their quests in early America to catch and document beasts that exist in legends.

He knew the truth. Yes, my dear child, he would undoubtedly tell a terrified toddler tremulously seeking succor, monsters are real. I happen to have one hanging in my basement.”Rick Yancey, The Monstrumologist

Monstrumologist artwork

This dynamic pair will leave you wondering as you share in their sadness and experience their “peculiar” relationship as colleagues. Throughout this story, as a reader, I have come to know love unattainable and fears unimaginable! Filled with blood lust, gruesome murders, and the wisp of desire, this series will surely push you on through firelight unto dawn! Allow me to tantalize you with an excerpt from The Monstrumologist, which is Book 1 in the Monstrumologist series:

“Perhaps that is our doom, our human curse, to never really know one another. We erect edifices in our minds about the flimsy framework of word and deed, mere totems of the true person, who, like the gods to whom the temples were built, remains hidden. We understand our own construct; we know our own theory; we love our own fabrication. Still . . . does the artifice of our affection make our love any less real?”Rick Yancey, The Monstrumologist

Monstrumologist artwork

Whether it be in romance or in fantasy that you find your mind’s summer quest, our hope is that you throw yourself headlong into a story and lose yourself there for adventure’s sake! Be it a good book or a handful of short stories, we encourage you to explore the depths of the real or unreal while the days linger long and warm. For the Monstrumologist and I, we have a date to the depths of despair and back! Good reading, good hunting, and great imagining!

If you would like to check out the Monstrumologist series by Rick Yancey along with me, KHCPL has copies both in print and on audio. Rick Yancey is also the author of many other books, including The Fifth Wave, so be sure to checkout his other works.                                                                                                                Monstrumologist Artwork


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January is probably the least exciting month of the year. Let’s be honest, the holiday season is over, and it’s so cold that leaving the house seems like a chore. But KHCPL has just the ticket to beat those winter blues.

On Tuesday, January 23 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., KHCPL will host Tin Man Brewing and comedian Chris Bowers downtown at KHCPL Main for our first Guys on Tap. (Don’t let the name fool you, anyone 21+ can attend.) Bowers is a regular guest host on the nationally syndicated radio program “The Bob & Tom Show.” He’s the host of “Trial by Laughter” on Comcast, and he’s appeared on Fox’s standup comedy show “Laughs.” I would tell you all about Tin Man Brewing, but if you haven’t been there yet, you just need to visit the old downtown train depot and discover one of Kokomo’s best places for beer. It’s worth it, trust me.

While you’re waiting for Guys on Tap, here are some movies and books to get you ready.


Stand-Up Comedy DVDs

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Billy Crystal — 700 Sundays
Spanning several decades beginning in the 1950s, Crystal reminisces about what it was like growing up in a loving Jewish family in Long Beach, LI. He recalls the numerous eclectic relatives who inspired him, the huge influence of jazz on his family, his passion for the New York Yankees, and much more.

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Brian Regan — Standing Up
Straight off a coast-to-coast tour and into your living room, this concert film captures comedian Brian Regan at his best. Butterflies, show horses and greeting cards are no match when this master of standup grabs the microphone.

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Jim Gaffigan — Obsessed
Jim Gaffigan is back with a brand new hour long comedy special. He uses a clever, quiet, and infectious style as he talks about everyday scenarios to which people can relate. As one of the top comedians out today, he continues to raise the bar with new material and, of course, some bacon.


Books about Beer

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Bar None by Tim Lebbon
Six months after a plague wipes out most of the world's population, several survivors follow the advice of a mysterious stranger and leave their mansion hideout to seek Bar None, the last bar on Earth.

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The Complete Beer Course by Joshua Bernstein
Go on a fun, flavorful tour through the world of craft beers. Bernstein demystifies beer and teaches you how to choose from and how to enjoy the vast array of singular brews available today.

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Indiana One Pint at a Time: A Traveler’s Guide to Indiana Breweries by Douglas Wissing
Explore the history and living artisan culture of the Hoosier state's long vibrant brewing tradition.


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Book people love books. They love how they look. They love how they feel. And they love the stories they contain. Few bibliophiles can resist the charms of a book reflecting the reader’s own deep love of books.

Books about books are myriad. There are stories in which books play a crucial role, and there are books that discuss the impact of books and reading on people’s everyday lives. The characters in some books are readers, and there are some books in which a character reads a particular book. Sometimes a story is set in a library or bookstore, and sometimes a character visits a bookstore or library.

The following are all books that share the love of books:


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The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended.  Unwilling to return home without getting to know firsthand the people and places Amy described in her correspondence, Sara decides to rescue one of the town's many abandoned storefronts and open a shop using Amy's eclectic trove of books.


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The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Simon Watson, a young librarian on the verge of losing his job, receives a mysterious package from an antiquarian bookseller. It contains a mysterious volume that documents suicides by drowning dating back to the early nineteenth century, many of whom turn out to be Simon's female ancestors.


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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey--a club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island.


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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel -- a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.


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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

A. J. Fikry, the cantankerous owner of Island Books, is despondent after the death of his beloved wife and theft of his prized rare edition of Tamerlane. When he discovers an abandoned baby at his store, he undergoes a dramatic transformation.



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The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett

Journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett recounts the crimes of John Charles Gilkey -- an obsessed, unrepentant book thief who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of rare books from book fairs, stores, and libraries around the country -- and of Ken Sanders, the a book collector and self-appointed book detective, who finally caught him.


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Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Literature professor Azar Nafisi recounts how in the Islamic Republic of Iran, she and seven of her female students secretly gathered for two years every Thursday morning to read forbidden Western classics.


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When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning

This book chronicles the joint effort of the U.S. government, the publishing industry, and the nation's librarians to boost troop morale during World War II by shipping more than one hundred million books to the front lines for soldiers to read during what little downtime they had.


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Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose

A consummate novelist and critic as well as a seasoned teacher approaches the art of writing through the art of reading.


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84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

What started as a request for an out-of-print book evolved into a 20-year friendship between Helene Hanff, a freelance writer living in New York, and Frank Doel, a used-book dealer in London.


Christmas Stress

Many people suffer from a seasonal “disease” at this time of year called “Christmas overload.” I have trouble with this sickness each year trying to decorate every inch of my house. And if that isn’t enough, I help my daughter with her house as well as help decorate the library and my church, so it’s time to simplify!

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I searched KHCPL's online catalog to find books to simplify Christmas celebrations. I found the book Simply Christmas by Carol Field Dahlstrom. It turns out you really need to watch wording; the title says simply not simple. It is loaded with Christmas decorations, foods, and crafts. With so much to choose, is it even possible to simplify…?

The library has so many Christmas books full of ideas and even recipes to make your season spectacular.

We Love to Craft Christmas by Annabel Wrigley

Have Yourself A Homemade Christmas

Handcrafted Christmas by Susan Waggoner

A Very Merry Paper Christmas

Make Me I'm Yours ... Christmas

Ultimate Christmas by Jane Newdick

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Better Homes and Garden always has some great ideas.

Best of Christmas Ideas by Better Homes and Gardens

Holiday Inspirations: Food, Decorating, Craft by Better Homes and Gardens

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These are awesome! They make me want to create! Oh, and I can’t forget Martha Stewart when it comes to creating. Classic Crafts and Recipes Inspired by the Songs of Christmas has crafts to go with Christmas Carols! I love Christmas Carols, so this would be great. I can even check out some Christmas CDs to listen to while I do some projects, stream music through Hoopla, or download songs from Freegal.

American Christmas by Alabama

Christmas by Michael Bublé

Christmas by Brad Paisley

Christmas by Frank Sinatra

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Mannheim Steamroller

White Christmas by Bing Crosby

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But back to simplifying. Midwest Living has some quick and easy holiday décor on their website. But there are so many ideas. What if I want to do them all?! This is beginning to remind me of a children’s Christmas book If You Take A Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff.

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If you love Christmas with all the trimmings and you love to craft it may be hard to have a simple Christmas. But the real joy of Christmas should be time spent with loved ones. Take baby steps, try to make decorating a family event, which means you can’t be particular about the placement of each ornament. Take the kids to a bakery or bake sale to pick out some goodies instead of baking for hours. Put up a few strands of lights around your entry rather than the whole house. Then stroll through Highland Park, the We Care Park, or the Seiberling to enjoy their lights. But whatever you do, if you really want to simplify, stay away from Pinterest! They have tons of ideas, and Christmas overload will start all over again!


Reading Without Walls Logo

Reading Without Walls is a national reading program celebrating diversity. Gene Luen Yang, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, developed this platform to encourage readers to explore books with characters who look, live, and think differently than they do. He expands the definition of diverse reading to include topics a reader hasn’t discovered and even formats a reader has not tried.

Reading Without Walls Criteria

The challenge is simple:

1. Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you.

2. Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about.

3. Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun. This can be a chapter book, a graphic novel, a book in verse, or an audiobook.

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Diversity comes in many facets. This challenge can cover many differences: ethnic, cultural, lifestyle, religious, and ideological as well as book formats and genres. It is important for readers to “read widely”.

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Books can open up the world around you. So challenge yourself and invite your friends to join in the adventure with you! Share your experience using the hashtags #readingwithoutwalls and #diversebooks.

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KHCPL can start you on your quest to find diverse books and materials. You can also go to Where To Find Diverse Books for more children and teen titles. Good Reads is another great resource to for lists of diverse books.

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Accept the challenge today! Let the adventures begin!!!

 Honoring Veterans Banner


During the Months of November, December, and January, KHCPL is honoring veterans with a variety of programs and exhibits.


War Photography

Stop by the South Branch to see Traveling Exhibit - One Shot: The World War II Photography of John A. Bushem. This exhibits is on loan from the Indiana Historical Society from November 1 to December 4. 

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For more information on War Photography and Photographers check out some of these books:


Women Who Wrote the War

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This illustrated historical biography celebrates the accomplishments of World War II's female war correspondents -- including Margaret Bourke-White, Martha Gellhorn, Elizabeth "Lee" Miller, and Janet Flanner -- who risked their lives in combat zones to provide firsthand reports on the events of the war.


It’s What I Do

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War photographer Lynsey Addario's memoir It's What I Do is the story of how the relentless pursuit of truth, in virtually every major theater of war in the twenty-first century, has shaped her life. What she does, with clarity, beauty, and candor, is to document, often in their most extreme moments, the complex lives of others. It's her work, but it's much more than that: it's her singular calling.


Inherited Risk: Errol and Sean Flynn in Hollywood and Vietnam

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A brilliant father-son biography of the scandalous life of movie star Errol Flynn and of his son's equally glamorous yet doomed career as a war photographer in Vietnam.

Vietnam War

You are invited to attend the program The Vietnam War: A film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick – Panel Discussion at the Main Library on November 9th from 6:30-8:00 pm. 

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Check out these library materials specifically related to the program:


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"The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick" (DVD)

In an immersive narrative, Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. Features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.

The Vietnam War: The Soundtrack (CD)

The Soundtrack includes many of the iconic songs representing the era, including 38 tracks chosen from the 120 tunes heard on the ten-part film series, "The Vietnam War."

The Vietnam War: An Intimate History (Book)

More than forty years after it ended, the Vietnam War continues to haunt our country. We still argue over why we were there, whether we could have won, and who was right and wrong in their response to the conflict. This volume draws on hundreds of interviews in America and Vietnam to give us the perspectives of people involved at all levels of the war: U.S. and Vietnamese soldiers and their families, high-level officials in America and Vietnam, antiwar protestors, POWs, and many more, seeking to understand why the war happened the way it did and to clarify its complicated legacy.

Happy Galentine's Day Card

February 13th is Galentine’s Day! What is Galentine’s Day you may ask? Only the best day of the year according to fictional Parks and Recreation character Leslie Knope. On the TV show, Leslie created a day about celebrating lady friends to demonstrate the importance of those friendships on the same level of romantic relationships. So on February 13, we celebrate and fuss over the wonderful lady friends in our lives.

Here are a few ways to get started on your celebration:

Give mighty compliments.

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One way to celebrate is by letting the women in our lives know they are amazing. You can tell them or send a Galentine’s day card. You can get those here.

Feed the ones you love.

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Waffles are synonymous with Galentine’s day, if you want to try your hand with waffle experimentation then check out this fun e-book

Give a gift.

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You don’t have to break the bank to give your friends a token of friendship. For a small price, you can do something as simple as handing out temporary tattoos to boldly display your friendship.

Host a party.

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Put together an evening at home just for the girls with these ideas or check out the library’s large selection of party planning books for more concepts.

Watch a movie together.

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The library has a ton of DVDs and Blu-rays to check out for entertainment.

What's Important on Galentine's Day


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All Hallows’ Read is the brainchild of author Neil Gaiman. In 2010 he had the sudden inspiration to start a new holiday tradition that involved giving books. The next major holiday was Halloween, and All Hallows’ Read was born. The idea behind All Hallows’ Read is to encourage people to “give someone a scary book for Halloween.” Old books, new books, secondhand books, hardcovers, paperbacks, eBooks, audiobooks, they are all fair game. Gather together and share a book with family or friends, or gift a total stranger as a random act of kindness. Rather than a sugary treat, All Hallows’ Read gives someone an experience by connecting that person with a story.

Witch Reading


While booksellers were quick to embrace the book giving aspect of All Hallows’ Read, libraries quickly embraced the reading aspect. During the month of October, librarians encourage patrons to read a scary to celebrate Halloween, making All Hallows’ Read a celebration of reading as well as of books. If you don’t enjoy horror or paranormal, try suspense. If that’s not to your taste, try something seasonal. And, if you don’t care for the theme, then simply read. Read a book this Halloween.  


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Scary Books

It by Stephen King


The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon


Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt


Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill


The Road by Cormac McCarthy


Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist


Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris


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Classic Horror Stories


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving


The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson


The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft by H. P. Lovecraft


Edgar Allan Poe: The Best of His Macabre Tales Complete and Unabridged


Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin


The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty


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Family Friendly Halloween Reads


The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury


It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! by Charles Schulz


The Scariest Book Ever by Bob Shea


Duck & Goose, Honk! Quack! Boo! by Tad Hills


Ollie's Halloween by Olivier Dunrea


Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes


The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree by Stan Berenstain