Thursday, April 24th, 2014

What Madison County area librarians are reading

It’s that time of year when the Madison Messenger asks local librarians to share what they are reading and hope to read soon. It’s a different and fun way to present a recommended reading list.

Chris Sisco, director, Mount Sterling Public Library

I am reading “Just One Evil Act” by Elizabeth George. A 9-year-old British girl is kidnapped while living in Italy. Inspector Lynley and Detective Sargent Havers must try to put aside their personal feelings in order to find the girl. Their investigation leads them into a mystery much bigger than a simple kidnapping. Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley series is perfect for readers who like Colin Dexter, P.D. James, or Ruth Rendall.

Next, I would like to read Clive Cussler’s “Mirage.” It is the newest novel in his “The Oregon Files” series.

Mount Sterling Public Library is located at 60 W. Columbus St. and online at

Amanda Warner, youth services librarian, Plain City Public Library

I’m reading “Cartwheel” by Jennifer Dubois, the story of an American foreign exchange student arrested for the murder of her roommate. The student receives no sympathy from the public when she performs a perfect cartwheel during her interrogation. This novel is loosely inspired by the events surrounding the trial of Amanda Knox and has alternating points of view. “Cartwheel” is an interesting take on people’s perceptions of events, media coverage, and family dynamics.

I just finished reading “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell, a young adult novel that has already appeared on many “best of 2013” lists. “Fangirl” tells the story of Cath, a devoted fan fiction writer who is starting college and, for the first time, a life separate from her twin sister. This was a well-written coming-of-age story, and I enjoyed the fan fiction that was interspersed throughout the novel.

At the top of my to-read list are “Hostage Three” by Nick Lake and “We Are Water” by Wally Lamb.

Lake won the Printz award for excellence in young adult literature for “In Darkness” last year, and I’m excited to see how “Hostage Three” measures up. It is the story of a girl and her family who are taken hostage by pirates on her father’s yacht.

Lamb is one of my favorite authors, and I can’t wait to dive into his newest book. But, at nearly 600 pages and with his notoriously thought-provoking and controversial subject matter, I may just wait until after Christmas.

Plain City Public Library is located at 305 W. Main St. and online at

Cathy Allen, director, Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library

I am catching up on the “Rot and Ruin” series by Jonathan Maberry. Published in 2010, the last book in the series was published this year. It’s not your typical take on zombies, and it takes place after the apocalypse has already happened. Ben’s brother Tom is a bounty hunter in the great rot and ruin. His job is to bring closure to family members by “quieting” the undead with dignity and respect. After all, they used to be people.

I am also reading “Not a Drop to Drink” by Mindy McGinnis. With water on the planet all but gone, the lead character, Lynn, “makes sure that anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty or doesn’t leave at all.”   

Finally, “Grimm Conclusion” by Adam Gidwitz stays true to the original Grimm stories. They are dark and gruesome and funny! Gidwitz manages to tie more than one fairytale into one grand story.

Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library is located at 270 Lilly Chapel Road, West Jefferson, and online at

Mike Hensel, director, London Public Library

When I find a moment during this busy holiday season to sit down in front of a book, I find myself enjoying old and new titles across a variety of genres. 

I’m currently enjoying the science fiction title, “Starship Troopers” (1987) by Robert A. Heinlein. Many individuals may be more familiar with the movie that made it to the silver screen in 2007 and now has a cult following. 

On the other side of my list is the latest children’s release from James Patterson titled “Treasure Hunters” which I’m reading to my kids before tucking them in to bed. Both books are packed with lots of action even though they are worlds apart. 

“Starship Troopers” takes place in a futuristic setting where earth is in an interstellar war of survival against an arachnoid species. The storyline follows the life of soldier Johnnie Rico as he battles the invading species and moves up the military ranks. It also touches on deeper subject matter such as civic duties, personal rights, suffrage and codes of a soldier.  

Meanwhile “Treasure Hunters” follows the story of four siblings who have recently lost contact with their parents through a series of unfortunate events. With the absence of their parents, the foursome finds themselves in a treasure hunt on the high seas that will not only unlock unforetold fortunes but the mysteries surrounding the disappearances of both their parents.

Its high intrigue in space as well as under the sea. 

As for future reads on my list, I have “Broken Harbor” by Tana French which is an international mystery set in Dublin, Ireland, in modern times. The book is the next title for the library’s adult book club which any reader can participate in. I’ve had a wonderful time reading a variety of books in 2013, and I look forward to another great year of titles in 2014.

London Public Library is located at 20 E. First St. and online at

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