Girl in Disguise by Greer MacAllister is a novel about the first female Pinkerton agent, Kate Warne, whose real life is almost stranger than fiction. I first discovered Kate in a Netflix show called the Pinkerton’s. I did the proper library assistant thing and researched her. Not only was she the first female Pinkerton detective she also lead the women’s detective bureau part of the agency. Not much is known about her before she become a Pinkerton agent, leaving both historians and novelist alike to wonder who Kate Warne was.
Greer MacAllister breathes life into her own version of Kate’s history before she becomes a Pinkerton agent. The novel sucked me into the story and Kate’s world from the first chapter. It begins in 1856 and continues through the Civil War but ends soon after the Civil War. Greer gives her own spin to a few of Kate’s actual cases as a Pinkerton, including cases that may or may not have been real. One of the most nerve racking and nail biting parts of the book is her working to get Lincoln to Washington without him being killed before being sworn in as President. This is based on Kate’s most famous case as a Pinkerton.
It’s hard to put Girl in Disguise into a genre category even though the library had it classified as general fiction. To me it is a bit of biographical fiction and historical fiction with a bit of mystery thrown in. Fans of historical fiction, mystery, biographical fiction, detective fiction will enjoy this book. Kate Warne proves that sometimes life can be more mysterious than fiction.
Formats Available: Book, eBook
Reviewed by Carissa, Main Library
Tristan and Izzy have been in love since middle school. They have always known that there was an ending date stamped on their romance that loomed ahead of them. Since he was twelve, Tristan knew he and his parents were going to be part of a mission that will take them away from Earth forever as part of the small group of people who were going to colonize Mars.
Reality television has pulled out all the stops to capitalize on the teen’s romance, drawing on the legend of star-crossed lovers Tristian and Isolde. Tristian and Izzy’s romance has humanized the mission and touched the heart of millions in a way none of the other publicity has done. With all the world’s eyes on the Mars Project, they have become the darlings of reality television, much to their chagrin.
Tristian and Izzy only agreed because the money they would receive could give Izzy opportunities for college and a better life when Tristian was gone. As for Tristian, some of his share would be divided between the needs of the mission and a trust set up on Earth to help others in need. But the mission isn’t all glory and celebration for there are those on Earth who would see it ended before the colonists leave the planet.
NeoLuddite radicals want the mission to Mars scrapped, even if that means killing the colonists. They also strike against Izzy in hopes of grabbing attention and rocking the confidence of the mission. News breaks that China has also been planning a trip to Mars with their own group of colonists. Another concern is who will reach the red planet first and what will that mean for their voyage?
Then someone aboard starts sabotaging life support functions on the ships. Now in deep space the colonists must find the saboteurs before it is too late. Who are the terrorists among them? Where will they strike next? Will any of the ships and their crew make it to Mars?
This tale of space exploration, mystery, and danger is told through Tristian’s eyes, following his courtship and separation with Izzy, the grueling training, and finally the voyage of no return. A genius in engineering, he can take anything apart and put it back together in record time. At this point, it will take all of his skills, ability with machines, and ingenuity to help make this mission a success and save the people he cares about. Filled with scientific facts and supposition about how a journey like this might become reality, especially if we continue to deplete our limited resources without finding other solutions.
In my opinion, at the heart of Mars One are two strong young teens that grow to love each other, grow apart, and go their separate ways, all while keeping their memories of each other alive. In the end, they use their love to leave something wonderful behind.
Format Available: Book, eBook
Review by Katy, Shawnee Branch
Perception versus reality – how often are the two completely unrelated? Throughout the years, numerous authors, philosophers, poets, and others have attempted to explore this question. Mr. Henry James, that behemoth in the firmament of American literature, employed, for example, his novels to aid in developing within the reader the ability to move past perception and into reality.
In the words of Betty Suchar at a presentation before the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (Henry James’ “Portrait of a Lady,” 2013):
“James believed that the skill the author possessed in composing the various scenarios played out in the character’s mind had the potential to assist intelligent readers in the complicated challenge of understanding human relationships and in developing their ability to rehearse options in their own mind before making decisions. Since motives are often hidden or misleading, readers could sharpen their ability to interpret human nature only if his novels were ambiguous.”
Now, what has this to do with the debut novel, The Unfortunates authored by Sophie McManus, you may ask, about which this review was to focus? Well, I believe that Ms. McManus has aptly succeeded in giving the reader characters who, on first meeting, leave a very particular impression. Cece and her son, George, heirs to a great robber baron fortune, seem cultivated, polished, and self-assured. But once again, it is what lies beneath, hidden from sight, that is most important, and as the novel progresses, Ms. McManus begins to provide subtle hints that, when upon close inspection, there are actually cracks in the marble and all that glitters is most decidedly not gold.
This strong debut novel draws realistic characters who lead lives of quiet desperation, a desperation that slowly becomes visible as subtle hints become more pronounced when failures and tragedies are no longer avoidable and must then be faced. And small decisions of the past, seemingly insignificant when taken on their own, rise from that past and merge to create unforeseen disasters. Or were they foreseeable? Decisions of her past, in Cece’s parlance, constitute “the unfortunates.” Ah, the euphemism is such a useful tool in that wonderfully human game of self deception.
“How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but—mainly—to ourselves.”
“History isn’t the lies of the victors, as I once glibly assured Old Joe Hunt; I know that now. It’s more the memories of the survivors, most of whom are neither victorious or defeated.” — Julian Barnes, A Sense of an Ending
Formats Available: Book, eBook
Reviewed by Rob, Crescent Hill
The Okolona Branch has moved and is now the South Central Regional Library
| 7300 Jefferson Boulevard, Louisville, Kentucky 40219 | (502) 964-3515 |
The new 40,000-square-foot South Central Regional Library is now open.The state-of-the-art facility replaces the considerably smaller Okolona branch library and enhances service for more than 160,000 people in south central Jefferson County. Filled with new books and cutting edge technology, the library is a place that encourages learning at all stages of life.
The South Central Regional Library is an awe-inspiring space, with an abundance of natural light and incredible views of more than an acre of preserved woodland. The building also offers two large community meeting rooms, several smaller rooms for studying, reading, or collaborating, a dynamic space for teens, and an expanded children’s area. This new regional library is also outfitted to serve the area’s technology needs, with more than 100 computers, a maker space, and LFPL’s first laptop checkout kiosk. And, of course, it offers more than 120,000 books, DVDs, and other materials!
- Monday – Thursday: 9 – 9
- Friday and Saturday: 9 – 5
- Sunday: 1 – 5
The South Central Regional Library is located at 7300 Jefferson Boulevard at McCawley Road near the Jefferson Mall.
From I-65 – Take exit #127 for the Outer Loop. Head east on Outer Loop for about two miles. At light located at the intersection of Outer Loop and Jefferson Blvd., turn left. Once on Jefferson Blvd., go about a half mile. The library is on the left, next to the post office.
From 265 — Snyder Freeway – Take exit #10 for I-65 north. Go about one and a half miles to exit #127 for the Outer Loop. Head east on Outer Loop for about two miles. At light located at the intersection of Outer Loop and Jefferson Blvd., turn left. Once on Jefferson Blvd., go about 1/2 mile. The library is on the left, next to the post office.
From 264 — Watterson Expressway – Take 264 to the I-65 South exit (#12). Go about 4 miles until you get to exit #127 for the Outer Loop. Head east on Outer Loop for about two miles. At light located at the intersection of Outer Loop and Jefferson Blvd., turn left. Once on Jefferson Blvd., go about 1/2 mile. The library is on the left, next to the post office.
From Outer Loop, east of Preston, Jefferson Mall area – Head west on Outer Loop toward I-65. At light located at the intersection of Outer Loop and Jefferson Blvd., turn left. Once on Jefferson Blvd., go about 1/2 mile. The library is on the left, next to the post office.
From Fern Valley Road – Head south on Preston Highway. Go approximately 1 1/2 mile to the intersection of Preston Highway and the Outer Loop. Turn left onto Preston Highway and head east on for about two miles. At light located at the intersection of Outer Loop and Jefferson Blvd., turn left. Once on Jefferson Blvd., go about 1/2 mile. The library is on the left, next to the post office.
COLLIDER Artist-In-Residence Program
South Central also includes another first for LFPL, an artist-in-residence space called COLLIDER, made possible through generous funding from Councilwoman Madonna Flood. This new programming space will feature rotating artists throughout the year with whom patrons can interact, both informally and at regularly occurring programs. Click here to learn more.
Though memories have been handed down through the years of bookshelves in stores where one could “borrow” to read, the first official library in Okolona was established in 1958 in the Okolona Community Center (which later became the Okolona Woman’s Club on Blue Lick Road). Mrs. Stanley Williams was the first librarian, with the able assistance and direction of Ms. Mary Morgan, librarian at Southern High School. Okolona Woman’s Club members manned the facility that started with 800 donated books.
Growth demanded a move to Southern High School, and from there the library moved to quarters in a mobile unit in the shopping center across from Southern. In 1985 a new library was constructed at 8003-R Preston on property donated by Cumberland Bank. Growth then demanded another move . . . this time when places were exchanged with the Jefferson County Police and Employees Credit Union at 7709 Preston.
Still located in Okolona, this latest move also comes with a name change: the South Central Regional Library. This new, modern regional library is more than four times larger than the previous location. A spectacular quilt made by the Okolona Women’s Club is on permanent display in the new South Central and showcases the history and community pride of Okolona.
PotterPalooza will be returning to the Library on Saturday, July 29, 2017, 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Welcome back to the wizarding world, brought to you by the wizards and witches of the LFPL!
This FREE event will feature activities geared toward younger kids from 2-5 p.m., and activities for older kids (and teens and adults) from 6-8 p.m. (though there will still be activities going on in the in-between period of 5-6).
Get ready to:
- play Quidditich
- get sorted into your house
- explore the Restricted Section of the library’s hidden stacks
- fly on a broomstick
- create your own niffler
- take classes on Astronomy, Herbology, and Potions
- explore a museum of muggle artifacts
- make a wand
- cast a spell
- drink butterbeer
- and do so much more!
Costumes are encouraged!
All ages welcome.
For all the troublesome women out there…
Danielle Abbott has always been obsessed with the Drowning Pool. An area of her town’s river that has taken numerous women’s lives, including now, her own. Was it an accident? Suicide? Or something more?
Danielle had many enemies and she has left behind an angry teenage daughter who is harboring dark secrets from her best friend’s earlier drowning. Hawkins weaves together the secrets of the town and deaths as each chapter takes the voice of a different character and their viewpoint and involvement. Into the Water had me hypnotized and kept me guessing until the very end and even then I didn’t get it right! Hawkins is quickly becoming a master of psychological suspense.
I felt notes of magical realism peppered throughout the mystery. The way the Drowning Pool pulls you in and swept away so many women’s lives is eerie and otherworldly. Hawkins is particularly adept at capturing the way the past holds on to us and just how deceiving and destructive memories can be.
Review by Heather, St. Matthews
“Chocolate knows no boundaries; speaks all languages; comes in all sizes; is woven through many cultures and disciplines … it impacts mood, health, and economics, and it is a part of our lives from early childhood through the elderly years.” — Herman A. Berliner (Economist and Educator)
In preparation for a chocolate tasting program, I delved into all things chocolate. I traveled around the world, into laboratories and bakeries, and through a tour of the senses. It was a dizzying, yet undeniably enlightening, journey. I learned that this delightful treat has a colorful and sometimes dark history. I learned chocolate is powerful force in the economies of several countries. I learned that rainforests are vital to the continued existence of chocolate. I learned that chocolate is science in action. I learned that tasting chocolate uses all the senses. There were many more nuanced lessons that I absorbed but couldn’t necessarily recall on demand. This is how any search for knowledge works, at least for me.
I could pontificate upon the many things I’ve learned, but I much rather have a little fun. Let me challenge you with a little chocolate trivia.
To check your answers you can read all the fabulous books featured below, or you can wait for the answers to be revealed in Savour: Chocolate Tasting, an explanation of how to use all five senses to find your best chocolate(s)….I, for one, can never be satisfied with only one type of chocolate.
Chocolate by Dom Ramsey
This book is by far the best all-in-one resource. It has the nitty-gritty on the agriculture, geography, processing, selection, and tasting of chocolate. As is the case with most DK books it is full of beautiful illustrations and well placed text. This books saves the best for last with a section entitled ENJOY. Enjoy is 49 pages of recipes and beautiful photos of the finished product you, the reader, can make at home. And if the finished product doesn’t look like the beautiful picture, that’s okay. In the end, it’s all about the chocolate.
Chocolate: Sweet Science and Dark Secrets of the World’s Favorite Treat by Kay Frydenborg
I have to confess the “dark secrets” made a bigger impact on me than the “sweet science.” This book is weighted on either end by the history and future of chocolate. The book opens on April 25, 1947 with four little boys who discover their beloved chocolate bars have risen from 5 cents to 8. The boys organized a strike, and although it was ultimately unsuccessful, it drove home the point that “life without chocolate had become unthinkable.” This rolls right into an August 1502 story about Columbus, in which he observes that the Native Americans he has seized are placing great importance on something he describes as “strange-looking almonds.” What follows is a succinct but engaging narrative of the history and science of chocolate. The book culminates in a segment titled Chocolate Rainforests and discusses how chocolate might help save Rainforests.
Chocolate: Riches from the Rainforest by Robert Burleigh
This next book, part of our children’s collection, is recommended for readers eight and older. It has many of the elements of the previous two books, in a much more condensed fashion. What makes this book stand out is the art and layout. The book uses geometric shapes, rich colors and a blend of photos, historical artwork and nostalgic ads to keep the reader engaged. Even the font is color coordinated and varied for impact. My favorite factoid from this book is that chocolate has traveled from the North Pole to Outer Space and been present in both WWI and WWII as a necessary ration.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of books, rather the core of what was used for the Trivia in this blog and what was featured in our program last year. Be sure to follow up for more great chocolate related reads in Savour: Chocolate Tasting.
“Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted power…it is the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits.” — Justus Von Liebig 1803-1873 (German Chemist)
Formats Available: Book
Article by Angel, Bon Air Branch
In my reading life, there is a selection of choice books that I refer to as my carousel reads. These are books that I read time and again, with the common thread among them being the wisdom, inspiration, and uplift I believe they have brought to my life.
The other day, and for reasons still unknown to me, my copy of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, which I inherited from my paternal grandmother, called to me from among the scores of other books surrounding it in the bookcase where it rested, saying, “It is time.” Since I am one who is rarely contrary to talking books, I removed it from its repose and began to read.
But first, a few words about Mr. Gibran. Born in 1883 in Lebanon, Mr. Gibran demonstrated early in his life an innate talent with the arts, which was of such magnitude that he lived the vast majority of his life as an expatriate successfully working as both an artist and writer, the products of which brought him worldwide celebrity. In fact, an article from the January 7, 2008 issue of The New Yorker said of Mr. Gibran:
“Shakespeare, we are told, is the best-selling poet of all time. Second is Lao-tzu. Third is Kahlil Gibran…”
Wow. I would say this statement provides a definite perspective.
As to The Prophet, first published in 1923, it is a brilliant meditation upon life and the conditions in which we humans find ourselves, conditions not rooted in a particular religious philosophy or nationality; in other words, it is universal. Ruminating on such subjects as love, work, friendship, and beauty, the reader is provided a lens through which life is examined with a unique perspective, and it is this perspective that I find refreshing and is the reason for my return to its pages.
During this most recent reading, one passage immediately drew my attention:
“Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love.”
And further, as example:
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
With countless other profound phrases and erudition, I imagine that The Prophet would make for a strong candidate for the select lists of carousel books of others; thus, joining in a perpetual celebration of the human condition that this lovely book provides.
Reviewed by Rob, Crescent Hill
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- Audiobook on CD
- Downloadable Audiobook
The loss of her parents was a tragedy for RubyLyn Bishop. Even worse in her mind, she was shuffled off to live with her Uncle Gunnar in the small rural town of Nameless, Kentucky. For RubyLyn life in Nameless brings changes and challenges from the people who watch and gossip about her.
She must work in the tobacco fields to help support the small farm on which she and her uncle live. Memories of the past and a small scrape of tobacco paper are all RubyLyn has left of happier times with her parents. When her spirits need a bit of a lift, she sometimes folds the scrap of paper into a fun way to tell her fortune, a practice that Uncle Gunnar doesn’t approve.
Surprisingly, RubyLyn finds growing tobacco is something that comes naturally to her. There’s a sense of peace, a solace in working the land and plants, especially when a close neighbor, Rainey Ford, takes an interest. He is easy to talk with and friendly. It isn’t long before she finds herself caring a good deal about him, but there is a problem, he is African-American and she is white. In the 1960’s South, close friendships like theirs were frowned upon and could cause serious problems for them.
Then there is Rose, an older woman and neighbor, who becomes someone that RubyLyn can depend on and talk with when she needs someone. Rose encourages RubyLyn to enter her tobacco plant in the State Fair competition. It may be just the push she needs to realize there is a larger world around her and that she can decide for herself where her future should lie.
Born and raised in central Kentucky, this book drew me in right away. In it, I found an opportunity to spend a short time in the Appalachian area. If you’ve ever wondered what small town life might be like, especially in our turbulent past, this is a book you should take time to sit with. In my opinion, Kim Michele Richardson takes the reader on a journey back in time, using her words to paint pictures of small town life with characters you will come to care about and for whom you can root. It is a realistic portrayal, where life doesn’t always end the way you want it to, where when one road ends another will begin.
Later this year, Ms. Richardson will release a new novel entitled The Sisters of Glass Ferry. For more information about this budding author check out her website.
Formats Available: Regular Type, Book Kit
Reviewed by Micah, Shawnee Branch