We see thousands of books move across our service desk each year at Essex Public Library. As big-time book lovers, we discover many fresh favorites as they hit our shelves, and of course we also hear about lots of great reads from our library users. At the end of 2018, we took a little time to reflect on our year of reading. We created a list of seven favorites, and we hope that one of these books will become a favorite for you in the new year.
Circe by Madeline Miller
You don’t need to be a classics scholar to enjoy this mythical retelling from the Greek goddess Circe’s point of view. Mounting rivalries among Circe’s powerful family and her encounters with mythical creatures add drama and suspense. Circe’s voice is warm and intimate, yet her sweeping story stretches across countless years. This novel, ultimately a celebration of humanity, will remind you why these myths are so enduring.
Don’t You Ever: My Mother and Her Secret Son by Mary Carter Bishop
In this compelling memoir, Mary Carter Bishop explores deep family secrets after discovering that she had a half-brother who was given up at birth in a home for unwed mothers, the result of their mother’s shameful youthful “mistake.” Bishop’s powerful story explores themes of guilt and fate, and the Central Virginia setting makes Don’t You Ever especially interesting to our local reading audience.
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor
This novel was written for middle grade readers, but both kids and adults will find twelve-year-old protagonist Mason Buttle a remarkably memorable character. Mason is the biggest, sweatiest kid in school, and he has a learning disability. When he finds his best friend dead at the base of their tree fort, things get even worse. Written with sensitivity and compassion, The Truth Told as Told by Mason Buttle is a heartwarming story about resilience and love.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
As one of Oprah’s 2018 Book Club picks, An American Marriage isn’t exactly an under-the-radar choice for our list, but it deserves the attention. The story centers on a modern African-American newlywed couple, Celestial and Roy, ripped apart by terrible and unexpected circumstances when Roy is wrongfully convicted of a crime Celestial knows he did not commit. This intimate novel is a striking portrait of the ensuing devastation of their marriage and family
Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Waterman of Vanishing Tangier Island by Earl Swift
Chesapeake Requiem is a respectful study of the past, present, and tenuous future of Chesapeake Bay’s Tangier Island and its residents, mainly families who have been rooted on the island for generations. But Tangier Island is disappearing. The proof is everywhere and mounting each year. As the graves of their ancestors are washed out by the tide, Tangier’s residents battle to maintain the only way of life they know. Here is more excellent nonfiction which will have high appeal for our region.
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Romance readers should not miss Alyssa Cole’s “Reluctant Royals” series, which begins with A Princess in Theory. In this delightful and steamy contemporary royal romance, our heroine Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairytales. Emails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince have been interrupting her busy life as a grad school student with multiple jobs. She, of course, deletes them. But the ever-dutiful Prince Thabiso is willing to go to great lengths to track down his betrothed. Can this city Cinderella find happiness with Prince Charming?
The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
The brilliant Anthony Horowitz dazzles readers in this inventive mystery in which he centers a fictional version of himself as the ghostwriting “Watson” to a modern-day “Holmes.” His Holmes is an eccentric, disgraced London investigator named Daniel Hawthorne, who asks Horowitz to write a book about him. Together, they investigate the death of a woman who walks into a funeral parlor to arrange her own funeral and then is murdered six hours later. As the murder suspects are revealed, readers will find the testy relationship between Horowitz and Hawthorne just as intense as the unraveling murder plot.
We wish you lots of good reading in 2019. Happy New Year from Essex Public Library!
Join us each Saturday in October from 1:30 to 3:30 for a spooky movie throwback from the 80s or 90s, shown on the big screen in our meeting room. Free popcorn, thrills, and chills! Call the library at (804) 443-4945 for movie titles. All ages are welcome but note that age appropriateness of films will vary. All movies shown will be rated PG.
September is Library Card Signup Month. To celebrate, Essex Public Library is releasing its new library card design, featuring artwork donated by Tappahannock photographer Dawn Howeth. The updated card design features an iconic image of the Downing Bridge at sunrise.
In partnership with local businesses, the library is also launching a “Show Your Card” campaign to promote local businesses and library card signups. During the month of September, library card holders are invited to show their cards to get special deals at participating businesses. Present your library card at the time of purchase to get a ten percent discount at the following spots:
- Pueblo Azteca Mexican Restaurant
- Thyme in a Basket
- Judith Marie Shoppe
- Crying Shame Frame Shop and Gifts
- Tappahannock Pharmacy (over the counter purchases only; prescriptions not included)
- T-Town Tack Work & Western Wear
Replacement library cards are free during the month of September. The cost to replace a lost library card is typically $1.00. Anyone who wants a card featuring the new design may replace their old card for free during September only.
For a printable PDF schedule of events for children, click here: Summer Reading Events 2018
Summer Reading Kickoff Party
Wed. June 20, 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Begin your summer adventure with games, crafts, face painting, and stories from around the world. There will also be a free hotdog cookout from 4:00 to 7:00! Refreshments provided by the Tappahannock Rotary Club.
Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Jun. 27 – Aug. 11
Join Ms. Beth for fantastic books, songs, and a craft during this storytime for children under 5.
Magic with Rob Wescott
Mon. June 25, 2:00 p.m.
Come see a fun, fast-paced, and amazing performance with magician Rob Wescott! All ages.
ART-Venture: Origami Fortune Tellers *
Tues. June 26, 1:30 p.m.
Don’t have a Magic 8 ball at home? No worries! Make your own fortune telling device based on the Japanese paper folding art of origami. Ages 7 – 10.
Mad Scientists: It’s Slime Time! *
Thur. June 28, 6:30 p.m.
We’ve got the ingredients if you’ve got the time – the time to make SLIME. Ages 6 – 12.
Bright Star Theater Presents: The Wizard Of Oz
Mon. July 9, 2:00 p.m.
Location: Tappahannock Elementary School Cafeteria.
Gain courage with the Cowardly Lion, take heart with the Tin Man, and find your wits with the Scarecrow in this fun, interactive retelling. For all ages. All ages.
ART-Venture: Over the Rainbow *
Tues. July 10, 1:30 p.m.
Make rainbow sun catchers and necklaces. Ages 5 – 10.
Mad Scientists: Take It Apart! *
Thurs. July 12, 6:30 p.m.
Come help us break all manner of machines apart in the name of science. Ages 8 – 12.
Turtle Tales with the Virginia Living Museum
Mon. July 16, 1:00 p.m.
Educators from the Virginia Living Museum recount the tale of the Dancing Turtle of Brazil with music and movement. You’ll also learn about the real-life turtles that live in our forests, ponds, and the Chesapeake Bay. All ages.
Tales from Afar with Gary Lloyd
Mon. July 23, 2:00 p.m.
Travel to all 7 continents with Storyteller Gary Lloyd. From Japan to Australia, Ireland to Antarctica, and of course both Americas. Around the world in 60 minutes. All ages.
ART-Venture: Map Puzzles *
Tues. July 24, 1:30 p.m.
Blaze new trails by taking old maps and making new puzzles from them. Ages 5 – 12.
Mad Scientists: Paper Airplanes *
Thur. July 26, 1:30 p.m.
It’s science in motion as you tweak your paper airplane’s design to become the F-14 in our test flights. Ages 7 – 12.
Mad Scientists: Take It Apart *
Thur. August 2, 1:30 p.m.
Come help us break all manner of machines apart in the name of science. Ages 8 – 12.
ART-Ventures: Down on the Farm *
Tues. August 7, 1:30 p.m.
The corn and soybeans sure are growing – but just what are those chickens up to? Craft a tractor and flock of chickens. Ages 5 – 10.
Summer Reading Wrap-up Celebration
Sat. August 11, 2:00 -3:30 p.m.
Turn in your Reading Adventure Passport and celebrate with some ice cream. We’ll select the winning GRAND PRIZE ticket for a Kindle Fire 7.
PLUS! Be sure to check out our kids’ makerspace for cool art and engineering projects!
* Call 804-443-4945 to register for events with asterisks next to their titles.
Readers of all ages are invited to come on an adventure with us this summer during the Reading Takes You Everywhere summer reading program.
Those twelve and under can launch into the adventure by picking up a special passport from the library. Check out and read books to complete five challenges on the reading adventure passport. Record your book titles and return the passport to the library to earn a prize and be entered in the grand prize drawing for a Kindle Fire 7. Complete a new passport each month to keep earning prizes!
Teens ages 12-18 have their own program. Just come to the library to pick up a summer reading card. Read four books, one from each category. Turn in your completed card to receive a pair of Essex Public Library sunglasses. Teen completers also earn an entry into a grand prize drawing for a Kindle Fire 7.
Even adults can get in on the summer reading fun! Read a book from each category to get your own pair of sunglasses.
Don’t wait! All summer reading programs end on August 11th. Visit us today to start your summer reading adventure.