Category Archives: For all libraries


by Sheila Lence, Ripley Librarian

Everyone knows that summer – with its long, hot, drowsy days – may be the best season for reading. But have you ever found yourself in the library, about to enjoy your vacation, with no idea what books to read? There is no one definition of a summer book. It can be a 1,000-page biography, a critically acclaimed literary novel, a memoir everyone is talking about – or it might be your favorite guilty pleasure: romance, crime, science fiction. Whatever you choose, it should be able to sweep you away to another world, because there is nothing like getting totally lost in a book on summer day.

All available at Ripley Public Library, these books wowed the book critics at NPR (National Public Radio).

A Good American by Alex George

The Meisenheimer family struggles to find their place among the colorful residents of their new American hometown, including a giant teenage boy, a pretty schoolteacher whose lessons consist of more than music, and a spiteful, bicycle-riding dwarf.

A Land More Kind than Home by Wiley Cash

Jess Hall, growing up deep in the heart of an unassuming mountain town that believes in protecting its own, is plunged into an adulthood for which he is not prepared when his autistic older brother, Stump, sneaks a look at something he isn’t supposed to, which has catastrophic repercussions.

Arcadia by Lauren Groff

In a lush, haunting story of the American dream, Bit, born in a back-to-nature commune in 1970s New York State, must come to grips with the outside world when the commune eventually fails.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamine Alire Saenz

Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain

Asked to be part of the Dallas Cowboys’ Halftime Show on Thanksgiving, Specialist William Billy Lynn, one of the eight surviving men of the Bravo Squad during America’s war in Iraq, finds his life forever changed by this all-American event that causes him to better understand difficult truths about himself and those around him.

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel’s book follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne’s head?

Canada by Richard Ford

After his parents are arrested and imprisoned for robbing a bank, 15-year-old Dell Parsons is taken in by Arthur Remlinger who, unbeknownst to Dell, is hiding a dark and violent nature that interferes with Dell’s quest to find grace and peace on the prairie of Saskatchewan.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

When a beautiful woman goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, her diary reveals hidden turmoil in her marriage and a mysterious illness; while her husband, desperate to clear himself of suspicion, realizes that something more disturbing than murder may have occurred.

Home by Toni Morrison

Frank Money is an angry, broken veteran of the Korean War who, after traumatic experiences on the front lines, finds himself back in racist America with more than just physical scars. He is shocked out of his apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and work through identity-shattering memories.

Lost by Michael Robotham

Detective Vincent Ruiz, battling amnesia and under investigation by suspicious colleagues within his own department following a brutal attack, turns to psychologist Joe O’Loughlin for help in piecing together the clues to unlock his memory.

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

In Elizabethan London, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch Diana Bishop seeks a magical tutor, while vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont confronts elements from his past at the same time the mystery of the enchanted manuscript Ashmole 782 deepens.

The Healing by Jonathan Odell

Concerned about his wife’s extensive grief over the loss of their daughter and worrying about a mysterious illness that is afflicting his slaves, Master Satterfield purchases a slave woman known as a healer, only to be further unsettled by her troubling predictions and possible inauthenticity. 50,000 first printing.

The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg

The mysterious drowning of a little girl threatens to tear apart the resort town of Fjallbacka, as Patrik Hedstrom’s investigation begins to uncover dark secrets of past generations.

The Violinist’s Thumb by Sam Kean

An exploration of human DNA and the stories it can tell describes how genes can explain why JFK’s skin was bronze, Einstein was a genius, and why people with exceptional thumb flexibility can become world-class violinists.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her.

Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

Baring her soul in an anonymous survey for a marital happiness study, Alice catalogues her stale marriage, unsatisfying job and unfavorable prospects and begins to question virtually every aspect of her life

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir traces the personal crisis the author endured after the death of her mother and a painful divorce, which prompted her ambition to undertake a dangerous 1,100-mile solo hike that both drove her to rock bottom and helped her to heal.


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by Sheila Lence

Librarian, Ripley Public Library

Tess Gerritsen’s Last to Die and Kathy Reichs’ Bones are Forever are both on the New York Times Bestseller list. If you enjoy these authors, why not read some other medical thrillers? Fans of forensic detectives might enjoy the following:

  •  Flesh and Bone by Jefferson Bass
  • The Second Time Around by Mary Higgins Clark
  • Contagion by Robin Cook
  • The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
  • Final Target by Iris Johansen
  • Carriers by Patrick Lynch
  • Revolution No. 9 by Neil McMahon
  • The Patient by Michael Palmer
  • The Lake House by James Patterson

These books are available at the Ripley Library. Medical thrillers by other authors are available at all of the libraries in the Northeast Regional Library system. Look for some of these authors:

Lisa Black

Gary Braver

Stephen J. Cannell

April Christofferson

Patricia Cornwell

Ken Follett

Leonard Goldberg

Daniel Kalla

Dean Koontz

Karin Slaughter

Steven Spruill


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Natasha Tretheway Appointed as 19th U.S. Poet Laureate

by Cody Daniel, Assistant Librarian, Corinth Public Library

Mississippians have long admired our state’s rich tradition in the arts and, as of this summer, we have yet another reason to be proud of our literary heritage.  The Librarian of Congress has recently appointed Natasha Tretheway as the nation’s 19th Poet Laureate.  A native of Gulfport, Tretheway is the author of three collections of poetry, including Native Guard, for which she won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize.  She also wrote Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which provides her reflections on the region and the people whose lives were changed because of it.

The tragedies of one’s community are not the only ones that a talented poet can explore.  While Tretheway was in college in Georgia, her mother was murdered.  It was through poetry that she began to deal with the emotional pain it caused her.  At those moments, Tretheway explained to the Associated Press, poetry “seems like the only thing that can speak the unspeakable.”*  In addition to dealing with emotional loss, poetry can help us experience history, as Tretheway explores in her “Native Guard,” the title poem of her award-winning collection.  It deals with a group of white Confederate prisoners being guarded by an all-black Union regiment.  James Billington, the Librarian of Congress who selected Tretheway, praised the poet for her exploration of history.  He told the Associated Press, “She takes the greatest human tragedy in American history…and she takes us inside without preaching.” *

Chosen each year by the Librarian of Congress, the Poet Laureate is the nation’s “official poet,” whose duties include enhancing the appreciation of poetry throughout the nation.  However, the specific programs and activities are at the discretion of the current laureate.  Former Poets Laureate have conducted seminars across America’s high schools, hosted poetry events in the nation’s capital, and written poetry columns for major newspapers.

Natasha Tretheway is not only the first Poet Laureate from Mississippi, but she is also the first one from the South since Robert Penn Warren in 1986.  She will be the first Poet Laureate to live in Washington, D.C. and work in the Library of Congress’s recently designed Poetry Room.  Her next collection of poems (Thrall) will be published in September.

*NPR source

Other sources used  (Library of Congress) (Emory Univ. faculty page)

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You Look, I Look, We All Look — for eBooks!

By Olivia (Holly) McIntyre

Collection Development Librarian, Northeast Regional Library


Summary: At this time Northeast Regional Library does not offer downloadable ebooks, but here are some ways to find free or low-cost material for your ereader.


Ebooks are a wonderful addition to the repertoire of reading.  Dedicated ereaders such as the Amazon Kindle or Barnes and Noble Nook are available with a variety of features at increasingly reasonable prices, but anyone with a computer, tablet, or smartphone can download apps that will allow ebooks to be read on those devices, too.

For consumers with a credit card and an account at one of the major ebook retailers, it is very easy to buy almost any current book in ebook format — click and download. For libraries, it’s a different story.  Publishers just don’t want it to be too easy to borrow ebooks instead of buying them.

Libraries have to buy access to a “platform” – a very expensive “platform” — that will integrate with their websites and online catalogs, so that users can access the ebooks available at that library. Some publishers will not release current ebooks for purchase by libraries, or will charge libraries up to four times what individual consumers are charged, or will impose one-at-a-time borrowing restrictions that make for months-long waiting lists.  There’s also the problem of how to accommodate the different ebook formats which are incompatible with one another.

Considering these limitations the librarians at the Northeast Regional Library have decided that none of the currently affordable ebook platforms for libraries provide the variety and availability of reading options that our users deserve to have.

But wait! — there are still plenty of ways to get free or low-cost ebooks and we are eager to help you find and use them!

In the United Stated, anything published before 1923 is out of copyright and can be turned into an ebook. You can catch up on Jane Austen, or Dickens, or those ancient philosophers you always meant to read.  There’s also an abundance of “practical” books from the nineteenth century that still have useful advice about home organization, gardening, and frugality.  Remember The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables? Those and more classic children’s books are available free, too.

A few of the biggest sites for finding free ebooks are:

Project Gutenberg – a non-profit, crowd-sourced digitizing and editing project that offers over 39,000 free books in many languages.

Google Play: Books – sells books but also has a large selection of free ebooks.

Open Library – another non-profit effort by the Internet Archive  “is an open, editable library catalog, building towards a web page for every book ever published.”

Inkmesh – is a useful catalog of ebooks (free and purchasable) that indexes by format (Kindle, Nook, .pdf) and subject area.

Of course, the major ebook retailers offer some books for free.  Many of these may be by current but unknown authors, but sometimes books by popular authors are offered free for a short period.  For updates about what is available free on the Kindle, check the Amazon Kindle store for “free Kindle books” or eReaderIQ . For the Nook check the Barnes and Noble website for “free Nook books” or check the Nook Facebook page for free and discounted offers.

If you don’t have a dedicated ereader (like a Kindle or Nook) and need an ereader app for your computer, tablet, or phone, you can download one for free from the major retailers’ websites (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes) or just search for “ebook reader app” in any search engine and take your pick.

Happy reading!!




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Dream Big — Read! (Again)

This year children who participate in the Summer Library Program will be encouraged to “Dream Big – Read!”, the 2012 theme for the annual program.

The Summer Library Program has been part of Mississippi libraries since the early 1970’s as an incentive to get children to read during the summer. Games, stories, crafts, and visiting performers are some of the activities offered to elementary aged children.

Branch libraries are currently putting the finishing touches on their plans and hope to make this the best Summer Library Program ever.  Check with your local library for dates and times.

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Spring Cleaning

by Fredda McCune, Librarian, Iuka Public Library

Spring not only brings out beautiful weather. It also brings out the dust
bunnies and the clutter that we have taken in over the winter. So now is the
time to de-clutter, do some spring cleaning, and bag up those books, videos,
and DVDs that are just taking up space and bring them to the library. The
Friends of the Iuka Library will have their annual Book Sale in October.
The Book Sale is one of the major fund-raising events of the Friends. Most
of the books sold are donated by members of our communities. Quality
yard sale items are also accepted. The Friends of the Library support and
promote the services of the library. Help Us Help You!

[If you don’t live in Iuka, contact your nearest library and see if they can use your no-longer-needed books, CDs, and DVDs.]

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“Symphony” at the library

by Cathy Kanady, Assistant Director

“Symphony,” the library’s new software system, has been up and running since May 2nd.  Staff members at all branches are using the new system to check materials in and out, renew and place holds for borrowers, and answer reference questions.

One of the main differences between the old and new systems is the location of the library’s database.  Since 1998 the Headquarters library at Corinth has maintained the database on a server housed at the library.  The new system eliminates the need for the in-house hardware. Instead the data now resides on a remote server located in Atlanta.  Referred to as “Software as a Service” (SaaS), this process eliminates the need to purchase expensive new hardware every four years. Whenever the staff members log in, and whenever users log in to the new library catalog, the remote server is being accessed.

If you have not already done so, take a look at eLibrary, the library’s new online catalog, by clicking the link below:

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