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August Book Discussions: The Portal SF group has changed its theme to POKEMON GO TAKES OVER THE UNIVERSE!

July 25, 2016 by Reader's Connection

No, that’s not true. As far as I know, Portal is sticking to their scheduled theme. See below: Sunday, August 28th.

Concerning the discussions that are part of the Indiana-related Adult Summer Reading Program:
1. Adult Summer Reading discussions are marked here with infused Indiana maps.
2. You have to be 21 years of age to attend a discussion at a tavern or brewery.
3. If not otherwise attributed, book reviews were written by IndyPL staff.

Have a wonderful August.

In This House of Brede


The Franklin Road Branch will host a discussion of Rumer Godden’s novel In This House of Brede on Monday, August 1st at 6:30 p.m.

Check out the reviews on GoodReads.







Paula McLain’s novel Circling the Sun will be discussed at the Wayne Branch on Monday, August 1st at 6:30 p.m.

Circling the Sun

McLain brought Hadley Richardson Hemingway to light with her best-selling novel, The Paris Wife (2011). Bravo to her for now fictionalizing the grandly adventurous, passionate, and scandalous life of British East African Beryl Markham, the first licensed woman horse trainer and breeder on the continent and an intrepid, record-setting pilot. Ernest Hemingway knew and admired Markham and raved about her breathtaking autobiography, West with the Night (1942), which McLain selectively mines. We meet Beryl as a child abandoned by her mother and allowed to run free as her father raises Thoroughbreds. Fearless, curious, and strong, Beryl learns a warrior’s skills with Kibii, a Kipsigis boy, and dreams of a life larger than the confines of domesticity. She resolutely finds her way to daredevilry and terror, love and ostracism as she undertakes the sort of risky and exhilarating things men do even as she suffers through disastrous marriages, homelessness, and a complicated and wrenching entanglement with coffee grower and writer Karen Blixen (i.e., Isak Dinesen of Out of Africa fame) and Denys Fitch Hatton, the exciting and elusive man they both love. McLain sustains a momentum as swift and heart-pounding as one of Beryl’s prize horses at a gallop as she focuses on the romance, glamour, and drama of Beryl’s blazing life, creating a seductive work of popular historical fiction with sure-fire bio-pic potential. — Booklist

Circling the Sun is also available as an eBook, an eAudiobook, and an audiobook on CD.



James Alexander Thom’s novel Fire in the Water will be discussed at the White River State Park, The Children’s Maze (801 W. Washington Street) on Tuesday, August 2nd at 6:00 p.m.

Fire in the WaterThe Civil War is ending and war correspondent Paddie Quinn has recently married and is looking forward to some honeymoon time when news of President Lincoln’s assassination reaches him. Paddie quickly finagles an assignment out of Harper’s Weekly and books passage for himself and his bride on the Sultana steamboat hoping to enjoy a honeymoon while writing his story. The trip takes an unexpected turn when it stops at Vicksburg to pick up numerous prisoners of war whom Paddie begins interviewing during their trip up the flooded Mississippi. It is during one of these interviews that he befriends Robbie Macombie, a Union soldier just released from the infamous Andersonville prison-of-war camp. Their fledgling friendship strengthens and buoys them through the tumultuous night of the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history.



Shirley Hazzard’s novel The Great Fire will be discussed at Central Library on Tuesday, August 2nd at 6:30 p.m.

The Great FireA new novel from Hazzard is a literary event. It’s been two decades between the publication of The Transit of Venus and this magnificent book, but her burnished prose has not diminished in luster nor has her wisdom about the human condition. Two men who have survived WWII and are now enduring the soiled peace, and one 17-year-old woman who has suffered beyond her years, are the characters around whom this narrative revolves. Aldred Leith, 32, the son of a famous novelist and the winner of a military medal for heroism, has come to postwar Japan to observe the conditions there for a book he’s writing on the consequences of war within an ancient society. In an idyllic setting above the city of Kure, near Hiroshima, he meets teenaged Helen Driscoll and her terminally ill brother, Ben, who are the poetic children of a loathsome Australian army major and his harridan wife. Leith is drawn to the siblings, who live vicariously in classic literature, and he soon realizes that he’s in love with Helen, despite the difference in their ages. Meanwhile, Leith’s close friend Peter Exley, who interrogates Japanese war criminals in Hong Kong, faces a decision about what to do with the rest of his life . . . The leitmotif here is the need for love to counteract the vile wind of history that breeds loss and dislocation. Hazzard writes gently, tenderly, yet with fierce knowledge of how a dearth of love can render lives meaningless. The purity of her sentences, each one resonant with implication, create an effortless flow. — Publishers Weekly



The discussion of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five will take place on Thursday, August 4th at 6:00 the Red Key Tavern (5170 N. College Avenue) at 6:00 p.m.


Billy Pilgrim could travel through time. He also was abducted by aliens
and held in a human zoo on their planet, much to the utter skepticism
of the rest of the world. Yet that did not deter his quest to tell the
world of his experiences that started with his service as a soldier and
then a POW during World War II. Jumping around to different pivotal
points of his life, Billy was “unstuck in time” as he experienced his
past, present, and future while forcibly transported across Germany.
Each episode was a state of blissful obliviousness, leaving him with a
fatalistic “so it goes” air of indifference and apathy as he witnessed
the bombing of Dresden and the deaths caused by the brutal and
tragic events happening around him. The message in this story is
simple- death is inevitable, and life moves on. Slaughterhouse-Five is now considered one of the greatest antiwar novels of all time.

Slaughterhouse-Five is also available as an eBook and an eAudiobook, and is on order as an audiobook on CD.

The photograph of the monument was posted on Wikimedia Commons by X-Weinzar. As translated by Google, it reads in part, “We remember the dead who perished in the Anglo-American bomb attack in February 1945 on Dresden”.



The Portrait of a Lady
The Shared Reading Group at the East 38th Street Branch is going to take a break for the first two Fridays in August, the 5th and the 12th, and will meet again on the 19th and 26th to read and discuss The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James.

From 10:00 to 11:30, attendees will read aloud (if they wish to), sample refreshments (if they wish to), and discuss. A poem will be read.

The group’s members are all wondering how this book made it into the canon. But they are also, on some level, enjoying it. I think.



Mary Monroe’s novel Every Woman’s Dream will be discussed at the Flanner House Branch on Monday, August 8th at 6:30 p.m.

Every Woman's DreamBest-selling Monroe begins her new Lonely Heart, Deadly Heart series with a tale about friends Lola and Joan. As teens, they came up with a plan to earn money by writing to lonely older men, which worked just fine until one man’s wife came looking for them. Years later, Lola is stuck in a dead-end grocery-store job, while living with a stepmother who runs off her boyfriends. Joan gets pregnant at 17 and marries the dentist father, Reed, who proves to be a suffocating, controlling husband. As adults looking for escape, the ladies join an online sex club and meet hookups. The point of view switches to a serial killer who is attracted to Lola through the club; as they set up a date, the novel ends. Monroe manages to make Joan and Lola sympathetic throughout their painful missteps, while the killer’s presence heightens suspense. The ending is abrupt, leaving readers waiting for the next installment. — Booklist

Every Woman’s Dream is also available as an eBook and in large print



Shakespeare's Sonnets And Poems

Joni Mitchell: Hits (Musical scoreOn Monday, August 8th at 6:30 p.m., The Poetry & Lyric Discussion Group at the Beech Grove Branch will talk about William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 7” and Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock”



The Time In Between by Maria Dueñas will be discussed at the Irvington Branch on Thursday, August 11th at 1:30 p.m.

The Time In Between
Sira Quiroga begins life as the bastard daughter of a humble seamstress in Madrid, but bad luck, fate, and the crooked path toward true love all lead her to a life of dizzying glamour, adventure, and high-stakes espionage. When young Sira is abandoned by her lover in Morocco, she is forced to reinvent herself as a sophisticated dressmaker to the expatriate community while the Spanish civil war devastates her homeland. Her work brings her into contact with powerful men, compelling women, and a man she believes to be a journalist and perhaps the love of her life. When the British government asks her to return to Madrid to spy for them as World War II sweeps Europe, she reluctantly agrees, but in doing so becomes a heroine. The first-person perspective makes this long novel seem short, and the rich narrative includes many important figures and incidents from history . . . It is no surprise this debut novel was a runaway success in Europe. American fans of historical fiction looking for a dramatic, uncomplicated escape will be similarly entranced. — Library Journal

The Time In Between is also available as an audiobook on CD.



Barbara Shoup’s novel An American Tune will be discussed at the Metazoa Brewing Company (140 S. College Avenue) on Monday, August 15th at 6:00 p.m.

And in addition to this discussion: on Monday August 22nd at 6:00 p.m., Barbara Shoup will give an author talk in the Nina Mason Pulliam Indiana Special Collections Room at Central Library.

An American TuneNora Quillen spends her days contentedly helping with her husband’s veterinary practice and enjoying the beauty of the small town they call home. While helping her daughter prepare for college, though, she is brought face-to-face with, first, an old name and, then, an old love, remnants of a former life she has been hiding since one fateful night during the anti-Vietnam War movement almost 30 years ago. Unable to deny her past any longer, she is forced to look inside herself and make decisions that will inevitably alter the lives of everyone she loves. Shoup takes readers alternately to Indiana University during the 1960s antiwar movement and to northern Michigan at the beginning of the Iraq War, addressing the moral dilemmas of each while exploring Nora’s feelings of guilt and helplessness . . . However politically minded, this poignant and stirring novel is at its root a moving and passionate love story. — Booklist

An American Tune is also available as an eBook.



Kristin Hannah’s novel The Nightingale will be discussed at the Pike Branch on Monday, August 15th at 6:30 p.m.

The Nightingale“In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are,” Hannah’s narrator, Viann Mauriac, proclaims as she looks back on her life in France. The bestselling author hits her stride in this page-turning tale about two sisters, one in the French countryside, the other in Paris, who show remarkable courage in the German occupation during WWII. Through Viann we learn how life was disrupted when husbands and fathers were forced to enlist while the Germans took over their towns and villages, billeting themselves in people’s homes, gorging on food, and forcing the starved locals to wait in endless lines for rations. Viann’s younger sister, Isabelle, always rebellious, joins the resistance in Paris, finds love with another resistance fighter, and risks her life guiding downed British and American paratroopers over the Pyrenees and out of France. Viann does her part too, saving 19 Jewish children by hiding them in a convent. Despite having a German officer in her own home, she also takes in a Jewish baby–her best friend’s son–when his mother is sent to a concentration camp. The author ably depicts war’s horrors through the eyes of these two women, whose strength of character shines through no matter their differences. — Publishers Weekly

The Nightingale is also available as an eBook, an eAudiobook, an audiobook on CD, and in large print.



Monkey up! Karen Joy Fowler’s novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves will be discussed at the Indianapolis Zoo, White River Gardens (1200 W. Washington Street) on Tuesday, August 16th at 3:00 p.m. YOU WILL NOT HAVE TO PAY TO GET INTO WHEREVER THE DISCUSSION IS BEING HELD.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Rosemary Cooke, the young woman who narrates this funny, upsetting novel, was raised in Bloomington, Indiana, with an older brother. She had a sister, too, who was about the same age as Rosemary; but the brother was a human, while the “sister” was a chimpanzee. Rosemary’s father was an IU professor who had added a simian to the family as part of a scientific experiment.
The experiment did not go well, and Rosemary can be a hilarious narrator. She is attending college in California—eternally, it would seem—and looking back at her Hoosier years with dismay. The family has fractured. Her brother and “sister” have long-since disappeared, and Rosemary misses them terribly. The novel makes us look anew at what it means to be a family, and what it means to be human.

Ms. Fowler is the winner of the 2016 Indiana Authors Award in the National Author category.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is also available as an eBook, an eAudiobook, and an audiobook on CD.



Elizabeth O’Maley’s Bones on the Ground will be discussed at the Indiana Historical Society (450 W. Ohio Street) on Wednesday, August 17th at 5:00 p.m.

Bones on the GroundWhat happened to the Indians who called this area their home for so long? Bones on the Ground is an accessible examination of the Indians of the Old Northwest Territory and their struggle to maintain possession of their tribal lands while Colonial and American leaders pushed white settlement. O’Maley presents biographical sketches of the key players including Little Turtle, Tecumseh, William Henry Harrison, and William Conner, and alternates those histories with first-person narratives that help bring the characters to life. The book covers events in the Old Northwest Territory from before the American Revolution through the removal of the Miami from Indiana in 1846. With alternating points-of-view from both the Indians and the Colonial leaders, readers see that both sides bend and stretch the truth to validate their entitlements. With its focus primarily on the Indian tribes living in what would become Indiana, the book offers a concise, overall perspective on this important period in our state’s development.

Bones on the Ground is also available as an eBook.



Isis : Inside the Army of Terror by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan will be discussed at the Beech Grove Branch on Monday, August 22nd at 6:30 p.m.

Isis : Inside the Army of TerrorHow did a group of religious fanatics, clad in black pajamas and armed to the teeth, manage to carve out a violent, fundamentalist “Islamic state” in wide swaths of Syria and Iraq? How did the widely celebrated revolution against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad descend into a movement led by a psychopathically violent band of jihadists dedicated to the destruction of America? And just who are these brutal Islamic militants–many speaking unaccented English and holding European passports–beheading Western hostages in slickly produced videos? In Isis: Inside the Army of Terror, Syrian journalist Hassan Hassan and American analyst Michael Weiss explain how the terrorists of ISIS evolved from a nearly defeated insurgent group into a jihadi army–armed with American military hardware and the capability to administer a functioning state. Weiss and Hassan, who have both been on the frontlines of the Syrian revolution, have interviewed dozens of experts, American military and intelligence officials, and ISIS fighters to paint the first comprehensive picture of the rise and expansion of America’s most formidable terrorist enemy. ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror is destined to become the standard text on a terror group that, unfortunately, shows no signs of going away. — Baker & Taylor

Isis : Inside the Army of Terror is also available as an eBook and an audiobook on CD.



R. J. Palacio’s Wonder will be discussed at the Spades Park Branch on Wednesday, August 24th at 6:00 p.m.

WonderAfter being homeschooled for years, Auggie Pullman is about to start fifth grade, but he’s worried: How will he fit into middle-school life when he looks so different from everyone else? Auggie has had 27 surgeries to correct facial anomalies he was born with, but he still has a face that has earned him such cruel nicknames as Freak, Freddy Krueger, Gross-out and Lizard face. Though “his features look like they’ve been melted, like the drippings on a candle” and he’s used to people averting their eyes when they see him, he’s an engaging boy who feels pretty ordinary inside. He’s smart, funny, kind and brave, but his father says that having Auggie attend Beecher Prep would be like sending “a lamb to the slaughter.” Palacio divides the novel into eight parts, interspersing Auggie’s first-person narrative with the voices of family members and classmates, wisely expanding the story beyond Auggie’s viewpoint and demonstrating that Auggie’s arrival at school doesn’t test only him, it affects everyone in the community. Auggie may be finding his place in the world, but that world must find a way to make room for him, too. A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder. — Kirkus Reviews

Wonder is also available as an eBook, an audiobook on CD, and in large print.



Portal, the Indianapolis Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Group, will meet at the Glendale Branchportal on Sunday, August 28th at 1:00 p.m.

This month’s theme: Forward in Time: Characters who find themselves in the far future, or historical figures who wake up in the 21st century: who are your favorite characters who’ve been transported to their own future?



The Sun King Brewery (135 N. College Avenue) will host the last of this year’s Adult Summer Reading discussions. John A. Beineke’s Hoosier Public Enemy: A Life of John Dillinger will be discussed on Monday, August 29th at 5:30 p.m.

Hoosier Public Enemy: A Life of John DillingerThe Great Depression was a time of hardship and bleakness… except when America’s favorite criminal made news! John Dillinger’s swash-buckling ways, smooth good looks, and his care for the poor farmers – leaving their money on the counter when robbing the banks – won the hearts of Hoosiers and Americans everywhere. For a period of fourteen months, John Dillinger’s escapades lifted the average American from their despair. This book, with historic photos generously splashed through the pages, gives us a fascinating look at Indiana during the Dillinger years (from Johnnie’s childhood through 1934). Fast-paced and full of Dillinger’s sparkling personality, it shows us Dillinger’s early childhood in Indianapolis and Mooresville, and escorts us through his escapades – and thrilling escapes – in a time when fast cars and new modern crime-fighting techniques were finding a place in current culture.

Hoosier Public Enemy is also available as an eBook.



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LibraryReads for August

July 21, 2016 by Reader's Connection

Ten new books reviewed by librarians from eight different states. Two from Texas, two from New York. And Indiana is once again represented.


A Great Reckoning by Lousie Penny

A Great Reckoning

Armand Gamache is back, and it was worth the wait. As the new leader of the Surete academy, Gamche is working to stop corruption at its source and ensure the best start for the cadets. When a copy of an old map is found near the body of a dead professor, Gamache and Beauvoir race against the clock to find the killer before another person dies. A terrific novel that blends Penny’s amazing lyrical prose with characters that resonate long after the book ends. Highly recommended. — David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC



The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door

This book is so full of twists and turns that my head was swiveling. Who took baby Cora? Marco and Anne decide to leave their baby home alone. After all, they share a wall with their neighbors, with whom they are partying. They would take turns checking in on her baby monitor. But when they return to their flat the first thing they find is an open door and no Cora. Who’s to blame? Could it be an unlikely suspect that you won’t see coming? If you like a book that keeps you guessing until the very end you won’t be disappointed. — Debbie Frizzell, Johnson County Library, Roeland Park, KS



Watching Edie by Camilla Way

Watching Edie

Twisty psychological banter makes this book a thrill ride. Edie was the girl in high school who had it all. Heather was the awkward girl who wanted so badly to be accepted. That was high school and now Edie is a single mom caught in a dead end job. She is about to lose it when Heather comes to her rescue. While Edie loves being able to get her life back, the hold that Heather has on her and the baby is disconcerting. The story jumps back and forth between past and present and you will change your mind about their friendship right up to the last page. — Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX



The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living

Talented chef Olivia Rawlings didn’t make the best decisions in her love life, but it takes an accident with a flambéed dessert to force her into a major life change. She flees to a small town in Vermont and takes a job at a small inn. She soon discovers that even though the town is small, the world she has known is about to get much bigger. Miller’s writing is descriptive enough to imagine Olivia in this setting, smell her pastries baking, and hear the music in the story. Miller has captured the essence of a great character in a setting that could easily feel like home to many readers. — Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO



The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis

The Dollhouse

This is the story of the women who stayed in the Barbizon Hotel in the 1950’s. A reporter is tipped off about one of the women, who still lives in the building over 60 years later. As she tries to research a murder and a case of switched identities, she starts becoming part of the story. The narration switched between 2016 and 1952 and as I read the novel, I soon got caught up in the next piece of the puzzle. It had history, romance, and a way to view the changing roles of women. Enjoyed it very much! — Donna Ballard, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY



The Book That Matters Most: A Novel by Ann Hood

The Book That Matters Most: A Novel

A recently separated woman seeks solace and purpose in a local book group, while her daughter is dealing with her own life-changing problems that just might be resolved with a little literary assistance. The juxtaposition of the idyllic small town and the harsh reality of the seedier side of Paris, the weight of memory and regret, and the power of human connection, along with the engaging characters all work together to create an enthralling read. Readers will be carried away with the hope that these lovely and damaged characters can find their own happy ending. — Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, South Huntington, NY



Arrowood by Laura McHugh


Arden Arrowood returns to the family home, a stately Second Empire mansion, after the death of her father. She is hoping to find some peace and possibly an answer to the decades old mystery of her twin sisters’ kidnapping. Arden, at age 8, was the only witness to their disappearance, but memory is a tricky thing. The spooky old house, the setting on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River Bluffs, the small town atmosphere, a creepy caretaker, and many family secrets make this novel un-put-down-able! Highly recommended. — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX



Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Behind Closed Doors

On the surface, Jack and Grace have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, and the perfect jobs. What lies beneath the surface is something so sinister yet so believable that it will horrify most readers. What happens behind closed doors and could, or would, you believe it? This is a superb story of psychological abuse that will have your heart racing right up to the end. — Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Twp, MI





First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

First Star I See Tonight

First Star I See Tonight is a satisfying addition to the Chicago Stars series. Cooper Graham has just retired as the quarterback when he meets private investigator Piper. Their relationship starts off with a mutual dislike that quickly turns into one full of sparks. Watching them navigate the waters is fascinating. In the end Cooper lays it all on the line in order to win his biggest game ever…a happily ever after. I highly recommend the book. — Jennifer Cook, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire , WI — Jennifer Cook, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire , WI



Die Like An Eagle: A Meg Langslow Mystery by Donna Andrews

Die Like An Eagle: A Meg Langslow Mystery

Meg and her family embrace America’s favorite past time. It’s the opening weekend for the Caerphilly Summerball baseball league and Meg finds a body in the porta-potty. Meg, her friends and family must catch a killer and figure out how to oust the petty league president before everyone’s weekend is ruined. Reading Andrews’ books are like a visit home to your favorite relatives, plus she weaves humor and fun while still penning an enjoyable mystery. — Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, IN


North Water, by Ian McGuire (Remember: anyone can submit reviews to Reader’s Connection.)

July 18, 2016 by Reader's Connection

The North Water

It is the late 1800s and the whale hunting industry is beginning to fade. Why would a ship owner send a ship this far north so late in the year? A ship carrying men of questionable character…..a murderer, thieves, some running from the past? The Arctic is becoming more unwelcome each day! The crew more agitated. This fast-paced adventure tale is perfect reading for a sweltering Indiana summer. –Sharon


Ian McGuire’s The North Water is available as a book or an eBook.


If you would like to submit a review to Reader’s Connection, as Sharon did, just go to the top of this blog page and click where it says SHARE A REVIEW.





OR, if you’re using a phone, and there’s no such picture to click, click below, probably where it says Continue reading.

You’ll be taken to a form where you can enter your review, and I’ll post it here on Reader’s Connection as soon as I can.

Share a Review


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The 2016 Indiana Author Award Winners and Finalists Have Been Announced!

July 14, 2016 by Reader's Connection


I am completely excited! The winner of the 2016 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award in the National Author category wrote a novel that I read just a couple of months ago, and I went swinging through the trees when I read it.

The winners in the National, Regional and Genre Excellence categories have been announced, as have three finalists for the Emerging Author Award. The Emerging Author winner will be announced at the IAA Dinner on Saturday, October 29th.

National Author Award

Karen Joy Fowler - 5

Karen Joy Fowler is the winner of the National Author Award.

Fowler was raised in Bloomington, where much of her novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is set. That’s the one that had me swinging through the trees.

I should come down to the ground long enough to announce that Fowler has written other books. Click her name or picture to see the novels and story collections that are available at the library.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves will be discussed at the Indianapolis Zoo on Tuesday, August 16th as part of the Adult Summer Reading Program.



Regional Author Award

gulleyThe Regional Author Award winner is Philip Gulley. Originally from Danville, Gulley is a Quaker pastor, an essayist, columnist and novelist. He has also served as a television host.

Novels set in the fictional towns of Harmony and Hope are among his popular works, and his memoir I Love You, Miss Huddleston : And Other Inappropriate Longings of My Indiana Childhood records his growing up in Danville.




Genre Excellence Award


The winner of the Genre Excellence Award is April Pulley Sayre. If the category sounds unfamiliar, that’s because it’s new this year. It will rotate each year to recognize authors of excellence in specific genres. This year’s category is Children’s Picture Books.

This is not to set our authors off against one another, but Sayre, who lives in South Bend, has more books in our catalog than any of the other authors. Many of them are science books, and my favorite title at first sight is Trout Are Made of Trees.



Emerging Author Award

The three finalists for the Emerging Author Award are Sarah Gerkensmeyer, Bill Kenley, and Edward Kelsey Moore.



Sarah Gerkensmeyer is the author of the prize-winning story collection What You Are Now Enjoying, which will soon be ordered for the library. She lives with her family in Greencastle.









Bill Kenley is a teacher at Noblesville High School, and is the author of High School Runner (Freshman).








Indianapolis native Edward Kelsey Moore is the author of The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat, which is a novel set in the fictional Indiana town of Plainview. This book is another that will be discussed–next Monday, in fact, July 18th, at the downtown Sun King Brewery–as part of our Adult Summer Reading Program.




The winners and finalists will all appear as part of the free Indy Author Fair during the day on October 29th, and the awards will be presented at the ticketed dinner that evening. Congratulations to all!


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Books & Movies to Inspire Your Next Epic Road Trip

July 12, 2016 by Reader's Connection

“All I wanted was to go somewheres; all I wanted was a change.” -Huck Finn

Take a trip this summer without ever leaving your house. Dive into one of these books or movies to inspire your next epic summer road trip. You never know where you will end up.




America Day by Day

America Day by Day – Simone de Beauvoir

Here is the ultimate American road book, one with a perspective unlike that of any other. In January 1947 Simone de Beauvoir began a four-month journey that took her from one coast of the United States to the other. She traveled west by car, train, and Greyhound, immersing herself in the nation’s culture, customs, people, and landscape.





American Nomads

American Nomads: Travels with Lost Conquistadors, Mountain Men, Cowboys, Indians, Hoboes, Truckers, and Bullriders – Richard Grant

Along with a personal account, American Nomads traces the history of wandering in the New World, through vividly told stories of frontiersmen, fur trappers and cowboys, Comanche and Apache warriors, all the way back to the first Spanish explorers who crossed the continent.




An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines – John Green

Having been recently dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to try to find some new direction in life while also trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relationships.






Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson

This is the tale of a long weekend road trip that has gone down in the annals of American pop culture as one of the strangest, addle-brained, rollicking journeys ever undertaken.








Going Bovine

Going Bovine – Libba Bray

Cameron Smith, a disaffected sixteen year-old who, after being diagnosed with Mad Cow disease, sets off on a road trip with a death-obsessed video gaming dwarf he meets in the hospital in an attempt to find a cure.








The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America

The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America – Bill Bryson

Journalist Bryson decided to relive the dreary vacation car trips of his American childhood. Starting out at his mother’s house in Des Moines, Iowa, he motors through 38 states over the course of two months, looking for the quintessential American small town.






The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey

The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey – Ernesto “Che” Guevara

A freewheeling account of an extended youthful road trip undertaken in the early ’50s by the future poster boy of Communist insurrection.








On the Road

On the Road – Jack Kerouac

Narrated by Sal Paradise, one of Kerouac’s alter-egos, On the Road is a cross-country bohemian odyssey that not only influenced writing in the years since its 1957 publication but penetrated into the deepest levels of American thought and culture. – Review







Road Trip: A Pocket History of Indiana

Road Trip: A Pocket History of Indiana – Andrea Neal

The bicentennial of Indiana statehood in 2016 is the perfect time for Hoosiers of all stripes to hit the road and visit sites that speak to the nineteenth state’s character. In her book, Andrea Neal has selected the top 100 events/historical figures in Indiana history. This will enable interested Hoosiers to travel the entire state to experience history firsthand. The sites appear in chronological order, beginning with the impact of the Ice Age on Indiana and ending with the legacy of the bicentennial itself.



Travels with Charley in Search of America

Travels with Charley in Search of America – John Steinbeck

With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. Along the way he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, the particular form of American loneliness he finds almost everywhere, and the unexpected kindness of strangers.





Vicariously Yours, Letters and Lessons from the Ultimate Road Trip

Vicariously Yours, Letters and Lessons from the Ultimate Road Trip – Traci Bray

The story of a woman who won one of the 276 cars on The Oprah Winfrey Show. With the proceeds from selling the excess car, she and her family abandoned a suburban lifestyle, and spent a year discovering America through the windshield of a 38-foot motorhome. This three traveled 20,000 miles in 12 months, visiting 36 states and two foreign countries. What started as an adventure with a loose plan became a journey that, when ended, would change this family forever.



Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert Pirsig

An unforgettable narration of a summer motorcycle trip across America’s Northwest, undertaken by a father and his young son. A story of growth, discovery, and acceptance that becomes a profound personal and philosophical odyssey into life’s fundamental questions.



Movies & Documentaries


America’s Great Road Trips & Scenic Drives

America’s Great Road Trips & Scenic Drives

This collection takes you down the American roads less traveled to discover the pulse of the Heartland: the scenic splendor of the country’s most treasured national parks, the people and communities created far from major cities.







American Road Trip

American Road Trip

Take the ultimate cross-country road trip to some of America’s most popular destinations, and learn the fascinating true stories of Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, the Hoover Dam, and the Golden Gate Bridge.







Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

When Suzanne’s work keeps her in Vancouver for the holiday, Nick offers to bring her kids to the city from Portland, Oregon. The kids are determined to turn the road trip into a nightmare.







Boys on the Side

Boys on the Side

Three women sharing a car going west also share a friendship that becomes family. One is a wisecracking club singer, one a finicky real-estate agent, and one a free spirit. Each has secrets to reveal, strengths to impart, vital moments of self-discovery awaiting.








Easy Rider

Easy Rider

Two motorcyclists travel across the U.S. in search of the “real” America. And find it.








Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Based on the book by Hunter S. Thompson. Fueled by a suitcase full of pharmaceuticals, journalist Raoul Duke and his sidekick Dr. Gonzo set off on a fast and furious ride through nonstop neon, surreal surroundings and a crew of crazy characters.







Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine

A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus. (We’re ordering more copies of this title.)







The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries

An inspirational adventure based on the true story of two young men whose thrilling and dangerous road trip across Latin America becomes a life-changing journey of self-discovery.








National Lampoon’s Vacation

National Lampoon’s Vacation

A suburban Chicago family travels across the United States on a comic trek to an amusement park, and encounters a series of disasters along the way.








On the Road

On the Road

Traveling cross-country, young writer Sal Paradise has his life shaken by the arrival of free-spirited Dean Moriarty and his girl, Marylou. As they travel across the country, they encounter a mix of people who each impact their journey indelibly.






Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

Pee-wee hits the open road to look for his missing bicycle and encounters riotous adventures with bikers, bums, cowboys, cons, a phantom trucker, and a waitress with wanderlust.






Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

An uptight businessman faces disaster after disaster as he tries to get back home in time for his family’s Thanksgiving dinner, and along the way is joined by an insane traveling salesman that will not leave him alone.






Rain Man

Rain Man

A callous young hustler living in California finds his father has died and left him only rose bushes and a ’49 Buick convertible. Feeling cheated out of what he thinks should be his 3 million dollar inheritance, he kidnaps the autistic brother he never knew he had, and takes him on the ride of his life.








Bob Munro (Robin Williams) and his dysfunctional family rent an RV for a road trip to the Colorado Rockies, where they ultimately have to contend with a bizarre community of campers.










After losing her job and learning that her husband has been unfaithful, a woman hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother.






Thelma and Louise

Thelma and Louise

An Arkansas waitress and a housewife decide to break out of their normal life and jump in a ’66 Thunderbird to hit the road for some adventure. Their journey, however, turns into a violent flight from the authorities all the way to Mexico in this cult classic.






Wild at Heart

Wild at Heart

Lula knows she’s destined to be with her ex-con boyfriend, Sailor, no matter how many times her mama tried to kill him. But when she and Sailor hit the road to find happiness, their journey plunges them into a disturbing underworld.

You can check out all of these titles and more at the Indianapolis Public Library!

Selector Jessica Lawrence: