Lebanon County Reads


 125 N. 7th Street
 Lebanon, PA 17046

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While the inaugural Lebanon County Reads campaign launched in 2018, planning for Lebanon County’s own community read campaign began a year prior.  All six Lebanon County public libraries support the campaign which runs from summer through early fall and culminates in the title selection’s author’s visit to Congregation Beth Israel in September.  We hope you’ll read with us and check out the special events affiliated with the campaign!

A limited supply of Lebanon County Reads t-shirts are still available for sale!  T-shirts are $5 each (cash only).  Please visit Lebanon Community Library or call 717-273-7624 for size availability.

 We are pleased to announce that this year’s Lebanon County Reads selection is:

The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan

On June 5, 1944, as dawn rises over a small town on the Normandy coast of France, Emmanuelle is making the bread that has sustained her fellow villagers in the dark days since the Germans invaded her country.

Only twenty-two, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at thirteen, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

In the years that her sleepy coastal village has suffered under the enemy, Emma has silently, stealthily fought back. Each day, she receives an extra ration of flour to bake a dozen baguettes for the occupying troops. And each day, she mixes that precious flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves—contraband bread she shares with the hungry villagers. Under the cold, watchful eyes of armed soldiers, she builds a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers.

But her gift to the village is more than these few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them.

From the author’s website

What people are saying about The Baker’s Secret:

“This novel transcends even a critical moment in history to suggest the human condition of ignorance of the future and the necessity of hope, courage, and unselfish sacrifice.”

—Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife and Four Spirits

“A tale beautifully, wisely, and masterfully told.”

— Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun

Swatara Coffee Co. official logoWe’re pleased to announce that this year’s promotional tie in at Swatara Coffee Co. is the scrumptious Apple Normandy, a pastry that hails from the region of France where this year’s Lebanon County Reads selection is set. A small portion of sale proceeds from Apple Normandy pastries will be donated to Matthews Public Library. Apple Normandy goes on sale exclusively at Swatara Coffee Co. on Tuesday, June 25, 2019.

As a journalist and novelist, Stephen P. Kiernan has published nearly four million words. His newspaper work has garnered more than forty awards—including the George Polk Award and the Scripps Howard Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment.

Author of the novels The Hummingbird and The Curiosity, and … The Baker’s Secret, he has also written two nonfiction books, Last Rights and Authentic Patriotism.

Stephen was born in Newtonville, NY the sixth of seven children. A graduate of Middlebury College, he received a Master of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has chaired the board of the Young Writers Project, served on the Vermont Legislative Committee on Pain and Palliative Care, and served on the advisory board of the New Hampshire Palliative Care Initiative.

Stephen travels the country speaking and consulting on how to expand use of hospice, palliative care and advance directives.

A performer on the guitar since he was ten years old, Stephen has recorded three CDs of solo instrumentals, and composed music for dance, the stage and documentary films.

He lives in Vermont with his two amazing sons.

From the author’s website

2019The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan

2018America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie