Lebanon County Reads
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!
You’re invited to vote on the title you want to read with us in 2020! Voting is open March 2, 2020, and runs through March 31, 2020. You may vote online via the ‘vote!’ button on this page or if you prefer to vote via paper ballot, please visit your local library to obtain one. Whether by paper ballot or by online ballot, please vote only once. The winning title will be announced on Friday, May 1, 2020, on Lebanon County libraries’ social media.
MEET THE FINALISTS
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
Charles and Lily, James and Nan. They meet in Greenwich Village in 1963 when Charles and James are jointly hired to steward the historic Third Presbyterian Church through turbulent times. However, their personal differences threaten to tear them apart. We follow these two couples through decades of love and friendship, jealousy and understanding, forgiveness and commitment.
Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land
Hard work, low pay, a mother’s will to survive. Stephanie Land explores poverty in America through her memoir, Maid. “I’d become a nameless ghost,” Land writes about her relationship with her clients, many of whom do not know her from any other cleaner, but who she learns plenty about. As she begins to discover more about her clients’ lives—their sadness and love, too—she begins to find hope in her own path.
The Other Americans by Laila Lalami
Late one spring night, Driss Guerraoui, a Moroccan immigrant in California, is walking across a darkened intersection when he is killed by a speeding car. The repercussions of his death bring together a diverse cast of characters. As the characters tell their stories, the invisible connections that tie them together—even while they remain deeply divided by race, religion, or class—are slowly revealed. When the mystery of what happened to Driss Guerraoui unfolds, a family’s secrets are exposed, a town’s hypocrisies are faced, and love, in its messy and unpredictable forms, is born.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her biology class named Aman, who her family can never know about. When she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her Mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.
Running With Sherman: The Donkey With The Heart Of A Hero by Christopher McDougall
When Chris McDougall agreed to take in a donkey from an animal hoarder, he thought it would be no harder than the rest of the adjustments he and his family had made after moving from Philadelphia to the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country. But when he arrived, Sherman was in such bad shape he could barely move, and his hair was coming out in clumps. McDougall decided to undertake a radical rehabilitation program designed not only to heal Sherman’s body but to heal his mind as well. It turns out the best way to soothe a donkey is to give it a job, and so McDougall decided to teach Sherman how to run.
The Widows by Jess Montgomery
Kinship, Ohio, 1924: When Lily Ross learns that her husband, the town’s widely respected sheriff, has been killed while transporting a prisoner, she is devastated and vows to avenge his death. Hours after his funeral, a stranger appears at her door. Marvena Whitcomb, a coal miner’s widow, is unaware that the sheriff has died, and begs to speak with him about her missing daughter. From miles away but worlds apart, Lily and Marvena’s lives collide as they realize that Daniel was not the man that either of them believed him to be.
2019 – The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan
2018 – America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie