Good Life

Helping hands: Pick up a copy of this year’s Centre County Reads selection

Maybe you love a gripping spy story. Perhaps you’re curious about the untold stories of women who changed our country’s history. Or maybe you just enjoy stimulating conversation about issues that matter. If so, pick up a copy of the 2016 Centre County Reads selection, “Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War” by best-selling author Karen Abbott.

Now in its 14th year, Centre County Reads brings you and your neighbors together to read and talk about the same book. A partnership of your public libraries, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, Penn State’s Center for American Literary Studies and others, Centre County Reads represents a broad-based effort to connect community members and inspire thoughtful discussions, all sparked by one book.

This year’s selection, “Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy,” follows the spellbinding adventures of four American women who risked their lives to contribute to the war effort during the Civil War. During the first three months of 2016, you can take part in a variety of countywide activities inspired by this popular and captivating nonfiction book.

On Saturday, Feb. 20, join your neighbors and friends at the Centre County Reads kickoff, held at the Centre County Library’s Historical Museum from 2-5 p.m. Free and open to everyone in the community, the kickoff event will showcase Centre County’s rich Civil War history and will draw connections between Abbott’s book and events that took place in our own backyard.

From book discussion groups to a roundtable discussion featuring visiting and local scholars, Centre County Reads will provide ample opportunities in February and March to engross yourself in meaningful conversations about war, patriotism, courage, conviction and much more. Stop by your library for a full list of Centre County Reads events.

Centre County Reads will culminate with a visit by Karen Abbott on Wednesday, March 16. Abbott, who is working on a new book, will be interviewed by WPSU’s Patty Satalia and will also take questions from the audience. You don’t need to be a Civil War buff or a historian to engage with Abbott’s book. All you need is an interest in learning more about your neighbors, your community, and yourself.

So, pick up a copy of this year’s Centre County Reads selection at your local library. Share it with a friend. And then experience the magic that happens when a community reads together.

Susanna Paul is the communications manager at Schlow Centre Region Library.