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The Art of the Personal Touch is Alive and Well at JCPL!


"What's shakin', bacon?" I love that Progressive Insurance commercial. There stands a woman, buying insurance from Progressive, and hovering in the background are her current insurance agents, who not only can't remember how long she's been a customer, but can't get her name straight even after she says it out loud.

The "personal touch" is becoming a thing of the past; Progressive knows it and most consumers know it too. Making phone calls to businesses almost always results in "menu choices," and the selections are so numerous that I often have to listen more than once, just to choose the right one, and then, I am greeted with yet another automated voice system, only to select another menu option, and when a customer service representative finally comes on the line, I have to repeat all of the same information that I so carefully punched into the first two menu options!

When you call the Jasper County Public Library, you'll be greeted by a real, live, person, who will provide you with quick, friendly service, and the "options" available on the shelves of JCPL are numerous! Here are just a few of the newest adult fiction titles to choose from.

Samuel Lake, a young preacher, and his wife, Willadee, along with their three young children, are headed to "the old home place," Willadee's family farm in Arkansas for the annual Moses family reunion. The festivities, however, are cut short by the tragic death of Willadee's father, John. The Lakes are a family in crisis, and in the midst of if all, Samuel and Willadee's fearless eleven year old daughter takes on the cause of eight year old Blade Ballenger, a little boy traumatized by a terrifying father who eleven year old Swan is determined to rescue in "The Homecoming of Samuel Lake" by Jenny Wingfield.

The year is 1665, the setting a tiny settlement called Great Harbor on the island of Martha's Vineyard. At the age of 12, Bethia Mayfield meets Caleb, the young son of a Native American chieftan, and the two form a fast friendship. Bethia's father, a minister desperately trying to convert the Wampanoag Indian Tribe to Christianity, takes on the project of converting Caleb, who, a year later, enters Cambridge University, studying different languages and crossing cultures as Bethia watches from behind the scenes in "Caleb's Crossing" by Geraldine Brooks.

It is a year since the tragic drowning death of Ellen Boisvert's husband of 15 years, Fintan. Grieving the loss of her husband and confused about the unsatisfying marriage that she and Fintan had, Ellen decides to travel to Fintan's hometown in Ireland in hopes of coming to terms with all that has happened to her. Ellen's journey leads her to take care of her tough mother-in-law, Jo Greaney, and in the process, Ellen begins to uncover the complex story of her late husband's life, and as a result, learns a lot about herself, and finds strength she never knew she had in "Dance Lessons" by Aine Greaney.

The unexpected death of Lucy Darby a year before leaves her husband, David, and her son, Whitley, struggling to pick up the pieces of their lives. Eleven year old Whitley has not spoken a word since his mother's death, living in a world of silence, and as questions of Lucy's death continue to haunt David, Whitley befriends a group of misfits who are determined to bring Lucy back home, and in time, truths are revealed, forcing them all to confront their deepest fears in "Untouchable" by Scott O'Connor.

Unexpectedly fired from his job, Simon Burns takes on the role of stay at home dad to his three year old son. Meeting a tight knit group of dads on the playground, Simon finds himself becoming more comfortable with the darker side of life, and after a "guy's night out," the nightmare begins for Simon with disturbing changes in his body and his thought process. As Simon begins to suspect that being welcomed into the pack is more than normal male bonding, he falls prey to his basic instincts, learning that werewolves really do exist in "The Pack" by Jason Starr.

What's shakin', bacon? How's it going? What's the scoop? What's the skinny? For shakin' bacon, press 1, to find out how it's going, press 2, for the latest scoop, press 3, to get the skinny, press 4, all other callers stay on the line for the first available new fiction title, right around the corner at your local branch of JCPL!