One mystery down. One to go. 


The first mystery was, “What book will the Howard County Reads Committee choose for 2015?”


Today (Oct. 1) the committee announced that “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie is the 2015 Howard County Reads book.



The next big mystery will be on Nov. 20, and we want YOUR help to solve it.


Come to the Murder Mystery Theatre, where we’ll serve up murder and mayhem from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, at Elite Banquet & Conference Center, 2820 S. LaFountain St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. 


Early bird tickets go on sale Oct. 19 for $25 each and will be available at all KHCPL locations and the Greentown Public Library through Nov. 6. Then the price will be $35 each. 


Also that night, a silent auction will showcase the Top 15 2015 Howard County Reads’ titles. Many baskets will include an autographed copy of the book. All proceeds from the dinner and auction go to Howard County Reads.



“We thought the Murder Mystery Theatre would be a fun way to celebrate Howard County Reads,” said Trisha Shively, who chairs the committee. “We’re excited about it. We’re also excited to have a new Howard County Reads sponsor: The Wyman Group. It’s sponsoring our author visit.


“Colleen Oakley, author of ‘Before I Go,’ will join us to talk about her novel. ‘Before I Go’ follows 27-year-old Daisy Richmond, who is diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, as

she deals with her own mortality by trying to find her husband, Jack, a new wife. Colleen will answer questions and sign books after the event.”


The Colleen Oakley Author Visit will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10, at Indiana University Kokomo Kresge Auditorium.


The Howard County Reads Committee has lined up a number of other programs based on “And Then There Were None” and some of the other 14 titles it chose for the top 15 list. Not all programs will be at KHCPL.


KHCPL and the Greentown Public Library sponsor Howard County Reads each year to cultivate a love of reading and to promote a sense of community. Community partners include IU Kokomo and Symposium. 


Upcoming Programs


Landline Telegraph and Radio Display

November ~ KHCPL Main and Greentown Public Library

Stop by both libraries to check out the displays of landline telegraph equipment and old radios.


Wander Indiana

Violet and Finch, in the book “All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven, are given the assignment to “wander Indiana.” With our Wander Indiana brochure you, too, will be able to wander our state, and see some well know and lesser known attractions our state has to offer. Pick up your copy of the “Wander Indiana” brochure at any KHCPL location.  


From Ham Radios to 3-D Printers 

6:30 p.m. ~ Wednesday, Nov. 11 ~ KHCPL Main

In the book “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr, two of the character are what would in today’s world be described as “Makers.”  3D printing produces an object from a digital model. Join members from SHAK Makerspace for a demonstration with a 3D printer. They will be printing out Thumb Book Holders for those in attendance.  There will also be information available about how you can get involved with SHAK. 


Sticks and Stones: Hurtful Words in Books

6:30 p.m. ~ Thursday, Nov. 12 ~ KHCPL Main

Great books, including the original version of “And Then There Were None,” written decades ago use words that people today find offensive. We’re changing as a society to be more culturally sensitive. So what do we do, then, with books of the past? Join us as we discuss this topic with panelists representing a variety of cultures.


Take the Mystery Out of Writing: The Forensics of Stories

9 to 11 a.m. ~ Saturday, Nov. 14 ~ KHCPL Main

The great authors make writing look easy, but most of the time getting the story right is a giant mystery only the likes of Sherlock Holmes could solve. Not now. KHCPL will help YOU with a FREE workshop by Bryan Furuness, the author of the Lost Episodes of Revie Bryson. He teaches at Butler University, where he is also the Pressgang Editor in Chief. He loves thinking about the architecture of stories and representing it visually (maps, diagrams, pictures, etc.) because it helps writers understand how to build a story. Bryan will teach you how to see and break down stories visually. Space is limited. Call 457.3242 to register beginning Oct. 12.


From Mindless to Mindful Eating: How We Think About Food 

6:30 p.m. ~ Thursday, Nov. 19 ~ Greentown Public Library 

What does your favorite comfort food say about you? Why do you eat more when you dine with friends? Mindless Eating by Dr. Brian Wansink is a HCR nominee. Dr. Peter M. Todd is the Director of the IU Food Institute and uses this book in his classes. Learn how you can improve your eating habits during this fun and informative program that will feed your brain as well as your tummy. Registration required. Call 628.3534 to register.


Relief Carving Demonstration

6 to 8 p.m. ~ Wednesday, Dec. 2 ~ KHCPL Main 

In the book “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown, Joe Rantz’s father Harry Rantz is described as an “inveterate tinkerer and inventor, a lover of gadgetry.” Come to this demonstration as local tinkerer and SHAK Makerspace member David Braun demonstrates the art of Relief Carving. There will also be information available about how you can get involved with SHAK.


2015 HCR Top 15 List


“All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven

Young Adult Fiction

Indiana teens Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of their school’s bell tower and confront darkness, joy, and love in the face of mental illness.

“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr


Blind Marie-Laure lives and her father flee Paris to Saint-Malo during the WWII Nazi occupation. German orphan, Werner, from the Hitler Youth academy travels to Saint-Malo and their two lives and stories converge.

“And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie


Now in its 75th Anniversary edition, a killer stalks 10 strangers on an isolated island in a suspenseful story set to a sinister nursery rhyme.

“Angels Walking” by Karen Kingsbury


Former baseball hero, Tyler Ames, can’t afford to have shoulder surgery. Working as a janitor, he rediscovers his faith and relationships, nudged on by angels unaware.

“Before I Go” by Colleen Oakley


In a narrative that blends humor with heartbreak, Daisy Richmond, age 27, discovers that her cancer has returned, and it is terminal. Afraid that husband will be unable to cope, she decides to find him a wife.

“Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid’s Memoir That Inspired ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ and ‘Downton Abbey’ ” by Margaret Powell


This true story of life in domestic service in England following WWI is told by Margaret, a kitchen maid who never stopped aiming high.

“The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel James Brown


The University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar rowing crew transformed the sport in their quest for Olympic gold during The Depression and Hitler’s rise to power.

“Calling Me Home” by Julie Kibler


Isabelle McAllister, 89, asks her hairdresser, Dorrie Curtis, a black single mom, to drive her to a funeral and shares a story of forbidden love in 1930’s Kentucky; the journey changes both their lives.

“Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” by Roz Chast

Graphic Novel-Biography

Roz Chast provides comic relief in a story about dealing with aging parents and the life-altering loss of parents.

“The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia” by Candace Fleming

Young Adult - Non-Fiction

The lives of the Romanov family contrasted with the plight of the ordinary Russian citizen. This is the story of the last tsar of Russia, his family, and people.

“The Lazarus Project” by Aleksandar Hemon


Based on the true story of Lazarus Averbach, killed in 1908 by Chicago’s Chief of Police who believed him to be an anarchist, the novel follows the journey of a Bosnian immigrant and a writer obsessed with the story. 

“Mindless Eating” by Brian Wansink


Food psychologist Wansink revolutionizes our awareness of how much, what, and why we’re eating.

“Positive: A Memoir” by Paige Rawls

Young Adult Biography

An Indiana teen struggles against bullying after casually mentioning that she is HIV positive. Overcoming her depression, she becomes a “positive” role model for others.

“The Sisters Brothers” by Patrick DeWitt


Paying homage to the classic Western, this story of hired guns, Eli and Charlie Sisters, brothers bound by blood, violence, and love, is an odyssey through the 1850s frontier, capturing the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West

“Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed


Ill prepared and emotionally exhausted by her life experiences, Cheryl Strayed embarks on a difficult but fascinating hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Her inner journey proves as intense as the 1,100 mile trek she feels compelled to complete.




In 1998, the Washington Center for the Book introduced the concept of “One Book” projects across the United States and around the world. The idea is that if everyone is reading the same book that there will be common ground upon which to build relationships. Howard County Reads is the local version of “One Book.”


Since 2004, thousands of people have participated in Howard County Reads. Past selections include Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman, Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys, and Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. 


The libraries request nominations, then a committee of librarians and community volunteers evaluates each book and narrows the list to the top 10 to 20 books. Then the committee chooses one title from the top novels list and names it the Howard County Reads book for the year. 





Kids, did you participate in the Summer Reading Club? Not ready for the excitement to end? Well, the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library has a way to keep the fun going. 


Children of all ages are encouraged to sign up for our Reading Superstar Challenge. Simply select one of our reading challenges and read all school-year long, through May 2016! 


Those who complete the program will receive a superstar certificate, free book, and join our Wall of Superstar Readers.






Community Foundation Grant Makes It Possible






The world is in jeopardy of losing food crops vital to our survival. Why? Crops need to be pollinated. For many crops, the primary pollinators are bees, butterflies, and birds, which feed off native plants. Pesticide use, bee mites, land development, and landscaping to create attractive lawns and gardens have dramatically decreased the number of native plants. For these reasons, pollinators are dying off. 


“The statistics are rather frightening,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement at KHCPL. According to the Pollinator Partnership, “Pollinators provide pollination services to over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1,200 crops. That means that one out of every three bites of food you eat is there because of pollinators. If we want to talk dollars and cents, pollinators add $217 billion to the global economy, and honey bees alone are responsible for between $1.2 and $5.4 billion in agricultural productivity in the United States. In addition to the food that we eat, pollinators support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, protect from severe weather, and support other wildlife.”


The library is the perfect organization to lead the project, Fipps said. “Our staff creates programs all year long to educate people about a variety of topics. Why not use some of our time to make people aware of the pollinator crisis, educate them about pollinators, and show them the steps they can take to help?” Plus, Fipps noted, the library has space to host programs and presentations. “With the grant from the Community Foundation of Howard County, the only taxpayer dollars funding Grow the Solution Together is for KHCPL staff time to host the programs, but, again, our staff presents a variety of programs every year anyway to benefit the community.” 


A key element of Grow the Solution Together is KHCPL’s native plant giveaway and sales. While supplies last, KHCPL will give one native plant to per family, along with a care guide. Those wanting more than one can purchase additional native plants: one for $2 or three for $5.


“You can plant these beside other flowers or set aside one area for native plants,” Fipps said. “There are several local people who have well-established gardens featuring native plants, and they are also members of the Howard County Master Gardeners’ Association. They’ve been a tremendous help. They’ve educated us so we can educate others. They’re also helping at the plant giveaways and sales.”


Programs KHCPL plans to have in the upcoming year include an expert showing people how to take care of native plants, and a honey tasting and talk about beekeeping. “There will be a lot going on to increase awareness, education, and action,” Fipps said. “We’re even putting together a contest to encourage people to show us how their plants are growing and ways they’ve helped pollinators.”


KHCPL will send out press releases, use social media, and have a dedicated Grow the Solution Together web page to keep people updated about the various programs. In addition, details will be in the quarterly newsletter mailed to the homes in the community.


“It’s difficult to say all that will be involved with Grow the Solution because the more we talk about it, the more ideas people have,” Fipps said. “That’s a good problem to have. Whenever we talked to people, we thought we’d have to persuade them to be a part of Grow the Solution Together. Nothing could be further from the truth. As soon as we said, ‘We want to help save pollinators and increase the number of native plants in the community,’ people said, ‘Count us in.’ And, ‘I’m so glad the library’s doing this. This is so needed.’ ” 


So far, community partners include the Howard County Master Gardeners’ Association, Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, Purdue Extension, Howard County Soil & Water Conservation District, City of Kokomo Parks & Recreation Department, Bon Air Middle School, Carver Center, Kokomo Housing Authority, and The Living Garden. 


“We would be happy to partner with other organizations that want to help save pollinators and increase native plants,” Fipps said, adding all they have to do is call her at 765.626.0807.


“Grow the Solution Together empowers us to act locally while thinking globally,” said KHCPL Director Faith Brautigam. “I am excited about the impact this project will have on our community, in growing understanding and encouraging action. The broad partnerships will play a major role because they will help us to reach a diverse group of residents. Our community will have the privilege of looking at a worldwide issue that could potentially affect our food supply. I am especially grateful to the Community Foundation of Howard County for catching our vision and providing funding for the project.”


“It’s exciting that KHCPL will spearhead the only community collaboration focused on this issue that we know of in the state to date,” Fipps said.







Get YOUR free native plant and have a chance to buy more during one of KHCPL’s giveaway/sale dates:

* 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, May 8, Community Garage Sale, at Kokomo Beach

* 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, May 9, Farmers' Market, corner of Washington and Mulberry streets

* 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, May 16, Farmers' Market, corner of Washington and Mulberry streets

* 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, May 30, Farmers' Market, corner of Washington and Mulberry streets

* 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, June 1, Summer Reading Club kickoff party, KHCPL South

* 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, June 4, Summer Reading Club kickoff party, KHCPL Main

* 5:30 to 8 p.m., Friday, June 5, First Fridays/Strawberry Festival, KHCPL Main

One FREE native plant per family. All other native plants $2 each or 3 for $5

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We’re proud of our lovely, native plants and we bet you are, too.  Show off any native plant(s) you took home from a library event by taking a simple photo and entering the Grow the Solution Together Photo Contest.

From now through October 15, take photos as you plant or water them, as they bloom, when pollinators (bees, birds, butterflies, etc.) visit them, during a rain, at sunrise and sunset – any time there’s a chance to showcase their natural beauty.

Submit them either on the KHCPL Facebook page or via email, in high-resolution JPEG format, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. starting June 8. 

KHCPL will feature the top photos in a showing at the Art Gallery at KHCPL Main in November.  The Grand Prize photo will also be featured on a KHCPL postcard.

Additional photos will also be selected as prize-winners.  

Questions? Call Lisa Fipps at 765.626.0807 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Grow the Solution Together Photo Contest prizes: 


There's nothing quite like a garden aflutter with wild butterflies in the afternoon sun. Attract your neighborhood beauties with this sand-and-water puddler, designed to hold on to natural minerals after water evaporates. Its shallow well of recycled glass holds sand or rock salt along with a teaspoon of water. When the water evaporates (in under a day), butterflies are attracted to the minerals left behind from the hard water and sand/salt. Once butterflies know where they can find these minerals, they return regularly. Place it in a conspicuous nook to transform your outdoor space into an enchanted garden. Handmade of stoneware and recycled glass in Canada.




Fused stained glass butterfly feeder with orange and red hues. A network of copper spirals, vines, and hand-tooled leaves supports the feeder, which is soldered to a 3/16" copper-plated metal stake 36" tall. Three copper leaves complete the design. Dimensions are 5" diameter and 1.75" deep. Fill with very ripe fruit, or just add water and insert some pebbles that rise above the surface, for the butterflies to light on. Fill with seed to attract birds. 




Ceramicist Erik Hertz takes a fresh approach to his handcrafted birdhouses. Instead of the traditional boxy shape, he creates a rounded refuge that is both a work of art and a natural addition to the wooded landscape. Its small opening offers an inviting shelter to many varieties of bug-eating birds, like finches and wrens, while turning away larger, predatory species. Hertz's use of mottled, colorful glazes makes his birdhouses a welcome sight to the human eye as well. Handmade in Ocean Pines, Maryland.




Boost your garden's productivity by providing a happy home for peaceful, non-stinging Mason bees. Slightly smaller than honeybees, mason bees are incredible pollinators. Each one visits as many as 1000 blooms per day — 20 times as many as a honeybee! Hang this natural bamboo house against a tree or wall where it will get morning sun and attract mason bees. Female bees fill the bamboo tubes with their eggs, nectar, and pollen for the young to eat.



Field Guide to Indiana Wildflowers by Kay Yatskievych (Author)

Forty percent or more of Indiana’s wildflowers will not be found in any of the available field guides. Field Guide to Indiana Wildflowers fills that gap. The book includes all of the herbaceous species―a total of 1,568―recorded in Indiana (except grasses, sedges, and rushes). It contains 640 color photographs, one for every group of visually similar species. Photographs containing more than one species are accompanied by helpful explanations and numerous drawings of the characteristics that separate each of the individual species. Each species entry includes the scientific name, common name, habitats, general distribution in the state, months of blooming, size of the plants and the flowers or inflorescence, and a brief additional description of the plant. Photographs or drawings accompany most entries. 



Go Native!: Gardening with Native Plants and Wildflowers in the Lower Midwest by Carolyn Harstad (Author)

Using a simple Q & A format, this informative and user-friendly book offers advice on planning, site and soil preparation, garden design, plant selection, and propagation. Includes 125 illustrations and 100 color photos. 




101 Trees of Indiana: A Field Guide by Marion T. Jackson  (Author), Katherine Harrington (Author)


101 Trees of Indiana contains all you need to identify a tree in the Hoosier State, whatever the season. Ecologist Marion T. Jackson has selected approximately 101 species of trees, mostly native to the state but also others that are widely naturalized or planted extensively. Jackson’s comments about individual trees alone are worth the price of the book. Illustrations by Katherine Harrington provide clear and accurate botanical details. Ron Rathfon’s vivid color photographs make identification in the field a breeze. Further aiding in identification are text descriptions and species keys for both summer and winter conditions. Distribution maps indicate the counties in which each tree has been found and recorded. These maps have been updated to include more than 2,000 new county records discovered by scientists, foresters, and naturalists since the publication of Deam’s work. 101 Trees of Indiana will fit handily into a pocket or backpack, and the information for each tree, including drawings and photographs, is on facing pages―no flipping back and forth from text to picture. Naturalists, hikers, landscapers, and students will thoroughly enjoy this lovely and authoritative book.




The Natural Heritage of Indiana by Marion T. Jackson (Editor)

The Natural Heritage of Indiana is the first survey of the natural beauty, heritage, and environmental problems of the state. Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of color photographs by some of the state's best nature photographers, as well as maps, drawings, and diagrams, it also contains essays by 38 of Indiana's leading scholar-teachers and environmental practitioners. This book explores the Indiana landscape, past and present, the seven defined natural regions of the state, and the current plant and animal life, while pondering how people have affected the land and how to protect what remains. The Natural Heritage of Indiana is not only a celebration of natural wonders and nature's beauty, it is also a record of misuse and ignorance and a call to arms for those interested in preserving Indiana's environment.


A very family-friendly, fun, and scenic 5k run and walk with all things Rudolph. You start and end at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library and journey through Foster Park. Christmas music is just one element that livens up your December morning. Once back at the library, enjoy healthy snacks and hot chocolate. You could win one of 10 fabulous door prizes, including a Garmin Forerunner. THEN comes the awarding of the trophies. Trophies, sponsored by Salin Bank, will be awarded to the top overall male and female finishers in the run and in the walk, and to the top male and female runners in each of the following age groups: 0-12; 13-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; and 60+. In addition, trophies will be awarded to the overall fastest walker in each of the following age groups: 0-18; 19-35; 36-54; and 55+.

And when it comes to trophies and medals, we do them right. Check out these from last year.



Notice all the smiles? That's because ticket price includes a medal, blinking Rudolph nose, reindeer antlers, snacks, and a long-sleeve T-shirt. So what are you waiting for? Register TODAY and $ave with our Early Bird special!!! (The fees go up on Nov. 16, folks.)

Choose one of three easy ways to register:

1. Online through Eventbrite at

2. In person at KHCPL Main, South, or Russiaville.

3. Download the forms below, slip them into an envelope, along with a check made out to KHCPL and the words FUN RUN on the memo line, and mail to: Lisa Fipps, KHCPL Main, 220 N. Union St., Kokomo, IN 46901.

BY-THE-WAY NOTES: To receive a T-shirt for race day, you must register by Nov. 19. We have youth, adult, and plus sizes to 5XL. There is an additional $2 fee for sizes 2XL-5XL. Dogs on leashes that are well-controlled and up-to-date on their vaccines are welcome. No rain/weather date. No refunds. If you pay online with the third-party vendor not affiliated with KHCPL, Eventbrite, you will sign your waiver to participate on race day. Or you can find it below, sign it, and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before Dec. 3.

Questions? Call Lisa at 765.626.0807 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .