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THE eighth annual Community Book Read has chosen a mystery to lure readers into this year’s program.
Presented by the Bartholomew County Public Library, Book Read events kick off this week and will culminate in a presentation by internationally known author Tess Gerritsen on Oct. 9.
This year’s Book Read selection is Gerritsen’s “The Bone Garden,” which is loosely associated with her “Rizzoli and Isles” series that spawned the TNT network television show of the same name.
A historical thriller set in mid-19th-century Boston, the book begins in modern day with recent divorcee Julia Hamill, who uncovers human remains while digging a garden. When Medical Examiner Maura Isles is called in to determine the cause of death, mystery ensues, and readers are transported to a time when body snatchers and a serial killer, known as the West End Reaper, roamed the streets of early-Boston.
“I write about what I’m scared of,” Gerritsen said in a recent phone interview from her Maine home.
Gerritsen admits most fans want to know where she gets her story ideas.
“Ideas come from everywhere,” Gerritsen said. “But the way to judge a good idea from a drab one is how it affects you emotionally.”
The former medical doctor began writing fiction while on maternity leave in 1987. Since that time, she’s written 23 novels and is currently working on another.
“I was a born storyteller,” Gerritsen said. “I wanted to be writer, but I took the scenic route. I had immigrant parents who were all about job security. ‘Go to medical school,’ they said. To them, the medical field was the ultimate job security.”
Columbus is one of several stops planned for Gerritsen’s two-week-long tour of Indiana libraries that ends at Rising Sun on Oct. 14.
“I always thought it would be cool to do a book tour of libraries,” Gerritsen said. “I spent a lot of time in libraries as a child.”
Sponsored by the Bartholomew County Library Associates, organizers hope Gerritsen’s book and anticipated visit spark renewed interest in the annual Book Read event.
“The whole idea of the Book Read is to get everyone reading a book and on the same page,” said Mary Clare Speckner, adult programming services coordinator at the library. “And having a discussion about the book, no matter what it is.”
While adults follow the trail of Boston’s West End Reaper, the Book Read also offers age-appropriate mysteries for the kids. This year’s selections include: “Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty?” by David Levinthal (Grades 1-4); “The Case of the Missing Marquess” by Nancy Springer (Grades 5-8); and “The Girl is Murder” by Kathryn Haines (for teens).
“The Bartholomew County Literacy Task Force is also involved in this year’s Read,” Speckner said. “They bought copies of the children’s books to put in the public and private schools in the area, including Hope and Hawcreek.”
Events about ancestry, archaeology and the role of insects in crime investigation are scheduled in the weeks leading up to Gerritsen’s visit. Gerritsen will not only discuss “The Bone Garden,” but also the origins of her ideas and inspirations. An informal reception with light refreshments will follow in the Conference Room where guests can meet and chat with the author.
“I think the book read is an important, fun activity that brings people together,” said Ann Herron, Bartholomew County Library Associates board member. “I hope we have a great crowd come out to see the well-known author and that they will stay for the reception.”
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