Jeffrey Martin Mug

Jeffrey Martin

By the time you all read this, Christmas 2019 will be in the rear-view mirror. I hope each of you had a season full of family, friends, and joy in abundance.

I want to give a special thanks to Debra and Stennis Harrison for volunteering their time to help decorate the library for this special season. The library looks great, and I cannot express my appreciation enough.

As we turn the page on 2019 and begin 2020, I am excited for what the new year will bring. On Monday, Jan. 6, at 4 p.m., the Itawamba County Book Club will hold its first meeting of 2020 here at the library. Everyone is invited to attend, even if you’ve never attended a meeting before. We meet every six weeks or so to discuss a book we chose at the previous meeting. We try to read a variety of different books, from horror to romance and everything in between.

This month, we will discuss “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It’s part murder mystery and part survival story, about a young girl who is abandoned by her family and left to find her own way in the world. I would recommend this book for anyone who is looking for a thought-provoking read.

I am also excited to begin our Lunching with Books series again in January. On Friday, Jan. 31, at noon, we will welcome Annette Tomlinson, author of a new memoir, “When Hurt Chooses You.” Mrs. Tomlinson is the Director of Sponsor Relations at the Tupelo Children’s Mansion. We will provide a light lunch at the event for $2. I invite everyone to come enjoy an interesting program and lunch for a price that you can’t find anywhere else.

We are also continuing to work heavily on our children’s programming. Our STEM Story Times program will continue each Tuesday at 4 p.m. We will still host some special programs during this time in the coming year, but none of those have been finalized yet. I am also approximately halfway done booking our 2020 Summer Reading Program, themed “Imagine Your Story.” We’re planning some exciting programs for the summer, featuring animals, storytellers, magicians and more. That part of the year is always a blast for me, and the upcoming year looks like it will be just as much fun.

I wanted to finish this column by doing something a bit different. With 2020 upon us, I wanted to make a list of 10 books being published in the coming year that I feel will be very popular at our library. Here they are in order of publication date:

  1. “Walk the Wire” by David Baldacci – The newest thriller in the ever-popular author’s “Memory Man” series. Coming April 21, 2020
  2. “Camino Winds” by John Grisham – The sequel to the popular Mississippi writer’s “Camino Island.” Coming April 28, 2020
  3. “The 20th Victim” by James Patterson – The newest installment of the bestselling author’s “Women’s Murder Club” series. Coming May 4, 2020
  4. “Someone Like You” by Karen Kingsbury – The beloved Christian writer’s newest “Baxter Family” novel. Coming May 5, 2020
  5. “Killing Crazy Horse: The Merciless Indian Wars in America” by Bill O’ Reilly – The journalist and former TV host returns to his “Killing” series to explore the violent history between Native Americans and early settlers. Coming May 12, 2020
  6. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins – The eagerly anticipated sequel to the “Hunger Games” trilogy. Coming May 19, 2020
  7. “You Betrayed Me” by Lisa Jackson – The newest suspense novel from this author whose books always fly off the shelves in our library. Coming June 30, 2020
  8. “The Return” by Nicholas Sparks – The first offering from the popular romance novelist since 2018’s “Every Breath.” Coming September 29, 2020
  9. “The Tower of Nero” by Rick Riordan – The fifth book in the “Trials of Apollo” series from the fantasy author who is loved by children and adults alike. Coming September 29, 2020
  10. “Tales From a Not-So-Best Friend Forever” by Rachel Renee Russell – The 14th book in the tremendously popular children’s series, “Dork Diaries.” Coming October 22, 2020

Jeffrey Martin is the Branch Librarian for the Itawamba County Pratt Memorial Library in Fulton. He can be reached at

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