In honor of Indiana’s Bicentennial, the Howard County Reads Committee selected 10 books by Hoosier authors for 2016. The Howard County Reads book is The Flying Circus by Susan Crandall. 


In The Flying Circus, the lives of Henry Schuler, a child of German immigrants on the run for a crime he didn’t commit; Charles “Gil” Gilchrist, a WWI pilot struggling with guilt and trauma; and Cora Rose Haviland, a rebellious high-society girl escaping an arranged marriage designed to salvage her family’s fortune, unexpectedly intertwine. And they find themselves traveling the Midwest with a flying circus, attempting to come to terms with their various pasts.


The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library and Greentown Public Library will host a number of programs to celebrate Howard County Reads, culminating with an author visit from Crandall. Partnering with Indiana University Kokomo, Howard County Reads will host Crandall at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17, at IUK Kresge Auditorium.


Crandall will talk about The Flying Circus and sign books after the event. Tickets are free, but you must have one to attend. Pick up yours starting Sept. 19 at any KHCPL location, the Greentown Public Library, or the IUK Library.


Howard County Reads’ programs will feature not only The Flying Circus, but also books from the Top 10. (See Top 10 list below.) You’ll also be able to meet three other authors.


Howard County Reads Programs

•Second Annual Murder Mystery Theatre

7 to 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 14, Elite Banquet and Conference Center (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Back by popular demand, there’s another murder and another mystery to solve. Also that night, a silent auction will showcase the Top 10 Howard County Reads titles. Early Bird tickets go on sale Sept. 12 for $25, or reserve a table for 10 for $225. They will be available at all KHCPL locations and the Greentown Public Library through Oct. 2. After Oct. 2, tickets will be $35 each. For more information, call 457.3242. All proceeds go toward Howard County Reads’ events.


•The Swans of Howard County Black and White Tea

2:30 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 16, Greentown Public Library

Author Truman Capote was known for his glamorous Black and White masked balls accompanied by his ever-present “Swans,” e.g. Babe Paley, Gloria Guinness, Pamela Churchill, as depicted in Melody Benjamins’ The Swans of Fifth Avenue. Join us for a variation on that theme. Feel free to come dressed in black and/or white and wear a mask. Participation is free, but registration is required by Oct. 12 by calling 628.3534.


•Hoosier Author Series

Kurt Meyer — Noblesville

6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27, KHCPL Main 

Kurt Meyer, author and historic preservation activist, will talk about architectural salvage as well as his book, one of this year’s Howard County Reads Top 10 books. 


Othello Bach — Cry into the Wind

6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 3, KHCPL South

Howard County author Othello Bach will talk about her memoir, which is one of the Howard County Reads Top 10 books for 2016.


Philip Gulley — From Harmony to Hope

6:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 10, Eastern Howard Performing Arts Center, Greentown

Come meet Hoosier author Philip Gulley, known internationally for his charming small-town tales of fictitious Harmony, Ind. Gulley’s author visit is funded in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Howard County.


•Poetry Writers Workshop

9:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 5, KHCPL South

Unlock your inner poet at this Poetry Workshop. Pre-registration is required by calling 457.3242 or 453.4150.


Howard County Reads Top 10


Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver 

Kingsolver and her family embark upon a local food challenge for which they can only eat food that they can produce themselves or purchase locally sourced for an entire year. The narrative follows their food journey, including factual sidebars and recipes.


Cry Into the Wind by Othello Bach

Bach’s heart-wrenching memoir describes her childhood. Despite having grown up in abject poverty, suffering abuse and neglect, and finally being abandoned in an orphanage, she is able to overcome her past and find happiness.


The Flying Circus by Susan Crandall


Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West

Eliza Birdwell is a quintessential American heroine who enjoys a peaceful life on an Indiana homestead with her husband and their children. However, the Civil War soon encroaches on their close-knit community, testing their Quaker faith and challenging their deep-set beliefs about their role in the larger world.


Home to Harmony by Philip Gulley

Told in a series of short stories, Quaker pastor Sam Gardner celebrates small-town life and the quirky inhabitants of Harmony, Ind. The gentle nostalgic tone reveals the deep love for his friends and neighbors and an affinity for the townsfolk. 


The Inn at Ocean’s Edge by Colleen Coble

Claire Dellamare becomes instantly embroiled in a mystery as soon as she arrives at the Hotel Tourmaline on Folly Shoals Island in Maine. Her faith is tested as she attempts to uncover secrets in her past and finds herself being stalked by a killer. She also makes an unexpected romantic connection to a local with tragedies of his own.


Noblesville by Kurt A Meyer 

Shortly after moving into an old Victorian home that David Henry intends to restore, a glitch with the Wi-Fi signal opens up a doorway to 1893. Disenchanted with the present, he embraces the opportunity to visit the Noblesville in the previous century where he meets the love of his life.


Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot 

Former pop star Heather Wells finds herself working as the assistant director of a residence hall at New York College after being dropped by her record label. When freshman girls in her building begin dying under mysterious circumstances, she takes it upon herself to solve the crime.


Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

After being abducted by aliens to be displayed in a zoo on the planet Tralfamadore, Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time. He travels backward and forwards to different points in his life, the central event of which is the firebombing of Dresden that he experiences as a prisoner of war. 


The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin

Having successfully infiltrated an exclusive circle of wealthy socialite wives, author Truman Capote enjoys a gossipy romp through New York City’s high society in the 1950s and 1960s. But with the publication of the thinly veiled short story “La Cote Basque 1965,” his “swans,” led by Babe Paley, turn on him, and Capote finds himself shut out in the cold.


About Howard County Reads


To cultivate a love of reading and to promote a sense of community, each year KHCPL, the Indiana University Kokomo Library, and the Greentown Public Library work together to sponsor Howard County Reads. 


Members of the public nominate their favorite books. A committee of librarians and community volunteers evaluates each title and narrows the list to the top books that are well-written, character-driven, not too long, interesting for a wide variety ofreaders (from high school students to senior citizens) and available in paperback. Then the committee chooses one title to be named the Howard County Reads book for the year.


In 1998, the Washington Center for the Book introduced the concept of “One Book” projects across the United States and around the world. Since 2004, thousands of people have participated in Howard County Reads.