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Featured Readers

Featured Readers are members of the Mifflin County Library who have written up their own reviews of the books they've read. If you're interested in having a review featured on our site, let us know!

Shelby Liebegott, Youth Programs Lead, TIU #11

posted Jul 29, 2014, 2:44 PM by Trish Forshey   [ updated Jul 29, 2014, 2:55 PM ]

Reading is very important to our family.  In addition to the educational value of reading, it is an integral part of developing creativity and imagination.  There is no better way to travel to a new place, take a daring adventure, or meet new friends than by diving into a  great book!  We feel very fortunate to have such a wonderful local library to nurture and encourage our love of reading!

Shelby Liebegott

Mayor Debra Bargo

posted Jun 4, 2014, 9:29 AM by Marsha Shilling   [ updated Jun 4, 2014, 9:32 AM ]

We enter in to a magical time when reading a good book. My children and later grandchildren were very fortunate to experience the many wonderful memories of visiting the library and still are active readers. Those were special times for me also. In my position as Mayor, reading is essential either by book or keeping abreast of current changes in the law, policies or general procedures. As a child, my favorite book would probably be the Nancy Drew series. It sparked an adventurous spirit in my soul. Reading not only provides many hours of enjoyment, but also increases your vocabulary which benefits you your whole life. So pick up a good book and start your own lifetime adventure.

Debra Bargo


County Commisioner Kevin Kodish

posted Apr 11, 2014, 7:08 AM by Marsha Shilling   [ updated Apr 11, 2014, 7:18 AM ]

Commissioner Kevin Kodish has been a life-long reader and supporter of libraries. He has fond memories of childhood visits to the Mifflin County Library when the library was located on the corners of South Brown and Water Streets. Commissioner Kodish is currently reading Fifty Days of Heaven by Randy Alcorn, which allows the reader to stop wondering about heaven by teaching the biblical facts regarding what's so wonderful about Heaven. Kevin's all time favorite book is The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Commissioner Kodish recently stated, "All across America, public libraries are deeply involved with people, technology, and quality of life. A strong investment in public libraries not only benefits individuals, but also strengthens the entire community.

Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall

posted Feb 1, 2014, 1:12 PM by Marsha Shilling

Jennifer FreedMy first grade teacher said on my report card "Jennifer loves to read". I still have that report card and see that teacher Miss Jean Peterson now and again. She remembered me!! 

I am getting ready to start a book that I am reading for my local book club. It is called The Light Between the Oceans by M. L. Stedman. It takes place in Australia. A young couple, who are lighthouse keepers, unable to have children, discover a boat washed ashore carrying a dead man and a living baby. They struggle with the decision to keep this "gift from god".

I am currently the branch manager at the Centre County Library in Bellefonte. I managed the Kish (Belleville) branch of the Mifflin County Library for 5 years prior.

Encouraging the love of reading to your children is one of  THE most important things you can do as a parent.

Urban Gothic by Brian Keene

posted Dec 9, 2013, 11:29 AM by Marsha Shilling   [ updated Dec 10, 2013, 5:55 AM ]

Rocco Pallotto- I've always been a big reader. Earliest memories are of The Hardy Boys books and, don't laugh, even the occasional Nancy Drew mystery. Loved Stephen King when I was younger and his books were shorter. Those 1000+ pagers he's released are a lot to ask. I've always loved non-fiction, particularly history, space and biographies. Now though, I'm on a massive fiction run. Harlen Coben got me hooked on fiction. The late Vince Flynn was right there with Coben as a favorite. I love Brad Thor, who I find very similar to Flynn. Lee Child is my latest obsession. The Reacher series is fantastic. Right now, though, I'm reading Brian Keene's 'Urban Gothic' from a few year's ago. Hoping Santa brings either the new Charles Krauthammer book. Or maybe 'Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power.'

--Rocco Pallotto, MERF Morning Show host

The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell

posted Nov 19, 2013, 6:20 AM by Marsha Shilling   [ updated Nov 22, 2013, 11:28 AM ]

Steve Dedmon-Steve is an avid reader. Whether traveling or at home he always has at least one book on hand to read. A true bibliophile he likes only "real" books as opposed to e-books. His favorite authors are, Clive Cussler, Diana Gabaldon, Kathy Reichs, James Mitchner and J.R.R. Tolken. Science fiction, fantasy, biography, and mystery are some of the genres he likes to read.  At the moment Steve is reading The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell and The Claidi Collection, a young adult novel by Tanith Lee. He thinks the Mifflin County Library is "Out of this world!" 

Having tea with Pooh

posted Oct 8, 2013, 12:52 PM by Marsha Shilling   [ updated Oct 11, 2013, 6:00 AM ]

Emma having tea and reading with Pooh.
This is Library Board Member Corrinne Pierce's daughter, Emma, having a tea and reading party with one of her favorite fictional characters, the every lovable Pooh!

Embers by Sandor Marai

posted Sep 12, 2013, 7:51 AM by Marsha Shilling   [ updated Sep 12, 2013, 12:47 PM ]

Featured Reader- Barbara DeVita-Stahl--


Every so often,I stumble upon a book that seems to have been “fated” to fall into my hands.  I read it, relish it, put it away,  and forget about it until some inexplicable hand guides me to its place on the shelf.

Yesterday was 9/11/13, not only the anniversary of the tragic attack on U.S. soil  but also a day where Marai’s protagaonist states that “summer ignited a last blaze like an arsonist setting the fields on fire in senseless fury before making his escape.”

So it was rather eerie, really, that something moved me to go to the shelves, grab EMBERS by the Hungarian author Sandor Marai , and reread it.  It was not a conscious act.

EMBERS was originally published in Budapest in 1942 and translated into English in 2001.

The story is about a resentment between two men that has festered for forty –one years, an eternity when given the average lifespan of a man.  Yet it is this premise --    that “every exercise of power incorporates a faint, almost imperceptible element of contempt for those over whom the power is exercised” that provides the pulse for Marai’s plot.  And I think it is this same truth that underscores the hate that incites every act or terror . . . every war . . . every human unkindness.

Henrik and Konrad were like twins – except for the fact that one was born into wealth while the other was born into poverty.  Although this did not bother Henrik, the “lucky” one, it festered inside Konrad for years.  He was never quite good enough in his own eyes.  In an ironic twist of fate, Konrad strips Henrik of his love, his sanity, his “joie de vivre.”  What follows is a meeting 4 decades later where Henrik interrogates Konrad in an attempt to get to the “truth.” 

Marai forces us to study ourselves:  “There’s too much tension, too much animosity, too much craving for revenge in us all.  We look inside ourselves and what do we find?  An animosity that time damped down for a while but now is bursting out again.  So why should we expect anything else of our fellow men?”

Thought-provoking . . . twisted . . . timely.  It reminds me of John Knowles (A Separate Peace) meets Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness) meets Dostoyesky (Crime and Punishment). I both love it and hate it; I read and reread it; I am addicted to his words. 

Ready Freddy by Abby Klein

posted Aug 12, 2013, 12:06 PM by Marsha Shilling   [ updated Aug 12, 2013, 12:08 PM ]

Noah Buffington, a young entrepreneur and avid reader, operated a lemonade stand at the Arts Festival and raised more than $100.00 for the Library. Noah recommends the "Ready Freddy" books because there is something you don't know in each chapter. He says these are great books for grandparents to read with their grandchildren. Noah is currently reading, Pumpkin Elf Mystery.

"Light of the World" by James Lee Burke

posted Jul 31, 2013, 8:58 AM by Marsha Shilling   [ updated Jul 31, 2013, 4:25 PM ]

I just finished reading Burke's "Light of the World," getting it the day it was shelved with the new books in the Mifflin County Library. No doubt, James Lee Burke is my favorite author. If you are familiar with his novels you will not be disappointed. As usual, Sheriff's deputy Dave Robicheaux and his PI buddy Clete Purcell are the central characters, which also include their daughters. It is a familiar tale of good versus evil and selflessness versus greed. Set in Missoula, Montana, the story deals with the horrendous acts of serial killer Asa Surette, who is somehow connected with an oil magnate, Love Younger. The action multiplies as the plot unfolds, and the imagery of the landscape is beautiful but the deeds are sometimes graphic. The villains' dark secrets are exposed as Robicheaux and friends seek redemption. With many Biblical references, Burke again leaves the reader believing the ends justify the means.
-Russell Rager, Five Stars

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