Library Blog Archive

A father and daughter reading together

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Suggested Reading for Downton Abbey fans

Can’t wait for the final season of Downton Abbey to begin this fall? In the meantime, check out this suggested reading list for fans of the popular television series, compiled according to suggestions from publishers, distributors, reviewers, librarians and others familiar with the show.

  • The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
    In The American Heiress, set at the end of the nineteenth century, a wealthy heiress from Newport, R.I. finds herself drawn into marriage with the Duke of Wareham, an English aristocrat who needs her family’s money to retain his social status. But as time goes by and the pair navigates the choppy waters of British society life, they discover that money isn’t everything.

  • Habits of the House by Fay Weldon
    Habits of the House focuses on a well-placed British family at the turn of the century. The Earl, the head of the household, is paying the price for poor monetary decisions, and so is the rest of the household, even the servants. In an effort to mend his family’s financial situation, he turns his attention to finding suitable, preferably wealthy spouses for his children.

  • Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by Fiona Carnarvon
    Lady Fiona, the current Countess of Carnarvon, tells the story of Highclere Castle, the real-life estate where much of Downton Abbey is filmed, and one of its previous inhabitants.

  • Below Stairs by Margaret Powell
    Below Stairs is Margaret Powell’s memoir of her years of service in England’s great estates. The book inspired the British television series Upstairs, Downstairs and later served as inspiration for Downton Abbey.

  • The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes
    Jessica Fellowes – a British journalist and the niece of Downton Abbey creator, executive producer and writer Julian Fellowes – provides a behind-the-scenes look at the popular television show.

  • The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era by Jessica Fellowes
    Fellowes’ second book focuses on the characters of Downton Abbey, giving an in-depth look at what makes each of them tick.

  • The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
    Kate Morton’s debut novel tells of the lives, loves and secrets of a wealthy English family, their servants and their friends and acquaintances during the decades between the First and Second World Wars. This is a thrilling tale full of suspense and passion as the story’s characters try to keep secret all they have witnessed during their time at Riverton House.

  • Longbourn by Jo Baker
    Longbourn is a retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, told from the servants’ point of view. Everyone already knows the stories of the Bennett family, but the below-stairs group has their own drama to contend with.

  • Cavendon Hall by Barbara Taylor Bradford
    Bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford tells the tale of the two families – the Inghams upstairs and the Swanns downstairs – who inhabit Cavendon Hall. Each family has their own set of difficulties to deal with as they live side-by-side in the English manor in the years leading up to World War I.

  • Howards End by E.M. Forster
    Howards End tells the intersecting stories of three families from different classes and backgrounds in the post-Victorian era in England.

  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
    Wharton’s classic novel shows how strict societal norms affected the lives of three wealthy young people during the “Gilded Age” of the late nineteenth century in New York.

  • Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey by Emma Rowley
    Emma Rowley gives fans an in-depth look at what goes on off-screen, including photos, interviews with cast and crew members, details about costumes and props and the creative team’s inspiration for their choices.

  • The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons
    Solomons’ bestseller, The House at Tyneford, follows formerly wealthy Elise Landau as she is forced to leave behind her comfortable life in Vienna for a much different one as an English parlor maid on the eve of World War II.

  • Benedict Hall by Cate Campbell
    Seattle’s Benedict family, along with their servants, try to deal with an ever-changing world in the aftermath of the First World War.

  • The Glitter and the Gold by Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan
    Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan was a real-life version of Cora Crawley – an American heiress married to an English Duke in the late 1800s. Her memoir tells of life in the Duke of Marlborough’s Blenheim Palace – encounters with famous political figures from Britain and around the world, huge society parties and interactions with the servants downstairs.

  • Meadowlands by Elizabeth Jeffrey
    World War I changed everything for the aristocratic Barsham family. Elizabeth Jeffrey’s saga tells the story of the Barshams, their four children and those who serve them as the war rages on.

  • Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford
    Parade’s End is set in the changing world of England during World War I. One officer and aristocrat struggles to make the right decisions for his family as he also deals with the global conflict around him.

  • What the Butler Winked At by Eric Horne
    Over six decades of service as a butler in some of the greatest houses in England provided Eric Horne with a unique perspective on the changing world of British society. His memoir tells of life in these households.

  • Crossing on the Paris by Dana Gynther
    Gynther’s novel tells the stories of three passengers on the SS Paris in 1921. For these three women with very different backgrounds and lifestyles, the voyage will be a life-changing one.

Friends of the Library Book Sale

The Muhlenberg County Friends of the Library will have their annual book sale on May 23-24 at Madisonville Community College’s Muhlenberg Campus in Central City. The sale is 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, May 23 and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday, May 24. The Friends have gathered a lot of books for this year’s sale, so make sure you stop by to check out what they have to offer!
The Friends of the Library use the money earned from the book sale and other fundraising endeavors to help support library services and programs throughout the year.

Spring Victorian Tea success!

The Spring Victorian Tea last weekend was a huge success! Guests enjoyed light refreshments, music and entertainment. Hat contest winners Donna Martin and Kendra Walker received hanging flower baskets.

We would like to thank everyone who attended the tea and all of our sponsors and donors who helped make this event so wonderful! Many thanks to Sunshine Garden Center (flowers), Tony Jones (music), Linda Hawkins (entertainment), Miss Hoss’ Sweet Shop (food), the Muhlenberg County High School Culinary Arts class (food), Muhlenberg North Middle School Jr. Beta (servers) and of course the Greenville Tourism Commission and Friends of the Library for helping to sponsor the event.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s tea!


Tables and decorations before guests' arrivals

Tables and decorations before guests’ arrival

Tony Jones provided wonderful musical entertainment for the event

Tony Jones provided wonderful musical entertainment for the event

Author Linda Hawkins speaks with guests before beginning her presentation about tea history and etiquette

Author Linda Hawkins speaks with guests before beginning her presentation about tea history and etiquette

Donna Martin, one of the hat contest winners

Donna Martin, one of the hat contest winners

Kendra Walker, one of the hat contest winners

Kendra Walker, one of the hat contest winners

LEAP into Summer Reading

Muhlenberg County Public Libraries and the Muhlenberg County Cooperative Extension Service are partnering together to provide a special program this month.
Each week, the organizations will host “LEAP into Summer Reading,” special storytimes with snacks and activities. LEAP stands for Literacy, Eating and Activity for Primary Youth Health.
Each week will feature a different book. Program dates, times and locations are:

Week 1Eating the Alphabet

  • May 12, 10:30 a.m. – Harbin Memorial Public Library
  • – May 14, 1 p.m. – Central City Public Library


Week 2Rodeo Ron and His Milkshake Cows

  • May 19, 10:30 a.m. – Harbin Memorial Public Library


Week 3The Surprise Garden

  • May 26, 1 p.m. – Harbin Memorial Public Library
  • May 28, 10:30 a.m. – Central City Public Library


For more information or to register for the program, contact the library at 270-338-4760 or the Cooperative Extension Service at 270-338-3124.

Creative Drawing Contest, Teen Talent Show and Sock Hop

April has been a very busy month!

On April 11, winners of the annual creative drawing contest were recognized with a ceremony at Central City Public Library. A teen talent show followed the ceremony.

creative drawing 1
creative drawing 2
creative drawing 3
creative drawing 4
creative drawing 5


Teens were also invited to a sock hop on April 17. Everyone had a lot of fun!

sock hop


Watch this page, our Facebook page or call 270-338-4760 for more information about all of our upcoming events!

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