5 Gentle and Inspirational Reads According to BCPL Staff

In case you are new to inspirational fiction, these novels are heart-warming stories about people who try to live morally while handling adversity. The stories don’t contain explicit language, violence or sexual activity and they always have happy endings. Christian fiction is the most common type of inspirational fiction, but this genre can include other religions. Pick up a bookmark with some suggested titles at any of our locations or ask one of our librarians to help you choose one. In the meantime, we’ve included a few suggestions to get you started:

1.Reference Librarian Alisa Snow suggests, A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. This is the first book of the “Mark of the Lion” trilogy which is set in ancient Rome, several years after the crucifixion of Jesus, when Jerusalem was destroyed and any surviving Jews were either sold into slavery or forced to fight in the arena. A young Jewish girl, Hadassah, survived the destruction of Jerusalem and is sold to a wealthy Roman family. Her faith is tested as she struggles to find a way to tell those around her about Jesus. As she does so, she knows she is risking her own life.  Complicating matters is her relationship with her master’s brother, the wealthy and aristocratic Marcus.  I love books that transport you to another time and place, and Francine Rivers does just that. The amount of research she did into the daily life of ancient Rome during this time period is truly remarkable. The other two books in this trilogy focus on other characters in the story. The entire trilogy is well worth the read!”

Kelley Brandeberry from Information Services also recommends A Voice in the Wind, “Whenever a patron comes in looking for an inspirational fiction author, I always recommend Francine Rivers. She creates quality fiction that spans genres including historical fiction, literary fiction, and contemporary fiction. If you’re looking for historical fiction, I would recommend her Mark of the Lion series which is set in 70 AD and starts with A Voice in the Wind, but trust me, you’ll want to have book 2, An Echo in the Darkness, in hand when you get to the cliffhanger at the end of the first book! If you’re looking for a more contemporary fiction story, I would recommend her Marta’s Legacy series which starts with Her Mother’s Hope. It is a lovely and challenging story that follows the mothers and daughters of one family over the decades.


2. Early Literacy Specialist Ginger Stapp says, “I like all things Mitch Albom.  The book I read most recently was The Time Keeper. It’s a combination of several genres: ancient historical fiction, realistic fiction, teen fiction, philosophy, a love story, and science fiction. It’s told from several different viewpoints. It’s kind of weird, but beautiful and hope-filled. God’s influence is felt throughout the story, even when it seems that the story is crashing down around the characters. I don’t always cry when books are over, but this one got me.



3. Julie Bockstiegel from Collection Services recommends To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon. “This is the latest in Karon’s popular “Mitford” series, which is about Father Tim, an Episcopal minister in a small town in North Carolina. Of course, the town is full of quirky characters, and you enjoy getting to know them through the 14 books in the series. Karon writes in a humorous and loving way; and her books are like visiting with a dear friend.”


4. Julie also suggests The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck. “A wedding dress shop
that has been closed for several years is reopened by an Air Force veteran. The shop was a treasured memory for many a former bride; and you learn the history of the shop and it’s former owner. The stories of the two owners are woven together. This is a “feel good” story with a happy ending.”





5. Jessica Mastronardo from Administration recommends When Jesus Wept by Bodie and Brock Thoene. “It’s a well-written story about a man who could be any of us – Lazarus. Jesus called him out of the grave after Lazarus was dead 4 days. Living as he did at Bethany, near Jerusalem, Lazarus was uniquely placed to witness the swirl of events around Jesus.”







Emily Sexton, Doing a job worth doing!

I love being part of an organization that strives to make our community a better place.

My name is Emily Sexton and June will mark my 8th year with BCPL!  I started as a page at the Scheben Branch and eventually moved to Circulation at the Main Library. I later transferred to the Lents Branch to work as a Youth Services Associate, and I am now at the Walton Branch. I am actively involved in storytimes as well as programming for youth ages through teens but mostly preschool and teen. My favorite program is Art Club in which we explore a different theme of art each month such as mosaics, collages, chalk art, etc. It’s a ton of fun and fantastic to see the kids’ creativity.

BCPL has so much to offer, and I love being part of an organization that strives to make our community a better place. Whether it’s helping someone with their resume, finding books for a child, or just providing a safe place to socialize and learn, it makes me feel like I am doing a job worth doing and that’s a good feeling.

I am one of five kids and have lived in Northern Kentucky for 18 years. I graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a degree in both English Literature and Studio Arts. In my spare time you can find me sketching, watching Bob’s Burgers or the latest British detective series, reading something spooky or hanging out with the coolest kids I know, my niece and nephew.

I can never pick a favorite book but a few great ones, in my opinion, are The Catcher in the Rye, A Monster Calls and Paul Meets Bernadette. My favorite movie is Clue; if you haven’t seen it, stop reading this right now and go watch it. As far as music goes, I am completely obsessed with Sufjan Stevens, The Killers, Noah Gundersen and Ryan Adams.

My favorite thing about BCPL are my co-workers! I am so happy that I get to work with funny, supportive and kind-hearted people every day. Working in a public place, you come across some interesting situations, and it’s great to have coworkers that work together and make the best of everything.