By Crystal Leo
Since 1984, Rena Singleton has owned the Meade County Messenger, and in the past 36 years, she has done her best to provide the community with accurate, groundbreaking information for the citizens of Meade County. Through a wide variety of stories and events the Messenger staff has covered, they have informed, entertained, and at times riled, readers.
Now, in 2020, Singleton and the Meade County Messenger office hope to bring a slightly different form of entertainment to Meade County residents. We proudly present our brand new…
Right in the heart of Brandenburg, you can now visit the Meade County Messenger’s lobby to see our collection of exclusive inventory of both paperback and hardback books signed by the authors. If you are a book lover, or know of one, you can now give them the priceless treasure of owning a book signed by the very person who laid the words down on a blank page to form it.
As Stephen King once famously said, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” They take your mind on unparalleled adventures to escape the stress and mediocrity of everyday life. Simply, with a book in your hand, you’re never alone or bored. There are characters waiting for you to read their story so that you can laugh or cry with them.
Some individuals might consider this a strange form of diversification for the Messenger, but to Singleton and the staff here, it felt like a natural step of growth. Many who love to read newspapers also love to read books, and with the limited supply of books for purchase here in Meade County, why not offer that special unique item of a signed book?
From genres such as true crime, romance and even local history, there are a range of titles already on the shelves in the lobby with more on the way. We hope that book lovers from all over Meade County will stop into our lobby and see what we have to offer. What you find on those shelves might very well surprise you.
We have books from some of our local superstar authors such as Dana Ridenour, who is a former FBI Agent turned thriller/mystery writer with three books already published. The Messenger’s very own Gerald W. Fisher, who writes for our newspaper weekly, has also written two books about the account of the Battletown Witch Leah Smock, as well as the guerrilla warfare that took place in the era of Civil War Kentucky.
Also gracing those glass shelves is author Joe Sharkey’s Kentucky based true crime story “Above Suspicion: An Undercover FBI Agent, an Illicit Affair, and a Murder of Passion”. The story is set in Pikeville, Kentucky, and if that’s not enough to intrigue you, perhaps this will: Joe’s book has been made into a movie staring Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke. Can a British actor truly pull of a Kentucky drawl? Hopefully soon we will find out once the movie is released.
If true crime isn’t your niche, then you can check out USA Today and NYT Bestselling Author Kim Michele Richardson. There are four books in stock by the Louisville based author, including a 2019 Library Reads Best Book award, Forbes Best Historical Novel, Book-A-Million Best Fiction, and is an Oprah's Buzziest Books pick and a Women's National Book Association Great Group Reads title called “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek”. It is a historical fiction account of the “blue people” of Kentucky and one brave travelling Packhorse Librarian who used literacy to help battle bigotry and hate in the Great Depression era of Appalachia Kentucky.
For those readers who like their heroes to give smoldering looks and passionate kisses, Lexington based romance author Kathleen Brooks also has a few titles for sale at the Book Nook. She is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense set in our good ol’ Bluegrass state. Brooks has diversified and also started writing paranormal romance books.
A bevy of Kentucky based authors, or authors who have written stories set in Kentucky, have been contacted and inventory will slowly be coming in, so make sure you check back often to see what the Messenger’s Book Nook has available.
The Book Nook is a small example of how Rena Singleton has successfully forged her path into various businesses in the area.
From rental properties for families and other local businesses, to the caring staff at her All About Home Assisted Living, Singleton has set a strong example for little girls all over Meade County as to how they can grow up to become a solid business woman in their future.