While the inaugural Lebanon County Reads campaign launched in 2018, planning for Lebanon County’s own community read campaign began a year prior. All six Lebanon County public libraries support the campaign which runs from summer through early fall and culminates in the title selection’s author’s visit in the Fall. We hope you’ll read with us and check out the special events affiliated with the campaign!

Alena Dillon, author of Mercy House, the 2022 Lebanon County Reads selection, will visit us virtually Thursday, September 15, 2022 at 7 PM! Guests may attend the event virtually via Zoom or in person at the watch party at Leedy Theater, Lebanon Valley College. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at your local library or online. Signed copies of the selection may be ordered at the time of your ticket purchase. Questions? Please refer to the FAQs below or call your local library.

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The Event

When is the author talk?

The author talk with Alena Dillon will be on Thursday, September 15, 2022 at 7 PM.

What will the event be like?
The author talk will be a live virtual event. This means the author will not be here in-person, but she will join us via Zoom to talk about the book in real-time. If time allows, there will be a short, moderated Q&A following the talk.

How do I attend?

There are two attendance options.

  • Participants may watch the event from anywhere via the Zoom event link that will be emailed to all participants a few days prior to the event.
  • Participants may also attend the watch party at Leedy Theater on the campus of Lebanon Valley College. The program will be projected onto a large screen for these attendees.

I have prior engagement that night. Can I watch the author talk at a later time?

Unfortunately, the talk will not be recorded. It is a live event only.

Book Sales

Will the author be signing books?

Paperback copies of Mercy House with bookplates signed by Alena Dillon are available for purchase. Please place your order when you purchase tickets. Pre-order book sales will end Saturday, September 10. If you wish to purchase a book after that time, a limited number of copies will be available for sale at the Leedy Theater watch party on a first-come, first-served basis until they sell out. Books purchased at Leedy Theater must be paid by cash or credit card.

  • If you purchase your copy on-site at a Lebanon County library, you will receive a voucher that you can exchange for your book either at the Leedy Theater watch party on September 15 or at the library you indicated from September 16-October 15, 2022.
  • If you purchased your copy online via https://lebanoncountyreads.eventbrite.com, show your receipt at the library you indicated from September 16-October 15, 2022 to pick-up your book.

How much do books cost? Books cost $17.99 each.

How do I pay for books?

To order books in-person at a library, you may use cash, a check made out to Lebanon Community Library, or a credit card if your library accepts credit cards. (Please check with your local library.) Books ordered online must be purchased with a credit card. Books purchased at Leedy Theater must be paid by cash or credit card.

Ticket Sales

Do I need a ticket?

Yes, tickets are required for everyone who wishes to attend.

Where can I get tickets?

Tickets are available for purchase at any Lebanon County library. They are also available for purchase online via https://lebanoncountyreads.eventbrite.com.

How much do tickets cost?

Tickets for the general public are $5 each. Currently-enrolled students of Lebanon Valley College are entitled to one ticket free of charge by logging on to the LVC Red Book portal and following the instructions there.

It is important to note that digital tickets purchased online via the https://lebanoncountyreads.eventbrite.com link will accrue a processing and sales fee in addition to the ticket price.  (For example, a $5 ticket purchased online would have an additional fee of $1.94 for a total price of $6.94.) Tickets purchased on-site at a library do not have this added fee and are a flat price of $5.

How do I pay?
Physical tickets may be purchased with cash, or check, or credit card if your library accepts credit cards. (Please check with your local library.) Checks should be made out to Lebanon Community Library.  Digital tickets purchased online must be purchased with a credit card.

What is the difference between physical tickets and digital tickets? 

There is none.  Either type of ticket can be used to attend either type of event.  Participants choosing to attend the watch party at Leedy Theater will be asked to provide their physical ticket or show their digital ticket for entry.  Online participants will use the Zoom link to access the online event.

How do I get my free ticket if I am a Lebanon Valley College student?

Each currently-enrolled LVC student is entitled to one free ticket.  This ticket is only available through LVC’s Red Book portal. Follow the directions shared there.

Why do I need to register when I purchase physical tickets at a Lebanon County Library?

At the time of purchase, library staff will ask participants to fill out a registration form.  It is vitally important that you fill out the form completely and legibly since the information you provide here will be used to send you the Zoom event link, to send any book purchases to the correct location for pickup, or to reach out in rare case anything goes wrong with your order.  This information is already collected as part of the sales process if you purchased online at https://lebanoncountyreads.eventbrite.com.

What if I chose the Leedy Theater watch party as my viewing option when I registered, but now it’s the morning of September 15 and I am feeling unwell?

If you are feeling unwell, we encourage you to take care of yourself and guard others against the risk of infection.  You can always switch to the watch-at-home option. That’s why we are sending the Zoom link to all ticketholders just in case.

When will the event link be sent to me?

A few days prior to the author talk event, participants will receive a link to the Zoom session.  We strongly recommend that you test your connection and settings via this link before the event.  We cannot be responsible for technical difficulties on the user’s end and the event will not be recorded.

If you are concerned about your connection, remember that all ticketholders have the option to attend the watch party at Leedy Theater.

Inside a century-old row house in Brooklyn, renegade Sister Evelyn and her fellow nuns preside over a safe haven for the abused and abandoned. Gruff and indomitable on the surface, warm and wry underneath, little daunts Evelyn, until she receives word that Mercy House will be investigated by Bishop Hawkins, a man with whom she shares a dark history. In order to protect everything they’ve built, the nuns must conceal many of their methods, which are forbidden by the Catholic Church.

Evelyn will go to great lengths to defend all that she loves. She confronts a gang member, defies the church, challenges her own beliefs, and faces her past. She is bolstered by the other nuns and the vibrant, diverse residents of the shelter—Lucia, Mei-Li, Desiree, Esther, and Katrina—whose differences are outweighed by what unites them: they’ve all been broken by men but are determined to rebuild.

Amidst her fight, Evelyn discovers the extraordinary power of mercy and the grace it grants, not just to those who receive it, but to those strong enough to bestow it.

From the author’s website

People are saying:

“A life-altering debut featuring fierce, funny, irreverent women who battle the most powerful institution in the world. This is the book we’ve all been waiting for.”

 —Amy Schumer, actress/comedian and author of The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo

Swatara Coffee Co. Promotional Tie-in

The team at Swatara Coffee Co. have created the Brooklyn Bake Sale Frappe, a cake batter flavored frozen drink confection, as a promotional tie-in for this year’s Lebanon County Reads campaign! A portion of each purchase of this frappe will be donated to the Annville Free Library and Matthews Public Library. The Brooklyn Bake Sale Frappe will be available for sale starting June 1, 2022, at both Swatara Coffee Co. locations.