in-person book discussions ARE HELD ON THE LAST Thursday OF THE MONTH AT 1:00 PM.

We will meet in the Library’s Program Room to discuss our ideas, interpretations, and opinions of the selected book.  Register at the circulation desk, by phone, or email one month prior to the discussion to allow time for checking out and reading the book.  Everyone is welcome.

Book titles and dates are subject to change.

January 27— The Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini 

This intricate fictional memoir of  Ada Lovelace, considered the first computer programmer, by Chiaverini (Fates and Traitors) combines biography with the style of  a novel of  manners. The novel opens with a lengthy prologue imagining the courtship and brief marriage of  the rather odious George Gordon Lord Byron, the sixth Baron Byron, and the restrained Anne Isabella Milbanke, eleventh Baroness Wentworth. Shortly after the birth of  their only child, Augusta Ada Byron, in 1815, the pair split and Byron left England, never to return or see his daughter again. Despite his absence, Ada credits the great poet with casting a shadow across her life, and her mother constantly searches for signs of  Byron’s mania in her. Though Ada’s keen interest in mathematics is clear from almost the beginning, it is only her association with Charles Babbage that leads to her now-famous creation of  the first ever computer program. Period fans will delight in the details of  gowns, suitors, and rivals that fill the pages until Ada’s rapid romance with and then marriage to William, Lord King, who will eventually become the first Earl of  Lovelace. Chiaverini’s novel is a wonderful blend of  history and fiction, poetry and math. — (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 5)

February 24—My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier  

Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, a man who will love his grand home as much as he does himself. But the cosy world the two construct is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries – and there he dies suddenly. Jealous of his marriage, racked by suspicion at the hints in Ambrose’s letters, and grief-stricken by his death, Philip prepares to meet his cousin’s widow with hatred in his heart. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious Rachel like a moth to the flame. And yet… might she have had a hand in Ambrose’s death? 

March 31—The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

In May 1947, Charlotte “Charlie” St. Clair and her mother have crossed the  Atlantic so the  unwed Charlie can discreetly end her pregnancy in a Swiss clinic. A chance to search for her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared during World War II, gives Charlie the  courage to break free and head to London. Rose may have been involved in the  French Resistance, and her last known connection was a woman named Eve, who carries her own war secrets. Even with the  background detail given at the  novel’s outset, there is so much more to learn as these characters are thoughtfully developed through interior decision making and the  actions they take. Allowing Charlie to describe present events, while Eve shares her experience as an English spy for the  real-life Alice Network  during World War I, creates a fascinating tension that intensifies as the  finale approaches. — (Library Journal, vol 142, issue 10, p96)

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