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Fiction Book Discussions

Fiction Book Discussions

The library's Fiction Book Club meets the second Monday each month at 1 and 7 PM. All are welcome! Whenever possible copies of each title are borrowed from New Hampshire libraries in advance. Books are available for check out with your PPL card.

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May 13 – Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

OB/GYN physician Connie Danforth looks back on the events of a wrenching summer when she was 14 and her mother, Sibyl, a Vermont midwife and ex-hippie with a ""distaste for most traditional and institutional authority,"" was on trial for murder.

June 10 – The Stargazer’s Sister by Carrie Brown

Caroline Herschel—William Herschel’s real-life sister and a housekeeper, research assistant, star pupil, and by her death in 1848 an accomplished astronomer in her own right—takes center stage for this historical novel featuring siblings who, between them, designed telescopes, identified double stars, and discovered the planet Uranus as well as several comets.

July 8 – Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

One minute London newlyweds Erin Locke and Mark Roberts are enjoying a honeymoon to die for—Bora Bora, five-star lagoon bungalow—and the next they’re being sucked into a maelstrom that might actually get them killed, in this captivating if credulity-stretching debut from Downton Abbey alum Catherine Steadman. What changes everything is the couple’s discovery while scuba diving of a locked canvas duffel bag.

August 12 – The Movement of Stars by Amy Brill

A determined young woman, born into a Quaker community in 19th-century Nantucket, defies social norms on the path to becoming a “lady astronomer” in Brill’s charming debut novel. Very loosely based on historical “girl” astronomer Maria Mitchell, Hannah Price spends her days going to Quaker meetings and tending to books at her town’s library, but nights she spends with her eyes on celestial bodies or crouched over mathematical calculations, dreaming of discovering a comet all her own.

Nonfiction Book Discussions

Nonfiction Book Discussions

Nonfiction Book Discussion meets the third Tuesday each month at 7 PM in the Hilton Garden Room. All are welcome! Whenever possible copies of each title are borrowed from New Hampshire libraries in advance. Books are available for check out with your PPL card.

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May 21 – The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew and The Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan

Tolan personalizes the Arab-Israeli conflict by tracing the intertwined lives of a Palestinian refugee named Bashir Al-Khairi and a Jewish settler named Dalia Eshkenazi Landau… an easy-to-follow journey through a maddeningly stubborn conflict that has infused global politics since the 1940s.

June 18 – 13.8 The Quest to Find the True Age of the Universe and Theory of Everything by John Gribbin

Acclaimed science writer Gribbin, a visiting fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex, delivers a lively and accessible look at how astronomers determined the age of our universe.

July 16 – How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown

Caltech professor Brown takes readers on a leisurely stroll across campus in this memoir of an astronomer's personal life and the years-long quest to locate new planetary bodies that has so occupied his attention. Tracing his life through the academic ladder, marriage, and parenthood, Brown clearly explains difficult scientific topics with humor and warmth.

August 20 – The Interstellar Age: The Story of the NASA Men and Women Who Flew the Forty-Year Voyager Mission by Jim Bell

Bell, president of the Planetary Society, delivers a lucid account of the magnificent scientific accomplishments of the Voyager Missions with a cheerfulness that it deserves. Both probes were launched in 1977; Voyager 1 left the solar system in 2013, after returning breathtaking photographs of the outer planets, and Voyager 2 will do so in a few years.

Speculative Fiction Book Discussions

Speculative Fiction Book Discussion

The Portsmouth Public Library Speculative Fiction Book Group will meet on the final Tuesday of each month. Spec Fic is a genre that encompasses fantasy, science fiction, horror and everything in between. Speculative fiction asks, what if?

Speculative Fiction Discussions are currently held at Popovers on the Square. Each meeting begins at 7 PM. All are welcome! Whenever possible copies of each title are borrowed from New Hampshire libraries in advance. Books are available for check out at the library, or at the meeting, with your PPL card.

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May 28 – The Power by Naomi Alderman

Sometime in the near future, young women discover they have within them the ability to unleash skeins of electrical current that can maim and kill. One of them, an abused American foster child, joins a group of nuns, reinventing herself as the healer Mother Eve.

June 25 – Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold

Honor and his sense of self place the fetally damaged, dwarf-like and brilliant Miles Vorkosigan in grave danger as he attempts to save his disturbed, younger clone Mark from the consequences of folly in this intricate and rousing installment of the Vorkosigan adventures.

July 30 – The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

A bleak moon settled by utopian anarchists, Anarres has long been isolated from other worlds, including its mother planet, Urras—a civilization of warring nations, great poverty, and immense wealth. Now Shevek, a brilliant physicist, is determined to reunite the two planets, which have been divided by centuries of distrust.

August 27 – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Join Douglas Adams's hapless hero Arthur Dent as he travels the galaxy with his intrepid pal Ford Prefect, getting into horrible messes and generally wreaking hilarious havoc. Dent is grabbed from Earth moments before a cosmic construction team obliterates the planet to build a freeway.

Past Book Discussions