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Book Discussions, Book Talks, Author Visits

Novel Conversations (meets on the first Monday)

Mon., Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m., Lois Bell Room

The Baker Street Letters, by Michael Robertson

Reggie is thrilled when he learns that his new office is in the same space where famous sleuth Sherlock Holmes used to ply his trade. However, when he starts to receive mysterious mail, written for Holmes, his excitement soon turns into intrigue. As Reggie's brother, Nigel, begins to investigate one of these letters, he inexplicably disappears. Now, Reggie must find his brother while simultaneously solving a murder case.

Mon., Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m., Lois Bell Room

Mistress of the Art of Death, by Ariana Franklin

Sent to medieval Cambridge in order to exonerate Jewish prisoners with financial ties to King Henry II, University of Salerno medical examiner Adelia struggles to avoid being accused of witchcraft and discovers that the killer may be a former crusader.

Mon., Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m., Lois Bell Room

Decked with Folly, by Kate Kingsbury

The Pennyfoot Hotel is decked out in holiday style, but when one of Cecily's candlesticks disappears, she realizes someone is lacking in Christmas spirit. Still, petty thievery seems the least of her problems when she learns a former employee has been found dead in her duck pond. He hasn't worked at the Pennyfoot in years, but his ex-wife is still their head maid-and now she heads the naughty list of suspects.

International Book-ings (meets on the second Wednesday)

This new book discussion group focuses on authors and locations from around the world. Both fiction and nonfiction works will be offered.

Books are available for checkout (for free) at the Circulation Desk and at each group meeting. Whenever possible, movie tie-ins will be presented.

No meeting in October.

Wed., Nov. 10 at 1 p.m., Lois Bell Room

Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt

Born in Brooklyn in 1930 to recent Irish immigrants, Malachy and Angela McCourt, Frank grew up in Limerick after his parents returned to Ireland because of poor prospects in America. It turns out that prospects weren't so great back in Ireland either. Despite impoverishing his family because of alcoholism, McCourt's father passed on to his son a gift for superb storytelling. The author recounts his desperately poor early years, but manages to make the book funny and uplifting. Readers will enjoy the humor and honesty of his writing. A vivid, wonderfully readable memoir. (from

Wed., Dec. 10 at 1 p.m., Lois Bell Room

Simple Courage: The True Story of Peril on the Sea, by Frank Delaney

In late December 1951, laden with passengers and nearly forty metric tons of cargo, the freighter S.S. Flying Enterprise steamed westward from Europe toward America. A few days into the voyage, she hit the eye of a ferocious storm. In the space of twenty-eight hours, the ship was slammed by two rogue waves–solid walls of water more than sixty feet high. The impacts cracked the decks and hull almost down to the waterline, threw the vessel over on her side, and thrust all on board into terror. In a narrative as dramatic as the ocean’s fury, acclaimed bestselling author Frank Delaney writes a gripping and astonishing account of the unmatched bravery and steely resolve of Captain Kurt Carlsen not to abandon the ship, save the passengers, crew and cargo and bring it into port. (from

Yusuf Ali El: One Room Shack; Ryme Time for Growing Minds

Yusuf Ali El holds a master's degree from Governors State University. His programs this fall include:

Dr. Joseph Schwieterman: Terminal Town

Thurs., Oct. 16 at 6:30 p.m.

Dr. Schwieterman is director of DePaul University's Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development. He discusses Chicago's role as a transportation hub, and also touches on Hammond's involvement.

He will also talk about his book, Terminal Town, and describe the Terminal Town exhibit, which may be viewed in the HPL lobby through Tues., Oct. 28.

On Oct. 28 at 7 p.m., he returns for the exhibit's closing ceremony, at which time contest winners will be announced. Those attending have an opportunity to win prizes.

Cynthia Ogorek: Along the Calumet River in Indiana and Illinois

Sat., Dec. 6 at 10 a.m.

The public is invited to this joint meeting of the Hammond Historical Society and the Friends of the Library. Ogorek, "The Public Historian," will discuss the importance of this river in commerce, travel, and settlement of the Region.

She is also the author of The Lincoln Highway Around Chicago and Along the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Line.

Hammond Public Library, 564 State Street, Hammond, Indiana 46320, (219) 931-5100