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Nonfiction Book Discussions

Portsmouth Public Library (NH)
175 Parrott Ave
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Nonfiction Book Club
Third Tuesday of the Month, 7 PM at the library

Nonfiction Book Club takes on seasonal themes. January – March, we’ll explore the 1920s, and beginning in April, we will read three months of LGBTQ+ memoirs!

Copies of each book available with your Portsmouth Public Library card. Visit www.tinyurl.com/pplbooks for more.

January 21 – Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years by Sarah and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth
In this remarkable and charming oral history, two lively and perspicacious sisters, aged 101 and 103, reflect on their rich family life and their careers as pioneering African American professionals… The unmarried sisters, who live together, tell of growing up on the campus of a black college in Raleigh, N.C., where their father was an Episcopal priest, and of being too independent for the men who courted them.

February 18 – 1920: The Year That Made the Decade Roar by Eric Burns
Burns takes readers on a thorough tour of the upheavals and events of the year when “the Roaring Twenties first began to roar.” More than a “preview of a decade,” 1920 was “a preview of the entire century and even the century to follow.” In particular, Burns focuses on the beginning of Prohibition, the passing of the 19th Amendment, the popular explosion of jazz, and the rise and fall of Charles Ponzi. He also touches upon corruption in the White House, the Teapot Dome Scandal, and the radical inequality of wealth distribution.

March 17 – Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns
When Paul Barnes suggested that Elizabeth Cady Stanton be included in the film portraits of notable Americans that Ken Burns was planning to make, Burns barely recognized the name. Marginally more familiar was that of Susan B. Anthony, Stanton’s comrade-in-arms in the struggle for women’s suffrage. But as this book splendidly reveals, theirs is the story not merely of two remarkable 19th-century women but of a major political movement, the end of which has yet to be written.

April 21 – The Clancys of Queens by Tara Clancy
Clancy’s debut, an intimate coming-of-age chronicle, captures the circumstances of her multi-class upbringing as the neighborhood “rat” of the Broad Channel section of Queens, N.Y.; a part-time member of “the Geriatrics of 251st Street”; and a weekender at the upscale seaside community of Bridgehampton. The reader navigates through this lighthearted memoir with the help of a sharp-tongued, hip-hop-loving sneaker enthusiast whose relentless attempts at disrupting the tranquility of nearly every situation make up the bulk of the antics covered in the book’s 21-year sprawl.