Alton Book Chat Discussion Titles


New Hampshire's own Grammy nominee, Judy Pancoast, is thrilled to announce the publication of her debut novel, The House on Christmas Street, based on her popular holiday hit. Judy will open the program by singing some of her original Christmas songs, and will then read to you from her novel.  



7:00 pm, Tuesday, December 10



Please Join Alton Book Chat and enjoy  A Holiday Evening with Judy Pancoast...... 


You need not be a member to attend this public program.   This meeting is open to the public.  


This is a program that will be enjoyed by everyone from  teens to seniors. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. Find out more about Judy at   


7:00 pm, January 14


January meeting & Cookie swap 

Meeting at 7:00 in the Agnes Thompson Meeting Room , on the lower level of the library, this is a annual cookie swap meeting.  

In the garden of beasts: an American family in Hitler's Berlin 

by Erik Larson

The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes  America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Nazi Germany in a year that  proved to be a turning point in history.  

A mild-mannered  professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant  daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp,  and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious  enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence.  Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another,  including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo,  Rudolf Diels.   But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts,  confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his  concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd  watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and  drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year  unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of  excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic  spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and  ruthless ambition.  

Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the  period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the  expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in  real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes  about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler  until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.  

7:00 pm, February 11


Go set a watchman: a novel 

by Harper Lee 


#1 New York Times Bestseller

Go Set a Watchman is such an important book, perhaps the most important novel on race to come out of the white South in decades."  — New York Times 

A landmark novel by Harper Lee, set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.

MAYCOMB, ALABAMA.  Twenty-six-year-old  Jean Louise Finch—“Scout”—returns home from New  York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop  of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were  transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when  she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and  the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and  her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the  iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary  transition out of the illusions of the past—a journey that can only be  guided by one’s own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of the late  Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion,  humor, and effortless precision—a profoundly affecting work of art that  is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own  times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context, and new meaning to an American classic.

7:00 pm, March 10


Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II  

by Robert Matzen

Twenty-five years after her passing, Audrey Hepburn remains the most  beloved of all Hollywood stars, known as much for her role as UNICEF  ambassador as for films like Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Several biographies have chronicled her stardom, but none has covered  her intense experiences through five years of Nazi occupation in the  Netherlands. According to her son, Luca Dotti, “The war made my mother  who she was.” Audrey Hepburn’s war included participation in the Dutch  Resistance, working as a doctor’s assistant during the “Bridge Too Far”  battle of Arnhem, the brutal execution of her uncle, and the ordeal of  the Hunger Winter of 1944. She also had to contend with the fact that  her father was a Nazi agent and her mother was pro-Nazi for the first  two years of the occupation. But the war years also brought triumphs as  Audrey became Arnhem’s most famous young ballerina. Audrey’s own  reminiscences, new interviews with people who knew her in the war,  wartime diaries, and research in classified Dutch archives shed light on  the riveting, untold story of Audrey Hepburn under fire in World War  II. Also included is a section of color and black-and-white photos. Many  of these images are from Audrey’s personal collection and are published  here for the first time. 

7:00 pm, April 14


True Colors 

by Kristin Hannah

True Colors is New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah's most provocative, compelling, and  heart-wrenching story yet. With the luminous writing and unforgettable  characters that are her trademarks, she tells the story of three sisters  whose once-solid world is broken apart by jealousy, betrayal, and the  kind of passion that rarely comes along.

The Grey sisters have  always been close. After their mother's death, the girls banded  together, becoming best friends. Their stern, disapproving father cares  less about his children than about his reputation. To Henry Grey,  appearances are everything, and years later, he still demands that his  daughters reflect his standing in the community.  

Winona, the  oldest, needs her father's approval most of all. An overweight bookworm  who never felt at home on the sprawling horse ranch that has been in her  family for three generations, she knows that she doesn't have the  qualities her father values. But as the best lawyer in town, she's  determined to someday find a way to prove her worth to him.

Aurora,  the middle sister, is the family peacemaker. She brokers every dispute  and tries to keep them all happy, even as she hides her own secret pain.

Vivi  Ann is the undisputed star of the family. A stunningly beautiful  dreamer with a heart as big as the ocean in front of her house, she is  adored by all who know her. Everything comes easily for Vivi Ann, until a  stranger comes to town. . . .

In a matter of moments, everything  will change. The Grey sisters will be pitted against one another in ways  that none could have imagined. Loyalties will be tested and secrets  revealed, and a terrible, shocking crime will shatter both their family  and their beloved town. 

With breathtaking pace and penetrating emotional insight, True Colors is an unforgettable novel about sisters, rivalry, forgiveness, redemption---and ultimately, what it means to be a family.