Fall Into Literature

Although autumn doesn’t officially start until September 22nd, it certainly already feels as if the seasons have changed. The chilly, rainy weather of this past week might bring to mind thoughts of changing leaves, pumpkin pie and shorter days. Here at Ohioana, it also reminds us of the myriad of literary events that happen around the state during the autumn. Whether you’re looking to hear your favorite author speak about their work, get a book signed, or buy something new to read, there should be something to satisfy you in the coming months. Check out our list below for some literary events around Ohio this fall that you shouldn’t miss.

 

Cleveland Public Poetry: Featuring Maxwell Shell

When: September 15th, 12:00pm-1:00pm

Where: Literature Department, Main Library, 325 Superior Ave., 2nd FL

What: “Ohio Center for the Book and Cleveland Public Library invite you to celebrate the changing of the season amidst the readings of written and spoken-word poetry, with our special guest reader poet MaxWell Shell. After a brief Q&A, the mic will open for others to read an original or favorite work. Free refreshments and snacks provided. Door prizes, too!”

Admission: Free

https://ohiocenterforthebook.org/2018/08/06/cleveland-public-poetry-2018-fall-schedule/

 

Photo credit: Jeff Sabo

Tigerland by Wil Haygood book events

An Evening With Wil Haygood at East High School

When: September 20th, 7:00pm

Where: Columbus East High School,

East High School

1500 East Broad Street

Columbus , OH 43229

What: “In partnership with Columbus City Schools, Gramercy Books welcomes award-winning author and journalist, Wil Haygood, to Columbus East High School for his national book tour launch of Tigerland:1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of HealingHaygood will share the story of Columbus’ own East High School Tigers, who won baseball and basketball state championships in the midst of the racial turbulence and segregation of the late 1960s, and how they inspired a community.”

Admission: Free, but tickets must be reserved through Eventbrite

https://www.gramercybooksbexley.com/event/gramercy-salon2424-evening-wil-haygood-east-high-school

 

An Afternoon With Wil Haygood

When: September 23rd, 3:00pm

Where: Schottenstein Theatre at Bexley High School

326 South Cassingham Road

Bexley , OH 43229

What: “Join us in welcoming Columbus’ own, Wil Haygood, for a special afternoon featuring his new book, Tigerland:1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing, an emotional, inspiring story of two teams from a poor, black, segregated high school in Columbus, who, in the midst of the racial turbulence of 1968/1969, win the Ohio state baseball and basketball championships in the same year. This program, to include an author talk, reading and book signing, is presented in partnership with Bexley Public Library.”

Admission: Free

https://www.gramercybooksbexley.com/event/gramercy-salon2424-afternoon-wil-haygood

 

Wil Haygood at University of Dayton

When: September 25th, 7:00pm-8:30pm

Where: Kennedy Union Ballroom, Kennedy Union 241

300 College Park

Dayton, Ohio 45469 – 0620

What: “Wil Haygood, Pulitzer-nominated journalist and New York Times best-selling author of The Butler and Showdown will be discussing his new book, Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of HealingTigerland tells the story of Columbus’ East High School Tigers, baseball and basketball teams from a poor, black, segregated high school that each won two Ohio state championships in the same year, uniting a racially-charged community in the aftermath of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. Haygood is praised for connecting the civil rights movement and its iconic heroes with current events and enduring struggles. Above all, he brings the powerful perspective that this is the history of all Americans, shaping our national identity and common values. Haygood will be interviewed by his friend, Michael Carter, chief diversity officer at Sinclair Community College. Copies of Tigerland, in addition to other titles by Haygood, will be available for purchase. A book signing will follow the presentation.”

Admission: Free

https://udayton.edu/calendar/2018/09/ud-speaker-series-talk-by-wil-haygood.php

 

Lit Youngstown Fall Literary Festival

When: September 21st-22nd, 9:30am-9:00pm

Where: Kilcawley Center,

Youngstown State University,

1 University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44505

What: “This year’s festival will feature accomplished visiting writers, a book fair, a caucus for literary arts nonprofits, panels on many aspects of the literary arts, craft talks, workshops and readings in fiction, nonfiction and poetry.”

Admission: Check website for more information

https://lityoungstown.org/fall-literary-festival/

 

 

Cartoon Crossroads Columbus

When: September 27th-30th, check website for times

Where: Varying locations, check website for more information

What: “CXC is a free, citywide arts festival hosted every year by people and places with a passion for cartoon arts. CXC connects the global family of cartoon storytellers, comic makers, and animators with the people who love and are inspired by their art. Together, they celebrate the stories that can only be told in visual media that are as diverse as the people who imagined them.”

Admission: Free

http://cartooncrossroadscolumbus.com/

 

Ohioana Awards

When: October 18th, 6:00pm-9:00pm

Where: Ohio Statehouse,

1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215

What: “The Ohioana Book Awards are the second oldest, and among the most prestigious, state literary prizes in the nation. Nearly every notable Ohio writer of the past 76 years has been honored. Tickets for the Awards go on sale on September 15th.”

Admission: $50 per ticket

http://www.ohioana.org/programs/ohioana-book-awards/

 

Books by the Banks

When: October 20th, 10am-4pm

Where: Duke Energy Convention Center,

525 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

What: “The premiere event is the Books by the Banks Cincinnati Regional Book Festival held annually in downtown Cincinnati. The day-long festival, which is free and open to the public, features national, regional, and local authors and illustrators; book signings; panel discussions; and activities for the entire family to enjoy.”

Admission: Free

http://booksbythebanks.org/

 

 

 

Pickerington Teen Book Fest

When: October 27th, 10am-5pm

Where: Pickerington Public Library,

201 Opportunity Way

Pickerington, OH 43147 United States

What: The Pickerington Teen Book Fest is free and open to the public! Add this event now to your calendars, and get ready to spend one incredible day with twelve incredible authors of teen and young adult fiction!

Admission: Free

https://pickeringtonlibrary.org/pickerington-teen-book-fest-2018/

 

Buckeye Book Fair

When: November 3rd, 9:30am-4pm

Where: Fisher Auditorium

1680 Madison Ave, Wooster, OH 44691

What: “Meet 100 Ohio authors & illustrators at the 31st annual Buckeye Book Fair.”

Admission: $2

http://www.buckeyebookfair.com/

 

Which of these literary events are you most looking forward to? Are there any we missed that you think we should know about? Leave us a comment, or send an email to ohioana@ohioana.org.

The “Dog Days” of Summer

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It’s hard to believe summer is almost over! Though the calendar says there are still a few weeks left, many Ohio schools are already back in session. With Labor Day marking the unofficial end of summer, we thought we would take a look at some great books to enjoy during these final “dog days” of summer.
Most people tend to think of the “dog days” of summer as those days that are the most hot and humid. However, this ubiquitous phrase has its origins in astronomy. The ancient Greeks were the first to notice that the “dog star,” Sirius, rose and set with the sun during July and August. They thought this was the reason for extra heat during that time of year.

Over time, this phrase has come into more common use to describe the type of steamy weather Ohio has seen for much of this summer, when many our canine buddies want to lie around and enjoy some fun in the sun (or shade!). Of course, dogs are not the only ones who like lounging on a hot summer day. Here are some great hot weather reads to help soak up the last few days of sun:

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Dog, Sun Dog by Deborah Heiligman, illustrated by Tim Bowers
Meet Tinka – a dandy, sandy golden retriever, and the little boy who loves her, as they spend a busy, dizzy day at the beach. With rhyming text and adorable watercolors by Ohioan Tim Bowers, this is a story that the whole family will enjoy. Ohioana’s furry friend, Kirby thinks it’s a delightful “tail!”

Photo courtesy of KATHRYN POWERS

 

 

 

 

 

The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

This debut novel by the 2017 Ohioana Readers’ Choice Winner is the perfect choice for a scorching summer day. It’s the tale of the summer of 1984, when a blistering heatwave baked the small town of Breathed, Ohio. Fielding Bliss never forgot that summer – the year he became friends with the devil.

ST. MARTINS PRESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Summer with Maizon by Jacqueline Woodson
This first novel by Ohio native and 2018-19 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature tells the story of the beautiful friendship of Margaret and Maizon. The summer Margaret turns eleven, her father unexpectedly dies. Then Maizon is accepted at an expensive boarding school, far away from the place they have grown up together. This exploration of self-discovery and issues like racism and death is a realistic, touching look at the lives and friendships of young African-American girls, and their journey toward adulthood.

PUFFIN BOOKS

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Common Summer: New & Selected Poems  by Robert Wallace
A collection of poems on the season, by the late, celebrated Cleveland poet Robert Wallace. Mary Oliver describes his poems: “Often they have a shimmering quality, as though light was held inside the lines.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Evil Summer (Fear Street #25) by R. L. Stine
In this fun entry from the Bexley native who has given kids nightmares for decades, it’s summer at the beach and Amanda Conklin is stuck in summer school. At least she doesn’t have to take care of her bratty little brother and sister – that’s Chrissy’s job. Chrissy is the perfect babysitter. But Chrissy has a secret – she’s a cold-blooded killer!

R.L. STINE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Survive a Summer by Nick White
This debut novel by OSU Assistant Professor Nick White centers around a gay conversion camp in Mississippi, and a man’s reckoning with the trauma he faced there as a teenager. It is the story of reconciling the past and learning from the present, of found family, and of working through trauma and grief to reclaim your own story from those who have stolen it.

BLUE RIDER PRESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lake Effect by Erin McCahan
In this novel by 2018 Ohioana Book Award Finalist Erin McCahan, it’s the summer after senior year, and Briggs Henry is out the door. He’s leaving behind his ex-girlfriend and his parents’ money troubles for Lake Michigan and its miles of sandy beaches, working a summer job as a personal assistant, and living in a gorgeous Victorian on the shore. It’s the kind of house Briggs plans to buy his parents one day when he’s a multi-millionaire. But then he gets there. And his eighty-four-year-old boss tells him to put on a suit for her funeral. So begins a summer of social gaffes, stomach cramps, fraught beach volleyball games, moonlit epiphanies, and a drawer full of funeral programs. Add to this Abigail, the mystifying girl next door on whom Briggs’s charms just won’t work, and “the lake effect” is taking on a whole new meaning.

DIAL BOOKS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Announcing the Winners of the 2018 Ohioana Awards

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It’s that time of year again! It’s to the pleasure of everyone at Ohioana to announce the 2018 Ohioana Awards. Every year, the Awards help Ohioana recognize an outstanding title in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, About Ohio/Ohioan, Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature, Juvenile Literature. Readers are also invited to have their voices heard in voting for the Readers’ Choice Award. In addition, a young writer is chosen as the recipient of the annual Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant.

Six of the Ohioana Award winners, as well as the Marvin Grant recipient, were selected by juries. The Readers’ Choice Award was determined by voters in a public online poll. This year, more than 1390 votes were cast for the Readers’ Choice Award.

First given in 1942, the Ohioana Book Awards are the second oldest, and among the most prestigious, state literary prizes in the nation. Nearly every major writer from Ohio in the past 75 years has been honored, from James Thurber to Toni Morrison. The Ohioana Awards will be presented Thursday, October 18, in the Atrium of Ohio’s historic Statehouse in Columbus. Tickets for event, which are open to the public and include a pre-awards reception, will go on sale mid September. The 2018 Ohioana Award winners are as follows:

Fiction: Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

Nonfiction: Deanne Stillman, Blood Brothers

About Ohio/An Ohioan: Brian Alexander, Glass House

Poetry: Ruth Awad, Set to Music a Wildfire

Juvenile Literature: Sally Derby, A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices

Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature: Tamara Bundy, Walking with Miss Millie

Readers’ Choice: Tamara Bundy, Walking with Miss Millie

Announced alongside the book awards, Ohioana named Christopher Alexander Gellert as the 29th winner of the Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant, a competitive prize for Ohio writers age 30 or younger who have not yet published a book. Gellert recently completed his master’s in lettres modernes, pensée contemporaine at Paris Diderot. Since September 2016 he has been gathering testimonies of the influence of literature on readers in France, conversations they have over dinners he cooks in their homes. His verse has appeared in Belleville Park Pages & FORH Magazine. He will be pursuing a doctorate in the fall on the investigation as an artistic practice with Vincent Broqua at Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint Denis.

It’s Up to You: 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards

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Dear readers, the fate of this year’s Readers’ Choice award lies in your hands. Yes, YOU can cast YOUR vote to decide which of the incredible books nominated for the 2018 Ohioana Book Awards will be THE book, the ONE book to win a very special kind of nod.

Ohioana began this program in 2016 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of our awards program. This year, we have a poll that will stay open until Friday, June 29, at 3:00 p.m. You can access the poll here  to vote for your favorite of 30 available titles. One vote per computer, please.

Our winner in 2017 was Tiffany McDaniel for her novel The Summer That Melted Everything. For 2016, the winner was Mary Doria Russell for her novel Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral.

The Readers’ Choice award is a great way to include more people in the process of giving awards to those who richly deserve them. We hope you will vote for your favorite too!

2018 is the Year of Jacqueline Woodson!

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Jacqueline Woodson

 

Our own Jacqueline Woodson has received honors and awards for her insightful work for many years. Ms. Woodson has over 5 million copies of her books in print, four Newberry Honors, and she is the winner of the National Book Award for Brown Girl Dreaming.

And she owns all of 2018!

In January, Ms. Woodson was named the sixth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, for 2018–2019. Her appointment was official at an inauguration ceremony on Tuesday, January 9 at the Library of Congress, presided over by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

The National Ambassador for Young People program is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council, and CBC’s charitable arm, Every Child a Reader. The Librarian of Congress selects the Ambassador based on the recommendations of an independent committee comprised of various children’s literature experts including educators, librarians, and booksellers. Among the criteria for the Ambassador post are: contributions to young people’s literature, the ability to relate to kids and teens, and dedication to fostering literacy in all forms.

Woodson has chosen the phrase “Reading = Hope x Change,” as her platform as Ambassador. “I definitely believe that reading can change us and shape us in so many ways, and through it we can be exposed to people and places and ideas that we might not otherwise come across or confront in real life,” she said. “A platform about the importance of reading and having conversations across the lines of books is really important to me.”

Check out this super-great illustrated press release from her publisher, Nancy Paulson of Nancy Paulson Books, an imprint of Penguin.

Jacqueline Woodson was born in Ohio, so we are pleased and proud to be able to claim her as our own!

 

“On the road again …”

 

Hanif Abdurraqib, Ruth Awad, Kristen Lepionka and David Weaver at Upper Arlington.

Yes, just like Nelson in his famous song, Ohioana is on the road again!
To be exact, a number of Ohioana Book Festival authors are on the road! Our round of outreach appearances with festival authors kicked off April 4 at Upper Arlington Public Library with Hanif Abdurraqib, Ruth Award, and Kristen Lepionka in a lively “New Voices: Ask the Authors” conversation moderated by Ohioana Director David Weaver.
Next week will bring more live author appearances, all of them free and open to the public, just like the Ohioana Book Festival itself. There will be several appearances by authors on radio, too. You can check out the complete list of outreach and media activities on the festival schedule page – just scroll down to Ohioana in the Community:

 

It’s all part of the fun and excitement leading up to the main event – the 2018 Ohioana Book Festival on Saturday, April 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Columbus at Capitol Square. We’ll see you there!

Anticipation!

Mystery writers D.M. Pulley and Andrew Welsh-Huggins are two of the 120 authors you’ll meet at the 2018 Ohioana Book Festival. (Photo by Mary Rathke)

 

Ohioana is proud and excited to announce the author list for our 12th annual Ohioana Book Festival!

Library Mouse and friends, 2017 Book Festival

 

You can read all about it in Ohioana’s latest newsletter.

This year’s event will return to the Sheraton Columbus Capital Square on April 14. It’s an all-day extravaganza that features panel discussions, activities for kids, and books for sale. It’s also a great opportunity to meet authors and talk to them about their books. You’ll come away with autographed copies and an appreciation for what goes into your favorite fiction, nonfiction, and picture books. With over 100 authors, you’re sure to meet your favorites and also find new ones.

And plenty of your old  favorites will return, like our friend Library Mouse — and FOOD TRUCKS! We’re hoping for a return visit from Schmidt’s (mmmm …. puff pastry!) as well as other TBA food trucks.

The Book Festival is always a good time for everyone. We hope you’ll make room on your calendar for your first visit or for your 12th (or somewhere in between). The energy that YOU bring makes all the difference!

See you soon!

 

 

Hooray for Hollywood!

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Donald Ogden Stewart

 

One of the highlights of every holiday season is the release of new films – how many of this year’s crop have you seen? Studios release their biggest and most important films at year’s end not only to draw huge audiences, but also to get the attention of the major awards competitions. Of course the granddaddy of all movie prizes is the Oscar ©, given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Did you know that Oscar and Ohioana share the same birth year? The first Academy Awards © were presented at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood on May 16, 1929 – less than five months before Ohio First Lady Martha Kinney Cooper gathered a committee of volunteers at the Governor’s Residence in Columbus to establish a special library dedicated to collecting, preserving, and celebrating Ohio literature and other creative endeavors.

In our parallel trajectory, many Ohioans have been the recipients of the Oscar, including Clark Gable, George Chakiris, Eileen Heckart, and Paul Newman. Halle Berry made history in 2002 as the first (and thus far only) African American winner of the Best Actress award. Composer Henry Mancini is our state’s all-time winner at the Oscars, receiving four statuettes for his music, including the Best Song of 1961, “Moon River,” one of the classics of the American popular songbook.

An Oscar winner whose name you might not be as familiar with is author and screenwriter Donald Ogden Stewart. Stewart was born in Columbus on November 30, 1894 (just twelve days before and two miles away from other future celebrated writer – James Thurber). After graduating from Yale and serving in the Navy in World War I, Stewart settled in New York and began to write. His quick wit soon led him to becoming a member of the Algonquin Round Table, the celebrated literary circle that also included Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, and Ernest Hemingway.

Stewart turned to writing plays, and success on Broadway led him eventually to Hollywood. Among his notable screenplays in the 1930s were The Barretts of Wimpole Street, Marie Antoinette, Holiday, and the 1939 classic, Love Affair (remade in 1957 as An Affair to Remember).

In 1940, M-G-M hired Stewart to adapt Phillip Barry’s play The Philadelphia Story for George Cukor’s film version starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and James Stewart (who was no relation). The film was a critical and popular smash, and earned six Oscar nominations, including the two Stewarts, both of whom won – James Stewart for Best Actor and Donald Ogden Stewart for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The host at that year’s awards ceremony was comedian Bob Hope (another Ohioan, from Cleveland). Hope would later recall it as “one of those bathos-drenched evenings where winners thanked everyone from their producer, director, and co-stars down to the ‘little people’ – by which I assumed they meant pygmies, dwarves, and elves.” Then Donald Ogden Stewart’s name was called.

Walking to the podium and taking the Oscar in his hand, Stewart said, “There’s been so much niceness here tonight that I’m proud to say I’m totally responsible for the success of The Philadelphia Story. Nobody lifted a damn finger to help me.”

The audience broke up in laughter and gave Stewart a huge ovation. Hope would remember it as one of the favorite moments of his record-breaking nineteen times as the awards host.

Stewart continued writing screenplays throughout the 1940s, working with top-flight directors such as Cukor and Michael Curtiz, and stars such as Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, William Powell, and Lana Turner. Then came the second “Red Scare” of the early 1950s. Stewart, who had been actively involved in the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League during World War II, admitted that at one time he had belonged to the Communist Party. Blacklisted by Hollywood studios, Stewart and his wife moved in 1951 to England, where he remained until his death in 1980 at the age of 85.

While not as well remembered today as some of his contemporaries, many of the films for which Stewart wrote his sparking screenplays continue to entertain. As his biography on the Internet Movie Database states, Stewart was “noted for his satirical observations of American high society, best exemplified by The Philadelphia Story.”

So as this movie-laden holiday season takes us into a new year, and as Hollywood prepares for the 90th anniversary Oscar ceremony on March 4 – Ohioana raises its glass to Donald Ogden Stewart.

And Happy 2018 to you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Christmas to break your heart

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O. Henry in 1909.

If you look up the word “pathos” in the dictionary, you’ll find The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry.

Not really. But we consider that an oversight to be corrected.

Some people consider the story comic, what with the twist and all: the married couple each giving up something cherished in an attempt to give one another a significant and meaningful gift — only to wind up weirdly missing the mark.

How is that funny? It’s not. It makes you cry. They’re poor as church mice and at the end of it all, what do they have to show one another? Bupkis. Except for the love between them, of course.

One of Columbus’ most famous temporary residents was the author of that story.  O. Henry, the best-known pen-name of short story William Sydney Porter, spent three years in the Ohio Penitentiary on a charge of embezzlement. He’d been on the run and  hiding in Honduras, but when he learned his wife was dying of consumption (tuberculosis), he came back to the United States and faced a jury. Some of his stories were even published while he was jailed. The Gift of the Magi wasn’t one of those, but it is unarguable the most famous story written by this popular and prolific writer.

Porter died young, and we’re not sure if ever came back to Ohio after leaving the penitentiary in Columbus. Some folks say that his pen name came from his time behind those walls: “O. H.” from Ohio, and then “enry” from “penitentiary.” We think that’s a bit of s stretch but we’ll also take it.

If the story makes you cry or makes you smile, it is truly about the spirit of giving and really giving until it hurts. May the spirit of the season grow large and bright within you.

Jennifer Chiaverini & Read a New Book Month

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Jennifer Chiaverini at December book-signing.

December is National Read a New Book Month, and there’s still plenty of month left if you haven’t started yet.

We’d like to suggest the latest from Jennifer Chiaverini. The Enchantress of Numbers is the story of Ada Byron Lovelace, the inventor of computer programming.

At a recent sold-out book signing event sponsored by Gramercy Books in Bexley, Jennifer answered questions and read from The Enchantress of Numbers, written as a first-person memoir of an unsung heroine of the modern era. While many in the computer world know about Ada, explained Jennifer, most people have never heard of her.

Born into wealth, privilege, and celebrity as the only legitimate child of nineteenth century super-star poet George Gordon, Lord Byron, Ada seemed to have it all. But despite the advantages, she was no more in control of her life than any other woman. And Ada, a mathematical prodigy, dearly wanted to make a contribution to the world.

Jennifer’s novel is written from the point of view of Ada, from her earliest memories of childhood to the always-looming shadow of the father with whom she never had any relationship. Ada’s mother, a wealthy woman with connections that extended to the royal family’s inner circle, believed in equality for women and directed her daughter’s rigorous education. However,  Ada was never allowed the opportunity to exercise her imagination. It was believed that the “mad, bad, and dangerous to know” Byron had bequeathed to his daughter an equally dangerous tendency towards  mental instability and against this specter, the young woman’s mother was always on guard.

At least Ada married someone who believed in her intellectual abilities, and she was able to work with the inventor of the Analytical Engine and the Difference Engine, Charles Babbage. The forerunners of the modern computer would change the world, of course, but it took Ada to create the means by which that would happen.

We hope you will consider this compelling and highly-readable book — and that you will participate in this reader-friendly way to celebrate the season!