The Lewes Public Library will host its monthly History Book Festival discussion
Wednesday, Aug. 15 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the library's medium meeting room. The library is located at 111 Adams Ave. in Lewes. Members of the public are invited to attend the free event.
The discussion group meets the third Wednesday of each month to discuss books featured at the 2017 History Book Festival and new books that will be featured at this year's second annual History Book Festival Sept. 28-29, in Lewes. A library staff member facilitates the discussion groups.
The History Book Festival stocks a limited number of the books to be discussed; the books are available for check out at the library's Circulation Desk.
Participants in the Aug. 15 group will discuss "Damnation Island" by Stacy Horn, an author, occasional journalist and businesswoman. Her sixth book documents the unimaginable horror, squalor and neglect experienced by the unfortunates who were exiled in the 1900s to Blackwell's Island, now called Roosevelt Island in the New York City's East River. This two-acre island, called Damnation Island by its thousands of residents, housed four institutions: the Lunatic Asylum, the Almshouse, the Workhouse and the Penitentiary.
The New York Times Book Review says Horn "lucidly, and not without indignation, documents the island's bleak history, detailing the political and moral failures that sustained this hell, failures still evident today in the prison at Rikers Island."
The author will join the discussion via Skype.
Last year's inaugural History Book Festival, a two-day event in October, attracted over 1,000 visitors, who enjoyed a mix of author presentations, interviews, and panel discussions with more than 25 best-selling authors and notable moderators. The events were held in intimate venues around Lewes. The historical fiction and nonfiction books covered a range of topics, from the gripping story about the hunt for President Lincoln's assassin, to books about pirates, jazz, war, art, race, religion, and the law.
The 2018 festival is scheduled for Sept. 28-29 in Lewes. As before, the authors' presentations are designed to bring the past alive, give attendees new perspectives on the past and present, and to leave them enriched and inspired.
In the coming months, the book discussion groups at the library will provide participants with a sneak peek at the wide range of works to be featured at the festival.
For more information about this book discussion group, the library, or any of its programs, go to www.lewes.lib.de.us. More information about the History Book Festival is at www.historybookfestival.org.