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I cannot think of a better way to spend an evening than with friends, books, and great conversation. If such an evening appeals to you, then I invite you to participate in any one of the three book discussion groups that meet each month at the Delaware County District Library branches. The book discussions are facilitated by Library staff members who are well prepared with research about the author as well as the book.

This month, at the Delaware Branch on March 30 at 7:30 p.m., the book up for discussion is Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. The Powell Branch discussion on March 22 at 7:00 p.m. will feature Follow the River by James Alexander Thom, and on the same day and time, the Ostrander Branch book discussion attendees will talk about Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman.

These book discussions are always open to the public and each location has a limited number of copies of the book to lend. New members are always encouraged to attend, too.

We also realize that many of you may be a part of a book discussion group with your friends and family. Did you know that the Library has hundreds of titles of fiction and non-fiction books with multiple copies available that are perfect for discussion groups? An up-to-date list is maintained on the Library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org (click on “Book Discussions” on the left), and you will find a wide diversity of titles, from Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen to Fast Food Nation by Eric Slosser.

For more information about upcoming book discussions or titles available for your book discussion group, check the Library at 740-362-3861 or log on to our web site.

Here’s to a wonderful evening filled with friends, books and fellowship!

Who was Lois Lane of Superman fame modeled after?

According to an article in The Plain Dealer that I located through the Library’s online database, “America’s Newspapers,” Joanne Siegel was the inspiration behind Lois Lane. A teenager during the Great Depression, Siegel placed a classified ad seeking modeling jobs that led to a meeting with Superman co-creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, her future husband. Later, Siegel would say that it was Joanne who served as the muse for Superman’s spunky love interest and fellow reporter at The Daily Planet, Lois Lane.

What does “Parcheesi” mean?

In India, Pachisi (called Parcheesi in the U.S.) is considered the national board game because of its long history in that country. The name Pachisi, according to Sports and Games of the Ancients, comes from the Hindi word “pachis,” meaning twenty-five, the highest possible score that a player can achieve by throwing the cowrie shells used as binary dice. The game board resembles the cross found on westernized Parcheesi boards, but pachisi is a four-player game involving two partnerships, as in bridge. Players attempt to move their pieces around the entire perimeter of the board and back into the board’s center, with victory going to the partnership that has all eight of its pieces complete the route first.

How was Edith Bouvier Beale related to Jacqueline Bouvier?

As addressed in Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy: An Intimate Memoir, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale was Jackie Bouvier Kennedy’s aunt. Beale was an aspiring singer who was left relatively little of her father’s wealth and cut off from her husband’s fortune after their divorce, but she received a 28-room mansion in East Hampton called Grey Gardens. She lived there with her daughter, who was also named Edith (Little Edie), a model and aspiring actress who began to care for her mother in 1952. For decades, Big Edie and Little Edie kept to themselves and were rarely seen outside of Grey Gardens until inspectors from the local Health Department came to the mansion in 1971. They found the two Ediths living in squalor, with most of the dilapidated mansion’s rooms shut off, their living quarters filled with garbage and inhabited by cats, fleas, opossums, and raccoons. The women refused to cooperate with health authorities, and the story became a public scandal. The story of Big Edie and Little Edie was told in the 1976 documentary “Grey Gardens.”

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Mary Jane Santos, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at delawarelibrary.org or directly to Mary Jane at mjsantos@delawarelibrary.org . No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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