Hudson Area Library’s Nonfiction Book Group selection for October 2020

The Hudson Area Library’s Nonfiction Book Group will discuss The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester at a virtual Zoom meeting on Monday, October 26. The Nonfiction Book Group meets monthly on Mondays, 6:00pm -7:00pm. The group is facilitated by library Board President Mark Orton. To register for this book group and receive the link for the Zoom meeting, email To learn more about the Nonfiction Book Group, visit the group’s page on the Hudson Area Library website.

In The Professor and the Madman, bestselling author Simon Winchester chronicles the twenty year friendship between Professor James Murray, head of the committee that supervised the OED’s compilation, and Dr. William Chester Minor, who contributed more than ten thousand words to the project. After years of correspondence, Murray discovered that the learned doctor was also a killer, incarcerated at an asylum for the criminally insane. The Professor and the Madman is an enthralling tale of insanity, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men.The book’s subtitle, A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, says it all.

In its book review The Wall Street Journal says, “There is much truth to be drawn [from The Professor and the Madman] about Victorian pride, the relation between language and the world, and the fine line between sanity and madness.”

This book is available for borrowing in multiple formats through the Mid-Hudson Library System, and as an e-audiobook through hoopla (for cardholders in Hudson, Greenport and Stockport).

The Hudson Area Library is located at 51 North Fifth Street in Hudson, NY. The mission of the library is to enrich the quality of life by providing free and equal access to programs, services and resources, and by creating opportunities for all members of our community to connect, create, learn and grow. For more information visit

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