Alexandra Lebenthal
Alexandra Lebenthal

What do you wear to meet a socialite?


What do you wear to meet a CEO-cialite?!

That was the question on hand (or perhaps just in my mind?!) last Thursday as Darien Library hosted it's 5th annual Adult Summer Reading Grand Finale Party!

Our guest speaker was Alexandra Lebenthal, the socially prominent (and completely stunning) President and CEO of Lebenthal & Co. and its wealth management division, Alexandra & James, Inc. Ms. Lebenthal, who also serves as a board member of the School of American Ballet and is involved with several other leading New York cultural institution (and who approves of the CEO-cialite moniker, dubbed by the press!), visited us to talk about her debut novel, The Recessionistas, which is set during the 2008 economic landslide and follows a cast of high society characters living in New York City. She gave the audience some fascinating and expert insight into the entire financial debacle and revealed the inspiration for this fictional account by sharing some of the true stories - the what, where, why, and how - that occurred in New York City among the financial and social elite at the time of the slide -- and yes, the talk did involve a bit of fashion and fierce shoes! (I took notes!)

Fascinating, entertaining, and completely enthralling. It was a quintessential summer-in-the-city experience, centered around this quintessential summer-in-the-city read! (In case you missed the event, Alexandra's presentation is posted below. And take a look at more photos from the event here.)

To make the evening complete, our guest speaker helped us draw the winners for our grand finale prizes, the Amazon Kindle (with a leather case and gift certificate to, and just for those in attendance, our last weekly tote bag filled with books (including a signed copy of The Recessionistas). Then, it was time for wine, cheese, and celebration of a summer full of reading and talking about books!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this year's program. We received over 600 participants and over 500 reviews, and over the next few weeks, we'll be adding them to our website (as reviews by "Summer Reading 2010"), so that we can all share what we thought about the books we've read over the past few months!


Alexandra Lebenthal at Darien Library from Darien Library on Vimeo.