True blue fans for "True Blue" and Baldacci

Last night, we continued our Fall Author Series with a visit from international bestselling novelist David Baldacci. His new book, True Blue, came out just last week and as expected, is already heading full-speed ahead to the top of the bestseller lists. 

Anyone who's read his books knows that he is smart, creative, and has a wonderful ability to create intriguing characters and page-turning plots. What our audience found out last night was that he's funny, very entertaining, thoughtful, and philanthropic. His presentation was wonderful and fun and inspiring. He talked about his family, his life as an attorney in D.C., and of course, his life as a writer. His stories of his encounters with fans, the mayor of Barga, Italy, his daughter's classroom, former bosses, and Amtrak police brought smiles and laughs to our audience in this great shared experience. 

If you missed last night's program, we'll have the full event available online as a videocast next week, but in the meantime, here's the smallest snippet from the presentation taken from my little (shaky) camera:

Thank you, thank you, thank you David Baldacci for a most memorable evening! (Truly.)

Today 5:30! Meet the Author: Michael Mauboussin

Michael Mauboussin
Michael Mauboussin

Michael Mauboussin, author of the new book, Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition, will be the featured speaker at the Library on Sunday, November 1 at 5:30 p.m.

Mr. Mauboussin is also the author of More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places, which was named one of the best business books by Business Week in 2006. In his new book, the author addresses the decision-making process for those in all fields -- leaders who make crucial decisions every day. The harsh truth is, according to Mr. Mauboussin, that they mismanage many of those choices even though they have the right intentions. He explains that we fall victim to simplified mental routines that prevent us from coping with the complex realities inherent in important judgment calls. Yet these cognitive errors are preventable. In Think Twice, you will learn how to recognize and avoid common missteps.

Sharing vivid stories from business and beyond, Mr. Mauboussin offers powerful rules for avoiding each error. And he explains when it's time to think twice, to question your reasoning, and adopt decision-making strategies that are far more effective, even if they seem counterintuitive.

Michael Mauboussin, a Darien resident, is Chief Investment Strategist at Legg Mason Capital Management. He has been an adjunct professor of finance at Columbia Business School since 1993. Business Week's Guide to Best Business Schools highlighted him as one of the school's "Outstanding Faculty," a distinction received by only seven professors.

Mr. Mauboussin's appearance at Darien Library is part of our Fall Author Series.

A book signing and reception will follow the presentation. Books will be available for purchase.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Meet the Author: Chris Welles Feder

Chris Welles Feder
Chris Welles Feder


CHRIS WELLES FEDER - Author of In My Father's Shadow: A Daughter Remembers Orson Welles

Sunday, November 15, 5:30 p.m.

Orson Welles's oldest daughter, Chris Welles Feder, has written a revealing book about one of cinema's greatest icons. Though many books have been written about Orson Welles, the mastermind behind such films as Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil, none have provided the deeply personal and nuanced portrait that emerges from Welles Feder's memories of her father. Featuring more than 50 photographs of Orson Welles and his family and friends, In My Father's Shadow offers a moving and insightful look at life lived in the shadow of a legendary figure; it is an immensely entertaining story of growing up a child of Hollywood.

This Meet the Author Event is part of the Fall Author Series at the Library.

A book signing and wine and cheese reception will follow the presentation. Books will be available for purchase.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Please be sure to catch our Orson Welles Movie Matinees during the week leading up to Chris Welles Feder's visit! Click here for more information.

It's True! David Baldacci is coming to Darien Library!

David Baldacci
David Baldacci


Our Fall Author Series Continues!


Thursday, November 5th at 7 p.m

Internationally-acclaimed author David Baldacci shocked the publishing world when he burst onto the literary scene with his first novel, Absolute Power. Since then, he has written 13 additional bestselling works and is best known for his Camel Club series and the King and Maxwell series. On Thursday, November 5th, he is coming here to talk about his brand new book, True Blue and (truly!) we couldn't be happier! 

He is also the author of Total Control, The Winner, The Simple Truth, Saving Faith, Wish You Well, Last Man Standing, The Christmas Train, Split Second, Hour Game, The Camel Club, The Collectors, Simple Genius, Stone Cold, The Whole Truth, Divine Justice, and First Family. All of his books have been national and international bestsellers and over 90 million of his books appear in print and are published worldwide in at least 45 languages.

 A wine and cheese reception and book signing will follow the presentation. Books will be available for purchase.

Please note: Donations of new and gently-used books will be accepted at this Library event to benefit Feeding Body & Mind,  a literacy program sponsored by Mr. Baldacci’s family foundation, the Wish You Well Foundation, which works to eliminate illiteracy. Feeding Body & Mind is a joint effort with Feeding America, that strives to meet both physical and intellectual needs through food and book donations for those in need. Through Feeding Body & Mind, new and gently-used books are collected and distributed through Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

We're just MAD about Lucinda!

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It was an evening of laughter, great food, wine, and friends as we continued our Fall Author Series last night with a visit by acclaimed chef Lucinda Scala Quinn, who offered some tried and true tips from her new cookbook, Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys, on how to tame the "wild beasts" in our lives and share with us how to make a family meal that will attract even the pickiest of eaters and satisfy even the most urgent of hungry situations!

Aside from her expertise as Martha Stewart's "food guru," co-host of the PBS show Everyday Food, and frequent contributor to Today and Martha, Lucinda lives with three sons and a husband who all love to eat - so she really knows her stuff! Here are just some of the brilliant (and hilarious!) tips she gave the audience on how to make boys and men crave those nutritious, home-cooked meals and function on their own around the kitchen:
  • Always have bacon on hand. The stuff lasts forever! And whether you're serving it as a main part of your dish or not, the smell of bacon cooking will surely lure anyone to the kitchen table.
  • You will build a vegetable eater if you give vegetables their due credit. Rather than hiding spinach in a brownie dessert, celebrate the taste of the leafy green simply by sauteing it in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, to the point where it just begins to fall. Don't let it get soggy, and you'll have boys who will begin to adore the traditionally feared side-dish!
  • Men are not genetically incapable of washing dishes. They just need a little encouragement! If they leave crusted, dirty pots in the sink or on the stove, put them in a place that will have them horrified and rushing to the sink looking for the SOS. Lucinda’s suggested locations: their car seat or their sock drawers. Hmmm….
Not only did she dole out great strategies, our speaker and her eldest son Calder (remember that name; this boy is going to be a star!) prepared for the entire audience a tasting of the salsa recipe from the book. The secret to awesome salsa? Add radishes and water! It was amazing.... 
And we all feasted on the to-die-for desserts that the Library staff baked for refreshments during the book signing reception. (We did not bake the stunning book cake shown in the photos; but thank you so much to our favorite "To Read or Not To Read" gals for including us all in their birthday celebration!) Another tip from Lucinda - bake the coffee cake recipe from the book and then freeze it hot. It seals in all the moisture, so that when you cut a slice in the morning, it will be absolutely incredible. Freeze while still hot? Who knew?!
By the way, have I mentioned yet just how fabulous the new cookbook actually is? The recipes are diverse and comforting, the advice is practical and thorough, the photography is gorgeous, and the pages stay open on their own.  Plus, as one patron keenly pointed out last night, the book is complete with stories and explanations, and would make for as compelling a bedside read as the latest fiction best-seller.
What more can I say, other than, you'd be mad not to get your hands on this book!
Oh, and Lucinda loves Darien Library just as much as we love her! How cool is this?!

Tonight at 7: Meet the Author - Lucinda Scala Quinn

Lucinda Scala Quinn
Lucinda Scala Quinn

Our Fall Author Series continues!


Author of Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys 

Thursday, October 22nd at 7 p.m. 

NEWS FLASH! We baked!  Our refreshments will include treats made from recipes right out of the book! (My visiting taste-tester exclaimed, "Ohmygoodness. WOW!" when trying the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.) 


Click here for all the details.


 Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Martha and Emeril Agree!

Lucinda Scala Quinn
Lucinda Scala Quinn

...and we do, too. Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys is a wonderful and worthwhile cookbook!

“Lucinda is mad…about family, about great food, about making sure that the men in her life are never mad hungry for long.” – Martha Stewart

“This is the food of love!” – Emeril Lagasse 

Our Fall Author Series continues! LUCINDA SCALA QUINN - Author of Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys will be here at the Library on Thursday, October 22nd at 7 p.m.

Lucinda Scala Quinn, Vice President and Editorial Director of Food and Entertaining of Martha Stewart Omnimedia, has three sons and a husband who love to eat. Perhaps best known for her regular appearances on NBC's Today and Martha, as well as hosting her weekly radio show and co-hosting PBS's Everyday Food, this popular chef, cooking teacher, caterer, food writer and expert has created a cookbook that hopes to help "civilize the wild beasts in your life, one meal at a time." Mad Hungry is a practical cookbook that contains recipes for nutritious and homemade meals, provides cooking techniques and survival strategies, and offers advice for teaching men and boys to create meals for themselves.

The presentation will include a live demonstration of one of the recipes from Mad Hungry.

 A wine and cheese reception and book signing will follow the presentation. Books will be available for purchase.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

The A.J. Effect

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Yesterday evening, we kicked off our Fall Author Series with a visit from A.J. Jacobs, the delightful and hilarious best-selling author of The Know-It-All, The Year of Living Biblically, and his most recent memoir, The Guinea Pig Diaries.

And what an evening it was!

There was certainly no shortage of laughter to be had as A.J. shared personal stories of the experiments he has put himself (and his wife) through over the past 15 years in a quest to explore his curiosities about life. Perhaps one might think that deciding to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z, or choosing to follow all (literally all) the tenants of the Bible for an entire year, or spending a month practicing radical honesty, or posing in the nude for a magazine all might be suitable as punishment for committing a major crime. However, thank goodness A.J. sees the potential in these difficult and crazy tasks to add meaning to his life - and through each of his books, a whole lot of laughter and amazement to ours.

(By the way, last night, the audience got to meet his wife, Julie, "the saint." It was a bit of a surreal moment. And yes, she is absolutely wonderful!)

Now, many of us here are still recovering from what Barbara T. has brilliantly coined - The A.J. Effect. You know you're experiencing it when you find yourself spontaneously combusting into laughter at the mere thought of George Washington...or Crest Toothpaste...or Kate Hudson movies. It's true - none of these things are inherently funny. But when you combine A.J. Jacobs and his observations, witty style of writing, and thought-provoking insights with just about any subject, the result is something so hilarious and unforgettable that you are compelled to tell everyone (seriously, everyone) about his books and insist that they read them, too. 

If you happened to miss our event last night, or if you just want to re-live all of the laugh-out-loud goodness, keep your eye on our website. In the coming days, we will have A.J.'s entire talk available to watch as a webcast.

And here is a bit more fantastic news that we learned yesterday. A.J. is currently in the midst of his next major quest - to become the healthiest person in the world. He has a board of advisors (that includes Dr. Oz!), has starting visiting the gym, and he even refrained from snacking on the cheese and crackers at our reception last night (not a healthy food, he admitted). He takes his experiments very seriously - and I seriously cannot wait to read his next book!

I am madly in love with "Mad Hungry"

Really. This is my new favorite cookbook. Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys by Lucinda Scala Quinn doesn't come out until mid-October, but I've seen a copy and believe me, it's glorious! I don't have any men and/or boys in my household anymore, but I suppose that if I did, I might love this cookbook even more(!) am here to tell you that these recipes are good for all genders, ages...and occasions! Don't let the title throw you! These are practical recipes for delicious homemade meals....and the book is beautiful with page after page of color photographs!

We will have to wait a little while for the book to be released, but then on Thursday, October 22nd at 7 p.m., Lucinda Scala Quinn will be our featured speaker as one of our Fall Author Series authors! Lucinda is Vice President and Editorial Director of Food and Entertaining of Martha Stewart Omnimedia. She is also the co-host of the Everyday Food program on PBS.

We'll be baking some excellent dessert recipes right out of this book to serve at the program...AND Lucinda will be doing a live demonstration of one of her recipes!

If this cooler weather is putting you in a cooking or baking frame of mind, plan on checking out this new book from Martha Stewart's Food and Entertainment guru and make sure to come to the program on the 22nd!

The Intelligent Color Choice for Fall: Green!

John Wargo
John Wargo

Darien Library and Yale Club of Lower Fairfield County Speakers' Series Present


Chair of Environmental Studies, Yale University

Green Intelligence: Creating Environments that Protect Human Health

Sunday, October 18 at 5:30 p.m.*


Darien Library is pleased to bring you this exciting and timely presentation and discussion with Yale Club of Lower Fairfield County Speakers' Series. Please join us for this important event featuring Professor John Wargo, where he'll talk about the risk of toxic exposures and the health threat, particularly on children. In his new book, Green Intelligence, he demonstrates that exposure to hazardous health-damaging chemicals is widespread and poorly regulated, and that knowledge of contamination and danger is often kept from a too-trusting public. 

Most individuals carry in their tissues a combination of metals, pesticides, solvents, fire retardants, waterproofing agents, and by-products of fuel combustion and not surprisingly, many toxins are significantly more concentrated in the bodies of young children. 

Pesticides. Nuclear testing. Vehicle emissions. U.S. military activity. Plastics. These are some of the specific examples of past and present exposures to identify weaknesses in our system and lessons we can apply to guard human health.

Professor Wargo's sobering assessment of the impact of toxic chemicals on human health is frightening, but he also proposes clear solutions, and outlines practical protective measures and guidelines. 

Professor Wargo was a guest this week on the Living on Earth radio show and podcast - click here to listen. 

John Wargo is professor of environmental policy, risk analysis, and political science at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Department of Political Science at Yale University. He is Chair of the Environmental Studies Major in Yale College and has been an adviser to several EPA administrators and National Academy of Sciences Committees, theU.S. Congress, the U.N. World Health Organization, and Vice President Al Gore.

Here are more details about the October 18th program at the Library:

* - 4:30 p.m.  - Special behind-the-scenes Green Tour of our environmentally innovative Darien Library

  - 5:30 p.m. - Presentation by Professor Wargo

  - 6:15 p.m. - Q&A and reception

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's.)

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