Prepare to be Mesmerized

On Sunday, February 8 at 5 p.m., Michael Korda will be at the Library to talk about his new book, With Wings Like Eagles: A History of the Battle of Britain.

We've experienced Mr. Korda's commanding presence before. (Remember when he was here in November 2007 (photo at right) to talk about Ike: An American Hero?) I say "commanding" because he is nothing short of it. His command of the information, the history, the words, his voice, and any room he enters is something to behold. Whether reading from his book or in discussion, he has the unique ability to transport the listener.

We are delighted that Michael Korda wanted to return to Darien Library! With Wings Like Eagles, released just a few weeks ago, is already being considered the only book that describes the political maneuvering and behind-the-scenes strategizing that surrounded the Battle of Britain. This bestselling author has received excellent reviews for this latest book, including the following from Diana Preston of The Washington Post:

"…passionate and eloquent …With Wings Like Eagles is a skillful, absorbing, often moving contribution to the popular understanding of one of the few episodes in history to live on untarnished and undiminished in the collective memory and to deserve the description "heroic."

Personally, I am preparing for another memorable evening at the Library and I am immersing myself in the time period. After reading With Wings Like Eagles, I watched the new dvd, Flying the Secret Sky: The Story of the Royal Air Force Ferry Command and am currently reading Ken Follett's suspense tale set in the early days of WWII, Hornet Flight. Of course, you don't need to prepare for this fabulous author event which is part of our Grand Opening Author Series...just be prepared to be mesmerized.

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

The Broad Spectrum of Green

So, there we were in our new Green building (LEED Gold!) with our second author in our Grand Opening Author Series, Deirdre Imus! Deirdre, the author of the bestselling "Green This!" series, has a new book out -- The Essential Green You! : Easy Ways To Detox Your Diet, Your Body, And Your Life, and she was here last night to talk to us about all things GREEN. From the state of our health (especially that of our children), to the impact of cleaning products, makeup, toiletries, plastics, fabrics, food, soy, dairy, toxic jeans, toxic tee shirts...

There were several audience members taking notes last night and lots more that purchased one (or all) of Deirdre's books. A book signing followed the presentation and the author was so gracious and enthusiastic -- chatting with all that came up to the table.

We had a huge crowd last night for this event. We are pleased and proud to have been able to bring such an important program to Darien -- one that's clearly important to our Members. We extend a huge thank you to Dierdre Imus for bringing such grace and warmth to what is often a scary and cold topic.

P.S. She loved our Library!

Stellar Kick-off with Pete Hamill!

Last night, we held our first event in our new Community Room. We wanted to open with something big...something unforgettable. What would bring folks out on a cold January afternoon? Pete Hamill!

The house was packed for this special event. Hamill was superb -- he is the perfect mix of intelligence and street-smarts, eloquence and ordinary,  philosophical and realistic, sophistication and homespun, which is probably why everyone seemed to greet him as a friend.

He talked about  his life, his work, the state of the world today, and he talked about libraries(!). His stories were full of pride, hope, humor, and history...a lot like him.  Wow. We were so fortunate to have heard him speak and to meet him!

He was thoughtful and generous with his time and his remarks throughout the afternoon and evening. After the presentation, there was a long line of people waiting to have books signed -- he thanked them for their patience and was attentive to each individual that approached him (he gave what I'm sure was precious advice to a young journalism student and a kiss to a woman that asked(!))...there were so many memorable encounters.

This event was the perfect high note in our Grand Opening crescendo.

A huge thank you to Pete Hamill. New Yorker. Gentleman. Craftsman. Icon.




Grand Opening Author Series To Open with Pete Hamill

Pete Hamill will be the first speaker in our Grand Opening Author Series.

Date: Sunday January 25, 2009

Time: 5 p.m.

(Doors open at 4:30)

Place: Darien Library Community Room


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

We're Serious About Series

We may have been closed, but we did not stop planning interesting and exciting Library programs. We are eager to tell you all about our upcoming events! Certainly, the Grand Opening on January 10th is our biggest event. Opening our doors to the public again will be a grand day, indeed.

We are off to a running start with a Grand Opening Author Series and the return of our Friday Film Series.

We will kick off the Author Series at 5 p.m. on January 25th with a program featuring Pete Hamill . In the following weeks and months, we'll be visited by Deirdre Imus, Michael Korda, Arthur and Pauline Frommer, Christina Pugh, Ilene Beckerman and Giulia Melucci, and Randall Jones.


Also, this month, we will begin our Friday Film Series. On January 30th at 7:30 p.m., we open with The Visitor. One of the few sleeper hits of the year, this movie is showing up on lots of "Best of 2008" lists (I know it's on mine.)

We know you won't want to miss any of these memorable events! (We're already well underway planning more spring and summer events. Whatever the season, whatever the reason, we are the place. )



Grand Opening Author Series

We are very pleased and proud to announce the New Darien Library's Grand Opening Author Series! We are happy too, that the celebratory mood of our Grand Opening will continue for several months. Please join us for these special events which are sure to be memorable.  A reception and book signing will follow each of these presentations.(Books will be available for purchase.)



January 25, 5 p.m.


Pete Hamill



Pete Hamill is a novelist, essayist, and journalist whose career has endured for more than 40 years. He has been a columnist for the New York Post, the New York Daily News, New York Newsday, the Village Voice, New York magazine, and Esquire. He has served as editor-in-chief of both the Post and the Daily News. He’s written several New York Times bestsellers, including the novels Snow in August and Forever, and his memoir, A Drinking Life. His most recent novel North River was published in 2007.



January 29, 7 p.m.

Deirdre Imus


The Essential Green You!: Easy Ways to Detox Your Diet, Your Body, and Your Life (Green This!)


In The Essential Green You!,”the third volume in the New York Times bestselling “Green This!” series, Deirdre Imus shares tips on how to “green” the way you take care of yourself. Whether discussing food, clothes, cosmetics, toiletries, or hair products, she provides detailed, practical advice on how to live organically without a drastic overhaul. Deirdre Imus shows how easy and important it is for women to “buy green, eat green, and be green.”





February 8, 5 p.m.


Michael Korda

With Wings Like Eagles: A History of the Battle of Britain


The Battle of Britain (July 10 – October 31, 1940), one of the most significant conflicts of World War II and the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces, is brought to life by acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Michael Korda.

With Wings Like Eagles is the only book that describes the political maneuvering and behind-the-scenes strategizing that surrounded the Battle of Britain.

Michael Korda is the New York Times bestselling author of Ike, Horse People, Country Matters, Ulysses S. Grant, Cat  People, and Journey to a Revolution.




March 22, 5 p.m.


 Arthur and Pauline Frommer

For over 50 years, Frommer’s® travel guides have included more than 340 titles reaching more than six million travelers each year, covering every major destination in the world.

The family tradition was started by Arthur Frommer and carried on by daughter Pauline with her own Pauline Frommer Travel Guides, an award-winning new series aimed at adult budget travelers. Arthur and Pauline Frommer co-host The Travel Show, which is broadcast to over 100 radio stations nationwide.




April 13, 7 p.m.


Christina Pugh

Award-winning poet Christina Pugh is the author of Rotary, the winner of the Word Press First Book Prize in 2004. Her second book of poems, Restoration, was published in October 2008. Her poetry has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, and other publications. In addition to her own poems, she has also published numerous articles on poetry and poetics.




April 23, 7 p.m.


Ilene Beckerman and Giulia Melucci

 Ilene Beckerman’s memoir Love, Loss, and What I Wore, a runaway bestseller from the 1990s, tells her life story poignantly through the clothes that she wore. Brimming with wit and honesty, “I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti” is Giulia Melucci’s first-hand account of searching for Mr. Right. It’s laced with soulful Italian-American recipes that got her through several Mr. Wrongs. Join us for this fun evening talking love, food, and fashion – we’re calling it Girls Night Out!




May 3, 5 p.m.


Randall Jones

The Richest Man in Town: The Twelve Commandments of Wealth

Worth magazine founder Randall Jones interviewed the richest men and women in the 100 largest towns in America -- all of them self-made financial giants. In his new book, he reveals the key common traits of these individuals and makes their success tips available to us all. Jones, a frequent commentator on numerous television shows including The Today Show, CNBC, CNN, CNNFN, and FOX News, will talk about his research and some of the surprising and extraordinary revelations.

And if I kept a diary, this is what it would say...

Dear Diary,                                                                                                                                                        Last night, Lily Koppel, author of The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal, spoke at the Library. What a fabulous presentation, and what a fabulous young woman! We'd read the book so we already knew that Florence Wolfson, the keeper of the real red leather diary was an interesting, vivacious, and intelligent woman. Last night, we got to see what kind of woman Lily Koppel is and we are really impressed (and now we know why Florence opened up to her). Lily is instantly likable; smart, articulate, thoughtful in her words and actions, a great storyteller, and most importantly...she really listens when people speak. The audience loved her and couldn't wait to talk with her. "Best program ever!" someone exclaimed. "I hope she comes back!" another said. Here are pictures from the evening that many did not want to see end.    

Well, Diary, that's all for today. We had a great evening, thanks to Lily! We're glad we got to meet her.




Lots of reasons to stay in town this fall (and the foliage is pretty nice, too)!


We have no shortage of events at the Library during the month of October. On the schedule, we have a Meet the Author Program, our Foreign Film Series begins, and we return with our Short Story Discussion Group.

This Thursday, October 2nd at 7 p.m., Lily Koppel will be here to talk about her wonderful book, The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal.

Our Foreign Film Series begins on Friday, October 10th. Show time is at 7:30 p.m. and doors will open at 7.

Reserve Tuesday afternoons from 3-4 for our instantly-popular Short Story Discussion Group. Short Stories For Shorter Days begins on October 7th.

For a full list of all of our October happenings, click here.

A Modern Voice from the Past

When New York Times reporter Lily Koppel came into possession of a crumbling 75 year old diary rescued from an Upper West Side dumpster, little did she know that it would change her life. The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal is a remarkable story in many ways and Lily will be here at the Library this Thursday, October 2nd at 7 p.m. to talk about it.

The diary is one that was kept by Florence Wolfson during the years 1929-34...5 years in the life of a privileged young woman (beginning at age 14). Through the pages of the diary, Lily became acquainted with a New York City of another time, and of even greater significance, she "met" Florence. The entries are filled with sophisticated musings, cultural observations, teenage crushes, love affairs...literary and emotional adventures and journeys.  It's candid and frank, as a diary should be and what would be the chances of locating the author of the diary??? Well, Lily hired a private detective, reunited diary and diarist, and she emerges with a beautiful and full story, and a friend. Through her intimate conversations with Florence, at age 90, the brief diary entries spring to life.

Personal photographs are included, and the young woman in the pictures is unmistakably the modern, adventurous girl from the diary.

Come and join us Thursday evening and meet Lily Koppel and learn more about The Red Leather Diary. A book signing will follow the presentation and books will be available for purchase.

Refreshments will be served.

Hope to see you there! In the meantime, to listen to a brief interview with the author, click here.


"Lies" in Darien

We are so excited.

Brad Meltzer, the author of The Book of Lies will be here on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. It's the same day that his new book debuts at #2 on The New York Times bestseller list (so we know he'll be in a good mood). We've read the book. We've heard him speak. We cannot express more urgently how much we know you'll enjoy this program.

In The Book of Lies, Meltzer poses the question: What does Cain, the world’s first villain, and Superman, the world’s first superhero have in common?    
Definitely, a discussion-starter.

This thriller expertly melds the story of the murder of Superman-creator Jerry Siegler's father with a dangerous present-day race to find the world's first murder weapon – that which was used by Cain to kill Abel. It's a bold book; it challenges assumptions about Cain killing Abel, heroes and villains, and Meltzer brings into the story a real murder, that of Mitchell Siegel, the father of Jerry Siegel, who created Superman and these stories are woven together in a fast-paced, fascinating, code-breaking drama. After all, explains Meltzer, it was the murder of his father in a store robbery that led the young Jerry to create a bullet-proof man called Superman.

Janet and I had the chance to talk to Brad last week and it was immediately apparent that he has the ability to engage right away and his enthusiasm is contagious . You can listen to a podcast of that conversation right here.  You'll certainly want to hear more, so please join us on Sunday (promptly at 5:30 p.m.) for what's sure to be a memorable event.

There will be a reception and book signing following the presentation and books will be available for purchase.

See you on Sunday!


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