Video of Eloisa James


On Thursday, May 3, 2012, Eloisa James, author of Paris in Love, visited the Library.

Fresh on the heels of a difficult period in her life, Eloisa James sold her house, took a sabbatical from her university job as a Shakespeare professor, and moved her family to Paris. Paris in Love: A Memoir chronicles Eloisa’s joyful year in one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world.

For more information, please visit the event's listing page.

Video of Cristina Alger

Cristina Alger, author of The Darlings, was our featured speaker on Tuesday, April 24, 2012.

Meet the Author - Cristina Alger

Photo credit: Deborah Feingold
Photo credit: Deborah Feingold

Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m.

Cristina Alger, author of The Darlings, will be our featured speaker on Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m.

Bear Stearns, Fanny and Freddy, Lehman Brothers, and AIG have all collapsed. Hedge funds are closing in droves, and Howary LLP, the storied Wall Street law firm where Paul Ross has worked as an attorney for seven years, has imploded after the managing partner is indicted. When Paul loses his job, his father-in-law Carter Darling, billionaire financier, offers him the chance to head the legal team at his hedge fund. Thrilled with his good fortune in the midst of the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, Paul accepts the position.

But Paul’s luck is about to shift: a tragic event catapults the Darling family into the media spotlight, a regulatory investigation, and a red-hot scandal with enormous implications for everyone involved. Suddenly, Paul must decide where his loyalties lie—will he save himself while betraying his wife and in-laws or protect the family business at all costs?

Praise for The Darlings

“Two parts Too Big to Fail, one part The Devil Wears Prada, Alger’s debut is taut and compelling…Alger expertly evokes both sympathy and contempt for her characters and writes with a polished ease, telling the story of our time (or a particular glittery, corrupt corner of our time) with a mix of ruthlessness and sensitivity.” -- Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Cristina Alger received her BA from Harvard College and her JD from New York University Law School. She has worked as an analyst at Goldman, Sachs, & Co., and as an attorney at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale, & Dorr. She was born and raised in New York City, where she currently resides. This is her first novel.

All author programs will feature a book signing and refreshments. Books will be available for purchase at each event.

Save the dates for our Spring Author Series!

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

Meet the Author - Susan Cain

Susan Cain (Photo credit Aaron Fedor)
Susan Cain (Photo credit Aaron Fedor)

Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m.

You've seen her TED Talk. You've read about her book in The New York Times. You've heard your colleagues discussing The Rise of the New Groupthink. Now she's coming to Darien Library!

Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking will be our featured speaker on Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m.

Did you know that nearly half of Americans are introverts? If you’re not an introvert yourself, you are surely raising, managing, married, or related to one. Cerebral, quiet, perceptive to nuance, and emotionally complex, introverts are often discounted or undervalued. Yet many of the greatest achievers of the twentieth century have been introverts: Eleanor Roosevelt, George Orwell, Rosa Parks, Marcel Proust, Warren Buffett, Larry Page, and Mahatma Gandhi, to name just a few. Without introverts, the world would have missed out on the Apple computer, the theory of relativity, van Gogh’s sunflowers, and The Cat in the Hat.

A self-proclaimed introvert, author Susan Cain, a former Wall Street attorney, challenges what she calls the Extrovert Ideal in Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Our culture, she argues, overvalues the alpha personality—gregarious and highly verbal—while ignoring the subtler strengths of the introvert, such as reflectiveness, persistence, and sensitivity. Based on five years of research, Cain explores the physiological aspects and psychological advantages of being an introvert.

Praise for Quiet

“An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“Cain gives excellent portraits of a number of introverts and shatters misconceptions. Cain consistently holds the reader’s interest by presenting individual profiles, looking at places dominated by extroverts (Harvard Business School) and introverts (a West Coast retreat center), and reporting on the latest studies. Her diligence, research, and passion for this important topic have richly paid off.” —Publishers Weekly

“This is an intelligent and often surprising look at what makes us who we are.” —Booklist

All author programs will feature a book signing and refreshments. Books will be available for purchase at each event.

Save the dates for our Spring Author Series!

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


Video of Julie Jason


On Thursday, March 8, 2012, Julie Jason, author of Managing Retirement Wealth, came to Darien Library. A real concern for investors approaching retirement is losing assets in volatile or down market periods, and as a result, having to either work longer or reduce lifestyles. Managing Retirement Wealth will help you anticipate market-moving events, graduate from random buying and selling, and construct a goal-directed personal portfolio customized to serve you and your family for a lifetime.

Video of Jane Ziegelman

Meet the Author - Jane Ziegelman from Darien Library on Vimeo.

On April 5, 2012, Jane Ziegelman, the director of the Tenement Museum’s culinary center and the founder and director of Kids Cook!, a multi-ethnic cooking program for children came to Darien Library. Her writing on food has appeared in numerous publications, and she is the coauthor of Foie Gras: A Passion. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

For more information, please visit the original post.

Meet the Author - Kris D'Agostino

Kris D'Agostino
Kris D'Agostino

Wednesday, March 21 at 7 p.m.

Kris D'Agostino, author of The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac will be our featured speaker on Wednesday, March 21 at 7 p.m.

In the spirit of Nick Hornby and Tom Perrotta comes a smart, funny debut from novelist Kris D’Agostino about a disillusioned young man whose fledgling leap from post-adolescence to adulthood lands him back in an already overburdened family nest. In The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac, D’Agostino introduces his readers to Calvin, a twenty-four year-old film school dropout living at home again and working at a preschool for autistic kids. Being a teaching assistant certainly isn’t his dream job. And life at home isn’t peachy either: his insufferable go-getter older brother is also living there, as is his seventeen year old sister, who has just confided to Cal that she’s pregnant—and plans to keep the baby.

Meanwhile, Calvin’s father, a career pilot, is temporarily grounded due to cancer and is now obsessed with his mortality. As if that weren’t enough family drama to give someone an ulcer, Calvin’s ever-stalwart mother is crumbling under the pressure of mounting bills and the imminent loss of their Sleepy Hollow, NY home.

Advance Praise for The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac

“Wickedly funny and as often beautiful as it is meandering, this debut novel reads much like Calvin’s life: bursts of activity followed by long periods of idleness and deep thought.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"D’Agostino’s tragicomic first novel is an insatiably readable tale of a family held together with duct tape and string...A memorable debut by a writer who bears watching."—Booklist

All author programs will feature a book signing and refreshments. Books will be available for purchase at each event.

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

Meet the Author - Julie Jason

Thursday, March 8 at 7 p.m.

A real concern for investors approaching retirement is losing assets in volatile or down market periods, and as a result, having to either work longer or reduce lifestyles. Managing Retirement Wealth will help you anticipate market-moving events, graduate from random buying and selling, and construct a goal-directed personal portfolio customized to serve you and your family for a lifetime.

Julie Jason directs the personal portfolio management practice of Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers of Stamford, CT. A proponent of financial literacy, Jason is also the author of the award-winning AARP Retirement Survival Guide, a Booklist Top Ten Business Book and recipient of the Axiom Business Book Gold Medal for Retirement Planning. Her award-winning investor education column appears every Sunday in the business sections of the Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Danbury News Times, and Connecticut Post.

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

Video for Inextricably Linked...


On Thursday, March 29, 2012, in an event co-sponsored by Northern Trust, we are proud to welcome Chantal Collier, Director of the Long Island Sound Program for The Nature Conservancy to the Library for a presentation titled Inextricably Linked: Long Island Sound and Our Way of Life.

For more information, please see the original post.

Health & Wellness Series - Winter 2012

Winter Wellness

Darien Library Health & Wellness Series

In the New Year, why not resolve to get organized, healthy, and active?

Darien Library is a destination for reliable information on health-related topics. This January and February, we present Winter Wellness, a series of lectures, expert panels, workshops, film screenings, and fitness activities designed to help you achieve an even better version of you. The schedule offers sessions on organization, stress management, active aging, healthy eating, brain fitness, and more.

Please join us for this exciting and enriching series.

Lectures, Expert Panels & Workshops
Meet the Author Events
Get Active at the Library
Health & Wellness Film Screenings


Lectures, Expert Panels, & Workshops

Get Organized! Panel Discussion

Thursday, January 5 at 7 PM
The entire month of January has been proclaimed a holiday in the organizing world, called “National Get Organized Month” by the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). It is time to clean out those closets, deal with those stacks of paperwork, and organize those photographs! Organizing will help you live in the present, decrease feelings of being overwhelmed, and increase your quality of life. A panel of organizers from the group F.O.C.U.S. will share their expertise on topics ranging from clothing to paperwork.

Presented by Cara Brook of S.O.S. LLC, Janet Barnes of Connecticut Closet and Shelf, Jen Burke of JKB Organizing, and Susan Lovallo, CPA, CPO of Clutter Solutions, LLC. The panel will be moderated by Matt Baier of Matt Baier Organizing, LLC.

Secrets to Active Aging

Monday, January 9 at 10 AM
We’re told that exercise is important as we age, but what kinds of exercise? How much exercise do we need? Why is balance exercise so important? This program discusses why physical activity is critical to healthy aging and how we can incorporate it into our daily lives, no matter what our fitness level. This program is geared towards adults age 50 and over. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes and shoes if they wish to practice simple exercises to improve balance.

Presented by Julienne Camhi, Certified Personal Trainer and Health Fitness Specialist at Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County.

Combat Stress in Chaotic Times: Reduce the 7 Symptoms of Stress

Wednesday, January 11 at 7 PM
According to the American Psychology Association, stress is taking a toll on people, contributing to health problems, poor relationships, and lost productivity at work. Heart disease, type-II diabetes, cancer, respiratory disorders, and health issues associated with being overweight and obesity are categorized as chronic diseases. Many of these illnesses can be traced back to a root cause: stress.

Presented by Dr. Robert Zembroski, a board-certified Chiropractic Neurologist at The Darien Center for Integrative Medicine.

Navigating Your Hospital Stay

Tuesday, January 17 at 10 AM
For most of us, a visit to the hospital is like travelling to a foreign country. We do not speak the medical “language” and we are expected to answer intimate questions from complete strangers. We worry about medication errors and healthcare-associated infections, but are not sure how to prevent them. We are awake when we should be sleeping, and sleeping when we should be awake. This program provides valuable information about what to ask before you go into the hospital, how to reduce your risk of infection or medication errors, how to get a good night's sleep, and important steps for planning your discharge and follow-up care.

Presented by Sue Worland, RN, Hospital Liaison and Intake Coordinator with Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County.

Reversing Chronic Disease

Thursday, January 19 at 7 PM
Often, individuals believe that once a diagnosis is made and a medication given, there will always be the need to continue that medication. Yet chronic disease can be reversed, often with straightforward modifications to the way we live. Understanding the driving forces behind disease allows us to be able to target our efforts. Dr. Roca will discuss the underlying processes that create illness and key changes you can make to begin the process of reversing chronic illness including hormone balance, reducing inflammation, increasing stress resilience, and enhancing detoxification.

Presented by Dr. Henri Roca, Medical Director at Greenwich Hospital’s Integrative Medicine Program.

Ask the Doctors!

Tuesday, January 24 at 7 PM
It’s time to take the anxiety out of the word “healthcare!” Doctors4Darien, a team of four esteemed community physicians, will discuss new research findings and information related to our bodies and our health. The panel will also focus on preventative healthcare from head to toe – literally! From dental care to foot care and everything in between, this is your chance to learn new and better paths to well-being.

Presented by Dr. Maryann Lehmann, D.D.S., Dentist; Dr. Brian P. McKay, D.C., Chiropractor; Dr. Brian S. Sheets, D.O., Ob/Gyn; and Dr. Josephine Velazques, D.P.M., Podiatrist.

Eating Right to Feel Great

Tuesday, February 7 at 7 PM
With all the choices we have in supermarkets today, food shopping can be overwhelming. What should we be eating? And how much? Local or organic? Our panel of nutrition experts will help address these food issues and more, including overeating, portion-size awareness, making healthful food choices for your family, the benefits of plant-based living, and how to be a budget organic. Healthy snacks will be provided by Whole Foods Market.

Presented by Tracy Gwodz, Holistic Health Counselor and owner of simplynourish; Maura Maier, Healthy Eating Specialist at Whole Foods Market; and Francine G. Blinten, Certified Clinical Nutritionist.


New Year, New You; Resolve to Keep Those New Year Resolutions!

Thursday, February 9 from 10 AM to 12 noon

You’re invited to a health and wellness fair sponsored by The Community Fund of Darien’s Human Services Planning Council and the Darien Community Association, to be held at the DCA, 274 Middlesex Road. Darien Library will be among dozens of groups, agencies, and companies that will be on hand to provide resources and demonstrations of techniques for stress relief, career counseling, health checks and more. Self-care is not selfish!

Ask the Pediatricians: A Panel Discussion

Wednesday, February 15 at 7 PM

When it comes to our children, we're always going to have a lot of questions related to their health. Luckily, our panel of pediatric sub-specialists are here to answer your questions about raising healthy, happy, and energetic kids.

Presented by Dr. Mitchell Lester, M.D., Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology; Dr. Sohail Kayani, M.D., Pediatric Pulmonologist; and Dr. Anthony Porto, M.D., Pediatric Gastroenterologist. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Jamie Roach Murray, M.D., General Pediatrician.

Long-Term Care Insurance: The Missing Link in Retirement Planning

Tuesday, February 28 at 7 PM
You’ve thought of everything – except for how to protect your assets should you need long-term care. Did you know that just one year in a Connecticut nursing home can cost more than $127,000? And Medicare and health insurance may only cover a fraction of these costs. Now there's a way to protect your life savings. If you’re 40 or older, long-term care insurance approved by the State’s Connecticut Partnership for Long-Term Care should be part of your retirement plan. These policies assure you of the highest quality standards. They’re affordable and provide asset protection, protect against inflation, and – most importantly – give you peace of mind through your retirement years. Come learn about how the State’s Partnership for Long-Term Care can help you plan ahead for your future needs.

Presented by Aldo Pantano, a representative from the CT Partnership for Long-Term Care, with the State Office of Policy and Management.

Meet the Author Events

Meet the Author! Nicole Straight

More Time to Eat!
Tuesday, January 17 at 7 PM
Award-winning local chef Nicole Straight has just published her second cookbook, More Time to Eat!, which aims to teach families how to streamline time spent in the kitchen, as well as make delicious meals in 15 minutes. The new cookbook is an evolution of Straight’s lengthy experience as a cooking instructor who has taught thousands of people how to bring their families back to the table and simplify the nightly 6 o’clock dinner-time dilemma. The book contains a collection of easy recipes, such as BLT Tortellini, Provencal Braised Chicken Thighs, Asian Quinoa Salad, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies. She teaches you how to simplify meal preparation while minimizing time spent in the kitchen for both family meals and entertaining friends. A book signing will follow the presentation. Book will be available for purchase at the event.

Nicole Straight, founder of the Time to Eat! cooking school, teaches 90-minute cooking classes at the Christopher Peacock Cabinetry Showroom in Greenwich, as well as in-home cooking classes. Her visit will include a cooking demonstration.

Meet the Author! Priscilla Warner

Learning to Breathe
Thursday, January 26 at 7 PM

For 40 years, Priscilla Warner suffered from anxiety and panic attacks so debilitating that they left her unable to breathe. So when she read about Tibetan monks who had meditated so effectively that they were able to change their brains, Warner wanted in. Learning to Breathe chronicles Warner’s mission to rewire her brain and her body in search of her own “inner monk.” She tries spiritual chanting, meditative painting, restorative yoga, immersion in a Jewish ritual bath, and quasi-hallucinogenic Ayurvedic oil treatments. Meditating in malls instead of monasteries, Warner becomes a monk in a minivan and calms down long enough to examine her colorful family history in a new light, ultimately making peace with her past. A book signing will follow the presentation. Book will be available for purchase at the event.

Priscilla Warner grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, and raised her two sons with her husband in Westchester County, New York. She coauthored the New York Times bestseller The Faith Club, and spent three years promoting the book while engaging in interfaith dialogue all across America. She has appeared on such national media outlets as the Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, and NPR, and writes for More magazine and The Huffington Post, among others.

Get Active at the Library

Yoga with Shelly

Friday mornings from 10 to 11 AM, January 6 through February 10
Connect mind with body, posture with breath, and the philosophical with the physical in this yoga series for practitioners at all levels (beginners are welcome). Each class will feature specific yoga techniques, and we will practice poses inspired by popular books. Participants are asked to bring their own yoga mats.

The class will be led by Shelly Ransom, Certified Yoga Instructor.

Registration for this series is a lottery and is open to all Darien residents, those who work in Darien full-time, and non-resident Friends of Darien Library at the Contributor Level (annual donation of $300). Register online at from Monday, December 12 to Wednesday, December 21 with your Library card. Notification via email is Thursday, December 22. For more information, contact Erin Shea, Head of Adult Programming, at or 203-669-5232.

Wii Sports: Gaming for Adults

Wednesday, January 18, 10 AM - 12 noon
Wednesday, February 1, 10 AM - 12 noon
Who says video games are for couch potatoes? We're turning our Conference Room into a sports arena with Nintendo Wii! We will show you how to play, and then you can join in on a round of golf, go bowling, have an archery contest, and even throw a Frisbee! Enjoy the rush of video game-induced endorphins.

Health & Wellness Film Screenings

FAT: What No One is Telling You

Monday, January 16 at 1:30 PM
Open abuse of fat people is our last accepted prejudice. As the number of obese Americans climbs to frightening levels, the quest for answers is becoming even more urgent. Obesity experts have a sobering awareness of the complex human puzzle that is driving this epidemic and creating so much personal pain. This program gives viewers a window into the intense human dramas of those labeled obese and the difficulty of solving weight problems. Not rated; 90 minutes (2006).

The Brain Fitness Program

Thursday, February 16 at 1:30 PM
Can you exercise your brain to get it into better shape? Dr. Michael Merzenich and more than 50 neuroscientists around the world say, "Absolutely!" They have developed a scientifically-based system of exercises to help retain mental acuity throughout a lifespan of 80+ years. Designed to drive beneficial chemical, physical, and functional changes in the brain, The Brain Fitness Program will strengthen your brain and make it perform with greater agility, speed, and comprehension. Studies have shown an average improvement of more than 10 years in auditory, memory, and cognitive function. Not rated; 60 minutes (2008).

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