Meet the Author Presentation: Simon van Booy

Last night, we welcomed author Simon van Booy to Darien Library for an Adult Summer Reading, Meet the Author event. His newest book, Everything Beautiful Began After, is the first novel for this award-winning short story writer. His writing is fine, precise, and spare. Every word is necessary; the imagery, vivid.

What could be better than reading Simon van Booy's writing? I'll tell you. Listening to him read it aloud. His reading, his remarks, his responses to questions were all so very thoughtful and he delighted the audience with his presentation.

This morning, The Patch, posted a nice article about last night's author event at the Library. To read, click here.

To watch the presentation in its entirely, please click below.

 

Returning to Darien Library on July 14th -- Pete Hamill

Pete Hamill
Pete Hamill

On Thursday, July 14th at 7 p.m., Pete Hamill returns to Darien Library and we could not be more excited! He will be speaking about his newest book, “Tabloid City.”

Remember when he was last here? It was in January 2009 and he was the Library’s first speaker in our Grand Opening Author Series, and within weeks of our opening the new building. What a great night that was! We are overjoyed to be doubly honored and to welcome him to Darien Library.


Pete Hamill is a novelist, essayist, and journalist whose career has endured for more than 40 years. As a journalist, 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. As a journalist, he has covered wars in Vietnam, Nicaragua, Lebanon, and Northern Ireland, and lived for extended periods in Mexico City, Dublin, Barcelona, San Juan, and Rome. From his base in New York, he has also covered murders, fires, World Series, championship fights, and the great domestic disturbances of the 1960s, and has written extensively on art, jazz, immigration, and politics.
At the same time, Mr. Hamill has written much fiction, including movie and TV scripts. He has published ten novels and two collections of short stories. He’s written several New York Times bestsellers, including the novels Snow in AugustNorth River, and  Forever, and his memoir, A Drinking Life.
 

Here's a description of his new book, "Tabloid City," courtesy of Little, Brown and Company:
On a cold January night in a stately townhome in New York City’s West Village, two women--a wealthy socialite and her secretary--have been killed. Over the course of the next day, their shocking deaths will illuminate connections between men and women who could not be more different from one another, though they call the same metropolis home.
From the gruff editor-in-chief of the city’s last afternoon daily to the self-made advertising exec; from the NYPD sergeant to the Wall Street conman; from the angry young extremist to the Iraq vet struggling to come to terms with his sacrifices, Pete Hamill captures the voices and experiences of his fellow New Yorkers with his trademark blend of compassion and unflinching honesty.
For some of these men and women, the city is a proving ground. For others it is a decadent playground. For still others it is steeped in memories--a historic city eclipsed by modern times. At once a nostalgic hymn to old New York and a gripping, cinematic portrait of the complex city of today, Tabloid City is as exhilarating as New York itself.


Mr. Hamill’s appearance at Darien Library is part of our Adult Summer Reading Program.

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

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

Meet the Author: Simon van Booy

Simon van Booy
Simon van Booy

Simon van Booy, author of the award-winning “Love Begins in Winter” and “The Secret Lives of People in Love,” will be at Darien Library on Tuesday, July 19th at 7 p.m.

Mr. van Booy will be speaking about his newest book, Everything Beautiful Began After, a stunning debut novel of love amidst the ruins of Athens.

He is, without doubt, one of the best storytellers I've ever heard speak. Be prepared to be rapt.

(From the Publisher – about Everything Beautiful Began After)

Young, beautiful, and lost, Rebecca has come to Athens to abandon herself to the city’s strangeness and heat on a campaign to learn about love. Deserted by her mother and brought up by her grandfather in the south of France, she has never had an anchor to keep her from feeling constantly adrift.
George has come to
Athens to translate. It’s all he knows how to do. Dropped off at a New England boarding school when he was a child, his closest friends are Aristophanes and Jack Daniels, Euripides and Jim Beam.
Henry has come to
Athens to dig. An archaeologist, he spends his days on-site in Athens, and roams the Agora on the weekends. Henry comes from a happy, humdrum Welsh family. Nothing has really ever happened to him.
After a chance meeting on a hot
Athens day, however, and George and Rebecca begin a conversation…that turns into drinks…then a few dinners...
Until Rebecca meets Henry.
And Henry meets George.
And
Athens changes their lives forever.

“Van Booy's stories are somehow like paintings the characters walk out of, and keep walking.” -- Los Angeles Times

“His sentences are spare, subtle, and freighted, his images fresh . . . you see and feel his settings . . . a first-rate storyteller.” – Newsday

Simon van Booy’s appearance at Darien Library is part of our Adult Summer Reading Program.

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

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

 

Author Susan Conley Discusses "The Foremost Good Fortune" ... on Video

It was our pleasure to host author Susan Conley last Wednesday, February 16th for a discussion of her new memoir, The Foremost Good Fortune.

Visiting us from Portland, Maine, Ms. Conley shared with the audience the story of her family's sudden move to China for her husband's two-year consulting assignment; shortly after the move, she discovered that she had breast cancer. Our guest read touching passages from this beautifully-written and critically-acclaimed book, giving us wonderful insight into her experiences navigating a foreign culture while dealing with an incredibly serious disease. Sharing the joys of living in a new world, the frustrations of being without the comforts of home, and the difficulties of motherhood and raising two young boys during a challenging time, Ms. Conley was thoughtful, inspiring, and luminous.

Click here or watch the video below to view the entire presentation and Q&A.

 

The Foremost Good February

Author Susan Conley will be at Darien Library on Wednesday, February 16 at 7 p.m.
Author Susan Conley will be at Darien Library on Wednesday, February 16 at 7 p.m.

MEET THE AUTHOR

Susan Conley

Author of The Foremost Good Fortune

Wednesday, February 16 at 7 p.m.

Our Winter/Spring Author Series begins in February, making this, despite the snow on the ground and the chilling forecast, one of our favorite times of year! It is, indeed, our good fortune to begin the series with Jonathan Adler, author of the Happy Chic series, on Thursday, February 3rd at 7 p.m., and to continue the goodness and good fortune with a visit from Susan Conley, the author of The Foremost Good Fortune, on Wednesday, February 16th at 7 p.m.


In The Foremost Good Fortune, Susan Conley brings us a memoir of her time when she moved with her husband and two young sons from Maine to Beijing, China. She was prepared for a year of new experiences and big changes as she and her family faced the unknown. Though Chinese customs and language posed a struggle, Susan embraced her new high-intensity life. While her husband worked to convince banks to implement a credit rating system in a country where credit cards aren’t accepted, she focused on tasks that were very different, if no less perplexing: how to buy produce at a Chinese mega-market (paying the cashier doesn’t cut it), fielding invitations to things like “Sweater Parties,” and working to establish new friends – akin to dating, and “very Jane Austen.”

Nothing occupied Susan’s mind and energies more than caring for her two confused and frustrated little boys as they try to find their way in a world utterly unlike the one they used to know. Bit by bit, they make friends and adjust to life in China. And though it’s more than she bargained for, life in Beijing isn’t anything Susan can’t handle – until she finds a lump in her breast and receives the news that nobody wants to hear, least of all in faltering English while lying in a Chinese operating room. After completing an aggressive treatment regimen in the States, Susan returns to China as a foreigner yet again – but this time, it’s her own body in which she doesn’t feel at home.  

Filled with candid insights about the difficulties and small triumphs that can make or break one’s day when attempting to navigate a foreign culture, “The Foremost Good Fortune” is a touching exploration of the big questions of motherhood – how do you talk to children about life and death? When is it okay to lie? – and an unsparing look at the realities of coming face to face with mortality when one least expects it.
 
“Luminous….Conley's writing is at once spare and strong…[She] pulls the reader into her world like a close friend.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review


 “…compelling and humorous. . . . Beautifully written and insightful on many levels.” – Booklist

Click here to learn more about Susan Conley and The Foremost Good Fortune.


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

Susan Conley’s appearance at Darien Library is part of the Library’s Winter/Spring 2011 Author Series. Click here for the schedule.

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

Meet the Author - Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler will be at Darien Library on Thursday, February 3 at 7 p.m.
Jonathan Adler will be at Darien Library on Thursday, February 3 at 7 p.m.

“95% chic + 5% happy = 100% The Decorative Nirvana that I Call Happy Chic” – Jonathan Adler

Meet the Author!

Jonathan Adler

Thursday, February 3 at 7 p.m.

Please join us for the kick-off of our Winter/Spring Author Series with Jonathan Adler!  (He's an author...a designer...a television star...he is a BRAND!)

Jonathan Adler is the author of the Happy Chic series, a sought-after interior designer, and the owner of an international gift and design company which bears his name.  He was also the lead judge on the Bravo series, “Top Design.”
Known for an aesthetic that mixes modernist forms with bold colors and “groovy graphics,” Jonathan Adler has become one of the newest and hottest names on the decorating scene.  Fully committed to producing beautiful collectibles for the ages, he hews to the company’s motto: “If your heirs won’t fight over it, we won’t make it."

Each book in Jonathan Adler’s Happy Chic series gives you both the information and motivation you need to not only envision a tastefully chic home, but to also infuse your inner sanctums with wit and personality. His designs bring style, craft, joy, and a “spirit of grooviness” to the home.

In Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic: Colors, Adler inspires readers to be fearless in their decorating choices. He guides us through color-drenched rooms, from “True Blue” and “Going Rouge,” to “Champagne Sparkle.” Every chapter is devoted to his thoughts on one color scheme, and he reveals his go-to paint chips, favorite fabrics, and personal color muses, like Diana Vreeland and Grace Jones.

In Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic: Accessorizing, Adler takes us on a whirlwind tour through gorgeously styled interiors. Organized by type of furniture (bed, bookshelf, dining table, dresser, table), Adler divulges all the tricks and tips needed to artfully arrange anything in one’s home.
Jonathan Adler has eleven stores nationwide, a thriving on-line site and a wholesale business boasting more than 1,000 locations around the world.  He is also a highly sought-after interior designer working on luxury residential projects as well as large-scale commercial projects including the celebrity hot spot Parker Palm Springs Hotel and the High Roller suites at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas. Other high-profile projects include the retro-glam interior for the “real” Malibu Dream House for Barbie’s® 50th Anniversary.  

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


Upcoming events in Darien Library’s Winter/Spring Author Series include Susan Conley, author of “The Foremost Good Fortune,” on Wednesday, February 16 at 7 p.m., Deborah Wiles, author of “Countdown,” on Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m., and Carlos Eire, author of “Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy,” on Thursday, April 7 at 7 p.m. Click here for more information about the series.

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

Winter/Spring 2011 Author Series

Jonathan Adler
Jonathan Adler

The announcement of our 2011 Winter/Spring Author Series requires that ink meet the calendar! (Save the dates!)


Winter and spring will swell with adventure at Darien Library as we seek and study the chic, the cultural, and historic; presenting stories of craftsmanship, crisis, and coping...in the home, on the homefront, and with homesickness in a foreign land.
Join us for insight into the “spirit of grooviness.” Marvel at the resilience of a young mother with breast cancer who is far from home. We’ll revisit the Cuban Missile Crisis through the eyes of an 11-year old girl, and see 1960s America through the eyes of an 11-year old boy – a Cuban refugee.


Thursday, February 3 at 7 p.m.


Jonathan Adler (pictured at left)
Author of the Happy Chic Series

Jonathan has a mission: to quash the world’s fear of decorating. Each book in his Happy Chic series gives you both the information and motivation you need to not only envision a tastefully chic home, but to also infuse your inner sanctums with wit and personality. In a confessional tone, you’re encouraged to answer questions about your own tastes, interest, and influences.

Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic:
“95% chic + 5% happy = 100% The Decorative Nirvana that I Call Happy Chic.”

 

Wednesday, February 16 at 7 p.m.

 

Susan Conley
Author of The Foremost Good Fortune

 

Susan Conley, her husband, and their two young sons say good-bye to their friends, family, and house in Maine for a two-year stint in a high-rise apartment in Beijing, prepared to embrace the inevitable onslaught of new experiences that such a move entails. But Susan can’t predict just how much their lives will change.
Upon learning that she has cancer and undergoing treatment in Boston, she returns to Beijing, again as a foreigner—but this time, it’s her own body in which she feels a stranger.  Set against the eternally fascinating backdrop of modern China and full of insight into the trickiest questions of motherhood—How do you talk to children about death?  When is it okay to lie?—this wry and poignant memoir is a celebration of family and a candid exploration of mortality and belonging.

“Luminous….Conley's writing is at once spare and strong…[She] pulls the reader into her world like a close friend.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 
Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m.

Deborah Wiles
Author of
Countdown

(A One Book, One Community* Event.)

It’s 1962, and it seems that the whole country is living in fear. When President Kennedy goes on television to say that Russia is sending nuclear missiles to Cuba, it only gets worse. 11-year-old Franny Chapman doesn’t know how to deal with what’s going on in the world — no more than she knows how to deal with what’s going on with her family and friends. But somehow she’s got to make it through.
Countdown features a captivating story interspersed with footage from 1962. Deborah Wiles has created a documentary novel that will put you right alongside Franny as she navigates a dangerous time in both her history and our history. It is an experience you will never forget.

“Wiles palpably recreates the fear kids felt when air-raid sirens and duck-and-cover drills were routine, and when watching President Kennedy’s televised speech announcing the presence of missiles in Cuba was an extra-credit assignment.” – Publishers Weekly

 

Thursday, April 7 at 7 p.m.

 

 

Carlos Eire
Author of
Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy


(A One Book, One Community* Event.)

This program is co-sponsored by the Yale Club of Lower Fairfield County.

Carlos Eire, author of the 2003 National Book Award-winning memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy, returns to Darien Library. In Waiting for Snow in Havana, the author narrated his coming of age in Cuba just before and during the Castro revolution. Learning to Die in Miami begins with his journey to America.

The year was 1962 and he and his older brother, Tony, had fled along with 14,000 other children from “Castrolandia.” They were not only refugees, but also orphans—both of Carlos’s parents were stuck behind in Cuba. During those first years, Carlos learns to adjust to life in America as he spends nearly a year in a Dickensian foster home, struggles to learn English and blend into American schools, and confronts the age-old immigrant’s plight—he is surrounded by the bounty of this rich land yet unable to partake. He believed that in order for his new American self to emerge, his Cuban self must "die."
Flashing back and forth between past and future, we watch as Carlos balances the divide between his past and present homes and finds his way in this strange new world, one that seems to hold the exhilarating  promise of infinite possibilities, and one that he will eventually claim as his own.

 “A mix of insightful observation, humor, and heartfelt emotion. . . . Easily one of the more impressive memoirs on the thorny issue of immigration.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Each presentation will conclude with a book signing and reception.
Books will be available for purchase.


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

*One Book, One Community encourages everyone in town to read the same book and then come together to explore its themes. Our 3rd annual One Book, One Community Program will take place during March and April. The selected book for the town-wide read is Countdown by Deborah Wiles.

Video - Author Michael Korda discusses Lawrence of Arabia

We had a standing-room-only crowd in attendance at our Fall 2010 Author Event with Michael Korda, held on Thursday, December 2 at 7 PM. Mr. Korda, author of the best-selling Ike: An American Hero and With Wings Like Eagles visited Darien Library for the third time in as many years to discuss his newest book, Hero: The Life & Legend of Lawrence of ArabiaIt was fitting for this historical tour-de-force, who perhaps had a keener understanding of the Middle East situation than anyone before or after his time, to be chronicled by such an admired and respected biographer. 

In case you missed it, click here or on the video below to watch Mr. Korda's presentation, which includes a Q&A the reveals fascinating tidbits of information about Lawrence's personal life, his struggles with loyalty and fame, and his untimely death.

After reading the book, if you are interested in watching the Hollywood movie Lawrence of Arabia but simply don't have 4+ hours to spare during this busy holiday season, you might like to watch Lawrence of Arabia: The Battle for the Arab World. In 2001, PBS produced this multi-million dollar film on the life of T.E. Lawrence that combines re-enactments with interviews of historians, biographers, and even an elderly man who was alive at the time that Lawrence and his troops fought for Arab independence during World War I.

 

Meet the Author: Michael Korda from Darien Library on Vimeo.

In Case You Missed It! Author & Chef Dorie Greenspan's Visit . . . on Video

It was an evening of joy, laughter, and amazing food on Thursday, November 18, 2010 as Darien Library hosted the delightful Dorie Greenspan, chef and award-winning author of numerous cookbooks, who visited us to speak about her latest, Around My French Table: Over 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. She shared wonderful stories of her times spent in Paris as well as her inspirations for the recipes included in the book, which makes modern French cooking approachable in the same way that Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking did for traditional dishes so many years ago. It's no wonder that the book was recently chosen by Amazon.com as the best cookbook of 2010!

Click here or watch the video below to see the entire presentation from the evening, which includes a tour of all of the dishes made by the members of the Darien Library staff for the refreshments table. (For close-up photos of all of the dishes, click here.)

We simply adore Dorie...and you will, too!

 

Meet the Author: Dorie Greenspan from Darien Library on Vimeo.

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