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(!)...so..I 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!

People will be talking...

 ...and listening...and watching. And, we think, smiling. In October, we return with our Foreign Film Series, another short story discussion series (Short Stories for Short Days), the One Page Poetry Circle, a special film screening for Domestic Violence Awareness month, and our Fall Book Discussion Series. We'll be continuing with our increasingly popular Meet Us on Main Street throughout October, and present the first in our fall Classics 2.0 program where we will take a closer look at literature and its timeless relevance. This month, we will also introduce Book Group Savvy, a workshop for those looking to start a book group or just looking to add some pizzazz to their exisiting group.

Briefly, here are some key dates for October at the Library:

Every Tuesday at 3 p.m. - Short Stories for Short Days

Every Wednesday at 11 a.m. - Meet Us on Main Street

Sunday, October 4, 5:30 p.m. - Fall Author Series: A. J. Jacobs, author of "The Guinea Pig Diaries"

Wednesday, October 7, 11 a.m. - Book Group Savvy

Friday, October 9, 7:30 p.m. - Film Screening - "Gaslight"

Tuesday, October 13, 7 p.m. - Fall Book Discussion Series - (A Golden Age is the discussion book.)

Sunday, October 18, 530 p.m. - Professor John Wargo - Green Intelligence: Creating Environments that Protect Human Health

Monday, October 19, 2 p.m. - Classics 2.0 (film screening: "Sense & Sensibility")

Wednesday, October 21, 7 p.m. - One Page Poetry Circle (Poetry & Masks)

Thursday, October 22, 3 p.m. - Classics 2.0 (book discussion: "Sense & Sensibility")

Thursday, October 22, 7 p.m. - Fall Author Series: Lucinda Scala Quinn, author of "Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys"

Friday, October 23, 7:30 p.m. - Foreign Film Series begins ("The Class" is the first of seven films in the series)

And, as long as we're talking about...well...talking...we have more news for you --our teens have been talking, too! Last month, they created and posted their very first Darien Library TEENCAST!

Click here to listen.

They are pleased and psyched (and preening) about their podcast prowess and are gearing up for more. 

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.)

Fall Author Series Begins This Sunday!

Meet A.J. Jacobs, the author of
Meet A.J. Jacobs, the author of "The Guinea Pig Diaries"!


A. J. Jacobs, author of The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment, will be here at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 4th. For more information about our Fall Author Series, click here. For more information about A.J. Jacobs and his upcoming appearance at Darien Library, check back right here during the week. 

...and speaking of that Fall Author Series, please note:

Thursday, October 22, 7 p.m. - Lucinda Scala Quinn, author of Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys

Sunday, November 1, 5:30 p.m. - Michael Mauboussin, author of Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition

Thursday, November 5, 7 p.m. - David Baldacci, author of True Blue

Sunday, November 15, 5:30 p.m. - Chris Welles Feder, author of In My Father's Shadow: A Daughter Remembers Orson Welles

We hope that we're on your calendars!  

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Our Fall Author Series begins next Sunday, October 4th at 5:30 p.m. when our first featured author will be A.J. Jacobs (pictured below), who'll be talking about his newest book, The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment. Also this fall, we'll be welcoming Lucinda Scala Quinn, Michael Mauboussin, David Baldacci, and Chris Welles FederAll the details are right here!

I think that you'll agree - this is a FABULOUS series! Despite my excitement about the fall events, I, for one, cannot help but think about the author programs that we've already had this year! We all have special memories from each and every program -- and that serves as a reminder for us again to say thank you for the continuous and generous support from our members  (all of our programs are funded solely by contributions to the Annual Campaign. (Pretty amazing, isn't it? Thank you!)).

We are overjoyed to be bringing you another season of excellent author programs however, as we take a deep breath before the fall plunge, excuse us while we stand still for a few moments and look back at the author events from earlier this year...and look forward to our upcoming author visits!

Stand still with us, enjoy our animoto short video, and, as the song says, "enjoy the view"!


I hope that this brought back some great memories...I also hope that you've got us on your fall calendar with plans to come to the Library and enjoy another outstanding author series! 

The Fall Author Series at the Library

Look who's coming to the Library this fall!  


 A. J. JACOBS - Author of The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment

Sunday, October 4, 5:30 p.m.





LUCINDA SCALA QUINN - Author of Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys

Thursday, October 22, 7 p.m.






 MICHAEL MAUBOUSSIN - Author of Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition

Sunday, November 1, 5:30 p.m.





DAVID BALDACCI - Author of True Blue

 Thursday, November 5, 7 p.m.





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

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




Click here for all the details.

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