And I Quote...

"This should be the model for all modern libraries."

-- Arthur Frommer (after a tour of the Darien Library)*


Yesterday afternoon, we continued our Grand Opening Author Series with a visit from travel expert Arthur Frommer. The standing-room-only crowd came prepared with pencils and paper, eager for the best in travel information and they were not disappointed! Mr. Frommer talked up-to-the-minute travel deals and anticipated future bargains, the benefits of using travel aggregates, and had advice for travelers of all ages! His talk was peppered with lots of amusing anecdotes and a couple of hilarious stories.


We had a reception and book signing after his presentation and many, many people remained to have books signed and to talk with the author. Surprisingly, this turned out to be a family event for many, and if anyone thought that children might be bored listening to this genuinely charming speaker, they'd have been wrong. Note the family above, right...before they left the signing table, the little girl rushed over and gave Mr. Frommer a big hug!!! Arthur Frommer is a hit in Darien. We thank him so much for coming to Darien Library and we can't wait to have him back!

*Mr. Frommer gave us permission to quote him!

To cruise or not to cruise...that is the question!

Arthur FrommerMeet the Travel Expert!

Arthur Frommer

Sunday, March 22 at 5 PM

in the Community Room

Arthur Frommer revolutionized the travel industry with his 1957 publication of Europe on $5 a Day. Today, over 50 years later, Frommer’s®  travel guides have included more than 340 titles covering every major destination in the world.

A few weeks ago, Barbara T., Janet, and I attended the The New York Times Travel Expo, where we had the pleasure of hearing Arthur Frommer and his daughter Pauline offer up some truly insider advice on how to make the most of vacation time and budget during tough financial times. After the presentation, we came away knowing how to effectively negotiate with top-notch hotels for the lowest room rates, the sites that provide the best travel deals, whether cruises or all-inclusive land resorts offer the most for your money, where to find flights from the New York area to exotic locales for just $99, and so much more - not to mention sore wrists from furiously writing down every bit of information we could! 

After the talk, we spoke with Arthur and Pauline for a few minutes and quickly realized that not only are they wonderful authorities on all things travel, they are incredibly entertaining and engaging speakers who love libraries! Pauline regretfully let us know that she cannot make it to our program on March 22nd (she will be travelling for work on upcoming guides, of course!), but Arthur will be here with all of 500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow UpNYC Free & Dirt Cheaphis charm and wit, ready to answer your most puzzling travel questions, and we couldn't be looking more forward to the event!

So whether your ideal vacation is relaxing on the French Riviera or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro...whether you're planning a romantic getaway for two or a road trip for the entire family...whether you want to see the far reaches of the earth or uncover the hidden treasures that lie in our own backyard, you won't want to miss Arthur Frommer's talk as he discusses his award-winning travel guide series and offers expert advice for planning a trip to anywhere in the world.

Join us with paper and pen in hand. You will want to take notes, guaranteed!


"With Wings..." Has Legs

We had an enormous turnout on Sunday afternoon to hear and meet Michael Korda, and with good reason. He was wonderful!  He spoke eloquently of the Battle of Britain. Audience members were eager to have their books signed and to speak with him after the presentation.

You can check out Michael Korda's new book, With Wings Like Eagles: The History of the Battle of Britain here at the Library. In case you missed his fabulous talk (or want to experience it again), click on the image below.  


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.

November Flashbacks

Usually, this spot is used to announce upcoming events at the Library, but let's face it, it's not been business-as-usual lately! We closed the building (forever!) at Leroy Avenue last week and it goes without saying that the BIGGEST upcoming event  is our Grand Opening on January 10th! We have so much to look forward to, but we also acknowledge and pay tribute to our rich past. Please reminisce with us.

Darien Library: The Great Good Place, the beautiful, inspirational retrospective, below, (goose bump alert!) was created by former Darien Library board president Alice Look.



We also shared a warm and fun Saturday evening together as we bid A Fond Farewell to 35 Leroy Avenue.


Last month was a blur for us...despite our busy preparation for the move, we kept busy on the desks, on the floor, on the web, and behind the scenes. We've queried our members with a Children's Room Survey, had an incredibly successful knit-a-thon to benefit local domestic violence shelters, offered suggestions of timeless classics and big books to read while we're closed, and had many "lasts" in this building -- the last film, the last book discussion, the last book sale, and then, finally, our last day.

Click here to watch a photo-montage of the last day at 35 Leroy.

In the days and weeks ahead, we'll be making history. We'll be announcing some exciting new programs and also celebrating the return of familiar favorites. Keep checking back right here for information about our Grand Opening Series, Friday Film Series, Spring Book Discussion Series, and Children's Programs! And please remember us when you are considering your end-of-year giving. Your support is critical to the ongoing success of the Darien Library! Every year, we rely on the generous donations given by you to purchase new books, DVDs, audiobooks, computers, and other resources. Our website presents the opportunity for you to make a donation or transfer stocks to benefit the Library. You may also call us at 203-655-1234 x153. We appreciate your continued support!

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