Lately, we've been getting some great mileage (so to speak) out of our MP3 recorder! Over the course of the last four weeks, Janet and I have done one interview per week and it's been incredibly exciting and gratifying to be able to have those interviews available to you to listen to as podcasts.
This morning, Robert H. (Bob) Patton came in to chat with us about his new book, Patriot Pirates: The Privateer War for Freedom and Fortune in the American Revolution, which hits the shelves today.
Bob will be our featured speaker on Sunday, June 8th at 5:30 p.m. as part of our Meet the Author Series. The book is great; Bob does a terrific job of humanizing his Revolutionary subjects. The timing couldn't be better -- coming after so many of us have already been swept away by the excellent John Adams series on HBO, it is more than welcome to those of us ready for more. The book is getting great reviews and Bob is such an enthusiastic and engaging speaker...if it's not already on your calendar, be sure to add it now. You won't want to miss it!
In the meantime, click here to listen to the interview.
When Bob Spitz got divorced, had his heart broken, was nearly destitute, and turned 50, what did he do? He fled to Europe and embarked on a culinary adventure. Hmmm. Let's see. I had my heart broken, got divorced, was nearly destitute, and turned 50...what did I do? I bought a practical car and got my ears pierced. Bob's is definitely the better story, and he tells it in his new book The Saucier's Apprentice: One Long Strange Trip through the Great Cooking Schools of Europe. It's a wonderful book and he was here yesterday afternoon to talk about it.
The book really is a great read...fantastic stories, recipes, and laughs. He's got a wonderful way with words and tells a great story -- we'd be happy for him to come speak here anytime, but given that we were the first stop on his book tour, we were thrilled!
Lots! These last few months, we have been at a constant simmer with some great Meet the Author programs at the Library. This Sunday, we heat things up a bit with Bob Spitz, who'll be here to talk about his new book, The Saucier's Apprentice: One Long Strange Trip through the Great Cooking Schools of Europe. It's a culinary memoir and it's a great and fun read (it even has recipes!). It also just came out this week and we will be the first stop on Bob's book tour at 5:30 p.m. this Sunday, May18th.
Bob stopped in this morning to chat with me and Janet and it was, as usual, a delightful experience. The link to the podcast of that interview is right here.
From here, he heads out to California (the same night!) to begin his tour.
The Norwalk Hour had a great story about Bob and the book in yesterday's edition. And(!) we must make sure to be on the alert for the August issue of Oprah magazine where a story about Bob cooking with his daughter will be featured. We can't wait!
...and we can't wait for Sunday to hear more from Bob. Please join us!
The spotlight's on us! We'll be showing the independent film "Fog Warning" at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, May 9th. Written and directed by local resident Chris Ward, Chris will be here that night for this special screening and will stay after the movie to answer questions. Some members of the cast and crew will be here as well, and it's doubly exciting for us because the Library is featured in the film!
Chris stopped by the library today to chat with me and Janet and we've got that interview available right here as a podcast.
Come by the Library Friday night if you're up for some twists and turns, suspense and thrills, and the very real possibility of being (shudder, shudder) "creeped out."
Showtime is 7:30 p.m.
Doors open at 7.
Admission is free.
Please note -- according to Chris, "Fog Warning" requires some forewarning -- "The audience should be forewarned that this is an adult suspense-thriller. Although Fog Warning has not been rated, the producers expect it to receive an R rating for language, violence and brief nudity."
Okay. I know...enough already with the fine/Fein puns. I'm sorry; I can't help it. And besides, it's not entirely true anyway. John Feinstein's appearance here on Sunday was actually so much better than fine. Five minutes in this man's presence and it's easy to see why he is considered one of the best and most-respected in the broadcasting business. He is, also, by the way, a bestselling author. He was extremely entertaining...sharing wonderful anecdotes and stories - some factual, some poignant, and some hilarious. We were in his spell and to those of us who were here on Sunday, we KNOW we witnessed an extraordinary event. We expect to have the webcast up anyminutenow, but, in the meantime, check out our video short from this memorable program.
Libraries are known for quiet, but not necessarily for "Quiet on the set!" Last July, we were the set for a scene in Fog Warning, a film by Christopher Ward, a Connecticut-based film and TV writer and director. Chris has told us that the film is completed and now we get to tell you that we will have a special screening right here on FRIDAY, MAY 9th at 7:30 p.m! This is so exciting! Not only does our current building become immortalized, Erica and I had the thrill of being in the scene. It was an unforgettable experience.
Here are a few pictures from the set:
Chris wrote the script for the film right here in the Library, and he had our Main Reading Room in mind when he wrote the library scene. He will be here for this event and will answer questions from the audience at the conclusion of the film.
We hope that you can join us for this special movie screening! It's sure to be unlike any movie event we've ever had at the Library.
Please note -- according to Chris, "Fog Warning" requires some forewarning -- "The audience should be forewarned that this is an adult suspense-thriller. Although Fog Warning has not been rated, the producers expect it to receive a R rating for language, violence and brief nudity."
Talk about a major scoop!
Last Wednesday, Barbara and Janet interviewed Ed Gray, co-author of In Nixon's Web: A Year in the Crosshairs of Watergate, and posted the podcast on our website. The questions are masterful, the answers are mesmerizing, and you'll definitely be intrigued for Sunday night's 5:30pm book tour launch at Darien Library. Little did we know that Barbara and Janet had scooped a major cable news television show by landing the first interview!
Take a listen to our podcast, and don't miss Ed Gray's appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe show, which airs tomorrow morning, March 7th, during the 6am to 9am broadcast.
Here are a few thoughts on this question:
Monday's New York Times article, After Suicide, Blog Insults Are Debated, reported on an incredibly disturbing event. After being personally attacked by unwarranted comments posted on two well-known advertising blogs, the very successful and accomplished creative director of DDB-Chicago committed suicide. The article also discussed the 2006 suicide of a 13-year old girl who, in the months leading up to her death, had been cyber-bullied by an adult neighbor pretending to be a teenage boy.
We can certainly ponder the cause-and-effect relationship of bullying in the virtual world. The hard truth, however, is that what so many of us value and praise the Internet for providing - anonymity, ease of communication, freedom of expression - has, in part, morphed into a venue for virtual bashing without consequence. There it is - the electronic mob.
The even harder truth is that yes, the mob is right here in Darien. It's happening in the Darien News Blog. It's inevitably happening on our MySpace and Facebook accounts. It's even happening in The Darien Times, where individuals are using the public forum to personally attack people or the paper itself rather than presenting a civil argument on concrete issues affecting the town.
It's a curious thing. We would all take action if we saw a child being outright bullied on the playground by another child. We would stop what was happening to the best of our ability, wouldn't we? So why do we so readily accept the type of from-afar bullying that goes on in this town - the kind that tries to pass itself off as valid criticism? Why do we allow anonymity and personal attacking to occur while accountability falls by the wayside?
Another, and perhaps the most important, question for us all: What can we do about it?
For our close-knit community, as part of a world that has embraced the Internet age and freedom of speech with open arms, it's a question that should be confronted and answered. There's no doubt about that.
Perhaps a starting point for action will be the program being held at Darien Library tomorrow night at 7pm, when author Lee Siegel will be visiting to speak about the ideas in his new book, Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob. Mr. Siegel clarifys the urgency with which we need to deal with the hidden dangers of the Internet and the lack of accountability that has become a norm in our society. Please join us and let's get the ideas rolling on how we can implement the changes that need to take place.
The New York Times has proclaimed him to be swaggeringly abrasive and "one of the country's most eloquent and acid-tongued critics." The New York Observer has labeled him a "zigzagging cultural omnivore." Pete Hamill of The New Yorker encourages readers to "savor his vigorous prose, and prepare to be surprised."
And last week, in an episode of The Daily Show, he eagerly debated with Jon Stewart on the subject of cyber-bullying:
I think it's safe to say that with Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob, author Lee Siegel lives up to his unabashed reputation with a provocative exposition of what he deems "the most radical transformation of private and public life in the history of humankind" - the Internet.
Mr. Siegel never fails to intrigue and entertain as he packs a pop culture punch and attacks what has become second-nature to most of us - surfing the Web, emailing, blogging, watching reality television, even our regular Starbucks outings - with a fresh, albeit a bit stinging, perspective. He questions why society has so blindly accepted the Internet as a utopia of human connection and points out that, in fact, it actually fosters isolation, bullying, invasions of privacy, and a false sense of reality...to name a few!
Please join us on Thursday, March 6th at 7:00pm, when Mr. Siegel visits Darien Library as part of our Ouside the Box series. You won't want to miss this opportunity to meet one of the most respected and buzzed about culture-critics in the nation.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase.
A book signing will follow the presentation and there will be a drawing for prizes.
Refreshments will be served. Coffee is courtesy of Darien Starbucks.
A WINE & CHEESE PARTY AT THE LIBRARY
Darien Library wraps up an extremely successful Adult Summer Reading Program with a Grand Finale Wine & Cheese Party on Wednesday, August 22 at 7 p.m. Award-winning journalist Stacy Lytwyn Maxwell will be our special guest. Maxwell’s 13 years of research have yielded a fabulous and fun book, Consummate Connecticut: Day Trips with Panache, which features 48 different Connecticut cities, towns, and villages, and all there is to do and see in the Nutmeg State.
The Adult Summer Reading Program, which concludes after 10 weeks, had nearly 400 participants. More than 600 entries (each one representing a book read) for raffle prizes were submitted. Each week of the program, the Library held a drawing for a bag of books. The bags of books included autographed books, advanced readers copies of future bestsellers, and/or newly published titles.
Three Grand Prizes (two L.L. Bean duffle bags and a Vera Bradley travel kit) will be announced and awarded at the Grand Finale event, and all who attend will receive a gift of a copy of Maxwell’s book.
Participation in the Adult Summer Reading Program is not necessary to attend the Wine & Cheese Party.