Usually, our "green" news has to do with our fabulous new green building, but this time it's with a capital G, as in Green, as in George Dawes Green, who was our featured speaker at our Adult Summer Reading Grand Finale last week. In case you don't know already... his newest novel, the fabulously-reviewed Ravens is my favorite book of the summer. When the author agreed to come to Darien Library to speak, I was expecting something really good...possibly GREAT...what we got was AMAZING.!
There's something about a Southerner being in the room that slows the whole pace down just a bit. When you factor in the remarkable writing and storytelling ability and his skill at provoking thriller-worthy tension for the reader/listener, George Dawes Green was the perfect tonic for the lull of August. Just as he does in Ravens, he drew everyone in instantly. Thrills. Laughter. Pin-dropping tension. His genre is the thriller. His writing is poetic. His storytelling, masterful. This was goosebumps in August.
We can't mention George Dawes Green's incredible storytelling ability without mentioning that he is the founder of The Moth, a not-for-profit storytelling organization. That's the very basic description...if you saw this past Sunday's New York Times, then you know it's much bigger than that. The Sunday Styles section led with a (huge!) fabulous article about The Moth. We are so pleased that George agreed to spend some time with us and share his great talent.
This special author event was the highlight of our Grand Finale for our Adult Summer Reading Program but that night, we also had the drawing for the Grand Prize winners. Considering the hundreds of entries that we had, it was such fun that all three winners were in the audience that night! Here are just a few more shots from this extraordinary event.
Thank you to everyone (members...staff....George) for making this our most successful Adult Summer Reading Program ever!
Our Summer Film Series continues...
The Great Buck Howard
Troy Gabel is a law-school drop out who impulsively takes a job as an assistant to an aging but charismatic magician. The conjurer is definitely on the downward slope of his career, but the mystery surrounding him keeps Troy intrigued. The two embark on a journey across the country staging the comeback of a lifetime.
While watching this movie (click here to watch the trailer), I found myself really rooting for Colin Hanks (Tom's son), who, it turns out, is quite good. Tom also appears in the film...as the dad...but the we-shouldn't-be-surprised but wow-is-he-good performance totally belongs to (the great) John Malkovich, who plays The Great Buck Howard. Malkovich never ceases to amaze me...never. What didn't amaze me, but did catch me a little by surprise, was learning that the the film is based on the experiences of writer-director Sean McGinly who worked briefly as the road manager for The Amazing Kreskin. Wow. I vividly remember Kreskin's numerous appearances on The Tonight Show.
A few of us from the Library had the pleasure of meeting (The Amazing) Kreskin at this year's BookExpo America. Tomorrow night, at the film screening of The Great Buck Howard, you can enter to win a signed copy of Kreskin's newest book, Kreskin Confidential: The World’s Greatest Mentalist Speaks Out.
Please join us! I predict it will be a fun (and great) night!
In 1973, filmmakers Albert and David Maysles entered the strange world of "Big Edie" and "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale, two charming eccentrics who were relatives of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. In this film we are taken behind the scenes of that famous documentary with a shocking and raw look into the lives of this reclusive mother and daughter who chose to live in squalor and almost total isolation in a decaying, 28-room mansion in East Hampton called Grey Gardens.
We conclude our 4th Annual Adult Summer Reading Program with our Grand Finale on Thursday, August 13th at 7 p.m. Our special guest speaker will be George Dawes Green...author...poet...storyteller.
George Dawes Green is the author of the critically-acclaimed novels The Caveman's Valentine and The Juror. It's been 14 years since Green published The Juror, but the wait has certainly been worthwhile - his new book Ravens is a captivating thriller and it's been getting great reviews. Personally speaking, I loved it...I could not put it down. Click here to read what The Wall Street Journal had to say about Green's return.
George Dawes Green is also the founder of the not-for-profit storytelling organization, The Moth. Now in its 11th year, The Moth conducts six ongoing programs featured widely on television and radio. "Stories at the Moth" has attracted such notable headliners as Margaret Cho, Ethan Hawke, Moby, Rosie O'Donnell, George Plimpton and Julia Stiles. The annual Moth Ball was called the 'it' charity by the New York Observer and has included such guests as Garrison Keillor, Malcolm Gladwell, and Adam Gopnik.
Our Adult Summer Reading Grand Finale will also include a book signing by Green (books will be available for purchase), a wine and cheese party, and the drawing for the Grand Prizes. It's sure to be a great evening and we hope that you can join us!
As I write this, we still have nearly two weeks of Adult Summer Reading left and it's not too late to sign up and enter to win some great prizes! I don't, however, think it's too early for me to say that this year's effort has been a huge success! Thank you!
Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).
Paintings and Drawings
(Left: Cab in from JFK -- Right: Left Turn Out of LaGuardia)
Today, our Woodstock Weekend continues!
Sunday, July 26 at 2 p.m.
We'll continue our Woodstock Weekend on Sunday with a discussion of the new book Woodstock Revisited: 50 Far Out, Groovy, Peace-Loving, Flashback-Inducing Stories from Those Who Were There. The book is a compilation of 50 stories written by people who attended the 1969 festival; Editor Susan Reynolds and contributing authors Jeff Blumenfeld, Louis Denaro, Catherine Hiller, and Sandy McKnight will read their essays and talk about their experiences.
Woodstock Weekend is an Adult Summer Reading event.
Saturday, July 25 at 7 PM
A screening of Woodstock.
Live introduction by Bob Spitz (pictured, right), author of Barefoot in Babylon: The Creation of the Woodstock Music Festival, 1969.
(Bob Spitz is also the author of Dylan: A Biography, The Beatles: The Biography, and The Saucier's Apprentice: One Long Strange Trip Through the Great Cooking Schools of Europe.)
Sunday, July 26 at 2 p.m.
We'll continue our Woodstock Weekend on Sunday with a discussion of the new book "Woodstock Revisited: 50 Far Out, Groovy, Peace-Loving, Flashback-Inducing Stories from Those Who Were There." The book is a compilation of 50 stories written by people who attended the 1969 festival and several of the contributing essayists will be here to talk about their experiences!
Woodstock Weekend is an Adult Summer Reading event.
Just a few weeks after the moon landing, about half a million young people landed on an upstate New York farm for "An Aquarian Exposition"...now known as one of the most important cultural events of the late 1960s: Woodstock.
The story behind the festival is told in Bob Spitz's Barefoot in Babylon, and it's a nearly-unbelievable sequence of events that makes you wonder how four guys actually pulled the whole thing together. The gates opened on Friday, August 15, and the original 200,000 ticket holders were eventually joined by so many others that the concerts were declared free and the New York State Thruway had to be shut down because of incoming traffic.
All weekend, attendees were treated to unforgettable performances by, among others, Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Santana, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Who, The Band, and Jimi Hendrix. They endured rain, mud, medical emergencies, a scarcity of food and drinks, and lost cars...and came away with a lifetime of memories.
This weekend, we're presenting the Academy Award-winning documentary Woodstock, Saturday evening at 7. Barefoot in Babylon author Bob Spitz will join us to introduce the film! We also have a discussion of Woodstock Revisited, a new oral history of the event, on Sunday afternoon at 2. Join us for two very special events to commemorate 40 years of peace and music!
(Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs on Thorndal Circle, behind Nielsen's.)
Join us in welcoming the Darien Nature Center and some of their animal friends to the Darien Library.
Last week, we hosted the first-ever One Page Poetry Circle at Darien Library, under the leadership of teacher and author Madge McKeithen. Poems by Walt Whitman, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Hart Crane, Robert Frost, and many others were read and discussed, and we hope to repeat our success at the next circle, on Wednesday, August 5!
The Good Old Summertime is the name of our Adult Summer Reading program and we're reminding our readers of the simple pleasures of life, like poetry. One of the discoveries last week was that reading a poem aloud can bring new meaning to light...and all of us went away inspired with each other's poetry choices.
To join us in August, please choose a one page poem that reflects the theme "Poetry & Rhyme." We're displaying some suggestions on Main Street and welcome your ideas and enthusiasm. See you at 7 PM on Wednesday, August 5 for another evening of poetry, cookies, coffee, and community!
Photo from Flickr user bwanderson.