Book Buzz for Book Groups

Join us under the stars!
Join us under the stars!

Thursday, June 2nd at 7 p.m.


Meet the stars of the publishing industry under the stars! Please join us in the Library courtyard for our Spring 2016 Book Buzz for Book Groups. This year we’re excited to bring back our popular speed dating version of the Book Buzz. Bring yourself, a friend, or your entire book group for this unforgettable evening! Meet the stars from major publishing firms as they regale us with the newest, soon-to-be-published books that we'll all be reading in the near future.  Meet publishing representatives from Europa, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Soho Press and Workman, with a special guest appearance from our own, Jen Dayton, head of Collection Development at the Darien Library. Refreshments will be served.

Friday Night Feature - 'Concussion'

Friday,  June 3rd at 6:30 and 8:45p.m. - Concussion (2015) Starring Will Smith, Stephen Moyer, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, Eddie Marsan, Luke Wilson; Rated PG-13; 123 minutes; Presented with Captions for the hearing impaired.

Filmmaker Peter Landesman (Parkland) wrote and directed this sports-themed drama based on Jeanne Marie Laskas' GQ article "Game Brain," about the potentially horrific cost of playing football. Pittsburgh-based neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) discovers a degenerative brain disease now known as CTE in the autopsies of several deceased pro-football players, but after presenting his research, he finds himself under fire from the NFL.

For more information, please watch the film's trailer.  Check out what else we're screening.

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

Gaming for Grownups

Monday, June 6th at 6:30 p.m.

Why do kids get to have all the fun? Join us on the first Monday of every month for an evening of tabletop gaming.

Set aside some time to play this week. The Library will provide a slew of games including mah jongg sets, playing cards, jenga, pandemic, scattergories, trivial pursuit, bananagrams, taboo, fluxx, sushi go!, and forbidden island. Have a favorite game at home? Bring it in the share with the group! Play an old favorite, learn a completely new, silly game, and make some friends along the way too. Game on, Darien!

Create Your Own Public Access TV Show

Image courtesy of flickr user cjtengi
Image courtesy of flickr user cjtengi

Thursday, June 9th at 5 p.m.

Rich Turcsany, Public Access Coordinator at Cablevision of Connecticut, will discuss what it takes to put together your very own, non-commercial television program, and have it broadcast over Public Access Channel 88. Rich, a 1986 graduate of Emerson College in Boston, and who also has 26 years experience in cable TV, will also discuss the training that is involved.

Writers Read

Thursday, June 9th at 7 p.m.

Members of Darien Library's Writer's Workshop and students from the Library's writing classes will present excerpts of their works as a means of hearing their work aloud. Afterwards, discussion with the writers will be made available so they may hear what listener's have to say about their piece.  Family and friends of the writers are invited as well as anyone interested in the craft of creative writing.  Selections may include sci-fi, parody, fiction, memoir, personal essay, short story, and poetry.

Meet the Author: Rinker Buck

Photo courtesy of Robert Mitchell
Photo courtesy of Robert Mitchell

Sunday, June 12th at 5 p.m.

Rinker Buck, author of The New York Times #1 bestseller The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey, will be our featured speaker.

In 2011, writer Rinker Buck and his brother Nick set off to make an authentic covered wagon crossing of the 2,000-mile Oregon Trail. They knew that their chances of failure were high. “Even if your wheels break halfway across,” his editor told him, “There’s still a great book there.” In fact, the Buck brothers’ wheels did break, at South Pass on the continental divide in Wyoming; they flipped their provisions cart in Nebraska; and their axle snapped in two in eastern Oregon. But after making trailside repairs, the Bucks persevered, becoming the first wagon travelers in more than a century to complete a crossing of the trail.  Rinker tells the story of their epic adventure in The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey.

At once a majestic American journey, a significant work of history, and a personal saga reminiscent of bestsellers by Bill Bryson and Cheryl Strayed, The Oregon Trail is an ambitious work of participatory history with a heart as big as the country it crosses.

Praise for The Oregon Trail

“Absorbing….Fundamentally, The Oregon Trail is an adventure story, one in which the Buck brothers find themselves in some legitimately harrowing situations involving cliffs, rivers, runaway mules, and low water supplies in the desert…. The many layers in The Oregon Trail are linked by Mr. Buck’s voice, which is alert and unpretentious in a manner that put me in mind of Bill Bryson’s comic tone in A Walk in the Woods…This shaggy pilgrimage describes a form of happiness sought, and happiness found.”
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“Incredible… Weaving a tale somewhere between a travelogue and a history lesson, Buck traces the iconic path literally and figuratively as he re-creates the great migration with his brother and a Jack Russell terrier.”
Entertainment Weekly

About the Author
Rinker Buck began his career in journalism at the Berkshire Eagle and was a longtime staff writer for the Hartford Courant. He has written for Vanity Fair, New York, Life, and many other publications, and his stories have won the Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Writing Award and the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award. He is the author of The Oregon Trail as well as the acclaimed memoirs Flight of Passage and First Job. He lives in northwest Connecticut.

Books will be available for purchase at this event. Refreshments will be served.


Art on View: John Coots

Moonlit Arrival, courtesy of the artist.
Moonlit Arrival, courtesy of the artist.

On display Tuesday, May 3rd through Monday, June 13th

Local landscape and still life painter John Coots will exhibit his oil paintings in the Lower Level Art Gallery.  Showing recent work, this will be his first solo show since he last exhibited publicly at Atria’s Gratia Gillespie Gallery in January 2012. 

About the artist
John Coots has taken painting classes for 20 years at the Silvermine Art School in New Canaan, studying with Alex McFarlane, David Dunlop,  Kirill Doron, and Claire Watson Garcia.  Coots paints contemporary still life and local landscapes.  He is a self-described “precocious hobbyist” who most admires the art of Sir Winston Churchill “because Churchill found time to paint while doing other things.”

Coots publishes two dozen weekly newspapers in small towns scattered around New England.  His career in journalism started in college at the Yale Daily News.  After business school at University of Virginia, Coots spent twenty years running newspapers for a large publicly-traded corporation until 1994 when he started his own company.

John and his wife Sandy have lived in Darien for 26 years and raised their four boys here.

Book Launch: Robert H. Patton

Photo courtesy of Shiva Sarram
Photo courtesy of Shiva Sarram

Tuesday, June 14th at 7 p.m.

Join Robert H. Patton as we celebrate the release of his new novel, Cajun Waltz.

Inspired by his passion for Cajun music, an emblematic music of Louisiana, and duck hunting in the Deep South, Patton introduces readers to the cadence of New Orleans, spanning generations of rhythm and suffering.

The lyrics of a Cajun waltz may be dark as midnight with heartache and trouble, but still the music swings. The same goes for what happens after a shifty musician and a lonely shopgirl let destiny sweep them into an ill-suited marriage in swampy southwest Louisiana on the eve of the Depression. Love doesn't much figure between Richie Bainard and Esther Block. They build a business together while dreaming opposite dreams of fulfillment. But like a gumbo simmering with peppers and spice, desires finally come to a boil.

With the dark tempo of New Orleans, Cajun Waltz will sweep you up with setting that always strikes a hopeful note. Involving strong southern women, straight shooting guns, and deep rooted prejudice, Patton’s characters are layered showing good people can do black hearted things. The perfect summer novel to immerse yourself in, Patton will have you tapping along to the beat of his prose with his foray into fiction. 

About the Author
Robert H. Patton
holds degrees in literature and journalism from Brown University and Northwestern University. He worked as a Capitol Hill reporter, a commercial fisherman, and a real estate developer before publishing his family memoir, The Pattons, to wide acclaim in 1994. He lived and traveled throughout the South before settling in Darien, CT, with his wife.

Writer's Workshop

Photo by jjpacres / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Photo by jjpacres / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thursday, June 16th at 7 p.m.

Come join The Writer's Workshop, a monthly class for writers of any genre.  A constructive atmosphere greets aspiring writers as they learn and understand a reader's perspective of their work.  While many in the group have dreams to publish, that is not a requirement.  Presently we have fiction, memoir, mystery and thriller, short story, personal essay, and poetry writers.  Let's put pen to paper and get writing!

Presented by Laura Cavers, who recently received an MFA in Creative Writing from Manhattanville College. At Manhattanville, Laura was assistant editor to the college's award-winning literary magazine, Inkwell.  She is currently working on her first novel, Bellwethers.

For those interested in joining the Writer's Workshop please come 15 minutes early to meet the workshop leader and learn the Workshop guidelines.  She will meet you just outside the Writer's Room on the second floor.

Chair Yoga

Monday, June 20th from 11 a.m. to 12 noon

Interested in yoga and not sure where to start? Chair yoga is a wonderful option for people with mobility issues, seniors and anyone who has difficulty getting down on the ground. The classes are taught on chairs using classic yoga poses that have been modified just for you. Incorporating breathing techniques, relaxation, stretches and yoga poses, you'll leave feeling like a new person. Chair yoga helps increase flexibility and strength, improves posture and balance and helps reduce stress and anxiety. Join us!