Here is this week’s installment!

Barbara M. reports that she is reading an advance of Jennet Conant’s new book on the OSS entitled A Covert Affair:  Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS She feels it’s not great but “alright”.  It is due out on April 5th.




Pat is reading Empty Family: Stories by Colin Toibin.  She describes it as “ a collection of short stories that are tied together by the character’s examination of loss and love in their relationships.”





Warren is reading InfinityBeach by Jack McDevitt.  He is only 30 pages in though and so is withholding opinion just yet.



Abby is reading one of her favorites Jasper Fforde One of our Thursdays is Missing.





I am loving Bent Road by Lori Roy.  It is a very gothic look at community in the Kansas Plains.



Here’s what we are reading this week!

Pat T. reports that she has just finished the memoir Box of Darkness by Sally Brady.  “There is a lot of dysfunction in this couple’s marriage due to the husband’s dark secrets.” If you have not yet figured it out, Desketeers love dysfunction.  It is part of our charm.


 Citizen Asha is reading The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim by Jonathan Coe.  “I am loving it! The book is filled with British dark humor..I am a fan.”


 Elizabeth wants the world to know about Enough about Love by Hervé Le Tellier.  “It's basically a philosophical take on a love triangle- or square actually. It was fantastic and I recommend it.” She has since moved on to Michael Cunningham’s By Nightfall which she finds “true to Cunningham style, dark and depressing."


 Priscilla is jonesing for Spring to start.  For real.  Not just on the calendar, so she is reading Beautiful Wedding Flowers: More than 300 Corsages, Bouquets, and Centerpieces.  This has to be one of the prettiest books we have seen in a long time.



Marianne is reading The Invisible Bridge in anticipation for our book discussion on April 5th.  I will not reveal how she and I feel about it.  You need to come on the 5th at 7 and hear for yourselves.


“April comes like an idiot, babbling and stewing flowers.” Edna St. Vincent Millay

Thanks, Edna.  We can use some flowers at this point. 

But even if this winter is loathe to leave us we do have some Spring fresh book goodness coming your way.

Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear is the 8th Maisie Dobbs mystery to come our way.  Just because our Maisie is now independently wealthy doesn’t mean that she is going to take it easy.  It’s 1932 and the British Secret Service is recruiting her to keep tabs on the pacifist movement that means to keep peace in Europe at any cost.  Sure enough there is soon a body count and Maisie is in the thick of it.  This is a great series that we adore.  


 Elizabeth Berg will be back on the new shelves with Once Upon a Time, There Was You.  We love her explorations of the human condition and this one proves to be more of just that.  Even though Irene and John are divorced and living separate lives they are still united in their love of their daughter Sadie.  When tragedy strikes the two of them will need to pull together to see her through.  In spite of all they have been through, can they do it?


22 Britannia Road is the address of the new home that Silvana and her 8 year old son Aurek are heading to after hiding in the Polish forests for the duration of World War II.  There they will meet up with Janusz, the husband and father who was able to flee to France after his military unit was massacred.  Will this family be forever haunted by their pasts? Or will they be able to move on? This is Amanda Hodgkinson’s debut and we are very excited to get our hands on it. 

 Stuart Woods is certainly no newbie to the book world!  He is back with Bel Air Dead his 20th installment in his Stone Barrington series.  When Stone receives a call from his ex-girlfriend and mother of his son asking for his help after the death of her husband, of course he flies to her side.  But things quickly take a turn for the shady and dangerous.  



And just because it’s April that doesn’t mean that we can’t all still heed the Siren’s Song of comfort food.   With Saveur Magazine’s new book, The New Comfort Food we can indulge to our heart’s content.  Filled with the wisdom and recipes that you have come to expect from one of the best food magazines out there, this is sure to have you wishing for maybe one more cold and rainy day.  Ok.  Maybe I went too far, but admit that this is one sexy cover.

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As you know, we've been doing a system upgrade over the past month or so. Several of our online features have not yet become available since the changeover. We want to ensure that you are kept up-to-date on the status of these features, therefore we're listing the major outstanding items here so that you can have some sense of when they will become available. Unfortunately, we cannot provide exact timelines, but if you check back here, you will be able to see what we are actively working on. We don't anticipate that these features will be broken for very much longer and we do appreciate your patience during this period of transition. Darien Library prides itself on being a cutting-edge institution, and we plan to restore these critical services and features as soon as possible.

Small Wonders

E.B. White
E.B. White

"Employ your time in improving yourself by other mens writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for."

What a wonderful quote from Socrates. Most of us like nothing better than to benefit from someone else's hard work, however, chances are, Socrates had a lot more time on his hands than most of us do today. Pulled in all directions, it's often hard to find time to read the newspaper every day, let alone an entire book. Well, we may have just the solution for you. Check out this selection of  "small wonders"-- books that measure about 5 x 7 inches, most with fewer than 200 pages, and all certain to improve your life.

The list is rich in titles that amuse, educate, offer advice, and short tales of lives well lived. The smallest in the collection is E. B. White's essay, Here is New York. At 60 pages, it is a witty, perceptive piece about Manhattan, speaking to what lasts and what really matters. If you haven't read it before, you are in for a rare treat.

As you may expect, many of these tiny volumes are dedicated to advice for the newly graduated. Anna Quindlen, Ann Patchett and Maria Shriver each have words of wisdom about what you can do with your life, especially when you are young and opportunities abound.  Perhaps the best known is The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, a college professor, diagnosed with terminal cancer, who wrote about achieving childhood dreams. It is at times humorous and inspirational, but ultimately it is simply about living your best life.

Please take the time to enjoy one of these small wonders, it won't take long and will certainly be worth the effort.

What's the cure for yet ANOTHER hideous cold and snowy weekend?





We got a beautiful shipment of New Book Goodness to help you through.

Who’s in The House?  
So glad you asked!


We have the new Brad Meltzer, the new Dean Koontz, the new Stuart Woods, the new W.E.B Griffin  just to name a few!


Come on down and visit us! 

Desketeers Reveal their Top Twelve!

Sure.  Everyone has a top Ten List and why should the Desketeers feel left out?  And why just stop at ten?  We like an even dozen!  
Here is what thrilled us this year.  We guarantee that this is a list like no other.  They are not in order of favorites.  That is like singling out your favorite child. Sure you have one, but you never admit it.



  Room  by Emma Donaghue.  You have heard us rave about this one.   We loved the story of five year old Jack and his Ma and their life in and out of Room.




The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine.  Sense and Sensibility retold almost 200 years later and set in Manhattan and Westport.  





Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  Although Henrietta died in 1951 at the age of 30 her legacy lives on in her harvested cells.  This is a fascinating story of faith and medicine.



The Big Short:  Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis.   This is the story of the financial meltdown of 2007-2008 as told by the author of The Blindside.   




Every Last One by Anna Quindlen.  A family tragedy told in Quindlen’s wonderful prose and believable characterizations.  While you may think you know where this one is going, you will be surprised.




The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer.  A first novel about Hungary, World War II and star crossed lovers.  This one has been called a modern classic.




Father of the Rain by Lily King.  This novel features not only beautiful writing but also a great story about a WASP family from the 60s to present day.



Leaving the World by Douglas Kennedy.   Heroine Jane Howard keeps trying to “leave the world” whether by wallowing in Academia or through escapes of her own design, but she is never quite successful.  We loved how Kennedy is one of the few male authors who actually “get” the female voice right on the written page.




And of course because we are the Desketeers and we are food obsessed here are our favorite food books of the year.  


Lunch in Paris:  A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard.  A lunch date in Paris ends in marriage and a new life in Paris.  




Around my French Table:  More than 300 Recipes from my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.   Not just 300 recipes, but sumptuous food photography, wonderfully doable recipes and great food writing.  We love Dorie!



97 Orchard:  An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement by Jane Ziegleman.  This is a fascinating look at how five immigrant groups shaped what is our food culture today.  Foie Gras anyone?




Fannie’s Last Supper:  Re-Creating One Amazing Meal from Fannie Farmer’s 1896 Cookbook by Christopher Kimball. Kimball of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Illustrated took 2 years to research and prepare in the style and form of Fannies's day a 12 course Christmas dinner.  



We wish you a joyous holiday season and the most happy of new years!

Appearances can be deceiving....

Coming to DVD Tuesday, November 23rd
Coming to DVD Tuesday, November 23rd

As we mentioned earlier this week, due to an upcoming major upgrade to our library catalog, some new items may not be appearing in our OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog), so it may look as if we don't have the item that you are searching for.  Also, until the upgrade is complete, the option to place holds has been disabled. (The completion date for the upgrade is December 8th.) We know that this is frustrating and we apologize. If you have a question about a new or upcoming publication or release, please come in or call. Email us at, IM us on AIM & Y!M at deweydarien, or text us.

It appears that this glitch in the system has mostly affected the display of new and upcoming DVDs.

Here's what's coming out on Tuesday, November 23rd (not only are they on order, they're in the building and ready to go on Tuesday!):

Eat Pray Love

The Expendables


The Pillars of the Earth (The 2010 STARZ miniseries)

Here are the titles that came in earlier this week:

Disney's A Christmas Carol

The Kids Are All Right

Cats & Dogs - The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Lottery Ticket

We will continue to post notices on our catalog page alerting you about  books and DVDs that are on order and the dates that they are expected. 

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

King James Version

Every so often, a young athlete's story is so outstanding that he (or she) starts garnering national when LeBron James landed on Sports Illustrated's cover as a high school junior back in 2002, labeled as "The Chosen One." Eight years later, he is the premiere superstar in the NBA, but nearly a decade ago in Akron, Ohio, he and four other players comprised what may have been the best high school basketball team of all time.

More Than a Game documents this team and the way each of the five players learns to depend on the others and grow on court and off, including footage all the way back to their junior high years, friendships and tensions, controversy, setbacks, and achievement together. We all know what happened to LeBron, but who were the other four guys who helped him become a household name before he was old enough to vote?

A little more slick than Hoop Dreams, a lot more involving than re-created films "based on the true story," filmmaker Kristopher Belman took a chance when he started documenting the Akron team in 2001 -- there was no way of knowing that the story would be worth telling. Here we have the early days of a future Hall of Famer, the coming of age of five young men, and a compelling piece on sports and high school basketball in our modern culture -- a three pointer!

Best in the Field

We're just a few days away from kicking off the college football season, which brings to mind two recent films, We Are Marshall and The Express.

Ordinarily, sports films are really hard to get right: walking in the door, the audience knows what's going to happen. Making everything look authentic and telling the story in a fresh way is a huge challenge and often results in a pale imitation of the original events. These two films, however, are the exception that proves the rule. Both go to painstaking lengths to reproduce the look and feel of the eras, and both stories transcend sports.

We Are Marshall recalls the tragic plane crash that decimated the school's 1970 football team, and the slow, painful recovery of a university, team, and town. The Express brings Syracuse running back Ernie Davis to the big screen as his too-brief career played out against the backdrop of the early Civil Rights struggles. As we get ready for tailgating, cheers and chants, the snap of the snare drum, team mascots, and cool autumn afternoons at the stadium, these two films are the perfect way to start to the season!


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