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.
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.
Libraries are places where books are beloved, recommended, and provided free of charge.
Readers rarely use the word "serendipity" when describing the library experience.
And librarians never would.
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.
We may have been holding out on the details of some of our "bag of books" prizes, but the truth is...we can barely contain our excitement about this year's Adult Summer Reading Program.
Here's another great title that will find its way into one of our prize bags:
Not only is it autographed by Lithgow, but it's an advance-reading copy (it doesn't publish until November), and(!) it comes with an Exclusive Preview CD Sampler. Just a sample of what's on the Sampler: "Love is Not All" by Edna St. Vincent Millay, read by Jodie Foster, "Afternoon" by Dorothy Parker, read by Glenn Close, "The Tyger" by William Blake, read by Helen Mirren, and "Poetry" by Marianne Moore, read by John Lithgow.
This is one of my favorite prizes being offered this summer. Keep checking back here. I'll be letting more "bag of books" cats out of the bag as we lead up to our big start date.
Don't forget! Our Adult Summer Reading registration begins on Monday.
Okay, so the picture is blurry, but my impressions of meeting Lee Child in person are sharply etched in my memory. He is a very nice man, and did not shy away from a photo op, thanks to his publicist and my trusty photographer (whose camera, we later found out, was on the wrong setting.)
The picture was taken Friday afternoon at BookExpo, my first ever BookExpo, and I'll admit that I had reservations about going. But after meeting the people that write the words that define more than half of my waking hours, I'm sold. I'll go back, in a heartbeat. BookExpo, for those of you who don't know, is the publishing industry's annual event, and librarians have only recently been invited to attend.
I had the opportunity to listen to the likes of Alice Sebold, Ian McEwan, and Alan Alda, and to see Mary Higgins Clark and her daughter Carol Higgins Clark along with countless other authors in the autographing lines. I met and spoke briefly with Kristin Gore, whose recent book, Sammy's House, is a sequel to the very amusing Sammy's Hill.
I started to read Lee Child's Bad Luck and Trouble, last night and finished it this morning. While there are few surprises in his latest thriller, the writing and detail does not disappoint, and you will find a different side of Jack Reacher (a team player?!!) amidst his cohort of elite army personnel from his last days in the service. Thumbs up, can't wait for the next book!
What better way to celebrate both Earth Day and National Poetry Month than by joining us at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 22nd for The Poet's Voice. Natalie Safir is the author of four collections of poetry and her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals. Raised in New York City and now living in Tarrytown Ms. Safir has been teaching poetry and writing for more than twenty years. We are delighted she will be with us for this annual spring Library event.
We mark this five year anniversary in many different ways, some with community memorials, others with a moment of silence. In Darien, a brief ceremony will be held at 8:30 a.m. at the September 11th Monument, on the rear lawn behind Middlesex Middle School.
For many of us, the memory and the impact of the day is still so fresh, it's hard to imagine that five years have passed. This week, we honor those we have lost and all that has happened since. 102 Minutes is now on the High School summer reading list, in the last five years the Library has acquired over 150 books and other materials related to the attacks, and Wendy Wasserstein and Jay McInerney, among others, have written novels fictionalizing the events of that day.
September 11, we remember.