Book Club Bonanza

Posted by on Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012 - 4:30 PM

I have been enjoying a new book by Lauren Leto. Judging a Book by Its Lover:a Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere makes literate fun of our obsession with books and book clubs.      read more


Posted by on Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 - 6:48 PM

Yes! You get a second chance to hear the authors who speak at the Library. Programs are podcast on the Library website. If you want a CD of an author talk, we will provide it for you. (kbruce [at] westportlibrary [dot] org)

Lately, memoirs and biographies have been a popular stories and philosophical beliefs with lots to think more

Read it this way...

Posted by on Sunday, May 27, 2012 - 3:39 PM


Did you read the Pulitzer award -winning 2010 novel  A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan ? Some high schools assigned it, during study of the post-modern novel. Egan a much- acclaimed fiction writer also has won awards for her frequent articles in the New York Times. Now, she has found a new way to carry forward the tradition of Charles Dickens and other serial fiction writers. Her latest story in The New Yorker is also available via Twitter. "Black Box" is appearing in ten nightly installments from 8-9 pm  @NYerFiction  To catch up on the short story. You may also leave a comment to enter the discussion about this latest fiction format.

Jarret Liotta is a Westport writer who self- published his humorous, satirical novel Space Case as an eBook. Liotta has varied writing experience, including journalism.  Space Case, about an alien and an unhappy human who find each other requires getting in the spirit of goofy fun and suspended disbelief. The characters are distinctly portrayed and the satire of everything from New Age practices to government bureaucracy to management seminars and more permeates the story. Jarret Liotta will be speaking at the Library on Wednesday June 6 at 7:30pm. Find out from him about the eBook publishing process and why it might be a good option. Liotta's blog.

Full disclosure: I am still very partial to the old-fashioned formats of books and magazines...held in my hands, read at my pace, redolent with connections, admired around my home & office, waiting to be visited and re-visited.

Rick & Jonathan

Posted by on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 4:29 PM

Not everybody likes to read essays. Give me a book of good essays and I am so happy!  My reading pleasure these days comes from two books of literary essays by writers who are skillful, graceful, and, of course, more

Older & Wiser

Posted by on Friday, Apr 27, 2012 - 3:03 PM

For those who share my demographic (Remember Bill Haley & Rock Around the Clock?) these books ameliorate feelings of isolation which you will recognize.  Each author dives into the fears and frustrations, the joys and sorrows, the satisfactions and regrets that intensify as we more

1966 & 2012

Posted by on Friday, Mar 23, 2012 - 5:58 PM

Are you a Mad Men fan?  What were you doing in the 1960s? The current Newsweek magazine is full of 60s nostalgia, including a quick comparison of best-selling books then and now.  Even the ads for contemporary goods and services are graphic reminders of the ads of fifty years ago. Fun!

At the top of the bestseller list in 1966 was the "non-fiction novel" In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Creating a sensation at the time, Capote reported a horrific crime as if it were a murder mystery. The book still provokes interest and discussion.

Remember the passion for Eric Berne's Games People Play ?  Why do "they"  do what they do? This question has been answered in countless ways by many authors  through the years. The latest "self-help" hit is Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

One of my all-time favorites topped the fiction list in 1966. The Source by James Michener is still my Michener-of-choice. One piece of land in the Middle East is excavated and each layer tells the story of its inhabitants from a different era.

Valley of the Dolls by Jacquelyn Susann was a guilty pleasure for many fiction readers  who were unaccustomed to admitting an interest in drugs and sex. Shocking then, not so noticeable now. Did you read about Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James? This British import of erotica (compared to porn by the New York Times) tops the Library most popular list this week.

Accolades were heaped on Bel Kaufman for her memoir of a new high-school teacher. Up the Down Staircase took adults inside the halls of their kids' school with authentic details. Today, the memoir is one of the most common types of books in a culture where it sometimes seems as if no detail of one's life is too insignificant for publication.  

Books do mirror our culture and provide a fascinating record of where we have been and where we are going.

A force of nature

Posted by on Tuesday, Jan 10, 2012 - 2:37 PM

"...there was more fun and excitement in life than I would have time to enjoy."    

                                       Amelia Earhart (quoted in Still Missing by Susan Ware)

Amelia Earhart was a brave adventurer... and a far more complicated blend of head and heart than the legend would lead us to more

Dreams of Flight

Posted by on Wednesday, Jan 4, 2012 - 7:20 PM

Ida Mae Jones wants to her father did.  In 1940s Louisiana, this seems like only a dream to bring her closer to her deceased father.. As the men fly off to World War II, the Army forms the WASP-Women Airforce Service Pilots-and Ida Mae sees her chance. But to join up she must "pass" as a white girl. Is her dream worth denying her identity?

Flygirl by Sherri Smith is one of the companion books for WestportREADS 2012. There is still time to pick up a copy  (ask for it at the checkout desk) and join the discussion with teen librarian Jaina Lewis  on Monday January 9 at 4pm in the Seminar Room.


Author Jane Mendelsohn will be at the Library to talk about her poetic novel,  I Was Amelia Earhart. The story starts when Amelia and her navigator crash land on a Pacific Island. Mendelsohn imagines their days and nights with lush images of sky, sea, and land. As Amelia looks back on her life, we learn how she arrived at the isolated "paradise."  The novel is like a subtle watercolor of the last part of Earhart's life... an introspective time for a woman who in fact was bold, restless and confident.

Buy or borrow a copy of I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn. You have time to read this short book before you hear the author talk on Wednesday January 11 at 7:30 pm at the Library. Jane Mendelsohn will be signing books after her talk. Please join us!

More about WestportREADS 2012

More about Jane Mendelsohn


Posted by on Friday, Dec 30, 2011 - 1:42 PM

How do you feel about re-reading your favorite books?  Usually, I do not like to re-read anything. However, I have found that some of my long-ago favorites take on new dimensions from my current life experience. Recently, I decided to re-read a book I remembered as especially more

The Scarlet Letter Retold

Posted by on Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011 - 9:09 PM

Remember The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Attwood?  I have never forgotten the scene in that future dystopia in which the ATMs suddenly do not work for females.

Hillary Jordan  takes us into another female future with her dystopian thriller, When She Woke.  This is how it starts: "When she woke, she was red. Not flushed , not sunburned, but the solid, declarative red of a stop sign. "read more