Items tagged with Authors

POSTPONED: Former NCIS Agent Mark Fallon on his Book, Unjustifiable Means

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Due to publishing delays, this talk is postponed. Check back later for the new date.

Former NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) special agent and Homeland Security executive Mark Fallon discusses Unjustifiable Means: The Inside Story of How the CIA, Pentagon, and US Government Conspired to Torture. Hear about the decision to implement “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques,” and the backchannels and deception employed to legalize these methods and hide them from the public’s view. Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Bill Dedman, co-author of Empty Mansions, will introduce Mark Fallon.

An international security consultant, Mark Fallon spent more than 30 years as a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), counterintelligence officer, counterterrorism operative, undercover agent, asset handler and law enforcement specialist. A senior ranking member of the Department of Homeland Security under the Bush administration, he has been involved in some of the most significant counterterrorism operations in US history. He has earned numerous honors and awards for his service.

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Authors

Author Dan Slater on "Wolf Boys," the True Story of Life with the Mexican Drug Cartel

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Former legal affairs reporter Dan Slater discusses Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico's Most Dangerous Drug Cartel, the true story of two American teenagers recruited as killers for a Mexican cartel. One of the boys is Gabriel Cardona, a fifteen-year-old who trades promising grades and a spot on the football team to join the ranks of would-be assassins for the militant Los Zetas cartel. In his pursuit is Detective Robert Garcia, a Mexican-born Laredo, TX detective whose determination to capture Gabriel plunges him into one of the deadliest wars in modern history. Cardona’s evolution from good natured teenager to feared killer is as heartbreaking as Garcia's slow realization of the futile nature of his work. Read this in-depth analysis: New Yorker article, "The Teen Killers of the Drug War"

Slater deftly weaves together the implications of cartel economics, international trade, corruption, juvenile crime, and the lure of the underworld. His extensive interviews and correspondence with the principle characters take readers deep into the heart of the Mexican drug trade, telling the wild and intimate story of the young foot soldiers who fight and die in the cartel wars. Sony/TriStar Pictures has optioned film rights with Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) attached to direct.

A lawyer-turned-writer, Dan Slater is a former legal affairs reporter for The Wall Street Journal and has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, New York magazine, The Atlantic, GQ and Fast Company. He is the author of Wolf Boys and Love in the Time of Algorithms. A graduate of Colgate University and Brooklyn Law School, he lives in New England.

Author photo credit SophieSlater.

NPR author interview.

New Yorker review.

“Raw, gut-wrenching…A must-read for fans of true crime and investigative journalism.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“A solid and popular addition to every library’s true-crime shelf…delivers a thorough portrait of the illicit drug trade that currently flourishes on the U.S.-Mexico border…The gore factor is not titillating or overly gruesome. Instead, the deadening of human feeling it signifies is devastating.”—Booklist (starred review)
 

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Authors

WestportREADS 2017: Keynote Talk with Author George Hodgman

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Hear writer and editor George Hodgman when he talks about the WestportREADS 2017 selection Bettyville. This critically-acclaimed memoir relates with wit and tenderness a son's journey from New York City to care for his irascible mother in his Missouri hometown. Register online. Note: Location changed to Saugatuck Congregational Church, 245 Post Road East.

George Hodgman is a veteran magazine and book editor who has worked at Simon & Schuster, Vanity Fair and Talk magazine. His writing has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Interview, W and Harper’s Bazaar, among other publications. He lives in New York City and Paris, Missouri.

More about the book: When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay. As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair.

Bettyville was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and a Books-A-Million President’s Pick, and it was selected as a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, Entertainment Weekly, NPR’s Fresh Air and Library Journal. The New York Times called Bettyville “a most remarkable, laugh-out-loud book,” NPR’s Maureen Corrigan named it “this year’s must-read dispatch from the frontlines of caretaking,” and a reviewer for the Chicago Tribune wrote that it “will be seen, even years from now, as the quintessential book on taking care…When I want to be reminded of the genius of decency, I will return to these words.” You can hear George interviewed on Fresh Air here, or watch his PBS Newshour interview here.

WestportREADS is funded by the estate of Jerry A. Tishman.

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Talks & Readings, WestportREADS

WestportWRITES: YA Lit Fest

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Meet first-time Young Adult (YA) literature authors Carrie Firestone (The Loose Ends List), Karen Fortunati (The Weight of Zero), Shannon Parker (The Girl Who Fell) and Rebecca Podos (The Mystery of Hollow Places). They will speak about their debut novels, their writing inspiration, and about the publishing process. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Grades 6-adult. Registration is free and includes coffee. Register online.
 
 
Carrie Firestone's debut novel is The Loose Ends List. She has lived in rural, urban, and suburban places, and, while she currently lives in the suburbs, she is decidedly a CITY person. When she isn’t writing, you might find her reluctantly sharing her popcorn at the movies, trying to get people (or dogs) to do a conga line, or adding items to her loose ends list.

Karen Fortunati’s debut YA novel, The Weight of Zero, was released in October 2016 by Delacorte/Random House. It's been named an Indies Introduce title, a Barnes and Noble 2016 Most Anticipated Debut, an Amazon Editors Favorite YA Book for Fall and was featured in the September issue of Seventeen Magazine's "What Hot This Month." Karen is currently working on her second novel and finishing her master's thesis at Trinity College.

Shannon M. Parker is the YA author of The Girl Who Fell, chosen as one of Amazon's Top 20 YA Books (so far) in 2016. Her sophomore YA release, The Rattled Bones, is due out from Simon & Schuster in August of 2017. Shannon is an educator and adoption advocate, as well as a contributing author to Welcome Home: A YA Anthology on Adoption, due out from Jolly Fish Press in September, 2017.

Rebecca Podos' debut YA novel, The Mystery of Hollow Places, is a Junior Library Guild Selection, receiving starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist and BCCB (Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books.) Her second novel, Like Water, is due out Fall 2017 from Balzer + Bray. Rebecca works as a YA and MG agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston.
 
 

Community partner: Fairfield County Writers' Studio

This event is a part of WestportWRITES, a comprehensive new library program designed to guide writers through all stages of publishing. Look for more WestportWRITES programming throughout the year.

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Authors, Teen

Author Dinitia Smith In Conversation with Sybil Steinberg

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Dinitia Smith discusses her novel The Honeymoon, with Sybil Steinberg, Publishers Weekly contributing editor. Her story is based George Eliot’s honeymoon in Venice in June 1880 following her marriage to a young man twenty years her junior. When she agreed to marry John Walter Cross, Eliot was recovering from the death of George Henry Lewes, her beloved companion of twenty-six years. Eliot was bereft: left at the age of sixty to contemplate profound questions about her physical decline, her fading appeal, and the prospect of loneliness. Based on the life of George Eliot, famed author of Middlemarch, this captivating account of Eliot’s passions and tribulations explores the nature of love in its many guises.

“Smith’s vivid exploration of the mind of author George Eliot, given name Marian Evans, and her late-in-life marriage to John Walter Cross raises the bar for historical fiction…Eliot fans will certainly inhale every page, but any historical-fiction readers will thoroughly relish Smith’s tale of a remarkable woman and an unlikely Victorian love.”—Booklist (starred review)

"Smith’s enchanting account humanizes a figure renowned as much for her refutation of conventional female stereotypes and social limitations as for her genius for story and language."—New York Times Book Review

Dinitia Smith is the author of four novels, including The Illusionist, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. For eleven years, she was a cultural correspondent for the New York Times, specializing in literature and the arts.

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Authors

Author David Pogue on His Latest, Pogue's Basics: Money

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Westport author and tech expert David Pogue returns with his new book Pogue’s Basics: Money: Essential Tips and Shortcuts (That No One Bothers to Tell You) About Beating the System.

With 200 simple tips and tricks for making managing your finances easier, this book will shed light on the best ways to save and make money. Pogue will help you spot savings and avoid costly scams. From buying plane tickets, booking hotel rooms, buying a car or house or doing your taxes, there are tips and advice here for every financial decision you make. His expertise in consumer advocacy will inform you of the best products and websites to use to save yourself money.

David Pogue is a New York Times bestselling author who has more than 1.5 million followers on Twitter, has given four TED talks, and is the founder of Yahoo Tech, a consumer-technology site for non-technicians. He writes a monthly column for Scientific American, and for thirteen years, he wrote the tech column for The New York Times. Pogue also hosts science shows on PBS's NOVA and appears frequently on CBS Sunday Morning. He has won three Emmys, two Webby Awards, and a Loeb Award for journalism. He's written eighty books, including the previous books in the series, Pogue's Basics: Life and Pogue's Basics: Tech.

Author photo credit: Tim Geaney

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Author Diane Saxton on Her Novel Peregrine Island

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In her debut novel Peregrine Island, Diane Saxton explores the mysteries behind three generations of women, one valuable painting, the artist who created it and those who would do anything to possess it. Their quiet lives are turned upside down when two art “experts” show up to appraise their beloved family heirloom. In this novel that brings the Sound to vibrant life, not even a painting can be taken at face value: “For what you see, or think you see on Peregrine Island, is seldom what it seems.”

Diane B. Saxton was a journalist with Vanity Fair UK, Holiday Magazine, and Greenwich Review, and covered everything from torture victims to psychics, animal rights activists, exotic travel and movie producers. A new chapter opened up for her after interviewing Amnesty International US founder Hannah Grunwald. Alarmed that the stories of incredible and influential lives such as Grunwald’s could be lost as the Greatest Generation passes, Saxton began capturing their histories and compiled them into a 1,000 page biographical collection, which became the inspiration for her next novel. 

Auhor photo credit Elena Siebert.

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Authors

Author Rob Wilder Speaks About His New Novel, Nickel

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Former Westporter Robert Wilder, author of Tales From The Teachers’ Lounge and Daddy Needs A Drink, discusses his newest novel Nickel. Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author of Running With Scissors, will introduce Wilder.

Nickel is Wilder's first young adult novel. Being a teenager is hard enough without your mother in rehab and your slightly inept stepfather doing his best not to screw things up. But at least Coy has Monroe. Coy is a quirky teenage boy and his best friend Monroe is a girl who is just as odd and funny and obsessed with 80’s culture as he is. So when Monroe comes down with a mysterious illness, his inner turmoil only grows. Augusten Burroughs says, "No one has ever written about the pains of being a teenager–physically and psychologically, inside and out–quite like Robert Wilder in his startling debut novel. He has created indelible characters in Monroe and Coy—funny and sad and strong and broken—and Nickel is about as real as it gets." "Wilder powers his classic coming-of-age narrative with a ferocious storytelling voice ... a humorous, poignant, and formidable debut.”—Booklist, starred review and their Best Young Adult Book of 2016.

A teacher for twenty-five years, Robert Wilder has earned numerous awards and fellowships, including the inaugural Innovations in Reading Prize by the National Book Foundation. He has published essays in Newsweek, Details, Salon, Parenting, Creative Nonfiction, plus numerous anthologies and has been a commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition.
 

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Authors, Teen
Authors, Teen

Blending Families

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Licensed marriage and family therapist Trevor Crow Mullineaux speaks about her book Blending Families: Merging Households with Kids 8–18 and addresses year-round strategies as well as specific tips for holidays.

Mullineaux describes steps to take all year long that will help not only during the holidays, but for years to come as families merge. This optimistic book is a resource for many parents and step-parents. The content is organized into three sections. Section one, "Opportunities and Challenges," includes a useful quiz about adult attachment styles and helps you understand your own style and that of your partner. In section two, the authors lay out the "Five Things You Must Have to Succeed," and section three covers "Stories and Practical Insights.” In the “Do’s and Don’ts" list in section 3, the authors reach beyond their own expertise and include insights from marriage-expert John Gottman and financial-expert Suze Orman.

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Parents & Caregivers
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Healing Through Art & Words: Five Authors Discuss 9/11 and Coping with Tragedy Through a Writer's Lens

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On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, authors Nora Baskin (nine, ten: a 9/11 Story), Gae Polisner (The Memory of Things), Jewell Parker Rhodes (Towers Falling), Wendy Mills (All We Have Left) and Lauren Tarshis (I Survived series) discuss coping with tragedy through a writer’s lens and their new books for middle grades and young adults. The panel discussion will be streamed live via Facebook on the Westport Library's Facebook page.

Link to August 26 New York Times Book Review article about two of these books.

For many, the tragic day of 9/11 splintered lives into a before and after, our hearts deeply fractured in the shift. But for our children, 9/11 sits in what Wonderopolis educator and high school teacher Paul W. Hankins calls an "educational chasm." As he points out, "The majority of students in desks were born after the year 2000. In two years, there will not be a single student without this date/marker. ... It’s a chasm that has real implication in literature and humanities." The 15th Anniversary of 9/11 brings several new novels for middle grade and young adult readers dealing with this topic in varying ways and from different perspectives. The authors will share stories on what brought them to this topic, how they wrote about it and how their books are being received by readers, both adult and children, as well as invite the audience to share stories of their own.

Nora Raleigh Baskin is the author of thirteen novels for young readers and a contributor to two story collections. She has won several awards including the 2010 ALA Schneider Family Book Award for Anything But Typical and a 2016 ILA Notable Books for a Global Society for Ruby on the Outside. Nora has taught creative writing to both children and adults for over fifteen years with such organizations as SCBWI, The Unicorn Writers Conference and the Highlights Foundation, and The Fairfield Co. Writer’s Studio. Her latest, Nine/Ten: A 9/11 Story, has already received starred reviews from both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. 

Gae Polisner is the award-winning author of The Memory of Things, The Summer of Letting Go and The Pull of Gravity. A family law attorney and mediator by trade, but a writer by calling, she lives on Long Island with her husband, two sons, and a suspiciously-fictional-looking small dog she swore she’d never own. When she’s not writing, she can be found in a pool, or better yet, in the open waters of the Long Island Sound where she hopes, one day, to sprout gills and become a mermaid.

Jewell Parker Rhodes is the author of Towers Falling, the Louisiana Girls Trilogy-- Ninth Ward, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, Sugar, winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and Bayou Magic. She is also the Virginia G. Piper Endowed Chair and Director of Arizona State University’s Piper Center for Creative Writing, and has written many award-winning books for adults.books for adults.

Wendy Mills grew up in Virginia and attended Old Dominion University, where she graduated with honors in English and Political Science. She moved to the Outer Banks of North Carolina where she spent several very happy years pursuing a career as a beach bum. First child on the way, she reluctantly decided to grow up, and moved to yet another island off the coast of SW Florida, where she spends her time writing, raising her two children, and dodging hurricanes. Positively Beautiful is her first young adult novel and All We Have Left ​is her second.

Lauren Tarshis is the author of the I Survived series, including The Attacks of September 11, 2001. She is the editor of Scholastic's Storyworks and Scope magazines, and the author of the critically acclaimed novels Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell out of a Tree and Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love.

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Authors