Items tagged with Book clubs

History Book Discussion: Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations

Please see full event listing for date.

Join a discussion of Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations by Georgina Howell, the true story of an adventurous life of historical import.

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821.

She has been called the female Lawrence of Arabia, which, while not inaccurate, fails to give Gertrude Bell her due. She was at one time the most powerful woman in the British Empire: a nation builder, the driving force behind the creation of modern-day Iraq. Born in 1868 into a world of privilege, Bell turned her back on Victorian society, choosing to read history at Oxford and going on to become an archaeologist, spy, Arabist, linguist, author (of Persian Pictures, The Desert and the Sown, and many other collections), poet, photographer, and legendary mountaineer (she took off her skirt and climbed the Alps in her underclothes).

She traveled the globe several times, but her passion was the desert, where she traveled with only her guns and her servants. Her vast knowledge of the region made her indispensable to the Cairo Intelligence Office of the British government during World War I. She advised the Viceroy of India; then, as an army major, she traveled to the front lines in Mesopotamia. There, she supported the creation of an autonomous Arab nation for Iraq, promoting and manipulating the election of King Faisal to the throne and helping to draw the borders of the fledgling state.

Gertrude Bell, vividly told and impeccably researched by Georgina Howell, is a richly compelling portrait of a woman who transcended the restrictions of her class and times, and in so doing, created a remarkable and enduring legacy.

" … there’s never a dull moment in the peerless life of this trailblazing character." - Kirkus Reviews

Weeks Seminar Room
Book Groups

New Date: The Usual Suspects Mystery Book Discuss "Greenmantle"

Please see full event listing for date.

Facilitator Kelle Ruden leads a discussion of Greenmantle by John Buchan. Set during WWI, Richard Hannay, hero of The Thirty-Nine Steps, travels across war-torn Europe in search of a German plot and an Islamic Messiah. He is joined by three more of Buchan's heroes: Peter Pienaar, the old Boer Scout; John S. Blenkiron, the American determined to fight the Kaiser; and Sandy Arbuthnot, Greenmantle himself, modelled on Lawrence of Arabia. The intrepid four move in disguise through Germany to Constantinople and the Russian border toface their enemies: the grotesque Stumm and the evil beauty of Hilda von Einem.

Note this is a new, re-scheduled date.

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821. New participants always welcome.

Guide to the WestportREADS books and program.

WestportREADS 2018 is funded by the estate of Jerry A. Tishman.

Weeks Seminar Room

Sybil Steinberg's New Book Picks

Please see full event listing for date.

Sybil Steinberg Westporter Sybil Steinberg, contributing editor and former book review section editor for Publishers Weekly, returns with more ideas for your fall reading with her ever-popular talk on the best new reads.

Note location: Suzuki Music School of Westport, 246 Post Rd East, Lower Level (below Webster Bank)

Other
Talks & Readings

WestportREADS 2018: History Book Discussion: "My Fellow Soldiers"

Please see full event listing for date.

 

Join a discussion of My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War by Andrew Carroll. Then, come back on Thursday, January 25 at 7 pm to join a discussion with the author.

The book draws on a rich trove of both little-known and newly uncovered letters and diaries to create a vivid and moving account of the American experience in World War I, with General John Pershing featured prominently in the foreground.

 

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821.

Guide to the WestportREADS books and program.

Westport READS is funded by the estate of Jerry A. Tishman.

Weeks Seminar Room

WestportREADS 2018: Discuss "Regeneration" at Barnes & Noble

Please see full event listing for date.

miracle at st. annaJoin facilitator Kelle Ruden and Barnes & Noble for a discussion of Regeneration by Pat Barker. This work of historical fiction that follows the experiences of soldiers during World War I. Read the book and join programs related to the book throughout the month of January & Februrary as we explore themes of healing and perseverance on the centenary of the end of WWI. 

Location & community partner: Barnes & Noble, 1076 Post Road East 

Regneration is the first novel in Pat Barker's acclaimed WWI trilogy, which continues with The Eye in the Door and culminates in the 1995 Booker Prize-winning The Ghost Road. In 1917 Siegfried Sasson, noted poet and decorated war hero, publicly refused to continue serving as a British officer in World War I. His reason: the war was a senseless slaughter. He was officially classified “mentally unsound” and sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital. There a brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. William Rivers, set about restoring Sassoon’s “sanity” and sending him back to the trenches. This novel tells what happened as only a novel can. It is a war saga in which not a shot is fired. It is a story of a battle for a man’s mind in which only the reader can decide who is the victor, who the vanquished, and who the victim.

"Dramatic, moving, brilliantly harrowning ... a novel that makes the madness of war more than a metaphor."—The New York Times Book Review

Guide to the WestportREADS books and program.

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

Other

History Book Discussion: All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid

Please see full event listing for date.

Join a discussion of All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid by Matt Bai. In May 1987, Colorado Senator Gary Hart—a dashing, reform-minded Democrat—seemed a lock for the party’s presidential nomination and led George H. W. Bush by double digits in the polls. Then, in one tumultuous week, rumors of marital infidelity and a newspaper’s stakeout of Hart’s home resulted in a media frenzy the likes of which had never been seen before.

Partner & location: Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place 

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821.

Other
Book Groups

History Book Discussion: River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey

Please see full event listing for date.

Join a discussion of River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821.

Weeks Seminar Room
Book Groups

History Book Discussion: Grant (Parts 1 & 2)

Please see full event listing for date.

Join a discussion of Grant by Ron Chernow. We will focus on Parts 1 & 2. Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most compelling generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant.

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821.

Weeks Seminar Room
Book Groups

CANCELED: The Usual Suspects Mystery Book Discuss "Greenmantle"

Please see full event listing for date.

Discussion Canceled.

Facilitator Kelle Ruden leads a discussion of Greenmantle by John Buchan. Set during WWI, Richard Hannay, hero of The Thirty-Nine Steps, travels across war-torn Europe in search of a German plot and an Islamic Messiah. He is joined by three more of Buchan's heroes: Peter Pienaar, the old Boer Scout; John S. Blenkiron, the American determined to fight the Kaiser; and Sandy Arbuthnot, Greenmantle himself, modelled on Lawrence of Arabia. The intrepid four move in disguise through Germany to Constantinople and the Russian border toface their enemies: the grotesque Stumm and the evil beauty of Hilda von Einem.

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821. New participants always welcome.

Guide to the WestportREADS books and program.

WestportREADS 2018 is funded by the estate of Jerry A. Tishman.

Weeks Seminar Room

PageTurners Discuss "The Shadow Land"

Please see full event listing for date.

Join PageTurners for a discussion of The Shadow Land by Elisabeth Kostova, author of #1 New York Times bestseller The Historian. The author Elizabeth Kostova will join us via Skype for the discussion!

A young American woman, Alexandra Boyd, has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Soon after arriving in this elegant East European city, however, she helps an elderly couple into a taxi—and realizes too late that she has accidentally kept one of their bags. Inside she finds an ornately carved wooden box engraved with a name: Stoyan Lazarov. Raising the hinged lid, she discovers that she is holding an urn filled with human ashes. So beings this novel that explores the power of stories, the pull of the past, and the hope and meaning that can sometimes be found in the aftermath of loss.

Link to the podcast of the author's talk here at the Library in April 2017.

PageTurners Book Club page

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821. New participants always welcome. Information on more Library book groups.

Weeks Seminar Room
Book Groups