Items tagged with Book clubs

PageTurners Book Discussion: Pride and Prejudice

Please see full event listing for date.

 

As a part of of a year of reading Jane Austen, join PageTurners for a discussion of Pride and Prejudice. When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships,gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life. Though Austen set the story at the turn of the 19th century, it retains a fascination for modern readers, continuing near the top of lists of "most loved books." It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature, selling over 20 million copies, and receives considerable attention from literary scholars. Modern interest in the book has resulted in a number of dramatic adaptations and an abundance of novels and stories imitating Austen's memorable characters or themes.

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

Information on more Library book groups.

Sheffer Reading Room
Book Groups

Summer Reading Programs for All Ages

May 18, 2016


The Westport Library announces Summer Reading programs for all ages beginning Memorial Day weekend and continuing through Labor Day weekend. This year, participants can sign up using a new online reading program called Beanstack, which offers reading recommendations and book logging. A special Summer Reading Book Fair will be held on Saturday, June 11, at Barnes & Noble in Westport. Library staff will be available to recommend books and provide materials for making bookmarks. Meet authors including Karlin Gray, Nora Baskin, Michaela MacColl and Kara Thomas. A portion of the day’s sales will benefit the Library’s summer reading programs.

The programs are divided into the following groups:

Pre-readers: This youngest group can join a special club, get a journal and a prize. Sign up through Beanstack here.

Independent Readers: The Summer Reading theme this year is “On Your Mark, Get Set … READ!” Register in person at the Smilow Family Children’s Library (or on Beanstack) and drop by to pick up prizes and make a decoration for every five books read. The “On-Your-Mark Challenge” begins Friday, June 24. Sign up through Beanstack here.

Middle and High School Students: Every five books read will earn students one entry into a drawing for the following prizes: a sculpting class with sculptor Chris Crowe for the winner and four friends, a VIP gaming experience for the winner and four friends, VIP access to the Harry Potter Party July 30, all-day MakerSpace 3D printing and a free ticket to the all-night Maker Madness in March of 2017. Sign up through Beanstack here.

Summer Reading for Adults: New this year—sign up on Beanstack. Look for special incentive gifts and prize drawings throughout the summer. Guide for details on adult summer reading, including book list recommendations.

• Cocktails for Book Lovers, Tuesday, May 31, 6 pm, Rive Bistro in Westport. Kick start the summer reading season with Tessa Smith McGovern, co-founder of Fairfield County Writers’ Studio, host of Book Girl TV and author of Book Girl’s Guide to Cocktails for Book Lovers and London Road: Linked Stories. Join this special cocktail mixer featuring light refreshments served along with a reading from McGovern’s book London Road. Cash bar. Register online. Sponsor: Rive Bistro.

• Sybil Steinberg's New Book Picks for Summer Reading, Friday, June 3, noon, McManus Room. Get ready for summer reading as Westporter Sybil Steinberg, contributing editor and former book review section editor for Publishers Weekly, returns with her ever-popular talk on the best new books.

• How to Read Like a Writer, Tuesday, June 7, 7 pm, McManus Room. Award-winning writer and teacher Sally Allen, PhD., will lead a workshop designed for writers or anyone interested in exploring how language and structure shape ideas. Participants will look at both sentence-level and larger structural issues, including how story arc, character development, tension, and point of view work together to explore a book’s themes and ideas. Allen is the author of Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers, which weaves personal stories
 


History Book Discussion: "Washington: A Life"

Please see full event listing for date.

Amateur historian and Westporter J. Bruce McGuirk leads a discussion of Ron Chernow’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of George Washington, Washington: A Life. Ron Chernow was this year's BOOKED for the evening honoree.

Based on massive research, Chernow shatters forever the stereotype of George Washington as a stolid, unemotional figure and brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions and many moods. Booklist starred review says, "With so much that can be said—and said positively—about this magisterial biography, it is difficult not to write a review as long as the book itself. ... Our first president is thought of as more marble statue than living, hurting, loving human; however, Chernow’s Washington stands not in the opposite corner as hot-blooded and animated. Washington spent a lifetime practicing control of his passions and emotions; his innate virtues, undenied and even celebrated here, were sharpened and focused by the man’s suppression of a natural volatility. “His gift of silence” and of “inspired simplicity,” as the author so aptly terms Washington’s strongest suits, supported his consequent leadership as general and as president."

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821.

Weeks Seminar Room
Book Groups

PageTurners Book Discussion: American Dervish

Please see full event listing for date.

 

Join PageTurners for a discussion of American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar, the story of a young Pakistani-American boy growing up in the American Midwest and his struggle with his identity and religion. Don Rebar, Associate Director of Marketing for the Westport Country Playhouse, will lead the discussions. In partnership with the Westport Country Playhouse production of The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar.

"A compelling debut with a family drama centered on questions of religious and ethnic identity.... Akhtar, himself a first-generation Pakistani-American from Milwaukee, perfectly balances a moving exploration of the understanding and serenity Islam imparts to an unhappy preteen with an unsparing portrait of fundamentalist bigotry and cruelty.... His well-written, strongly plotted narrative is essentially a conventional tale of family conflict and adolescent angst, strikingly individualized by its Muslim fabric. Hayat's father is in many ways the most complex and intriguing character, but Mina and Nathan achieve a tragic nobility that goes beyond their plot function as instruments of the boy's moral awakening.... Engaging and accessible, thoughtful without being daunting: This may be the novel that brings Muslim-American fiction into the commercial mainstream."―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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

Information on more Library book groups.

Sheffer Reading Room
Book Groups

PageTurners Book Discussion: American Dervish

Please see full event listing for date.

 

Join PageTurners for a discussion of American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar, the story of a young Pakistani-American boy growing up in the American Midwest and his struggle with his identity and religion. Don Rebar, Associate Director of Marketing for the Westport Country Playhouse, will lead the discussions. In partnership with the Westport Country Playhouse production of The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar.

"A compelling debut with a family drama centered on questions of religious and ethnic identity.... Akhtar, himself a first-generation Pakistani-American from Milwaukee, perfectly balances a moving exploration of the understanding and serenity Islam imparts to an unhappy preteen with an unsparing portrait of fundamentalist bigotry and cruelty.... His well-written, strongly plotted narrative is essentially a conventional tale of family conflict and adolescent angst, strikingly individualized by its Muslim fabric. Hayat's father is in many ways the most complex and intriguing character, but Mina and Nathan achieve a tragic nobility that goes beyond their plot function as instruments of the boy's moral awakening.... Engaging and accessible, thoughtful without being daunting: This may be the novel that brings Muslim-American fiction into the commercial mainstream."―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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

Information on more Library book groups.

Sheffer Reading Room
Book Groups

History Book Discussion: "Alexander Hamilton"

Please see full event listing for date.

hamiltonAmateur historian and Westporter J. Bruce McGuirk leads a discussion of Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton, the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton! Ron Chernow is this year's BOOKED for the evening honoree on Thursday, May 26.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation. In this New York Times bestseller, the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821.

McManus Room
Book Groups

Sybil Steinberg's New Book Picks for Summer Reading

Please see full event listing for date.

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

McManus Room
Talks & Readings

Adults Read YA Fiction

Please see full event listing for date.

All the Bright Places Are you an adult who loves to read YA? Join a discussion of All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nivan. When Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school—both teetering on the edge--it's the beginning of an unlikely relationship.

This book group meets on the last Tuesday of the month and celebrates the best new young adult literature. Copies of the book are available at the main circulation desk. NOTE meeting location: Harvest Wine Bar (36 Railroad Place). 

Other
Book Groups

A Year of Reading Jane Austen: Discuss "Persuasion"

Please see full event listing for date.

As a part of a year of reading Jane Austen, join a discussion of Persuasion, presented by Dr. Susan Ostorv Weisser, a professor of English at Adelphi University. She is the author of A Craving Vacancy: Women and Sexual Love in the British Novel 1740–1880 and The Glass Slipper: Women and Love Stories. She is the editor of Women and Romance: A Reader as well as three scholarly editions of classic novels by Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë and D. H. Lawrence.

Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen's most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne's family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?

In Persuasion, as in such novels as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma, Austen limned the plight of young women who could escape the constraints of family life only by marrying, and suggest the foolishness of women who believed they were free and not dependent on the financial and social resources of men. At the same time, Persuasion offers an ironic and subtle paean to the true love that enables one woman to rise above straitened economic circumstances and the stifling social conventions that restricted women to narrowly circumscribed lives in the common sitting room.

Susan Ostrov Weisser earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from Columbia University and is presently Professor of English at Adelphi University in New York, specializing in nineteenth century novels and women's studies. She has published articles and books on women and romance, including A Craving Vacancy: Women and Sexual Love in the British Novel, 1740-1880, Women and Romance: A Reader, and most recently, The Glass Slipper: Women and Love Stories (2013). In addition, she has edited three novels, Jane Austen's Persuasion, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover. 

In partnership with the Jane Austen Society North America, CT Region.

Detailed guide compiled by Westport Library reference librarians.

Dates for discussions of the rest of novels of Jane Austen are:

July 30: Persuasion
TBD: Pride and Prejudice
TBD: Emma

McManus Room
Book Groups

A Year of Reading Jane Austen: Discuss "Mansfield Park" with English Professor Dr. Pamela Buck

Please see full event listing for date.

jane austenMansfield ParkAs a part of a year of reading Jane Austen, Sacred Heart University English professor Dr. Pamela Buck leads a discussion of Mansfield Park. Taken from the poverty of her parents' home, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with only her cousin Edmund as an ally. When Fanny's uncle is absent in Antigua, Mary Crawford and her brother Henry arrive in the neighbourhood, bringing with them London glamour and a reckless taste for flirtation. As her female cousins vie for Henry's attention, and even Edmund falls for Mary's dazzling charms, only Fanny remains doubtful about the Crawfords' influence and finds herself more isolated than ever. A subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, Mansfield Park is one of Jane Austen's most profound works.

In partnership with the Jane Austen Society North America, CT Region.

Detailed guide compiled by Westport Library reference librarians.

dr. pamela buckPamela Buck, Ph.D. teaches British literature courses and a seminar entitled Jane Austen's Guide to Dating. Her research focuses on British Romantic women writers and material culture during the French Revolution and Napoleonic period. Her book in progress explores how women travel writers use the souvenir, an object of memory and exchange, to circulate revolutionary ideas and affect political thought in Britain. Her most recent project examines material connections between East and West in global Romantic women's writing. She received her B.A. magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College, her M.A. from the University of Chicago, and her Ph.D. from Tufts University.

July 30: Dr. Susan Ostrov Weisser, professor of English at Adelphi U., leads a discussion of Persuasion.

McManus Room
Book Groups