Items tagged with Book clubs

A Year of Reading Jane Austen: Discuss "Sense and Sensibility" with Dr. Mark Schenker

Please see full event listing for date.

jane austensense and sensibilityAs a part of the Westport Library program "A Year of Reading Jane Austen," join a discussion of Sense and Sensibility, led by Dr. Mark Schenker, Associate Dean at Yale College. This novel has entered its third century without losing any of its freshness. Dean Schenker has frequently lectured on the works of Jane Austen; in the summer of 2013 he was the featured speaker at a conference of the CT chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America. One of his two talks there was “Sensibility and Sense: How the 18th Century Meets the 19th in Jane Austen’s Novels."

The first of Jane Austen’s works to appear, Sense and Sensibility (1811) is the reworking of an epistolary novel entitled Elinor and Marianne, which the author began at the age of 20. Published anonymously (“By A Lady”), the novel sold steadily through its first edition and required a second edition in 1813. With it, Austen saw her first profits as an author, found her voice and her audience.

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

Detailed guide compiled by Westport Library reference librarians.

Mark J. Schenker has been at Yale College since 1990. He is currently a senior associate dean of the College and dean of academic affairs. Born and raised in New York City, he received his Ph.D. in English Literature from Columbia University and has taught at Columbia, New York University, and Trinity College (Hartford). Dean Schenker has led book discussion series in public libraries and other venues in Connecticut for over 30 years and lectures frequently on literature and film for public audiences. He was the recipient of the 2001 Wilbur Cross Award for Outstanding Humanities Scholar, presented by the Connecticut Humanities Council. 

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

February 27: Kick-Off & Discussion of Northanger Abbey
April 9: Sense and Sensibility with a discussion led by Dr. Mark Schenker, Associate Dean at Yale College.
May 21: Mansfield Park
July 23: Persuasion
August 27: Pride and Prejudice
September 24: Emma

McManus Room
Book Groups

PageTurners Book Discussion: Nora Webster

Please see full event listing for date.

 

Nora Webster Join PageTurners for a discussion of Nora Webster: A Novel by Colm Toibin. Set in Wexford, Ireland, Tóibín’s seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable and deeply moving Nora Webster. Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be drawn back into it. Wounded, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father. Yet she has moments of stunning empathy and kindness, and when she begins to sing again, after decades, she finds solace, engagement, a haven—herself.

Nora Webster is a masterpiece in character study by a writer at the zenith of his career, “beautiful and daring” (The New York Times Book Review) and able to “sneak up on readers and capture their imaginations” (USA TODAY). In Nora Webster, Tóibín has created a character as iconic, engaging and memorable as Madame Bovary or Hedda Gabler.

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: Nora Webster

Please see full event listing for date.

Nora WebsterJoin PageTurners for a discussion of Nora Webster: A Novel by Colm Toibin. Set in Wexford, Ireland, Tóibín’s seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable and deeply moving Nora Webster. Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be drawn back into it. Wounded, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father. Yet she has moments of stunning empathy and kindness, and when she begins to sing again, after decades, she finds solace, engagement, a haven—herself.

Nora Webster is a masterpiece in character study by a writer at the zenith of his career, “beautiful and daring” (The New York Times Book Review) and able to “sneak up on readers and capture their imaginations” (USA TODAY). In Nora Webster, Tóibín has created a character as iconic, engaging and memorable as Madame Bovary or Hedda Gabler.

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: A History of Loneliness

Please see full event listing for date.

A History of Loneliness Join PageTurners for a discussion of A History of Loneliness by John Boyne, a narrative of an honorable Irish priest who finds the church collapsing around him at a pivotal moment in its history.

Propelled into the priesthood by a family tragedy, Odran Yates is full of hope and ambition. When he arrives at Clonliffe Seminary in the 1970s, it is a time in Ireland when priests are highly respected, and Odran believes that he is pledging his life to "the good."  Forty years later, Odran’s devotion has been challenged by the revelations that have shattered the Irish people’s faith in the church. He has seen friends stand trial, colleagues jailed, the lives of young parishioners destroyed and has become nervous of venturing out in public for fear of disapproving stares and insulting remarks.

“The complex architecture of this haunting novel is seamlessly constructed. The path to the priesthood that Odran Yates follows is both understandable and sympathetic. And Father Yates is a good man; he is innocent of the false accusations made against him (he's not a pedophile). John Boyne has created a character who holds himself accountable for the sins of others. No writer today handles guilt with as much depth and sadness. As Father Yates takes himself to task for all he didn't do, nothing less than the sexual duplicity and cover-ups of the Catholic Church are indicted. This is John Boyne's most important novel and of vital importance to Irish history; it is also a gripping story, one no reader can put down until its devastating end.” ―John Irving

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: A History of Loneliness

Please see full event listing for date.

A History of Loneliness Join PageTurners for a discussion of A History of Loneliness by John Boyne, a narrative of an honorable Irish priest who finds the church collapsing around him at a pivotal moment in its history.

Propelled into the priesthood by a family tragedy, Odran Yates is full of hope and ambition. When he arrives at Clonliffe Seminary in the 1970s, it is a time in Ireland when priests are highly respected, and Odran believes that he is pledging his life to "the good."  Forty years later, Odran’s devotion has been challenged by the revelations that have shattered the Irish people’s faith in the church. He has seen friends stand trial, colleagues jailed, the lives of young parishioners destroyed and has become nervous of venturing out in public for fear of disapproving stares and insulting remarks.

“The complex architecture of this haunting novel is seamlessly constructed. The path to the priesthood that Odran Yates follows is both understandable and sympathetic. And Father Yates is a good man; he is innocent of the false accusations made against him (he's not a pedophile). John Boyne has created a character who holds himself accountable for the sins of others. No writer today handles guilt with as much depth and sadness. As Father Yates takes himself to task for all he didn't do, nothing less than the sexual duplicity and cover-ups of the Catholic Church are indicted. This is John Boyne's most important novel and of vital importance to Irish history; it is also a gripping story, one no reader can put down until its devastating end.” ―John Irving

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: The Light of the World: A Memoir

Please see full event listing for date.

light of the worldJoin PageTurners in a celebration of National Poetry Month for a discussion of The Light of the World: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander. The book begins as Alexander finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. Channeling her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid price, Alexander tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. As she reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband's death, and the solace found in caring for her two teenage sons, Alexander universalizes a very personal quest for meaning and acceptance in the wake of loss. Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher. The book is a New York Times bestseller, a NYT editor's choice and
a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2015

“This is a gorgeous love story, written by one of America’s greatest contemporary poets. Graceful in its simplicity, sweeping in scope, this book is proof that behind the boarded-up windows of America’s roiled marriages and ruined affairs, true love still exists, and where it does exist, it graces the world—and us—with light and hope. Elizabeth Alexander is a prose writer of deep talent and affecting skill. With ease, she peels back layer after layer to show the soft secrets of affection, the kindness, and the wide open generosity of a full-hearted man and talented artist, who had more love to give in his relatively short lifetime that most of us will ever know.”—James McBride, National Book Award-winning author

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: The Light of the World: A Memoir

Please see full event listing for date.

light of the worldJoin PageTurners in a celebration of National Poetry Month for a discussion of The Light of the World: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander. The book begins as Alexander finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. Channeling her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid price, Alexander tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. As she reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband's death, and the solace found in caring for her two teenage sons, Alexander universalizes a very personal quest for meaning and acceptance in the wake of loss. Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher. The book is a New York Times bestseller, a NYT editor's choice and
a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2015

“This is a gorgeous love story, written by one of America’s greatest contemporary poets. Graceful in its simplicity, sweeping in scope, this book is proof that behind the boarded-up windows of America’s roiled marriages and ruined affairs, true love still exists, and where it does exist, it graces the world—and us—with light and hope. Elizabeth Alexander is a prose writer of deep talent and affecting skill. With ease, she peels back layer after layer to show the soft secrets of affection, the kindness, and the wide open generosity of a full-hearted man and talented artist, who had more love to give in his relatively short lifetime that most of us will ever know.”—James McBride, National Book Award-winning author

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: H is for Hawk

Please see full event listing for date.

h is for hawkJoin PageTurners for a discussion of H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Hear the author talk on Wednesday, March 23 at 7 pm. The book is a New York Times bestseller and one of their picks as "The 10 Best Books of 2015." It also won the Samuel Johnson Prize and Costa Book of the Year Award for 2014.

When Helen Macdonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer—Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood—she'd never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk's fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel and turned to the guidance of The Once and Future King author T.H. White's chronicle The Goshawk to begin her challenging endeavor. Projecting herself "in the hawk's wild mind to tame her" tested the limits of Macdonald's humanity and changed her life.

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: H is for Hawk

Please see full event listing for date.

h is for hawkJoin PageTurners for a discussion of H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Hear the author talk on Wednesday, March 23 at 7 pm. The book is a New York Times bestseller and one of their picks as "The 10 Best Books of 2015." It also won the Samuel Johnson Prize and Costa Book of the Year Award for 2014.

When Helen Macdonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer—Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood—she'd never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk's fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel and turned to the guidance of The Once and Future King author T.H. White's chronicle The Goshawk to begin her challenging endeavor. Projecting herself "in the hawk's wild mind to tame her" tested the limits of Macdonald's humanity and changed her life.

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

Information on more Library book groups.

Sheffer Reading Room
Book Groups

WestportREADS 2016: Discuss "Miracle at St. Anna"

Please see full event listing for date.

miracle at st. annaWR buttonAs a part of WestportREADS 2016, join TEAM Westport and Barners & Noble to discuss the Miracle at St. Anna by James McBride who turned his extraordinary gift for storytelling to fiction with a tale of courage and redemption inspired by a little-known historic event in Italy toward the end of World War II. McBride is the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction. His memoir, The Color of Water, explored his mother's past as well as his own upbringing and topped bestseller lists for more than two years.

Location: Barnes & Noble, 1076 Post Rd E, Westport

Community partners: TEAM Westport and Barnes & Noble

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

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

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Book Groups, WestportREADS