Items tagged with WestportREADS

“Dorothy makes friends. Finds way home.”

Posted by on Monday, Feb 11, 2008 - 4:50 PM

Have you heard about the book in which writers were invited to distill their bios into just six words? It’s called Not Quite What I Was Planning edited by Larry Smith. ("Found true love, married someone else" is an example.)

Can you imagine the characters in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz writing their bios in just six words?

How about “Stuffed with straw. Afraid of matches.” Or “Magic power revealed. Wizard is humbug.”
Or “Bad witch melts. Glinda tells secret.” Or “Good masters. Evil masters. Three commands.”
Or “Timid beast loses fear. Becomes king.”

It's addictive, once you start. Let's see how many six word bios of Wizard characters we can compile.


Posted by on Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 - 7:10 PM

Remember the comfort and joy of being read to when you were a child? What a meaningful way to share ideas and strengthen family ties.

I hear that some parents and caregivers have chosen The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to read aloud together. In 1900, L. Frank Baum wrote the story “to please a child” and the classic story continues to fulfill his intention.
Pick up a copy of the original edition reprint and enjoy it with your family. The young people will anticipate each new adventure as Dorothy makes her journey and the young- at- heart will refresh their appreciation for a story that has endured for over 100 years.

In March, we will celebrate WestportREADS 2008 with a wide range of events and activities for all ages. Watch for people wearing the WestportREADS 2008 button and start a conversation about The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Sing on!

Posted by on Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 - 4:40 PM

The music of The Wizard of Oz turns up in the most unlikely places! Did you see President Bush being serenaded while in Israel?

“Over the Rainbow” was written by lyricist E.Y. “Yip” Harburg. Known as “Broadway’s social conscience, Harburg collaborated with composer Harold Arlen to create the enduring songs for the 1939 film.

In Manhattan,Singer Karen Oberlin is presenting a tribute show, “The Wizard of Words: Yip Harburg’s Songs of Wit and Wisdom” at the Metropolitan Room on Sunday January 27 at 9:30 pm.

Want to enjoy Harburg & Arlen’s songs right here in Westport? On Saturday March 1, follow the yellow brick road to the WestportREADS 2008 kickoff at the Library and listen to the Flying Monkeys Quintet play your favorites in the Great Hall from 12:30 -1:30. (a/k/a Norwalk Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Quintet.)

Come to the Emerald City Bash on Friday March 14 from 7-9 pm and sing along as Ted Simons accompanies our favorite Wizard tunes.

As Yip Harburg said: “Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.”


Posted by on Wednesday, Dec 5, 2007 - 6:37 PM

This is hardly the moral of the story, but it does indicate how L. Frank Baum chose to portray the triumph of good over evil in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Baum stated that his book “aspires to being a modern fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out.” You may be apprehensive about the flying monkeys, but you know that good, and not evil, will prevail. read more

"The Magic Box"

Posted by on Thursday, Mar 29, 2007 - 4:54 PM

In 1690, Stradivari changed the length of his violins by about one quarter of an inch.In the world of violin makers, this was an historic event! After eight years, he returned to the previous size. To the world at large, this seems insignificant. Not so!read more

Music! Intangible and eternal!

Posted by on Tuesday, Mar 27, 2007 - 10:28 AM

Music travels through time across the centuries, out-living its creators! What a wonder!
Have you considered the simple elements that make up the instruments ? How does that sound come out of that wood and metal? What a confluence of craftsmanship, intent, creativity and skill!

If you share my enthusiasm, come to hear author John Marchese read more

Grace Notes: Violin, Violon, Violine, Violino

Posted by MargieF on Monday, Mar 26, 2007 - 4:10 PM

violin.jpgAs anyone who has attended a classical music concert or seen pictures of a full symphony orchestra, the violin is the smallest of the family of stringed instruments and creates the highest pitches. Its innate acoustics give it enormous versatility in producing beautiful, sustained tones and pathos similar to the human voice while simultaneously giving the player enormous potential for flashy and scintillating sound effects and dramatic techniques. Its range of more than four octaves and the ability to play chords has made it ubiquitous in all kinds of music and cultures.

The evolution of violin making reached its apex in Brescia and Cremona Italy in the seventeenth century by Antonio, Girolamo, and Nicolò Amati, Antonio Stradivari, and Andrea and Giuseppe Guarneri. The instruments by these distinguished craftsmen have been prized and sought after by generations of artists, collectors, and musicians.

In celebration of WestportREADS, the Library will be featuring John Marchese, author of The Violin Maker: Finding a Centuries-Old Tradition in a Brooklyn Workshop. He will speak about his new book and introduce Sam Zygmuntowicz, the violin maker portrayed in the book. This program will take place on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. in the McManus Room.

To learn more about the history of the violin and its creators, be sure to look at Toby Faber's Stradivari's Genius: Five Violins, One Cello and Three Centuries of Enduring Perfection, Edward Heron-Allen's Violin Making, As It Was and Is: Being a Historical, Theoretical, and Practical and Karel Jalovec's Beautiful Italian Violins. Some of the violinists in our compact disc collection include Jascha Heifetz, Itzhak Perlman, and Isaac Stern.


Posted by on Friday, Mar 23, 2007 - 1:48 PM

What is perfection? When is life "good enough?" Does the drive for perfection lead to achievement? or paralysis? If we expect to attain perfection, are our disappointments especially harsh? The narrator of The Soloist by Mark Salzman seems unable to be present in the moment, except when he is lost in music. Soon that escape eludes him, when his search for perfection interferes with his cello playing.

On Sunday March 25 at 2 pm in the McManus Room, Dr. Mark Schenker will explore the dilemma of the search for perfection and how it is portrayed in The Soloist. Associate Dean at Yale College, Schenker is a frequent Library speaker known for his incisive analyses of literature.

WestportREADS discussion question:
Is perfection possible? Do unfulfilled dreams have a harsher impact on those with special gifts?

One question: many answers

Posted by on Monday, Mar 19, 2007 - 4:54 PM

Today's WestportREADS discussion question has a multitude of possible answers.
Here it is:
To what degree are parents responsible for their children's successes or failures?

Do you know how your offspring would respond to this question ?

Some people have told me how much they dislike Renne in The Soloist; others have commented that he was the way he was because of his mother. Do you think her control of his young life led to his successes or his failures?
How about Kyung -hee? How did his parents' attitudes affect his probable success or failure?
And what about the defendant, Philip Weber?
No definitive answers, but an intergenerational conversation might reveal some interesting opinions!

WestportREADS The Soloist

Posted by on Thursday, Mar 15, 2007 - 4:47 PM

I assume you are all "talking amongst yourselves" about WestportREADS and The Soloist by Mark Salzman. We would love to get an online conversation started, so just click "Comments" to share your opinions.
The discussion question today: Renne was mentor or pupil depending on the relationship. Which times did he switch from mentor to pupil?
When in the story did Renne learn something new about life or himself? Who were his teachers?