Pages Through the Ages is a book discussion group hosted jointly by the Westport Museum for History and Culture and the Library. Compare and contrast The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli and Robert Greene's The 48 Laws of Power.

Meetings will alternate between the buildings, so please check the venue prior to attending! Copies of the books are available at the Westport Library patron service desk or electronically.
Registration suggested for this in-person event.

There have been many political philosophies published throughout the time of literate man, but few have made such an impact in so few words as Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince. This eminently quotable treatise on the nature of rulers is unsettling in that it does not merely discuss the specific political geography of 16th century Europe, a world comprised of kings and nobles who ruled absolutely; it has endured for nearly 500 years because it is an all-encompassing understanding of men in power, and the common traits, motives and struggles which have characterized leaders from Roman emperors to modern-day presidents.

 


History 101
History of the World

 

 

Pages Through the Ages is a book discussion group hosted jointly by the Westport Museum for History and Culture and the Library. Discuss A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles with Bruce McGuirk and other history buffs. Meetings will alternate between the buildings, so please check the venue prior to attending! Copies of the book are available at the Westport Library patron service desk or electronically.

Registration suggested for this in-person event.

 


History

 

 

Celebrate Oaktober by joining members of the Earthplace naturalist team and the Westport Tree Board in discussing The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees by Doug Tallamy. This event is scheduled to be at Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane.

Reservations are suggested for this in-person event. Copies of the book are available at the patron service desk at the Westport Library and electronically.

With Bringing Nature Home, Doug Tallamy changed the conversation about gardening in America. His second book, the New York Times bestseller Nature’s Best Hope, urged homeowners to take conservation into their own hands. Now, he turns his advocacy to one of the most important species of the plant kingdom—the mighty oak tree.

Oaks sustain a complex and fascinating web of wildlife. The Nature of Oaks reveals what is going on in oak trees month by month, highlighting the seasonal cycles of life, death, and renewal. From woodpeckers who collect and store hundreds of acorns for sustenance to the beauty of jewel caterpillars, Tallamy illuminates and celebrates the wonders that occur right in our own backyards. He also shares practical advice about how to plant and care for an oak, along with information about the best oak species for your area. The Nature of Oaks will inspire you to treasure these trees and to act to nurture and protect them.

Read a review of the book. 

Community Partners: The Westport Tree Board, Earthplace,

Sustainability

Discover the Natural World

Get the Right Book for You

Join members of the Earthplace naturalist team in discussing topics of environmental issues, sustainability, nature or science. This month's book is All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Dr. Katharine K. Wilkinson.

Named one of the best books of the year by Smithsonian Magazine! There is a renaissance blooming in the climate movement: leadership that is more characteristically feminine and more faithfully feminist, rooted in compassion, connection, creativity, and collaboration. While it’s clear that women and girls are vital voices and agents of change for this planet, they are too often missing from the proverbial table. More than a problem of bias, it’s a dynamic that sets us up for failure. To change everything, we need everyone.

This event is scheduled to be at Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane. Reservations are suggested for this in-person event.
Copies of the book are available at the patron service desk at the Westport Library.

All We Can Save illuminates the expertise and insights of dozens of diverse women leading on climate in the United States—scientists, journalists, farmers, lawyers, teachers, activists, innovators, wonks, and designers, across generations, geographies, and race—and aims to advance a more representative, nuanced, and solution-oriented public conversation on the climate crisis. These women offer a spectrum of ideas and insights for how we can rapidly, radically reshape society.

Intermixing essays with poetry and art, this book is both a balm and a guide for knowing and holding what has been done to the world, while bolstering our resolve never to give up on one another or our collective future. Curated by two climate leaders, the book is a collection and celebration of visionaries who are leading us on a path toward all we can save.

Read the Rolling Stone Magazine article

With essays and poems by: Emily Atkin • Xiye Bastida • Ellen Bass • Colette Pichon Battle • Jainey K. Bavishi • Janine Benyus • adrienne maree brown • Régine Clément • Abigail Dillen • Camille T. Dungy • Rhiana Gunn-Wright • Joy Harjo • Katharine Hayhoe • Mary Annaïse Heglar • Jane Hirshfield • Mary Anne Hitt • Ailish Hopper • Tara Houska, Zhaabowekwe • Emily N. Johnston • Joan Naviyuk Kane • Naomi Klein • Kate Knuth • Ada Limón • Louise Maher-Johnson • Kate Marvel • Gina McCarthy • Anne Haven McDonnell • Sarah Miller • Sherri Mitchell, Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset • Susanne C. Moser • Lynna Odel • Sharon Olds • Mary Oliver • Kate Orff • Jacqui Patterson • Leah Penniman • Catherine Pierce • Marge Piercy • Kendra Pierre-Louis • Varshini • Prakash • Janisse Ray • Christine E. Nieves Rodriguez • Favianna Rodriguez • Cameron Russell • Ash Sanders • Judith D. Schwartz • Patricia Smith • Emily Stengel • Sarah Stillman • Leah Cardamore Stokes • Amanda Sturgeon • Maggie Thomas • Heather McTeer Toney • Alexandria Villaseñor • Alice Walker • Amy Westervelt • Jane Zelikova

Community Partner: Earthplace

Sustainability

Discover the Natural World

Get the Right Book for You

Discuss "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison.  A powerful novel that use our obsession with beauty and its impact on race, gender and societal norms.  For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4807. New participants always welcome. Room 210 . Contact Carolyn Karwoski, [email protected] for more information.

Pages Through the Ages is a book discussion group hosted jointly by the Westport Museum for History and Culture and the Library. Discuss Emma Southon's A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with Bruce McGuirk and other history buffs. Meetings will alternate between the buildings, so please check the venue prior to attending! Copies of the book are available at the Westport Library patron service desk or electronically.

Registration suggested for this in-person event.

This is a cultural history of murder in Ancient Rome. In Ancient Rome all the best stories have one thing in common - murder. Romulus killed Remus to found the city; Caesar was assassinated to save the Republic. Caligula was butchered in the theatre, Claudius was poisoned at dinner and Galba was beheaded in the forum. In one fifty-year period, twenty-six emperors were murdered.

But what did killing mean in a city where gladiators fought to the death to sate a crowd? Emma Southon examines real-life homicides from Roman history to explore how perpetrator, victim and the act itself were regarded by ordinary people. Inside Ancient Rome's unique culture of crime and punishment, we see how the Romans viewed life, death, and what it means to be human.

Read a review.

Community Partner: Westport Museum for History & Culture

 


History
Non-Fiction 101

 

 

Join members of the Earthplace naturalist team in discussing topics of environmental issues, sustainability, nature or science. This month's book is Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach. This event is scheduled to be at Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane.

Reservations are suggested for this in-person event. Copies of the book are available at the patron service desk at the Westport Library.

What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? Three hundred years ago, animals that broke the law would be assigned legal representation and put on trial. These days, as  New York Times  best-selling author Mary Roach discovers, the answers are best found not in jurisprudence but in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology.

Combining little-known forensic science and conservation genetics with a motley cast of laser scarecrows, langur impersonators, and trespassing squirrels, Roach reveals as much about humanity as about nature’s lawbreakers. When it comes to “problem” wildlife, she finds, humans are more often the problem—and the solution. Fascinating, witty, and humane, Fuzz offers hope for compassionate coexistence in our ever-expanding human habitat.

“Nobody does weird science quite like [Mary Roach].” —Lexi Pandell, Wired

Read the New York Times review. 

Community Partner: Earthplace

Sustainability

Discover the Natural World

Get the Right Book for You

Join members of the Earthplace naturalist team in discussing topics of environmental issues, sustainability, nature or science. This month's book is The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination With the Most Mysterious Creature In the World by Patrik Svensson. This event is scheduled to be at Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane. Please watch the website for changes.

Reservations are suggested for this in-person event. Copies of the book are available at the patron service desk at the Westport Library.

One of TIME Magazine's "100 Must-Read Books of 2020," The Book of Eels is a memoir and a portrait of the unusual, misunderstood and captivating animal.

Remarkably little is known about the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. So little, in fact, that scientists and philosophers have been obsessed with what has become known as the “eel question”: Where do eels come from? What are they? Are they fish or some other kind of creature altogether? Even today, in an age of advanced science, no one has ever seen eels mating or giving birth, and we still don’t understand what drives them, after living for decades in freshwater, to swim great distances back to the ocean at the end of their lives. Blending memoir and nature writing at its best, Svensson’s journey to understand the eel becomes an exploration of the human condition that delves into overarching issues about our roots and destiny, both as humans and as animals, and, ultimately, how to handle the biggest question of all: death. The result is a gripping and slippery narrative that will surprise and enchant.

View a review from The New York Times.

Community Partner: Earthplace

Sustainability

Discover the Natural World

Get the Right Book for You

Pages Through the Ages is a book discussion group hosted jointly by the Westport Museum for History and Culture and the Library. Discuss Bill Bryson's One Summer: America, 1927 with Bruce McGuirk and other history buffs. Meetings will alternate between the buildings, so please check the venue prior to attending!

The summer of 1927 began with Charles Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic. Meanwhile, Babe Ruth was closing in on the home run record. In Newark, New Jersey, Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole for twelve days, and in Chicago, the gangster Al Capone was tightening his grip on bootlegging. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed, forever changing the motion picture industry. One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.   Read the New York Times Review. 

Registration suggested. If you wish to join via Zoom, please register here. 

Copies of the book are available at the Westport Library.

Community Partner: Westport Museum for History & Culture

 


History
Biography & Memoir

 

Pages Through the Ages is a book discussion group hosted jointly by the Westport Museum for History and Culture and the Library. Discuss War: How Conflict Shaped Us by Margaret MacMillan with Bruce McGuirk and other history buffs. Meetings will alternate between the buildings, so please check the venue prior to attending!

Registration suggested. If you wish to join via Zoom, please register here. 

Copies of the book are available at the Westport Library.

The instinct to fight may be innate in human nature, but war—organized violence—comes with organized society. Margaret MacMillan looks at the ways in which war has influenced human society and how, in turn, changes in political organization, technology, or ideologies have affected how and why we fight.

Community Partner: Westport Museum for History & Culture

 

 

 

Join members of the Earthplace naturalist team in discussing topics of environmental issues, sustainability, nature or science. This month's book is Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy. This event is scheduled to be at Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane. Please watch the website for changes.

Reservations are suggested for this in-person event. Copies of the book are available at the Westport Library.

Franny Stone has always been the kind of woman who is able to love but unable to stay. Leaving behind everything but her research gear, she arrives in Greenland with a singular purpose: to follow the last Arctic terns in the world on what might be their final migration to Antarctica. Franny talks her way onto a fishing boat, and she and the crew set sail, traveling ever further from shore and safety. But as Franny’s history begins to unspool—a passionate love affair, an absent family, a devastating crime—it becomes clear that she is chasing more than just the birds. When Franny's dark secrets catch up with her, how much is she willing to risk for one more chance at redemption?

Epic and intimate, heartbreaking and galvanizing, Charlotte McConaghy's Migrations is an ode to a disappearing world and a breathtaking page-turner about the possibility of hope against all odds.

View a review from The New York Times

Community Partner: Earthplace

Sustainability

Discover the Natural World

Get the Right Book for You

Pages Through the Ages is a book discussion group hosted jointly by the Westport Museum for History and Culture and the Library. Discuss God's Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World by Alan Mikhail with Bruce McGuirk and other history buffs. Meetings will alternate between the buildings, so please check the venue prior to attending!

Registration suggested. If you wish to join via Zoom, please register here. 

Copies of the book are available at the Westport Library.

The Ottoman Empire’s history has for centuries been distorted, misrepresented, and even suppressed in the West. Now Alan Mikhail presents a vitally needed recasting of Ottoman history, retelling the story of the Ottoman conquest of the world through the dramatic biography of Sultan Selim I (1470–1520). Drawing on previously unexamined sources from multiple languages, and with original maps and stunning illustrations, Mikhail’s game-changing account “challenges readers to recalibrate their sense of history” (Leslie Peirce)

A leading historian of his generation, Alan Mikhail, professor of history and chair of the Department of History at Yale University, has reforged our understandings of the past through his prize-winning books on the history of the Middle East.

Read a review. 

Community Partner: Westport Museum for History & Culture

 

 

 

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